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In this episode, I interview Nathan Cozzolino, one of the founding partners of Rose Delights, a California-based edibles company. We discuss the company’s unique approach to creating edibles, emphasizing the importance of reliable dosing, sourcing, and the use of natural ingredients. Nathan explains the creative process behind their recipes, often inspired by conversations and collaborations with renowned chefs. He also highlights the importance of farmers and storytelling in their brand. Rose Delights is keen on doing things different, which is evident throughout this episode. Enjoy!
Links for the Rose Delights episode:
- Nathan Cozzolino is one of the founding partners of Rose Delights
- Farms they’re working with to create Rose Delights
- Last Prisoner Project
- Rose Delights website
- Rose Instagram @rose_losangeles
- Try a Pate de Fruit instead of Turkish delight for an easier home cooking experience
That’s it for this week friends. Please email me any questions, comments, pictures of your creations or anything else, I love hearing from listeners! Direct messages to [email protected] or the podcast hotline.
The process of creating edibles (00:01:13)
The conversation covers the process of creating edibles, including the involvement of Michelin star and world-renowned chefs.
The draw to edibles and creating a bridge for consumers (00:02:29)
Nathan explains his motivation to create edibles that address quality and cater to consumers who had bad experiences or were curious about edibles.
Rose Delights’ unique approach to dosing and culinary experience (00:07:33)
The discussion focuses on Rose Delights’ aim to provide a lower dose offering that allows users to incrementally control their dose and enjoy a unique culinary and cannabis experience.
The shelf stability and resistance against heat of the gummy formula (00:11:38)
The speaker discusses the motivation behind creating a gummy formula with good shelf stability and resistance against heat.
The use of flower rosin in the edibles (00:13:12)
The speaker explains the process and thought behind using single strain flower rosin to infuse the edibles.
The difference between flower rosin and hash rosin (00:16:18)
The speaker defines flower rosin and explains the difference between flower rosin and hash rosin in the extraction process.
The Inspiration for New Ideas (00:23:08)
Speaker 2 discusses how conversations with creative people lead to the development of new ideas and recipes for their edible products.
Constantly Changing Ingredients (00:24:24)
Speaker 2 talks about the variety of ingredients that pass through their kitchen every day, including choke berries, strawberries, tart cherries, and more, which keeps their recipes constantly changing.
Collaborating with Chefs (00:26:31)
Speaker 2 shares how their collaborations with chefs like Dominique Crenn, Nicole Rucker, and others have resulted in unique recipes and opened their eyes to the possibilities of cannabis edibles.
The farmer’s spotlight (00:35:10)
Discussion about the importance of giving credit to farmers for their hard work in producing quality ingredients for edibles.
The importance of storytelling (00:37:19)
Emphasizing the role of storytelling in enhancing the culinary experience and connecting consumers with the origins of the ingredients used in edibles.
Collaboration and consulting with budding brands (00:41:14)
Exploring the partnership with the Last Prisoner Project and the involvement in advising and supporting emerging cannabis brands in their journey to market their products efficiently.
The Challenge of Responsible Production (00:45:14)
Discussion about the challenge of taking responsibility for the production of edibles and the hope of contributing to the industry by providing information and resources.
The Vision for Edibles at Farmer’s Markets (00:46:27)
Expressing the desire for edibles to be sold at farmer’s markets and the potential for a more personal and intimate experience in purchasing homemade cannabis edibles.
Surprising Facts about Nathan (00:49:11)
Revelation that Nathan is an extreme lightweight when it comes to edibles, not a chef, and that he lives in San Francisco despite the company’s name being Rose Los Angeles.
Marge (00:00:07) - Friends, welcome back. In this week's episode, I sit down with Nathan of Rose Delights. Welcome to Bite Me, the show about edibles where I help you take control of your life. I'm your host and certified Ganjier. Marge and I love helping cooks make safe and effective edibles at home. I'm so glad you're here. And thank you for joining me today, friends. Thank you for being here today and listening to this episode. New and long time listeners. I appreciate you all. It's the reason I'm doing this show and to have conversations like the one you're about to hear with Nathan, co founder of Rose delights, an edible maker out of California who specializes in Turkish delights. But these aren't just any Turkish delights. I've been watching what Rose delights has been doing for a while, and I've been so impressed by the company and what they're putting out in the world as far as edibles and consumer packaged good. Let's be honest. But these are not like other edibles. And I think once you hear this conversation that I have with Nathan, you will agree.
Marge (00:01:13) - We cover quite a bit in this episode. Their process for creating the edibles, the Michelin star chefs and world renowned chefs that they're working with to create these Turkish delights and a whole lot more. And as some of you, some of you may know, I attempted to make Turkish delights recently in my own home kitchen and they turned out to be a disaster. So it's clear that I should be leaving the edibles infused Turkish delights to the professionals. I think you're going to really enjoy this episode. If you want to go out in the world and create something truly unique, follow some of the advice that Nathan has for the listeners of Bite Me. Without further ado, please enjoy this conversation with Nathan of Rose delights. All right, everyone, I'm really excited to be joined today by Nathan of Rose edibles. And I was hoping Nathan, you could just take a second, say hello to the listeners of Bite Me and let everyone know what it is that you do.
Nathan (00:02:17) - Hello, everybody listening to Bite Me.
