Spooky Season: Chuckanut Bay-Style!

When you hear the phrase “most wonderful time of the year”, you probably think of Christmas, right? Well, here at Chuckanut Bay Foods, we think of HALLOWEEN!

And leading the pack of Halloween aficionados is Gina, our beloved Production Manager! Each year, she puts on an elaborate Halloween event, open to the public – with a specific theme, games & activities, and of course tons of Halloween candy… and this year is going to be a good one!

Six Years of Magic

The themes Gina has chosen are always creative – and fully immersive!

The past years have ranged from classic horror to pop culture scares – last year, for example, we visited “Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory” – and the year before was “Raven’s Roost”!

For this sixth iteration of our Halloween House, Gina settled on the theme “Carnival of Clowns”. And this year, there are multiple stations, including four carnival games, a cotton candy booth, a photo booth, the Clown Town Hooch House (hot buttered rum, anyone?) and an outdoor movie theater – and there’s even more we didn’t mention!

The best part? Over 500 carnival prizes, candy for each station, 8 dozen homemade cookies, and plenty of rum to go around!

It Takes a Village

We absolutely love watching Gina put on this event each year – and this year, it’s been especially exciting to watch 3 of our team members get involved as volunteers (both working during the event, and those who took the time to bake cookies)! Additionally, several other businesses in the community have also made contributions that have made a world of difference.

On behalf of Gina (and the rest of our team), a big thank you to Pacific Building Center for their loan of popcorn and cotton candy machines. What a great way to keep the kids happy! (And the adults… no judging here.)

The kids are also going to love the 2500 pieces of candy donated by Windermere Realty – and the pumpkins donated by CostCutter have gone miles in decorating for our Halloween House! We’re so grateful to our community who has come together to make the event an awesome one – especially during a year where nothing moves on as normal!

 

 

Creativity and Community

Every good business and event has their WHY – and the Halloween House is no different! Gina loves the reward that comes from

challenging her imagination each year – and the opportunity to create a new idea, filled with wonder and excitement.

But even more importantly, her favorite part is truly the people!

“It feels so good to give to the community. To see the little kids’ eyes light up with curiosity and magic is why I do it – and why I’ll do it until I’m in the dirt,” says Gina.

“Another fun element of this is the reaction I get from the grownups, who are almost as curious and thrilled as the kids – because I believe we all need a little magic, no matter how old we are!”

Join us this Halloween

We are so excited for this year’s Halloween House – and we’re so grateful for Gina and each person who has pitched in to make this year a fun one, for kids and their parents alike!

If you’re looking for Halloween plans, we’d love for you to join us! Our open house is from 5pm-8:30pm, Saturday the 31st! We’re at 608 C St in Blaine.

And of course, we’d like to note that Halloween House is an open-house, outdoor event. We are COVID-compliant and will be implementing six feet of separation, as well as wearing masks and gloves. All treats will be prepared in advance and pre-bagged, so no little hands are at risk.

We’ll see you there!

Spooky Season: Chuckanut Bay-Style!2020-10-29T14:37:01-07:00

Chocolate Necessities: Excellence You Can Taste

Picture with us, if you will, a business founded on creativity, melding the best techniques throughout history to create something both new and deliciously familiar. A standard of uncompromising excellence that never fails to inspire and delight – and satisfies that sweet tooth as well.

Curious yet? Meet Chocolate Necessities, a world-class artisan chocolate company that we’ve had the pleasure of building a close relationship with over the years here at Chuckanut Bay Foods. 

Allow us to introduce you to founder Kevin Buck and show you what puts Chocolate Necessities in a league totally their own!

A History of Excellence

Though Chocolate Necessities is based in beautiful Bellingham, WA, their story actually begins in Banff, Alberta. In the early 80s, a young Kevin Buck tasted fine chocolate (from prestige chocolatier Bernard Callebaut) for the very first time while there on a trip…and he immediately fell in love. 

At the time, there were only a few fine chocolatiers outside of Europe, so after his education in fine chocolate, Kevin had to make a decision: if he wanted to pursue creating (and consuming) chocolate fit for royalty, he would have to buy wholesale. And that meant one thing: starting his own business.

