Another specialty food item is being made at the Food Enterprise Center. Entrepreneur Nami Cutler recently began making her dehydrated veggie chips in one of VEDA’s commercial kitchens at 1201 N. Main St. in Viroqua.
Born and raised in Japan, Nami studied fine art in college in the United States and has been a freelance photographer for over 10 years. Nutrition and sustainability are among her interests.
She describes herself and how she began making veggie chips this way: “I’m such a muncher. I would rather munch all day and skip meals, especially when I am too busy to cook. I always dreamed of some magical snacks that satisfy my hunger and nutrition needs--delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable. I started to experiment making a snack using carrot pulp, since we made carrot juice every morning. Gradually, I added more ingredients which are needed in my diet-- protein, iron, fiber, etc. Before long, I was making a meal in a chip.”
Nami Chips are dehydrated flaxseed chips using local organic vegetables and fruits, making them nutritious, convenient, and very high in fiber, protein, iron, and omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.
Nami started making her chips in a La Crosse school kitchen in February of last year and recently moved her production to a commercial kitchen in the Food Enterprise Center. She appreciates the support and resources that are available to her through VEDA and the connections she’s able to make with produce distributors through the Center.
While more flavors are “cooking” in her head, Nami’s chips are currently available in four flavors: Original Veggie, Black Pepper Veggie, Tomato Basil Veggie, and Apple Cinnamon. Her chips include fermented seasonings which she makes using koji, which has been used in Japan for centuries.
You can purchase Nami Chips at the Viroqua Food Co-op; People’s Food Coop and the Wine Guyz, both in La Crosse; and at area farmers markets.
Nami joins businesses Fizzeology Foods, Kickapoo Coffee, and Wisco Pop in bringing their unique/artisan food and beverage products to the Food Enterprise Center and to the greater Viroqua area. Welcome, Nami Chips!
Neidert is a member of the board of the Vernon Economic Development Association in Viroqua.