Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Defeat Autism Now (D.A.N.); The Yogi MD & Acai

Not long ago, a dear friend of Sambazon introduced us to Doctor Andrew Levinson, an incredible individual who’s made it his mission to help defeat autism by supercharging his medical practice with kindness, love and the heightened intuition acquired through over 15 years of intensive yogic practice.

As a fan of Sambazon Acai for both himself and his patients, Dr. Levinson graciously invited us to share a booth with him at the Baltimore Defeat Autism Now (D.A.N) Conference.

Let me start by saying, wow… what an eye-opening event… Did you know that 1 in 100 children in the US are now born with autism? And 1 in 60 boys, as the disease is disproportionate to the male gender. We also learned about the many parallels that lie between the incidence of autism and environmental toxins.

We were honored to have the opportunity to serve our products to such a committed and compassionate group and overjoyed to see how well they were received. Gluten and casein are two things in food that are generally considered no-nos for autistic kids; the texture of food is said to be a potential hurdle as well. Being gluten & casein free with a smooth and creamy texture made our Original Blend açaí sorbet and juices a real hit. We also learned that practitioners and parents are having a lot of success in simply stirring Sambazon’s Powerscoop (pure açaí powder) in with apple sauce- yum!

It was truly inspirational to spend time with our fellow D.A.N. attendees and a great reminder of how powerful a movement becomes when people work together to achieve a common goal.

Cheers to Dr. Levinson and The D.A.N. family!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Celebration At Our Local Ecology Center!

Over the years, our investment in the environment has brought us close with others who share the same commitment. One of those organizations is the San Juan Capistrano Ecology Center, located one town away from our headquarters. The Ecology Center, housed in an old craftsman property, sits on the only organic farm in Orange County and is the hub of discussion and action about sustainability, organics, and environmental responsibility in the region. From teaching field trip groups of kids about how to recycle and grow their own veggies, to hosting a summer speaker series that draws progressive thinkers from around the world, the Ecology Center is truly building a local platform and knowledgebase for positive change in our world.

This year’s Earth Day Festival at the Ecology Center drew over 500 locals, who came to buy organic starter plants, learn how to sprout grains and seeds, tie die some clothes with natural inks, indulge in an all organic lunch and listen to some amazing bluegrass... And ultimately to participate in the fun simple things in life that make one’s footprint a little less harsh. We contributed açaí bowls and set up an açaí seed workshop where kids and adults could learn about the whole process of harvesting açaí, try our açaí sorbet and then use the seeds from the berries to make unique jewelry. It was truly a gorgeous spring day – where the young and old and everyone in between came to celebrate the earth by learning how to better take care of her.

To learn more about the Ecology Center and the programs they have, please click here to visit them online.

Keep it Purple,
Kaia Lai - West Events Manager / SAMBAZON

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day! - Written by Ryan Black, CEO of Sambazon

While Earth Day is one of our favorite weeks and favorite days to celebrate, here at Sambazon, we treat everyday like Earth Day. While this sentiment may sound a little bit cheesy, it’s true. We do our best to contribute to the health of our environment and community on a daily basis. We keep our office as green as possible – we use reusable utensils, recycled paper and recycled shipping supplies. We are constantly striving to reduce the carbon footprint of our business by using the newest and greenest solutions to our marketing and shipping practices – for more information on these initiatives – check out the blogs written earlier this week by Sambazon team members, Jody, Cameron and Keith.

At Sambazon, sustainable business practice is an even larger part of what we do in our office and within our community here in Southern California. The mission of our business is to maintain our triple bottom line success as we grow. Our focus is on the environmental, social and economic impact of our business. By working closely with the world’s foremost conservation organizations (like The Nature Conservancy) and other key non-governmental organizations, Sambazon has pioneered the first of its kind Fair Trade, sustainable and certified Organic supply chain of açaí. As a result, Sambazon has positively impacted over 1,100 local family farmers and over 1.7 million acres of land in the Brasilian Amazon.