Nathan (00:02:19) - My name is Nathan Cassino, and I am one of the founding partners of Rose Los Angeles, an edible company now based out of San Francisco, California.
Marge (00:02:29) - Great. Now, I've been really interested in your brand for quite some time. I love what you're doing, so I'm really glad that we can talk about this today. What is it that drew you to edibles in the first place?
Nathan (00:02:39) - Um, the opportunity to change the way that they are most often made, at least like the ones that are commercially available. I saw an opportunity to. Address an issue with quality. And we just started tinkering away and tried to figure out how to get good quality foods into commercially available cannabis edibles.
Marge (00:03:05) - Right.
Marge (00:03:06) - And I think that's one of the reasons why I was so intrigued by your brand, because you are doing something quite different. Are you a big consumer of edibles? Generally speaking.
Nathan (00:03:13) - No, I never was. And I think that's also what drew me to it. I wanted to like create a bridge there for all those people who had had bad edible experiences or were curious about edibles, but there weren't any available that spoke to their sensibilities.
Nathan (00:03:31) - So, you know, we tried to figure out what people, what populations of people were curious about edibles, but who weren't being addressed with what was what edibles are, were to choose from in the consumer packaged good cannabis edible space.
Marge (00:03:51) - Right. And what did you find when it came to who was curious about edibles? I'm curious about that myself.
Nathan (00:03:57) - Um, you know, I think people like edibles offer an interesting opportunity to change your state, your psychological, physical, mental state, and, um, and to do it with, like, a fairly low commitment to recovery. Um, I think that's why edibles have replaced some, some percentage of alcohol use. The recovery time is much different. Um, obviously I have a story with stage three cancer in my 20s. A cannabis was a very helpful tool during that time for me personally and was like part of my daily health routine, just as stay feeling okay. Um, despite everything that was going on medically with me at that time. So, you know, I thought edibles offered this opportunity for people to feel good and not feel bad after, as long as it was trustworthy and approachable.
Nathan (00:05:03) - And that's, you know, a lot of companies. A lot of companies targeted that reliable dosing, you know, like scientifically tested this and that. We wanted to go further and provide reliable sourcing and trustworthy sourcing. We wanted to clear up a lot of the communication between the manufacturers and the brands and the consumers that supported these operations, not just not just for the sake of cannabis and, and, and edible company in the cannabis space, but just from our experience with marketing, we wanted to embark on a new relationship between brand and customer. And so, you know, part of that was just to create a trusting relationship between the two so that when somebody saw a a name or trademark there, there was. A good reason to trust that brands and you know, we thought this would create the type of brand loyalty that would ultimately be the foundation and support for such a lofty idea as Rose.
Marge (00:06:16) - And do you find that you have a lot of people who are just kind of curious coming to cannabis via edibles, like the ones that you're making?
Nathan (00:06:23) - I think so.
Nathan (00:06:24) - I think so much of the market right now is dominated by extreme dosing. In California right now, you know, like the top sellers or the 100 milligram per single serving edibles. And those are flying. And, you know, after sitting in retail stores across the state, myself doing demos for Rose over the course of the last few years, I understand why that is. And that's not that's not what we've spent our time on figuring out. Rose has put zero time into figuring out how to make a 100 milligram version of our products. Not that we don't think that that would be interesting, but we've just been trying to figure out how to how to produce, like a more nuanced effect for our users, right? The consumers that are trying rose. So like people who don't know what their THC tolerance is. We wanted to give them an opportunity to be able to increment incrementally, control their dose and find what works for them. Also, because everybody or the majority of the people on our team are very sensitive.
Nathan (00:07:33) - Our chef is thc sensitive. My my partner, our creative directors, THC sensitive. I'm THC sensitive. And I've been working in the industry for 20 years. And it's weird because people who have been around it for so long and have been frequently, frequently using cannabis, are the ones that have built up a tolerance, or so many people think. But the longer I spend working with cannabis, the more sensitive I become. For some reason, I don't know what sort of build up is going on on my receptors, or if I'm just find fine tuned my endocannabinoid system to be more perceptive and sensitive to cannabis. But we wanted to create a lower dose offering that was like both the most interesting culinary experience we could provide and the most interesting cannabis experience we can provide in one edible.
Marge (00:08:27) - Right. And you mentioned the extreme dosing, which is interesting because I do find that that the extreme dosing or the really high dose edibles are for a particular user. And I've been using edibles for a long time. I'd consider myself sensitive to THC as well, even though I've been using it pretty well off and on for longer than I care to admit.
Marge (00:08:44) - And you also mentioned the alcohol piece, how the can of curious and otherwise are using edibles and beverages and whatnot, and replacement of alcohol. And that's something I've talked a lot about with people on this show. And so edibles really do create this unique opportunity for people to sort of experiment and dip their toes in and just enjoy life. Now, Rose is sort of based on the Turkish delight format. Is that is that my correct understanding?
Nathan (00:09:12) - Yeah, exactly. That's right. That was the jumping off point. We wanted to use a traditional Turkish delight as the as the format.
Marge (00:09:22) - So what is it about the Turkish delight that drew you to the edibles experience in particular versus, say, gummies or chocolates, or the more normal things you would see in the in the cannabis edibles market?
