Gluten-free cracker business moves to Blaine

Published on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 by Tara Nelson

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A local woman who developed a line of healthy crackers has moved her operation to Blaine.

Jovan Johnson, a former resident of Birch Bay, recently moved her business, Jovan’s Pure Nutrition, to the Bioplex facility on Odell Road after its capacity outgrew the commercial kitchen space at Bellewood Acres farm in Bellingham.

Johnson said she developed the original cracker recipes at the age of 31 as she was recovering from a lengthy battle with colon cancer.

Using a borrowed food dehydrator and her friend’s kitchen table, she developed gluten-free, sugar-free recipes added vegetables, spices, seeds and herbs to pack a healthy punch of flavor.
“I became passionate about health and wellness, and giving my body the fuel it needed to heal and thrive,” she said. “Diet can play a major role in how we look and feel, and even how resistant we are to disease.”

When Johnson initially introduced the crackers commercially in 2010, she distributed them to local co-ops and specialty stores. Since then, sales have grown and Jovan said it has enabled her to expand her line to natural food stores and food co-ops throughout the region. She said she is working out deals with two large health food chain stores but stopped short of naming those grocers.

“We’re hoping to be distributing to about 900 stores by the end of this year,” she said. “But our hope is not exactly to be huge or achieve a certain dollar amount, it’s to to give people really good food to heal their bodies and be healthy.”

Johnson added her company and its products are a direct result of her desire to share something healthy and nutritious with consumers. Now, she said she hopes to add more automation to the line to help cut down on labor costs and lower the retail price.

The still-30-something entrepreneur is also getting ready to relaunch her line with new packaging this year.

Jovan’s Pure Nutrition’s crackers come in four flavors:  “Garden Pesto,” “Spicy El Paso,” “Taste of Tuscany” and “Zesty Tomato” and contain only whole-food, all-natural ingredients, including vegetables, seeds, herbs and spices. 

In addition to being gluten-free, the crackers are also free of many other common allergens including soy, corn, dairy, egg, wheat and nuts and free of sugar, additives, preservatives or “fillers.”

For a list of retail stores that carry Jovan’s Pure Nutrition, visit www.jovanspurenutrition.com.