The year is 1986 – and Chocolate Necessities has its first retail location. They opened their doors in a small store on the Guide Meridian in Bellingham and it’s still there today. The first truffle created was Amaretto – still a fan favorite to this day!

 

International Meets Local – A Winning Combination

In order to create chocolate fit for a king, Kevin made the decision to source both locally and abroad, merging the best of both worlds to create something truly special. On the international end, he uses pure Tahitian vanilla for his truffles, straight from the source, and cocoa powder from Holland. 

But when it comes to the little touches that make Chocolate Necessities’ treats so special, Kevin knows the best is right next door. He’s proud to utilize local vendors such as Samson Winery, Holmquist Hazelnuts, Chuckanut Bay Distillery, and locally-roasted Lotus Coffee, just to name a few.

 

What Real Cheesecake and Real Chocolate Have in Common 

As it turns out, Chuckanut Bay Foods and Chocolate Necessities create different products, but at the same time, we share so much! Kevin Buck and his team share our commitment to using all-natural, 100% pure ingredients – even if sometimes that means having extra hoops to jump through. 

Kevin and our founders both emphasize combining creativity and precision to craft original, joy-inducing products while ensuring they’re consistent – every single time. It’s a science – but it’s also an art!

 

To Life-Long Friendships & Partnerships

We’re grateful for so many years of friendship with Kevin and his team. They always support our creation, encourage us to try new things, and provide an awesome local company to test out new products!

If hearing the word “chocolate” so many times hasn’t convinced you to treat yourself to North America’s best chocolatier, check out a few of these truffle flavors: Honey Roasted Almond, Mandarin Orange, Balsamic Caramel, and Strawberry Lemonade, just to name a very few. 

Besides truffles, Chocolate Necessities offers a huge variety of dark, milk, white and ruby chocolate products – and their second location in Downtown Bellingham also offers world-class gelato and sorbetto when you need a little authentic Italian refreshment!

 

We encourage you to indulge in a fine local chocolate company – and grab a fresh, delicious cheesecake while you’re at it! 

Chocolate Necessities: Excellence You Can Taste2020-09-28T15:00:11-07:00

Delicious Pick-Me-Ups and Treasured Partnerships

This past February, Chuckanut Bay Cheesecakes took a brand new step. We had our first product collaboration with a restaurant chain, Burgerville, and presented a new product – a Cherry Cheesecake Shake (and yes, it was as good as it sounds!). While this product was a seasonal offering only, it opened the door to a new element of our business – partnering with restaurants to create exclusive desserts.

More American Than Apple Pie

Burgers and milkshakes: two legendary fast-food staples. In fact, it’d be hard to come up with a more classic American combo. Burgerville has been a Washington State staple since it was started in 1961. Their mission statement can be summed up in three different words: fresh, local, and sustainable.

It’s the best feeling to find a partner that aligns so closely with our own values: we work hard to use REAL ingredients like all-natural vanilla, cream cheese, and locally-produced butter. This collaboration was a great way to lift up small businesses and local farmers, highlighting their products and showing their amazing offerings to a whole new audience. Win-win-win!

But before we created the perfect treat, we had some snags to get through…

Real.Good.Milkshakes.

We pride ourselves on producing high-quality (and delicious!) desserts at a reasonable price. But collaborating with Burgerville to create something completely new posed a challenge. When you’re working at a burger joint, speed and convenience are key. And trying to scoop slices of cheesecake out of a pan was just simply not doable!

So we faced a new test: how could we make our cheesecake scoopable and easily blendable so Burgerville employees could whip up some cheesecake shakes in no time?

After some trial and error, we came up with the perfect idea: a cheesecake that was slightly softer and without a crust, while maintaining the delicious flavor and texture that we’re known for.

We were so excited to be able to pivot and develop a modified recipe to best suit Burgerville’s needs – and voila! A scoopable, delicious, creamy cheesecake that blended perfectly and tasted amazing. Our plain cheesecake offered the perfect backdrop for ANY flavor, whether cherry, chocolate, or something even more creative.