Nathan (00:09:34) - It was a blank canvas. We could do anything with a potato starch base. There was really an opportunity to work with just about any ingredient we could think of. So it was kind of like. Like, just like free jazz experimentation in the kitchen.
Nathan (00:09:52) - And yeah, it really it really just opened, opened up this opportunity for our chef and the chefs that we work with to go very, very broad and experiment with ingredients from all over the place, different farms from around the world. And there was nothing holding us back. Think you could do that with just about any, any gummy format? But yeah, we we have a lot of flexibility because of the potato starch base that we work with.
Marge (00:10:30) - So it was the blank canvas that drew you to it. Do you have any tips for making Turkish Delight? Because I tried recently and it was a disaster did not turn out at all. So I mean, I know you're working with world renowned chefs, but for a home cook, is Turkish delight a little more difficult to make than a regular confectionary candy? Yeah.
Nathan (00:10:49) - I mean, I think that, like, it requires a lot of experimentation. And the obviously like the chemistry and setting point is always going to like be a little bit more tricky.
Nathan (00:10:59) - If I was doing something in home, I would probably do something like more in the world of a Pat Duffy, something pectin based that you know you like would have an easy time with on on a confectionery cut or parchment in a sheet tray. I think that might be a little easier without more legitimate proper kitchen equipment.
Marge (00:11:28) - Right. Okay, well, let's get to know. I've made Pat Duffy before and that did turn out. So maybe it's just I should leave the Turkish delight to the people who know what they're doing.
Marge (00:11:37) - Well, I've always.
Nathan (00:11:38) - To be honest, like one of the attractions like you can't. That's hard to travel with. You can't take it to a concert and have it in your pocket or else you're, you know, kind of constitutes back to, to jam. So so that was one of the motivations what we're like what could what formula could we produce. We're in California. We have hot summers in a lot of the areas in our state. What what formula could we work with? What base recipe could we work with that had good shelf stability and resistance against heat, higher heats, and that potato starch based gummy was like natural.
Nathan (00:12:21) - We didn't have to incorporate weird stabilizers. We could use all natural ingredients, and it had a higher a higher resistance to heat than any other formula we were playing with at that time. So that was another thing that attracted to us, because many of the gummies that were available at the time were presenting challenges for the teams that were selling them. You'd open up a tin of, you know, like X, X brand gummy and it would just be a pool of what it was before.
Marge (00:12:52) - Right?
Marge (00:12:52) - I've had that experience myself. And then you're again back to guessing, like, how much am I going to consume? I mean, you can kind of guess if it's in a package of gummies, but it certainly makes that individual dosing element a non point at that, at that instance when they've all melted together. So that's kind of interesting.
Marge (00:13:10) - Now.
Marge (00:13:12) - Right now you've mentioned I've seen on the website that you use flour rosin single strain flour rosin to infuse these edibles. Can you talk a bit more about that and the process and the thought behind single strain flour.
Nathan (00:13:26) - Yeah I came from a procurement and and cultivation background. In my 20s all through cancer, I was cultivating in a six light room in San Francisco. Prior to that, I was up in the Emerald Triangle, bouncing around from farms from summer to summer, working, growing full term sun grown flour. I am very connected to the experience of sitting with a strain in a turkey bag on your lap and, you know, inhaling the fragrance of that flour. And that's an important part of my interaction with cannabis. To to swap that for a mason jar of distillate was wasn't an attractive opportunity, even if it meant cutting infusion costs. When we announced that we were going to launch a flower, a flower as an edible that would be commercially available, everybody's response was, that was a ridiculous thing to think to do. Flower was so expensive it would never be viable. It wouldn't be scalable. We could only do a cottage industry level. And the alternative was like unattractive solvent based extracts that I wasn't drawn to.
Nathan (00:14:39) - Not that I don't think there's a time and a place or a consumer for those. Obviously there is, because more, more of those are sold in California than any other type of. Um, but I just wanted, like, I wanted the elimination of heavy machinery, chemical solvents. I wanted to use the highest quality flour and turn that into an extract, using the least amount of process to get from point A to point B. I wanted to smell the terpenes in the parchment. Um, I just like the simplicity of something fresh. Press. Um, and I think the chefs that we've worked with at or who have stopped by our kitchen also have like had some sort of positive, visceral experience while we've been pressing for their recipes when they've come in. And so, yeah, for me to take a mandarin cherry lime dog from our farm, put it in a 35 micron bag, full big ripe buds that are cured for 10 to 14 days, press out a rosin that has a really beautiful color and aroma and texture, and to spread, open the parchment that the rosin was squeezed into and like, smell that like gooey taffy, tacky rosin.
Nathan (00:15:52) - And have it smell like exactly the way the flower did on, you know, while it was still with roots in the soil. That's what I love. And that's what we want to transfer into the edibles that we're producing.
Marge (00:16:06) - And that sounds absolutely beautiful when you describe it that way. Now, for those of those listeners who are out there who aren't super familiar with the term rosin, can you just take a second to quickly explain what rosin is?
Nathan (00:16:18) - Yeah. Flower rosin is the least sophisticated form of extract you can cook with, like short of finger hash or or kief or cold water bubble hash. You take you take a flower. Like I said, you cure it to let the moisture drop to a point where it's preferable. If you press it with too much moisture, you squeeze out that water and you have watery rosin, and you put it in that nylon bag. 35 micron. It allows the trick heads to pass through. It's a pretty refined rosin. There are larger, larger micron bags that push out more material, but then you get more of the fats and lipids, which aren't a bad thing.
