Keen One Quinoa was derived from a class project in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder during 2007. Keen One’s founder, Christopher Algea, being the typical financially constrained college student, was tired of eating non-nutritious ramen noodle concoctions. He wondered if quinoa might be used in such a quick and delicious way. After talking it over with his teammates, everyone was convinced that this was a great idea to develop. Keen One was soon agreed upon as a fitting name for the new quinoa product.
Christopher graduated in the Fall and still had a curiosity to develop quinoa products that could be delicious and convenient for everyone to enjoy. While still working in a restaurant in Boulder, he and some friends started making these quick and tasty products in a commercial kitchen in Longmont, CO and selling at Local Farmer's Markets in the area and small retail shops. Soon they started to make cereals and snackclusters with the extra quinoa that was toasted during the process and customers started to demand more and more.
This demand threw a bottle neck in production that was not sustainable for the crew to manage on their own. So, on a Hope and a Prayer, Christopher took an impromptu trip to Bolivia to see if there was a source for the par-cooked organic quinoa that could save the business and help it expand its reach in distribution. After meeting with Keen One's current supplier at the time in El Alto who could not take on this process, Christopher sought out a man in Oruro via a double decker bus ride in the heart of the Alti Plano. To say the least, it was the perfect fit to help Keen One grow and allow for a direct source of fairly traded Organic Royal Quinoa to be used for all of Keen One's products.
Keen One Quinoa has since expanded into many markets including 2 years nationally with REI, Kroger and Whole Foods in the Rocky Mountain Region, and mom and pop stores & specialty chains across the West. We have recently begun to distribute in the Northeast and look forward to building a strong brand presence nationally in the upcoming year. Countless thanks to the friends and family that have supported us along the way. Also, a special shout out to the Boulder Community which has helped us with manufacturing, sales, marketing expertise, forecasting, mentoring and so much more!
Keen One Quinoa's Mission is to promote creative meals, use sustainable ingredients and source organic, fair trade quinoa, benefiting cooperatives in the Highlands of the Andes Mountains.
Our vision is to share the benefits of unique foods from around the world and creative ways to enjoy them anywhere!
Cheers to Healthy Eating!