I’m SO excited for this one. Allow me to introduce Brandless, a new online grocery store that basically carries everything I want for $3 or less. And by “everything I want” I mean products like…non-GMO tortilla chips (non-GMO everything, actually), organic quinoa, gummy worms dyed with beet juice (#dontjudge), and paraben and sulfate free cleaning products, just to name a few. And best of all? For each purchase made on their website, Brandless donates a meal to Feeding America.
It almost sounds too good to be true, right?
Too good to be true was basically my first thought during our conference call with the Brandless rep. They had gone through their entire pitch (as Gwen and I perused the website) and to be honest, I was floored. “I don’t get it” I finally said. “How the heck do you guys pull this off? I’m paying almost $7 for non-GMO corn chips at the local grocery stores here and yours are….” we pulled up the Brandless product page, “yours are 2 for $3???? What am I missing??”
What I was missing, it turns out, was the insane mark-up we’ve all been paying on traditional grocery store products. Brand name products have a huge mark-up, as do the grocery stores themselves. Brandless refers to this markup as a BrandTax™ – the hidden costs you pay for other brands, and set out to remove it from their products. They wanted to offer real food – not chemically-laden, overly processed food – at an affordable price. Their tagline is “bad-stuff-less and good-ness full” and I want to give them a high-freaking five. Shopping for groceries just got easier and more affordable.
For example….organic quinoa? It’s $3, not the $7 or $8 I pay for this stuff in Philly. Organic milled flax seeds? They’re 2 for $3. The jam is organic, still $3, and comes in a large-sized jar. Their spices are all $3, and you can even buy refillable glass jars. The cleaning supplies look just like a brand I’ve been using for years….but are only $3 (as-is the toilet paper: tree-free, instead made from sugarcane and bamboo). I mean…I could go on and on. I haven’t been this excited about grocery shopping in a looong time.
One final note: I had asked about their canned goods, wanting to make sure their cans were BPA-free. Here’s what I learned:
Brandless™ canned goods are what our suppliers refer to as “BPA Non-intent”, which is what we feel is a more honest, safer way of describing what many other companies refer to as BPA-Free, as BPA is sometimes naturally occurring in the environment, and may be detectable in trace forms. While we are not committing to the term “BPA-Free”, I can assure you that no BPA (like epoxy, etc.) is used during the manufacturing process.
Interested in seeing a few Brandless products? I was just going to show you my grocery cart, but there’s only so much one can do with corn chips, quinoa, beans, and toilet paper (haha), so instead, we hosted a brunch for our interns. We had wanted to do a fun little send-off for the interns who are leaving us, so Brandless sent over some products to host our little rainy-day brunch.
A “Brandless” Thank You Brunch
First things first: a fun little gift basket + personalized thank you notes for our people. We wanted our veteran interns (aka the ones who had to go back to school *SOB*) to take home a little something useful & fun. Because let’s be real..college kids can never have too many snacks. Our office “snack closet” was kind of an epic one thanks to Syd, Jeni & Danielle. They would have totally loved all of these $3 Brandless goodies this past semester while at work. Some easy ideas for a basket like this could include candy (yum), crackers & jam for when they’re feelin’ fancy and hand cream that really no backpack or purse is complete without. Personalized thank you notes (a la our current intern Madelynne) are never a bad idea if you can swing it*.
*Must have artsy friends though. Good job Mad.
We really just wanted an excuse to get the whole gang together and team bonding is something we love to work into our calendar. Adding small but fun touches like a parfait bar, freshly baked scones and of course…mimosas (for our 21+ year olds) made it feel like a party. And who can’t work a party into their schedule? Work can wait when it’s Friday and there’s a parfait bar calling our names.
Our Easy Spread
Truthfully, Gwen did all of the party prep here and I was the moral support and mimosa taster (p.s. what’s your go-to champagne to OJ ratio for that? Asking for a friend). Also, proper granola placement on your parfait boards is IMPORTANT PEOPLE.
But seriously, this is totally a party trick I can handle. If you keep some of these Brandless pantry staples on hand like granola, almonds, dried fruit etc. you can dish out something pretty and delicious. Plus I don’t know many Mamas who aren’t stocked with some yogurt and fresh fruit at all times.
What you’ll need:
- Organic Oats and Honey Granola
- Organic Dried Raisins
- Organic Dried Cranberries
- Organic Dried Apricots
- Organic Blackberry Spread
- Non-GMO Roasted and Salted Almonds
- Pure Organic Honey
- Yogurt (any flavor)
- Shaved Coconut
- Fresh Berries (your fave)
- Chocolate Chips
We tried out this Lemon Basil Scone Mix for the first time and whipped ’em up right before the interns came over. We’d rarely (if ever) be able to pull off “fancy” homemade breakfast pastries but these were SO good. Add some butter & milk to the mix, quickly knead it up, cut and bake for just 15 minutes. These are great ones to have the kids make too.
How CUTE are these interns of ours? Sadly, Danielle couldn’t sneak away from her mid-terms schedule but this definitely won’t be our last soirée here at TME HQ. A huge thank you goes out to our entire crew for the hard work they put in day in and day out for us. You wouldn’t believe how many last-minute collages they’ve made, posts they’ve helped prep and major projects they’ve taken on (cough cough Holiday Style Guide 2017).
Photo Credit: Zach Teris Photography
Thank you to Brandless for sponsoring this post! We’re all about good for you, affordable choices that can be delivered to our door (what’s a grocery store again? ha) As always, all product choices, thoughts and opinions are my own. And readers, thank you for your continued support. It doesn’t go unnoticed and is so very much appreciated.