Nathan (00:17:02) - But, you know, we do try to limit it to, you know, more of the plant's oils and, and trichomes, heads and less of the chlorophyll stuff. And you squeeze it out. You wrap it in parchment and you squeeze it out, and the golden, yellowy rosin that presses through the 35 micron bag is what flour rosin is. The difference between flour rosin and hash. Rosin is hash rosin. You go through a traditional hash making process where you either fresh freeze the product, or you can use cured flour. You muddle it, you go through a process, muddle it in a nice water bucket, and you go through a process of filtration. And then you use that hash to then press into what's called a hash rosin or a live rosin. And the only difference is we don't we don't work with fresh frozen. We work with cured flour. The reason why people work with fresh rose, fresh frozen is to preserve more of the terpene profile. I think you can preserve plenty of the terpene profile by using a flour rosin extraction method, especially considering when you're working with a gummy and you're reaching heats above 200 degrees in order for it to set.
Nathan (00:18:22) - And so, you know, I think it's a marketing term that brands like to use where they say, hey, using live rosin because it preserves terpenes. It did preserve terpenes until you cooked it into an edible. And then you won't tell your thirteen's if you're doing a low heat recipe like a chocolate or something, then that's a brilliant extract to use. I think it's a perfect a perfect use of fresh frozen extract. If you're doing anything that uses higher heats, then it's unnecessary.
Marge (00:18:54) - Right. And you mentioned earlier too, about how more more of the candies on the market or edibles on the market are probably more distillate based and they sell more, but is that just because they're more widely available than, say, a live rosin edible that's out there?
Nathan (00:19:08) - There's there's like a price point sweet spot in the California retail space. We were really limited by that. And the response in California was, hey, adapt your product to be more scalable and economical. So, you know, put it in a mylar bag instead of like a Italian color plan kraft paper box.
Nathan (00:19:30) - Um, you know, just like take, take away the hand touches. You know, each one of our 20 cubes is hand situated into the box because they're not equal sides. So, you know, there's just there's probably 20 times. Is that we're touching our product between when we cook it and when it's finally packaged, maybe more, maybe like upwards of 3030 touch points for a box of rose delights. And, you know, you cannot sell them at the retail level for a price that you're going to sell in really high volume. You need to have a closer relationship with the customer and clear communications to get them to understand what the difference is between this and this. And California is so cluttered with products right now, and that I think many people that walk into stores in California are overwhelmed. Right? And they just want to get something and get out of there. It's too much noise visually. So we've we've transitioned recently to a very heavy DTC model where we sell our product on our website, and that's that's changed things for us.
Nathan (00:20:45) - It allows us to maintain the quality of inputs and the like, attention to sourcing that we've that we've always used. It allows us to pay farmers fairly for their produce. It allows us to preserve, like all of our methods for cultivating and producing flour, rosin extract for our recipes. It just enabled us to do Rose delights the way we wanted to do Rose delights. Whereas if we were sticking to a wholesale model in California, retail buyers would have like a staid, staid, persistent with telling us to bring price down at any cost because it didn't matter, because people would buy it anyways. And, you know, quality has been the motivation since the beginning. And without that, as you know, the, the, the target, we don't we don't know what to strive for. We're trying to get better every time we make a box of rose delights and we're we're continually trying to. Yeah. To just like, contribute to the evolution of quality in the cannabis space. How can we how can we make a better quality product so people can have a better experience? It's all it's all kind of.
Nathan (00:22:04) - Built around the experience of the end user. And so working backwards from that, it requires very, very close attention to each little detail of what you're putting in it and how you're working with those ingredients.
Marge (00:22:19) - And I definitely think you're achieving that because here I am, a podcaster based in Canada. And of course, I do have a particular interest in edibles. But, you know, I've been very interested in your brand and what you're doing and how you're doing these little all these little attention to detail along the way. And it really does stand out. And markets here in Canada, too, are very saturated with all kinds of edibles that, you know, aren't particularly interesting. They'll do the job, but, you know, they're not necessarily particularly exciting in a lot of those ways. It's just pretty basic, which is one reason why I like to make my own as well. But one of the big pieces of what I've seen you doing is that you're collaborating with world renowned chefs to create these edibles in the various flavors because, as I understand it, you have a new is it a new drop? I guess every season with a.
Marge (00:23:07) - Chef, it's.
Nathan (00:23:08) - Every inspiration. It's every time, every time we have a conversation with somebody that leads to the development of a new ideas. When is when we take it to market. So, you know, think we're constantly overwhelmed with the activity like on that side of our business. But there's like a lot of really interesting creative people who, you know, we end up in conversations with. And then all of a sudden we're like, what if this and then that that sets us, sets us down a two month path of developing a recipe and, you know, putting time and energy, which ends up becoming the story that becomes a part of, like the visual identity of that, that one product. Right. So it's really made it interesting for us. I think. I think the manufacturing process of a consumer packaged good can quickly start to feel very uninspired and mundane. And there's so many. Our kitchen's colorful, there's so many things passing through our kitchen every day. Yesterday I was there.
