Honoring A True Health Food Visionary
Family-Owned Karen’s Naturals (Formerly Just Tomatoes) Expands Range of Deliciously Healthy, Farm-Fresh Freeze-Dried Fruits & Veggies To Realize Dream Late Founder Began 30 Years Ago
A Pioneer In Freeze-Dried Category, Karen’s Offers Wide Range Of Purely Natural Products All Picked At The Peak of Flavor
WESTLEY, CA. The first Whole Foods Market had only opened five years earlier and the chain was just beginning to expand out of its native Texas. The first Sprouts wouldn’t open in Arizona for another 17 years. Vegetarians were relegated to the shadows in most supermarket settings, and for much of the population, the term Vegan sounded like something out of “Star Trek.”
The year was 1985 and the health food revolution was in its infancy. But on a picture-perfect farm in Northern California that wouldn’t be out of place in a mid-century Norman Rockwell painting, a young woman named Karen Cox saw the future. And it was delicious.
Married to fourth generation family farmer Bill Cox and mother to their two young children Matt and Megan, Karen envisioned a brand that would utilize dehydration and freeze-drying technology to bring farm fresh fruits and vegetables to the public year-round in the most nutritious, convenient, cost-conscious and flavor-packed manner possible.
And so Karen and Bill created Just Tomatoes - initially selling dehydrated tomatoes from their farm, then quickly outgrowing their name by adding apples, persimmons, berries, corn and mix to their family of naturally-fresh, chemical-free products. As farmers devoted to growing not only crops but relationships, the couple built partnerships with other farmers and Just Tomatoes began an ascent that continues to this day.
Looking Back, Moving Forward
When the family lost Karen a couple of years ago, they found the perfect way to honor her memory – re-branding Just Tomatoes as Karen’s Naturals. Commented Matt Cox recently, “My Mom lived to nurture others, and I can’t imagine a more fitting way to continue sharing that nurturing spirit than having her name on every package. Thanks to her, countless people can now enjoy nature’s most wholesome fruits and vegetables anywhere, anytime and I look forward to continuing to grow the brand she and my Dad created for at least the next 30 years.”
Currently experiencing a significant expansion of both its product line and retail distribution reach, Karen’s Naturals today offers 37 distinct fruit and vegetable variations, along with a new line of 100% natural fruit powders. Available online at www.karensnaturals.com, through Amazon.com and other online retailers and at such health food stores as Whole Foods, Karen’s Naturals offers individual “on-the-go” snack bag versions of its freeze-dried and dehydrated fruit and veggie products (all under two dollars each), as well as bulk packages and Variety Packs.
Available in all-natural and Organic versions, Karen’s Naturals fruit products include: Just Apples, Just Bananas, Just Strawberries, Just Blueberries, Just Grapes, Just Peaches, Just Mango, Cherries, Just Raspberries, Just Fruit Munchies, Just Persimmons, Just Fruit Salad and several combo packs. Likewise offered in all-natural and Organic versions, vegetable products include: Just Tomatoes, Just Corn, Just Peas, Just Hot Veggies, and a Veggie Variety Pack. As mentioned, the company also recently introduced a line of 100% natural Fruit Powders – ideal for flavoring a wide range of dishes and desserts.
Like Having Your Very Own Farm
Ideally suited to consumers of virtually all ages looking for affordable snacks that seamlessly blend great taste with important nutrition, Karen’s Naturals products are manufactured with natural purity and freshness uppermost in mind.
All fruit and vegetables offered by Karen’s Naturals are grown on farms, ranches and orchards where they’re allowed to ripen naturally before being picked at the peak of flavor. The produce is handled with great care, washed gently, and cut into bite-size pieces before being flash frozen. All water is then extracted by vacuum. Because the temperature never exceeds 90ºF, freeze-dried foods are considered a raw food (the company’s dehydrated products are dried at 125ºF). Whether freeze-dried or dehydrated, Karen’s Naturals’ fruits and veggies always maintain their color, nutrients and mouth-watering natural flavors.
All Karen’s Naturals products are naturally free of gluten, dairy, wheat and nuts.
Comments Bill Cox, “We produce everything in small batches the old fashioned way with absolutely nothing added—no salt, sulfur, fat, artificial flavorings, sweeteners, or preservatives. Nothing but what Mother Nature intended. It’s the next best thing to eating straight from your garden! Although we’ve grown, we’re still a small, family-run business at heart. We care deeply about what we do and are committed to offering the highest quality farm-grown products possible.”
For more information and to purchase Karen’s Naturals products, please visit www.karensnaturals.com.