Over the past week, Sambazon has participated in Earth Day events all over the country – from LA to NYC – we have been out in full force supporting the various efforts of different communities celebrating Earth Day, including our own. Our annual Samba Earth Day is an afternoon dedicated to our employees, the individuals that believe in our mission and make Sambazon the incredibly dynamic and progressive company it is today. This year included an organic feast from one of our favorite local restaurants, guest speakers from the Ecology Center and ASEC along with staff speakers who shared the projects they are currently involved with - projects aimed at greening our practices. And as a new company initiative to eliminate unnecessary waste, we gave all employees purple Kleen Kanteens to use with our water cooler instead of the biodegradable cups we’ve had in the past.

We are constantly striving to improve our business practices and make them as “green” as they can possibly be. I encourage you to do the same in your business and personal life. Ride your bike instead of drive when you can. Bring reusable shopping bags to the farmers market. Print emails only when necessary and on recycled paper. Practice meat free Mondays. Every little thing really does add up and make a difference. Be kind to yourself and your environment.

Celebrate Earth Day everyday,
Ryan Black (CEO)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sambazon's Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Packaging

Sambazon is, and has always been focused around sustainability and environmental stewardship through the sustainable harvest of organic açaí in the Brazilian Amazon. This year we have embarked on a thorough review of all packaging we use in order to improve and lessen our environmental footprint, while remaining mindful to still deliver the quality products you expect from Sambazon.

We are looking at materials as well as examining the environmental methods employed by our suppliers and production partners, such as their use of alternative or renewable energy sources, and the methods of transportation they employ and the distances required to produce and bring the materials to us.

Here’s an overview of what we are doing with our current materials:

  • Bottles: Our bottles contain part post industrial recycle content (PIR), unused plastic from production that is then reground and reused in the production of our bottles. While that’s a great step, we’re examining new and better substrates that use higher levels of recycled material while maintaining optimal quality and freshness for our products.

  • Labels: The major environmental concern with standard labels is the volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) used in the printing and adhesive process. Our new Açaí Freeze Dried Powder labels use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper with 30% post consumer recycled (PCR) material, vegetable based inks, and water based adhesives.

  • Boxes: The public never really sees or handles the corrugated boxes that transport our juices, yet they are among the most recycled and recyclable in the industry. Now made from 86% PCR, our boxes are also printed with soy based inks and use water based adhesives.

  • Pallet Shipping Materials: We are currently testing the use of 100% recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE, what #2 plastic is made from) instead of cardboard cornerboards for stability on our shipped pallets. Not only are these 100% recycled and recyclable, but they are also completely reusable.

As we strive to become truly ‘green’, due diligence is our main concern. There are many so-called environmentally friendly options that can be either misleading or in some cases more harmful. While we still have a long way to go, we promise to do our homework and only make changes that will truly make a positive impact. We have and will continue to change, upgrade and innovate, all with an eye to lowering our carbon footprint, increasing our environmental awareness and improving our sustainability standards.

-Keith Lord (Director of Sourcing)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Featured Recipe: Açaí Banana Bread

That melty, gooey, deliciousness that you always wish banana bread would be... Yeah, this is it. With an added not so little antioxidant boost, you can’t go wrong.

1/2 Cup butter at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
3 Extra ripe bananas
2 Eggs, separated
1/2 Tsp. vanilla
1/2 Tsp. lemon juice
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 Cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. hot water
1 Sambazon Original Açaí Smoothie Pack, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare, butter a standard loaf pan, mash bananas till smooth with a few chunks, and separate egg whites and yolks in two different bowls. Cream butter and sugar together in large bowl. Add bananas, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon juice, and baking soda and mix thoroughly then stir in flour till just combined. Beat egg whites until stiff, then gently fold into batter until blended. Lastly, stir in hot water.

Pour half of batter into your loaf pan, add the Açaí pack to make a midlayer, then pour the remaining batter to fill. Using a wood skewer or other similar shaped device, gently stir the batter in a circular motion to make açaí swirls.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes or so. Serve warm, cold, toasted... It’s great any way.