Nathan (00:24:24) - They were processing choke berries. They had strawberries come in the day before. What's. What's been. Elephant heart bombs. Plots. Just every day is is something new or we're receiving tart cherries for a new sleep recipe that's rich in naturally occurring melatonin. All the time. It's like, you know, whatever produce comes in is what we're processing. It's what we're eating while we're processing. It's just keeps things changing and keeps us, keeps us with the challenge of a moving target instead of just producing the same recipe over and over again. So think everybody's having a good time in our kitchen most of the time.
Marge (00:25:11) - Well, it sounds like there's a lot of space for creativity. And does that mean that you're never really making the same thing twice? Almost.
Nathan (00:25:19) - Um, we we do have recipes that we're making again and again. There's, there's are like, evergreen recipes like the mulberry recipe and our deep sleep, the green juice, the fresh pressed green juice, which is our high energy recipe. There is a chino strawberry recipe, which is our single milligram recipe, and a California kit mango from the Coachella Valley.
Nathan (00:25:48) - And those are the ones that stick around. But we only saw like we had. £1,400 of mangoes arrived two weeks ago. That way that we spent the week pureeing. And then we will freeze that puree. So, you know, we capture it at peak seasonality and then are able to thaw and cook throughout the year. The recipes that use fresh, never frozen are the seasonal recipes that we that that were what you just referred to are seasonal drops. That seems to be happening about like 6 to 10 times a year now.
Marge (00:26:25) - Okay. Oh wow. So quite a few times now. How do you choose the chefs that you're working with on these collaborations?
Nathan (00:26:31) - I'm never. We never really target anybody. It's normal. It's usually something that just kind of comes together organically. That's how it happened with Dominique we brought. She's Dominique Crenn is a she was always like the, like, culinary star of San Francisco. She had a restaurant, Atelier Crenn in the Marina, had eaten there and had one of the fanciest dinners of my life ten years ago.
Nathan (00:27:01) - And I saw on social media that she was being treated for cancer at UCSF, which is where I was treated for cancer. And I thought, since, you know, I'm like, oh, this person's like, you know, a star and she's a star in my eyes. And I'm like, maybe she'd like to try our edible. So one day I went over to her restaurant and left her little care package of delights while she was in treatment. I didn't know her, she didn't know us. And she started commenting on her posts after that. And apparently she began eating them. And during Covid, we connected online and started a conversation and she said, hey, my wife and love your products. Could I, could I, could I do a recipe? And we're like, you absolutely could do a recipe. And and she was growing apples on her property up in Sonoma County at that time. And she's like, let's do an apple, a fresh pressed apple and passion fruit. And both both sourced locally.
Nathan (00:28:03) - And we rented an apple press and we ordered passion fruits and scooped out all the pulp and blended those two things together. And that was our second chef collaboration. First was Nicole Rucker with an apricot lemon verbena. And then Dominique connected us to Manabu, who did a blueberry caipirinha recipe. You know, after a traditional Brazilian cocktail, swapping in blueberry to have, like a fresh, muddled fruit. And Virgilio Martinez from Peru was the third collaboration he did. We took these nano smile grapes and cold steeped ginger and pink peppercorn overnight and made a recipe called Magical Grapes. Using his using his recipe. And simultaneously, Enrique Oliveira had a rose delight at a party in Mexico City. Somehow he reached out. We did three recipes with him a holiday punchy Mexican holiday punch with persimmons as a base. And then we did a mezcal poached pear with an ancho Chile coating. Those were his two first recipes. And then, you know, the rest is history. Like 3 or 4 years since those recipes happened, we've collaborated with a dozen or so other chefs from around the world who have really kind of opened our eyes up and pushed us to the way we look at what's possible with cannabis edibles.
Nathan (00:29:34) - And I think think thanks to the contributions of those people that we worked with over the years, we've also like just created a conversation in the cannabis space or contributed to a conversation about what what is possible. I think I think we've helped kind of fuel the spirit of collaboration in this space, because other brands have seen like what, what can come from it and how exciting and engaging and fun for the people who are consuming these products. It can be and and then also just ingredients. Our motivation early on was to create a closed loop edible, where we took responsibility for the cultivation of a lot of the ingredients used, from flower to fruit to other produce. And then we also supported a network of local farms around us. We thought like an investment in agriculture and healthy, sustainable agriculture was imperative because without without healthy soil, you can't you don't have a viable cannabis industry. And when everybody is pulling plants out of the ground and going into three gallon, three gallon plastic pots and, you know, using salt based nutrients and conventional industrial methods of cultivation, and that's that's not we don't see much of a future in that.
Nathan (00:30:52) - And so we're like, how how to. How do you kind of reverse engineer what what cannabis cultivation has become and take it take it back to very simple methods of production and traditional methods of production. So. Yeah, we we are all about simplicity and traditional traditional methodology.
Marge (00:31:13) - And there's so many things I want to say about all the things you touched on just there. But when it comes to the ingredients, I mean, obviously that stands out so much because normally you go into a dispensary and I'm presented with, you know, blueberry or raspberry or blackberry or whatever, the whatever the combinations are. And what you're describing sounds so amazing. And I've seen pictures on your Instagram of of how these edibles look as well, the finished product. And they're, they're beautiful to look at as well. And it just goes to show how the gift of an edible can really say so much to somebody and, you know, lead to interesting collaborations down the road. Now, you also touched on obviously, ingredients are really important.
