Core and Rind was founded by two women named Candi and Rita. It began when they took an eye-opening, life altering, culinary nutrition program together. After completing the course, they paired up and started selling their healthier, better-for-you, plant based, inventions in 2016, at their local farmer’s market, in St. Louis, Missouri.
The locals loved Candi and Rita’s Cashew Cheesy Sauce so much, the ladies decided to share their cheesy plant based goodness with the rest of the world. They took over a year to develop a shelf-stable recipe that would finally stand up to (and knock out) the weird nacho cheese oil dips in the chip aisle! I had the amazing opportunity to interview the duo behind this cheesy sensation, see below!
EE: Briefly walk us through your life story
Rita – “Candi and I are both foodies at heart! We were both born and raised in St. Louis,
Missouri where we still reside. Candi attended Southeast Missouri State University and
earned a Business degree. She has a background in customer service, sales, and event
coordination. I earned a Journalism degree from Southeast Missouri State University
and have a background in marketing and tradeshows. We met each other in 2004 in
college and both went on to become certified Culinary Nutrition Experts. Through this
life-changing program and various life experiences, we developed a passion for healing
through food and have brought that passion into our business and entrepreneurial
EE: HOW, WHEN and WHY did you start your company?
Rita – “HOW: We started by selling healthy-for-you items six years ago at our local Farmer’s
Market. We then took a year and a half to perfect the shelf-stable cheesy recipe. We’ve
been growing the business ever since! WHEN: Core and Rind was born in 2016
WHY: We are extremely passionate about disrupting the middle aisles of the grocery
store with alternatives to the normal chemical-laden foods that are strongholds in the
Standard American Diet. We want to make healthy, plant-based eating the norm starting
with our Cashew Cheesy Sauces.”
EE: HOW and WHERE your product is made?
Rita – “We work with a Colorado-based manufacturer to make our three flavors of Cashew
Cheesy Sauce: Sharp & Tangy, Bold & Spicy, and Rich & Smoky. Our sauces are
distributed nationwide through Sprouts and can be found at various other retailers
throughout the United States and Canada. Use our store locator to discover where
Cheesy Sauce is sold near you: https://coreandrind.com/pages/store-locator-1
All our sauces’ ingredients are easy to pronounce, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-
free, vegan, paleo-friendly, keto-friendly, and Whole30 approved. We are also certified
women-owned, another thing that makes our company unique!”
EE: Has this journey taught you anything?
Rita – “The journey has taught me the definition of the word “grit”. The food industry is
extremely tough to break into. With lots of large players, shelf-life limitations, food safety
considerations, and more, there were times where it felt incredibly difficult to find a path
forward for our business. Thankfully Candi and I both have a lot of passion for making
the world a healthier place and remembering our “why” (as well as utilizing the power of our network…and Google) helped us persevere through these challenging times and get
us to where we are today!”
EE: What are you most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from
Rita – “I am most proud of our product. After years of trial and error we finally perfected our
Cheesy Sauce recipe in our own kitchens, and – most importantly – it fits the dietary
preferences and needs of many groups of people AND tastes fantastic! It’s a win-win!
Additionally, Cashew Cheesy Sauce is unique because it is the only shelf stable, clean
label product on the market. It’s perfect for the ever-growing e-commerce grocery
landscape and can be shipped all over the world without having to worry about
EE: Is your company sustainable in any other ways?
Rita – “In addition to being 100% plant-based, the shelf-stability of our Cashew Cheesy Sauce
means it doesn’t have to be refrigerated while being shipped. Our product can also sit in
a customers’ pantry for use after a year while the refrigerated cheese alternatives need
to be used within weeks of purchase. This means less wasted food! Additionally, our
product’s lid and glass jar are recyclable, and our cashews are fair labor and organic.”
EE: What do you ultimately hope to achieve through your brand?
Rita – “Our mission is to rewrite what comfort food can be. We want to continue to make
delicious, plant-based foods that make people healthy and happy.
Candi and I would love to mentor up-and-coming women-founded brands in the future!”
Shop the cheesy goodness at CoreandRind.com
and be sure to follow them on instagram @coreandrind
Take 20% off your entire order with code: ERINEEMILLER
If you like plant based foods, you might love Splendid Spoon too!
Until next time…
Note: This article contains affiliate links or codes, this means if you make a purchase I may get a small percentage of the sale (at no extra cost to you). As always, I only recommend products that I have tried and truly love.