Food Entrepreneur CHICAGO — Emily Groden’s frozen waffle business began as a prepartum pursuit of convenient, wholesome foods for her family. The lawyer-turned-entrepreneur launched Evergreen at the beginning of the pandemic, and the brand has since expanded into hundreds of specialty and natural grocery stores. With the recent hire of a chief sales officer, refreshed packaging and new product offerings, Ms. Groden is gearing up for a year of growth.

Evergreen markets a line of miniature waffles made with whole grains, no refined sugar or dairy, and flavored only with fruits, vegetables, nuts or spices. The core lineup includes banana peanut butter, mixed berry almond, zucchini and carrot, and pumpkin and pecan.

The latest additions include gingerbread, flavored with date syrup, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves; chocolate and zucchini, sweetened with honey, cocoa powder and cinnamon; and apple and cinnamon, sweetened with honey.

“For the apple and cinnamon, we start with fresh, diced apples that we roast down in an oven to get that caramelly apple pie flavor, and we mix those into the batter,” Ms. Groden said. “The new flavors stick to our mandate of just a few real ingredients.”

Packaged in resealable pouches, the waffles are sold in approximately 600 retail outlets, including Sprouts Farmers Market, Whole Foods Market, Bristol Farms, Roche Bros. and others.

“We’re looking to really scale that up this year,” Ms. Groden said.

Earlier this year, industry veteran Ryan Youngman joined the team to lead sales efforts.

“He has been in the industry for 30 years and has seen all sides,” Ms. Groden said. “We were really intentional about bringing somebody on who has an incredible knowledge base to support me as a founder and the ability to help us scale going forward. I’m very excited about this next chapter.”

Ms. Groden plans to bring the Evergreen brand into new categories and expects to offer a first taste of a forthcoming product line at Natural Products Expo West, March 8-11 in Anaheim, Calif. 

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