ANN ARBOR, MI -- A couple of students and entrepreneurs passionate about wellness wanted to find ways to promote healthier eating on the University of Michigan campus and across the community.
These UM seniors, Jacqueline Sun, 21, and Taylor Hurley, 22, joined forces to create Brassi, a brand of cauliflower oatmeal, which can be blended into a drink or used as a base for bowls or overnight oats.
Hurley would sneak a vegetable, such as cauliflower or zucchini, into her smoothies every morning. But to avoid creating noise that might wake her roommates, she started looking for alternative breakfast foods using vegetables that did not require a blender.
Hurley made her own recipes of overnight oats, using cauliflower, oats and other flavored ingredients as a base. However, it still took several steps.
“I had to buy multiple ingredients,” Hurley said.
Hurley and Sun, who have been friends since freshman year, came together on a compounded product that can conveniently be stored, and named it after brassica oleracea, a type of cauliflower, Sun said. Each package retails for $7.99 and offers six servings. They come in an apple and spice and cacao and coconut flavors.
“We want to be a brand that’s more holistic,” Sun said. “A lot of our target customers are millennial, Gen Z age and we know a lot of college students don’t eat enough vegetables.”
The duo is working with various entities within the university, as well as Ann Arbor retailers, such as the People’s Food Co-Op and Argus Farm Stop, on partnerships to sell Brassi products.
“We want to make good food that makes you feel great,” Hurley said, adding the two were mindful of ensuring the product has complex carbs, healthy fat, fiber and more.
Online pre-sale orders launched in January. Shipping will officially launch in the second week of March. All packaging labels are being printed in Chicago facility, but Sun and Hurley are handling the physical packaging in a local commercial kitchen.
“It’s definitely a lot of work because it’s just us two,” Sun said, adding they hope to make it a full-time venture.
“It would be a dream of ours to work on a healthy food company,” Hurley said, adding they’re also considering more savory products and “products that are convenient.”
View the products at https://www.eatbrassi.com/.