Marge (00:31:55) - Can you talk a bit more about how you're going about sourcing some of these ingredients? Because you mentioned sort of a closed loop system?
Nathan (00:32:02) - Yeah, it's a small network of farms. You go to three farmers markets around within ten miles of San Francisco, and you've met everybody in California who's, who's producing on a on a smaller scale and sometimes a larger scale. So it began with me going to the Ferry Building, farmer's market in the Berkeley Farmer's Market, and sourcing Frog Hollow Farm peaches from Farmer Outlet, Frog Hollow, Albion strawberries from Dirty gold produce. Blueberries from Triple Star. You know, just any recipe that we were going to my my friend's house in Oakland because the teacher of his daughter had a lemon verbena bush that we could harvest some leafs from. Um, yeah, it's it's funny, the fruit kind of like, takes you on the journey and it becomes part of the story. You know, recently we were we're working on a recipe with a chef in Connecticut, and his idea was erroneous berries.
Nathan (00:33:04) - And we were like, what's erroneous, Berry? We don't have it on the West Coast. We're flying to his place to cook it. Normally we use produce that's only a car drive away. That's kind of been a, you know, fundamental rule for us is like, if we can't get in our car and drive and pick it up, then we should find another ingredient to work with. But sometimes we'll make an exception. Um, so yeah, every time a chef has an idea for a recipe, it begins the hunt. Nicole Rucker recently in Los Angeles was like, hey, I want to do like, a sour apple with, um, with fig leaf with a fig leaf coating and just make it really, like, tart and sour that that night I was at the market buying ingredients, groceries for dinner, and I saw this little apple from a ranch. I'd never seen them before. It was this little tiny green. It looked like it like mouth puckering, just like from from the appearance.
Nathan (00:33:57) - And I Nicole a pig, and she's like, that's it. So we connected with with Brisa ranch the next day. They have figs. Fig trees are willing to harvest leaves for us. They are also willing to deliver apples. And then then we're like off to cooking.
Marge (00:34:13) - And I noticed, I noticed as well that you're listing a lot of the farms that you're working with right on your website as well.
Nathan (00:34:19) - That's. That's right. You know that we started that early on. Sorry. Helicopter flying over.
Marge (00:34:26) - Yeah.
Nathan (00:34:27) - We start we started that early on to call out the farmers because that's the work we're really impressed by. In cannabis, the cultivation of the flower has always been required the most dedication. It's the hardest job in cannabis for the last 50, 60 years of cannabis in California. The people that are living remotely, keeping difficult working hours, sweating throughout the summers. It's hard physical labor and you produce something really beautiful. So you know, the the task of producing it isn't easy or romantic, but you end up with this really pristine, beautiful, finished product.
Nathan (00:35:10) - And the same thing with all of the farmers that are producing the produce that we're working with. So we I think I personally believe that, like, they're the stars of the recipes, it's not the chefs we're working with, you know, those are those are the thinkers. And they have amazing creative ideas. Yeah, everybody's the star. But really the the farmers deserve the spotlight, at least for that moment on the box, for the work that they put in. It's also like, you know, can be like a pretty grueling, thankless profession at times. And, you know, my partner at one time said she's like, God, you know, like, you know, farm farming, like, really deserves to be regarded as, as sexy and like, you know, there needs to be this like revolution where, you know, people like, discover a respect for the amount of energy and attention and hard work that goes in to farming to produce like tasty things to sustain life. And, um, yeah, anytime, anytime.
Nathan (00:36:15) - We can give the farmers props for the work that they put in and what they're able to provide us. We we attempt to do that. It's the opportunity to bring people into art. Actually, I guess that's the other piece is it's it's bringing people into the world of what what went on to create this edible. So that's a huge part of the experience, the procurement of the flour and the produce, the fruit that goes into it is is what we're living day to day. And, you know, before you take a sip of a glass of wine, if somebody gives you like a little bit of the background about that, that, that sip, it's going to change what you experience and like what what comes alive on your taste buds. And similarly it's like if people understand where those fig leaves originated and where those elephant heart plums started. And, you know, the fact that we're using like one of the only available California mangos and the passion fruit and the Ojai grown Valencia orange, all of a sudden it kind of gives you a sense of place.
Nathan (00:37:19) - And I think that helps color. Like what? What you taste. And it's important storytelling.
Marge (00:37:25) - Yes, I totally agree. And it's also clear the quality and the sustainability is really, really important to Rose. Can you talk a little bit about the zero waste packaging, because you mentioned earlier that you could use my mylar bags, or people have recommended it to you to sort of cut costs, but you have opted for something different.
Marge (00:37:44) - Yeah.
Nathan (00:37:44) - So we actually do use a mylar bag. We're not zero waste packaging. I wish we were. It's something to aspire to. We're lower waste packaging, I would say it still is. Our packaging still is pretty consumptive. And it's like something that, you know, there's two factors like child safety and. Right. And the, the, you know, the initiative to use more sustainable, um, I guess just responsible materials, materials. So, you know, our primary packaging, the box that we sell our product in, we produce that locally.