Keep it Purple,

Kaia Lai
West Events Manager / SAMBAZON

Sambazon's Event Team Goes Green!

If you live in SoCal, Florida, or NYC chances are you’ve seen the Sambazon Road Warriors hitting the streets and spreading the Sambazon love. Here at Sambazon we are all about sustainability – from the recycled water bottles we use to print our marketing banners to the bio diesel that fuels our fleet, we keep it purple out in the streets. We encourage our eventers to only buy recycled paper towels, eco-friendly cleanser and reusable tools. If we use ingredients beyond our açaí (like granola and bananas for our bowls), we buy organic and as local as possible. We even use compostable corn starch cups and spoons when we are out at events making acai bowls for jiu jitsu fighters, yoga classes, and local beach cleanups. If you have ever seen a Sambazon demo in your local grocery store or tried a sample of our delicious juices at marathon, music festival, or triathlon – that sample cup you drank from is 100% compostable.

So next time you see Kaia, Pamela, Toby or me out at an event spreading the açaí love from coast to coast, be sure to say what's up and ask about how we continue to keep it “green”.

Get with the Purple Berry,
Cameron Faist (Sambazon Event Manager)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sambazon's Green Printing Initiatives

Here at Sambazon, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and protecting our natural resources, not only in the production of açaí, but also with our marketing efforts. We value the ecological impact and quality, over mass-producing “junk” at a lower price, which unfortunately is still a common trend today. As the Print Trafficker here at Sambazon, I work hard to find vendors who can help keep us on track with the latest and greenest printing options.

Through the help of our friends at Monster Media, New Leaf Paper, AOSA, Meridian Graphics and Lifework (to name a few of our awesome partners), we continue to further our efforts with sustainable printing and eco-alternatives. More recently, we produced some great looking banners with the help of AOSA made from 100% recycled PET – recycled water bottles. It's technology such as this that allows us to step outside of the box and hopefully lead a new wave of companies looking to go green.

Some of the other ways that these companies allow us to promote green printing is through the use of post-consumer recycled papers, chlorine-free papers, water-based and soy-based inks, along with the many eco certifications they hold. Furthermore, our friends at Monster Media and Lifework have taken it a step further by using solar power to generate clean effective energy for their place of business. This not only saves a few bucks, but more importantly eliminates toxins that pollute the air with chemicals such as nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide.

Some of the more rigorous certifications our vendors hold are from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Green-E Renewable Energy and Ancient Forest Friendly Initiatives. These certifications, collectively, help promote the use of renewable energy, responsible use of forest resources and the use of paper that has a high percentage of post-consumer waste and no virgin fiber from old-growth, ancient or endangered forests.

While we continue to seek out more and more eco-alternatives, it saddens me to say that the options are still fairly limited, yet increasingly getting better over time. And while no individual or company is perfect, we can certainly strive to head in the right direction and change the “quick and cheap” culture that haunts the print world today.

Every company should strive to make these changes as well. By doing a some quick research, individuals and corporations can find environmentally friendly printers all over the United States. The more that environmentally friendly printing processes are demanded, the more available they will be to everybody. I encourage you to talk to the marketing team at your company (and/or email your favorite brands) to find out what they are doing to move towards using recycled and/or more environmentally friendly materials in their printed collateral - we can all make a difference by asking for positive change. This will not only help reduce the carbon footprint of your business, but give back to the environment that gives so much to us.

Keep it green & purple,
Jody Weisberg
Print Trafficker/ SAMBAZON

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sambazon Fuels the Pan Am Athletes

We have Brasilian Jiu Jitsu (namely the Gracie familiy) to thank for the early popularity of açaí, and the creation of the açaí bowl. So when tournaments like Pan Ams, an annual tournament that draws the top Brasilian Jiu Jitsu competitors from across the world, comes to town, we most certainly can’t miss the opportunity to serve the competitors authentic açaí – a slice of home away from home for some.

