Local Vendor Spotlight: California Naturals
Meet the makers of Kahe Sparkling Nectars
Their credo is simple: Make great tasting, healthy and refreshing beverages with the best natural and organic ingredients found on the planet.
Peter Walsh and Melanie Carroll, founders of California Naturals, and makers of the Kahe beverage, had grown tired with the sameness of beverages on grocery store shelves and thought it was time to shake up the world of beverages with something flavorful, refreshing and unique that people can feel good about drinking.
With this in mind, Peter, who grew up in Atherton, Calif., and Melanie,a native of New Zealand, experimented with flavors and juices in their small cottage kitchen in Atherton. They settled on the three flavors we carry today – Bing Cherry, Passion Fruit and Kiwifruit (made with juices from kiwi grown in Melanie’s hometown) – and discovered they were able to create the amazing taste from the fruits – no artificial ingredients or sugar necessary, just unique sweeteners Stevia and Xylitol; no other juice based beverage on the market uses them. The finished Kahe product is all natural with a low-calorie count.
(Pictured: Kiwifruit, Bing Cherry and Passion Fruit Kahe Sparkling Nectars)
Friends and family encouraged the couple to try their hand at selling the sparkling beverages, so Peter came to Sigona’s. He remembers shopping at Sigona’s with his mom when he was a child and her saying that Sigona’s had the best produce.
Following a successful taste test with specialty foods buyer John Nava, who said the Bing Cherry smelled just like a box of fresh cherries, Peter began working on production for retail sales with some guidance form Nava.
“My mom was always our biggest supporter,” said Peter. “She passed away about a year and a half ago, but Nava said he remembered her when I spoke with him about starting our business. Sigona’s was the first retail outlet to support our business, and it meant a lot to me to start with them because of my mom. There’s a lot of history there.”
“I like to think of this as a ‘local boy hits the jackpot in his own backyard’ type of story,” said John Nava. “We were able to give them a healthy start and now Kahe has really taken off! You can even find them in a several other stores throughout the peninsula and elsewhere.”
(Pictured: Melanie Carroll and Peter Walsh with the three flavors of Kahe.)
The Sigona’s Crew and customers from near and far agree: the taste and smell of Kahe is just like eating the actual fruit.
“We grow Bing cherries at home in Washington,” said Ginger Emerson, an out-of-state visitor who stopped in at Sigona’s while in town to see her daughter. “The Bing Cherry flavor tastes just like a real cherry, so I’m taking a few of these back home for the family to try!”
Make sure you scroll down to see how you can get 3 free Kahe drinks, one of each flavor, for free today!