Nathan (00:38:23) - It's through a small family print shop. We've worked with them since the beginning, and we love the fact that it comes in a paper box. We're very, like, funny with the way the type of paper we use, the foil and embossing. If you were talking to the creative on our team, he would tell you that, yeah, like all of that's a big a big piece of the storytelling. So, you know, it all starts. It all starts there. The texture and the materials is like that. That kind of kick off a visual communication. And each step of the process of unboxing is like the story unfolding, the recipes on the inner tray before you lift it up and cool. Yeah. And you reveal a piece of parchment that lines the delights. The delights have an outer coating that's an opportunity to play with different recipes and ingredients, like I said, with a smoky ancho chili powder or. Clean a celery salt or yuzu zest and green peppercorn. There's a lot of opportunities to play with different stuff there.
Nathan (00:39:27) - And then yeah, the like hand situated tray of delights. So, um, materials and packaging is a big part of what we do as well. That, that is the that is the story and people, the customers that have been. Of purchasing delights for the five years that we've been making them. You know, we've received DMs on Instagram of people that have hung up every box that they've purchased. It's almost like it's almost like a collecting card or something like that. And I have the same I have a drawer of like past boxes that I really loved or recipes that are fond memories for me. And I guess that's that's the goal each time is to produce a recipe that is, is that next opportunity for us, you know, an experience, a production experience that we want to remember, be like, oh, remember, like we'll recall recipes from two years ago that we haven't thought of in two years. Like, oh my God, that was so amazing. Remember that trip to that farm to pick up this and that flower that we gold evaded? Like what happened to that seed? Let's grow it again this year.
Nathan (00:40:36) - And it's yeah, all part of history.
Marge (00:40:40) - Yeah. And I mean, what a testimonial to have people who have had the opportunity to enjoy these edibles send you pictures of their collection of boxes as well. I mean, that says a lot to about the experience that they're enjoying when they open a box of your edibles. Yeah.
Nathan (00:40:54) - And my partner, Scott Berry, does a really, like, amazing job on designing the packaging as well. So they're always like pretty fun and playful and do a good job of communicating what's inside right now.
Marge (00:41:07) - Switching gears a little bit, I understand you have a partnership with the Last Prisoner Project, and I wondered if you could talk about that for a few minutes.
Nathan (00:41:14) - We haven't we haven't caught up with them in a while. We started with the Last Prisoner project, and they connected us to a brand that was. It was an expunged. I don't want to say it was a person who was serving time for a cannabis offense. I think he'd been in prison seven years and he was expunged by the Trump administration.
Nathan (00:41:38) - He got out and with his longtime friend, they started this brand 40 tons. And basically, you know, there was in our space, mostly people who are launching brands, they'll make financial contributions to organizations. It's kind of like the rite of passage to be operating in the cannabis space in California. And, you know, we've always been a brand that's been operating with very little capital. But I would say we've we've gained a lot of experience in the last, like 20 years of working with cannabis. And so we kind of created this, this relationship with these guys and this brand where we were consulting with them on a weekly basis and kind of walking. They were taking us along on their through their process of launching a brand. And we were advising, sharing experiences, sharing resources, just trying to contribute in any way we can to help streamline the process of getting product to market, which can be like costly and like sort of wasteful of resources. And, you know, we were just trying to help them expedite it and make that process most efficient.
Nathan (00:42:52) - So it was like a little, I guess you could say incubator program for a budding brand that's now doing doing great. I wouldn't say anything's to us necessarily, but we were able to be with those guys and like during the formative days. And that's the work that we did with Last Prisoner Project. There was one other brands, I believe, called 87 now. Um, and I think 87 is the amount of months that the founder spent in prison for cannabis charges. And, you know, just like a small amount of advising, it's work that that we really like doing. And we should probably find more opportunities to get involved and do that. But but in all honesty, it's been a little while since we've connected with that group. It's probably time to reach back out.
Marge (00:43:46) - Right?
Marge (00:43:46) - Well, perhaps this is your little nudge right here, but yeah, it's big.
Marge (00:43:49) - Thank you.
Marge (00:43:50) - It sounds as though, I mean, collaboration is a huge part of your brand generally like from start to finish.
Marge (00:43:55) - And I think that's that's so beautiful because that's such a wonderful example to set in the world and just sort of a way to conduct yourself in your personal life and in business. In what ways do you see the cannabis or the edibles industry evolving in the future, and how do you see Rose being a part of that or being at the forefront?
Marge (00:44:12) - You know, I don't know.
Nathan (00:44:14) - I like. And there's so much industry everywhere you look and there's, you know, so many like opportunities for consumers. I think I think Rose like is like a like. I don't know, I hope I hope Rose can lend our experience and expertise to more DIY opportunities for the people interested in what we do. You know, one day we would like to put together a book that that brings brings together all of these experiences and recipes and ideas from people who have contributed to Rose's and to, you know, provide people with information, recipes and inspiration to, like, do some of this stuff on their own. Whether it's attempt to make a Turkish delight at home or, or, you know, use some of these cultivation methods and kitchen processes to develop something that's more home friendly.