We were happy, Burgerville was happy, and most important of all… their customers were REALLY happy! The milkshake was more popular than we had ever anticipated, and that got us so excited to collaborate with even more restaurant chains down the road.

Let’s make something amazing!

Our vision is this: creative collaborations that will elevate both of our brands and bring forth enticing new offerings.

If you pride yourself on fresh and wholesome ingredients, and you’re interested in collaborating on an awesome new product for your restaurant, this might just be a match made in dessert heaven.

Shoot a message to Mark at markh@chuckanutbay.com and let’s make some cheesecake magic!

Delicious Pick-Me-Ups and Treasured Partnerships2020-07-01T13:32:21-07:00

Efficiency + Quality: The Story of Lean Manufacturing

Ready for a taste of our behind-the-scenes operations? 

Since our earliest beginnings, Chuckanut Bay Foods has been proud to utilize Lean manufacturing techniques to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and create even more value for you. 

Originally derived in 1930 from the world-class Toyota Production System (TPS), Lean Manufacturing has continued to benefit businesses in hundreds of industries over the years, including our own. The Lean system works relentlessly to eliminate waste from the manufacturing process, making it an ongoing adventure of improving our flow and keeping everyone engaged. 

How does Lean make a difference?

We’ve all seen that famous I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel are working in a chocolate factory, manning a conveyor belt. The job seems simple: as chocolates roll by, they’re to wrap each one in a paper and place it back on the belt for packaging.

As the conveyor belt rolls, they quickly fall behind, and we see Lucy stuffing her mouth full of chocolates to hide the fact that they can’t keep up!

This episode is a true classic, but we can learn a little about Lean principles here as well…

The goal of Lean is to reduce waste in every step of the manufacturing process – and it’s clear to see that there are lots of inefficiencies going on in Lucy and Ethel’s process. This is where Lean comes in. 

For example, we could streamline Lucy and Ethel’s workspace by making the paper easier to grab, saving them time and effort. Or, we could train them in one Standard Operating Procedure so they wrap each piece in the same way, every time, reducing waste by eliminating sloppy workmanship and allowing them to increase their speed. 

Less is More!  

But what’s our root motivation in implementing Lean in every area of our processing?

It’s YOU, our customer! Every improvement that we make throughout our team is made with you in mind, and our entire team is brainstorming daily about how we can improve your experience.

For instance, our time-saving measures mean we have more time for responsiveness and customer engagement, answering your questions and filling your orders in a quick and prompt manner. And streamlined production means less time waiting for your cheesecake. Because who wants to wait?! 

Our dedication to consistency means that you’ll never have to worry about the quality of our desserts. We’re excited to be able to create better service and more value for you while reducing the resources we use along the way. 

Less waste = more cheesecake goodness. 

 

Values, Goals, & Practices

Here at Chuckanut Bay Foods, it is deeply important to us that we maintain integrity with our values and goals, as people and as a company. These include:

  • Respect for people.
  • The endless pursuit of the identification and elimination of waste.
  • Striving for FLOW.
  • Achieve PULL through our company.
  • Keeping everyone actively engaged in the improvement process.

These values and goals are why we started utilizing the Lean business model from our earliest beginnings. As we have grown as a company, so has our Lean practices. As a core part of our production management development, we have built our Quality Program on the Lean principle that quality improves as waste is reduced.

Our daily operations focus on the “6S” – Sort, Straighten, Scrub, Safety, Standardize, and Sustain. Audits are conducted daily by department heads with our staff to ensure the application of the 6S and to find more ways to improve the work area.

We’ve worked hard to implement Lean and create proper flow, maintain organization, and create motion-friendly layouts for our team. Reducing time spent and physical waste means keeping prices low for you – and your cheesecake delivery time quicker than ever!

Real.Good.Teamwork.

There are more benefits to Lean manufacturing than just the processes. Involving our entire team in this standard has had an amazing unifying effect, increasing a feeling of ownership at all levels throughout the company. 