This year’s tournament saw 3000 competitors touch the mat, men and women, light feather to ultra heavy to open class, white to black belts. With up to 6 matches going at one time, there’s always something interesting to see. Although for the outsider, Brasilian Jiu Jitsu could seem a bit slow as compared to the ever popular MMA fights we see today, a closer look reveals that these jiu jitsu fighters truly are masters of the more subtle yet incredibly powerful art of dominance. Every hand movement and slight placement of the body builds the platform for a flashy move that can give a competitor the upper hand or determine a crucial point for one’s score. It’s like a chess match where you rarely see the attack coming, where patience to see the opportunity combined with the quickness and power to take advantage seem to make for the ultimate fighter.

A respectful congratulations too all of the competitors and champions this weekend, including our friend Paulo Guillobel, who took first in his black belt division. Looking forward to the next tournament!

Keep it Purple,
Kaia Lai - West Events Manager / SAMBAZON

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sambazon On The Set of "Soul Surfer" the Story of Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton, pro surfer and Sambazon Ambassador, takes her inspiring life story to Hollywood in “Soul Surfer.” After an almost fatal shark bite, Bethany came back to the ocean and to surfing and is once again competing against the world’s best surfers. “Soul Surfer” is a tale of Bethany and how she uses her past to inspire people around the world.

Just recently halfway through filming, Bethany asked Sambazon, one of her favorite supporters, to come out to the set and help keep everybody energized and rejuvenated. Sambazon was on the set everyday and supplied smoothies, sorbet and açaí bowls to all that grew weary in the hot sun of the North Shore. Coolers were constantly refilled only to have actresses such as Helen Hunt asking how she could get more! Once people started feeling the uplifting benefits and tasting the delicious flavor of açaí, Sambazon became more than a “hit” on the set of Soul Surfer. There was always a helping hand whenever Sambazon rolled up, security guards would grip a drink in hand boasting “shakas” and big smiles.

Bethany often drinks açaí smoothies made with Sambazon Pure Açaí Smoothie Packs in the morning before starting her day, and the producers at Soul Surfer, not wanting to miss a beat, chose to incorporate this into their film. Bethany personally set this scene up for the directors and explained how her mom would whip up a couple of smoothies every morning before sending the kids off to school. To get the perfect shot, gallons and gallons of açaí smoothies were blended and drank by the actors and everyone else on the set. You could literally see people turning purple with açaí happiness!

We’re looking forward to an amazing and compelling film, so make sure to check out Soul Surfer in theatres this October!

Sam Custin (Sambazon Hawaii Brand Ambassador)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Profile: Sara Davis, Professional Triathlete and Sambazon Ambassador

"I am a soccer player turned Triathlete, who starts my day off everyday with a Sambazon açaí bowl. I started playing soccer at the age of 5, which earned me an athletic scholarship and an education at the University of Washington and California State University of Northridge. Leading a healthy lifestyle and athletics were always a passion of mine. After college I decided to try my luck at playing professional soccer overseas in Italy, Sweden and Amsterdam. I had some luck, made all three professional teams, but had issues with a working visa.

After losing hope for my professional soccer career, I knew I wanted to have an active lifestyle but was not quite sure where to go. I moved to Hawaii for a couple months and it just happened to be during the preparation of the Kona Ironman. I was enthralled by these athletes; swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles then running a marathon after. I didn’t even know that was possible. I ran into a particular triathlete that maybe changed my life. I wish I could remember his name. Anyway, this man was in his 70’s and competing in this Ironman. He was 9-time champion of his age group. The most in shape 70 year old I have ever seen in my life. I had a great conversation with him and he has inspired me for the rest of my life.

The day I moved home, I looked into buying bikes. I bought a crappy road bike and started training blindly. I signed up for my first race about 6 months later called the LA Tri Series in San Dimas sprint. I won my age group and was 3rd woman overall. I was hooked. I got my first sponsor after that race, Ladera Cyclery, who hooked me up with a better bike and I haven’t looked back since. My first year I was undefeated in my age group, I qualified for National Championships in which I placed 15th. Last year, I competed in my first Half Ironman, Vineman 70.3 and also qualified for World Championships for the sprint distance in Gold Coast, Australia in which I placed 10th in the World, first American.