Nathan (00:45:14) - Um, and yeah, I like, I, you know, for Rose, it's been the challenge to put in a little bit of extra work to take responsibility for the production of what what we consume as a business. And, you know, longer term, I hope that that's our contribution to this industry, to the people that, you know, put put their money towards sustaining the people that make up this industry, the brands, founders, projects that make up this industry that we, you know. Uh, equip those people with the information and resources we need to bark on, you know, some amount of the experience that we've lived, whether it's in their home garden and in their home kitchen or, you know, whether they want to start to produce something that they can sell at farmers markets. I think if I think if edibles could be sold at farmer's markets, it'd be an amazing experience. If I could go back like ten years ago before we started Rose, if I could go down to the farmers market and buy a cannabis edible that was like made by the same person who, you know, cultivated the apples.
Nathan (00:46:27) - That would be like a very nice experience to live. So I hope, I hope, um. Yeah, I hope it kind of kind of like, you know, Rose took something that was all about like science and industry, and we made it more about like, kitchen and agriculture. And I hope it can go further and then like, sort of like devolve in a way, all the way back into home kitchens. That doesn't help us as a business.
Marge (00:46:54) - But if more.
Nathan (00:46:55) - People thought that way, I think it helps us as a society. So.
Marge (00:46:58) - Right. Well, I.
Marge (00:47:00) - Think it would help you as a business as well, because at the end of the day, if I make my own Turkish delight in the kitchen, if it turns out it might, might taste all right, but it's never going to look as beautiful as what you and Rose is producing. So there's.
Marge (00:47:13) - That.
Nathan (00:47:14) - Yeah, some balance somewhere between that. And that is I think like where we want to where we want to land.
Nathan (00:47:20) - Right. But yeah, less just like longer term less less industrial less less conversations of infinite scalability. Right. More more like thoughts in regards to how we can like, invest in, preserve our natural resources and healthy like truly healthy lifestyle. Right. Don't you know? I don't think I was. I know that Rose delights provide a lot of relief they do for me, and I've heard over the years that they have also for a lot of people I also don't like. I don't like the idea that, you know, our our physical mental well-being is something that we can like. That we can improve through consumer purchases. I think like ultimately, if it's something we can take responsibility for and make happen ourselves, it's it's the healthiest way to to achieve the end goal. So think like Rose's offerings have been kind of built around that. It's like, how can we emulate that? How can we provide somebody with a consumer packaged good experience that is as close to homemade as we possibly can, and has that sense of like, love and finishing touches that one would experience if they were served something by a friend in their home.
Nathan (00:48:48) - And so how to how to like, how to make it more personal and intimate like that.
Marge (00:48:54) - Right. Well, I think the success of your business obviously shows that a lot of people think the way that you do. And so, yeah, if I was in the States, I would definitely be seeking out your edibles. Now, just a couple more questions before I let you go today, Nathan, because I know you're a busy man, but what would surprise people about you?
Nathan (00:49:11) - Oh, surprise people about me. I mean, maybe the thing that I said earlier that I'm an extreme lightweight when it comes to edibles. My sweet spot is one milligram. Oh, wow. Perhaps what would surprise people is I'm not a chef. I'm not. I'm not the one in the kitchen. If if our chef and production team stepped away and I had to start making Rose delights tomorrow, I don't. I don't think I could do it right. You know, I think, yeah, I'm like more of.
Nathan (00:49:45) - I don't know. Think they provide inspiration to the team capable of doing that like that, right. That makes it pros. And perhaps that I live in San Francisco, despite the fact that our company's name is Rose Los Angeles, which is where we started, but not where we produce today, we pitch into San Francisco.
Marge (00:50:05) - And I guess the last question is where can people find your edibles? Now, you mentioned earlier that DWC and for those listening who weren't familiar with or think it was DWC was a direct consumer.
Marge (00:50:17) - Yeah.
Marge (00:50:18) - Yeah. So obviously you have a website which I'll link to in the show notes that people can find their edibles, but where can people can they buy them in store or is it just online?
Marge (00:50:27) - Yeah.
Nathan (00:50:28) - Online primarily at Los angeles.com. And then also in a variety of retailers around the country.
Marge (00:50:35) - Perfect. Well, I will be sure to link to all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much today, Nathan, for taking the time out of your busy schedule.
Marge (00:50:42) - Sit down with me and talk about the beauty of your edibles. I really appreciate it.
Marge (00:50:46) - So so.
Nathan (00:50:47) - Happy to connect and thank you all for.
Marge (00:50:48) - Listening.
Marge (00:50:53) - If this conversation doesn't make you want to run out and buy Rose delights or order them online right now, I don't know what will. These edibles are truly unique and they have such a beautiful process from start to finish. They're more concerned with putting out a quality product then scaling up for mass consumption. And there's something beautiful about that. The way they approach making edibles, it feels very much like the home edibles maker who is creating them in their own kitchen. And as an advocate for the home edibles maker, I support that. But I also want to support companies out in the world that are doing things a little bit differently, just like gross delights. So I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you took something away from it, and that you can also feel good about supporting companies like these, like Rose delights, and also making beautiful edibles in your own home kitchen as well, and experimenting their hotline.
Marge (00:51:48) - Stay up to date with the newsletter, the email newsletter you can sign up for it over on the website. And of course, consider trying the products and services on the market recommends page helps support the show and no cost to you. And if you're looking for something in particular, there's deals and discounts there. I'm your host, Marge, and until next time, my friends, stay high.
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