Eliminating waste not only allows us to bring more value to you, our customer, but efficiency goes a long way in reducing stress for our employees as well! When customer satisfaction is prioritized and employee participation is valued, the workplace becomes a place to take initiative in developing better methods. 

Our Lean mission has given our workers a sense of purpose and allowed them to see how much we value them and their opinions. Each member of our team knows that they’re a part of something much bigger than just clocking in and mindlessly working without direction. The motivation to find better, cleaner, smarter ways to do a task is a never-ending challenge – one that our team rises to every day!

Trust us: cheesecake tastes better when it’s made by happy employees.

We call that a win-win!

Efficiency + Quality: The Story of Lean Manufacturing2020-09-28T13:46:00-07:00

Real.Good.CHOCOLATE!

Do you love chocolate? We certainly do.

When it comes to treating yourself to a decadent treat, nothing satisfies like chocolate. You can’t help but crave it, love it, and savor every mouthwatering moment it brings to the senses. But there is more to the tale of chocolate than what you’ll read on a candy wrapper or experience with your taste buds. 

Here you’ll learn where our chocolate comes from, who makes it possible, and the steps we take to ensure only ethical practices create this exquisite ingredient. 

“Food of the gods”

While the word chocolate may bring to mind sweet truffles or candy bars, the chocolate of the past was actually a very cherished – but very bitter – beverage. According to written history, the Mayans made thick and frothy chocolate drinks for celebrations and as a way to finalize important transactions. 

Although chocolate was revered in their culture, it was available to almost everyone, no matter their status. Unlike the Aztecs, who believed cacao was a gift from their gods. In fact, the scientific name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao actually means “food of the gods.” Aztecs certainly enjoyed their chocolate drinks, but they also used cacao beans as currency to buy goods. To them, these beans were worth more than gold.

 

Why does eating chocolate feel so good?

Have you ever let a piece of chocolate slowly dissolve in your mouth and felt your heart flutter as if you just received a passionate kiss? This sensation occurs because chocolate contains very small amounts of chemical compounds called tyramine and phenylethylamine, which stimulate your brain cells to release dopamine. No wonder we love chocolate so much!

But it’s not all about the “feel good” factor. When choosing our chocolate, we’re not just looking for a great taste – we’re also looking for products you can feel good supporting. We believe we have a responsibility to our environment, our economy, and the dedicated farmers whose livelihood depends on us. 

From cacao tree to delectable treat

It’s hard to believe the core element of our chocolate truffle cheesecake and chocolate cookie crust actually began as a tropical tree. Cacao trees are native to Central and South America, but the growing area has expanded to West Africa, Southeast Asia, and pretty much any oceanic country located near the equator. These babies love that heat!

Cacao trees produce large pods that grow straight out of the trunk and can be nearly the size of a football. Within these pods lie 30-50 precious cocoa beans which are then left to naturally ferment and dry in the sun, completing the transformation from cacao bean to cocoa bean. Cocoa beans are then shipped to producers to be roasted, ground into cocoa mass, and mixed with sweetness to create the tasty treats that us chocolate lovers treasure.

But there is a vital component of this process that often gets overlooked – the hands that make it happen.

 

Real people. Real hands. Real lives.

It is important to us that all of our cheesecakes are made by Real people, and it is just as important to us that we support the Real hands harvesting the cacao beans that make their way into our desserts. 

In recent years, disturbing information has surfaced around forced child labor in the production of chocolate. This has only made it more imperative that we continue to maintain our awareness of where our products come from.

Cocoa farms are typically small, family-owned, and passed down from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, poverty is still a big issue as many farmers barely have access to basic things like clean water, health services, or education. 

The worst part? Much too often, cocoa farmers are drastically underpaid. The average price you would pay for a chocolate bar at your local store is likely more than what a cocoa farmer earns in a week. This is unethical, immoral, and frankly, unacceptable. 

Doing our part

At Chuckanut Bay Foods, we only buy chocolate from companies that share our values, engage in ethical practices, and pay these farmers a respectable wage that can support them and their families. We ensure that the money we spend on chocolate goes back to the farmers so they can feed their families and put roofs on their schools. 