Going into my 3rd year of Triathlon I expect big things. I am competing in 4 Ironman 70.3’s and hoping to exceed my goals in which I honestly could not do without Sambazon. I am looking forward to a successful season and celebrating another year of living a healthy and active life, enjoying every second of it.

The first time I discovered Sambazon was 6 years ago when I was sick and my friend suggested that I try an açaí bowl at a local bagel shop. I was amazed by the antioxidants and the great taste of the purple berry. I felt better the next day and kept going back for more. I ended up googling Sambazon and ordering packets to make my own smoothies. Sambazon açaí has been my breakfast of choice since I tried it 6 years ago; they give me the energy I need to keep me going through my daily training sessions. To make my açaí bowls I used Almond milk, one pack of the original Sambazon açaí, a handful of blueberries or fresh mango and one banana blended up, topped with honey and vanilla almond granola.

Best Breakfast Ever!"

-written by Sara Davis, Professional Triathlete and Sambazon Ambassador

Monday, April 5, 2010

Part 3: Ocean Minded, Surfrider and Sambazon Work Toward Cleaner Beaches!

4Schools 4Months, Beach cleanup #3– Another solid beach cleanup at Strands. Capo Valley High Cleans up 210 pounds of trash for the month of March!

Here's some words from our friend and Ocean Minded Team Manager Frankie D’Andrea about the fourth beach cleanup.

"Today was the last clean up for Capo Valley High in March and they did a very impressive job this month. Over the course of four different clean ups at 30 minutes a clean, Capo High Surf team cleaned up 210 pounds of rubbish at Strands beach in Dana Point. The surf team was already down at the beach for their surf team meets so why not clean up their local spot. Today the team cleaned up 50 pounds of rubbish mostly consisting of plastic bottle tops, Styrofoam, straws and even a hyperemic needle. It was great to see the team work together and comb the beach for left behind trash from beach goers. Hats of to Coach Shultz and the Capo High Surf team for being so pro active and cleaning up Strands Beach. Capo Valley has the most trash collected to date in the Ocean Minded/ Surfrider 4 schools 4 months program, with a trash tally of 210 pounds in a month. Keep up the great work Capo and best of luck for the rest of the year."

-Frankie D'Andrea (Friend of Sambazon & Ocean Minded Team Manager)

Keep it Purple,
Kaia Lai - West Events Manager / SAMBAZON

Friday, April 2, 2010

Brazilian Art Has Come To Los Angeles

Sambazon's roots come straight from Brazil. So when we met Leticia Bufoni, one of Brazil's premier female professional skate boarders and now a Sambazon Ambassador, we jumped at the chance to sponsor her and a cause that's close to her heart.

Here's a quick write up from our friend and event producer Ana Paula Negrão on her latest event:

"It happened this past weekend March 27th at Exhibit A Gallery The Expo: Re:Board with boards from the 80's and 90's.

The night started out mellow with almost 400 people passing through the gallery during the night: art collectors, skaters, musicians, families and children. DJ Salada and Leticia Bufoni did a great job with very eclectic music from old school Brazilian punk rock bands to MGMT.

Bob Burnquist, Jorge Kuge, Lincoln Ueda, Thronn, Daniel Bourqui, Alvaro Porque, Nilton Neves, Lucio Mosquito, Rodrigo Gerdal, Andre Genovesi, Danny Ceresini, Diego Chaverinho, Fabio Bitao, Bozo, Fabio Castilho, Patiane Freitas, Yura, Samuca, Cupim, Vinicius Evaristo, Liza Araujo, Isabelle Donola and other skaters from Brazil showed up. Tony Alva stopped by to check out some Brazilian skate history also. Daniel Presto did live painting of 2 boards during the exhibit.

Sambazon was present to keep every one refreshed and hyped. For the ones that missed out you can still stop by the gallery until April 9th and check out some amazing artwork.

Exhibit A Gallery
1086 S Fairfax
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Ana Paula Negrão (Event Producer)"