Another key thing we look at when choosing our chocolate supplier is their environmental practices. Water conservation, energy-saving, reduction and recycling of waste, and managing environmental risk are essential. We feel we have a role to play in the healing of our planet and want to take every opportunity we can to contribute.

 

To sum it up… we love chocolate… and every element that creates it.

We love the taste, the way it makes us feel, and all the fun varieties it comes in. But as we have now seen, there is a deeper tale to chocolate than what first meets the eye. It’s a story of a wounded planet trying to heal, a cacao tree lounging in the sun, and millions of humble farmers looking to improve their way of life.

Without them, the chocolate we love so much would not be possible.

Explore all the savory flavors we have to offer

Real.Good.CHOCOLATE!2020-01-28T14:05:24-08:00

Our No Sugar Added Cheesecakes Just Got Sweeter

Chuckanut Bay Foods is proud to introduce our new & improved No Sugar Added Cheesecakes featuring a new sweetener, Monk Fruit. This all-natural sweetener is growing in popularity and has recently begun to be used as the everyday sugar substitute at major brands such as Starbucks and Nestlé. Read on to find out why this magical fruit is getting so much attention.

What is Monk Fruit?

 

Monk Fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, is a small round fruit native to Asia, primarily China and Thailand. It was discovered by the Luo Han monks in the 13th century and

is prized, not only for its sweetness but for its unique health benefits. In Eastern medicine, it is actually considered a healing herb and has been used to treat several kinds of ailments. The people who farm it live such long lives that this sweet and powerful melon has even been termed the “The Immortals Fruit” due to its high antioxidant levels and healing properties.

Sweetness without the remorse

While Monk Fruit is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar, it contains zero calories, zero carbs, and zero effect on blood sugar. This is because the fruit’s sweetness is not from natural sugar, but from the antioxidants it contains. Not only does it not raise your glycemic index, but studies have even shown that Monk fruit may even be able to naturally treat diabetes.

That’s not all. Monk fruit has also been known to:

  • Have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Fight free radical damage
  • Fight infection
  • Fight fatigue
  • Lower risk of obesity and diabetes

Monk fruit is less bitter than most sugar alternatives, leaves no aftertaste, and has none of the side effects that other sugar substitutes present. It really is the perfect sugar replacement.

Sustainably Grown

At Chuckanut Bay Foods, it is deeply important to us that all of our ingredients come from sustainable practices. The Monk Fruit Sweetener we get from our Lakanto provider is grown on pristine farms in the remote mountains of China in an area with clean air and unpolluted water, hours away from the city.

The farming practice is done the same way it has been done in that region for centuries — each fruit is planted, pollinated, and picked by hand with no pesticides and far away from city pollution.

Zero-Emissions Factory

Crops are rotated every five years for a sustainable tradition of field cycling, and the extraction process is held to the highest Japanese standards in a zero-emissions processing plant. The factory is in close proximity to the field to maintain freshness and to eliminate any need for roasting or pre-processing.

Each fruit is meticulously checked in a full research lab before extraction to ensure safety and quality. Any unused parts of the fruit are composted and redistributed to local farms to aid in waste reduction.

Trust the Ingredients, Love the Taste

We are dedicated to using only REAL ingredients in our cheesecakes, and our switch to Monk Fruit has brought that commitment to a whole new level. For the first time, giving up sugar does not have to mean giving up your favorite treats. Thanks to this delicious and powerful fruit, everyone — even diabetics — can now enjoy a delicious, gourmet dessert without the calories, carbs, and harmful side effects that other sweeteners present.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to satisfy that sweet tooth?

Sweet, delicious bliss can be yours in just 3 simple steps:

  1. Find Chuckanut Bay Cheesecake at your local grocery store.
  2. Pick your flavor.
  3. Taste the difference.

REAL.GOOD.CHEESECAKE

Our No Sugar Added Cheesecakes Just Got Sweeter2020-02-20T12:26:44-08:00
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