Exotic Superfoods started as a raw food store/restaurant in 2006 in Queens, New York. In our juice bar and restaurant, we used a lot of the conventional young Thai coconuts like every other raw food juice bars and restaurants; but fortunate circumstances had led us to find that the conventional coconuts were not “fresh, raw, and organic” as we thought and believed. Our initial research showed that these young Thai coconuts were dipped in harmful chemicals before being shipped to the United States. We also further discovered that the conventional young Thai coconuts were sprayed with fungicides and other harmful chemicals on the farms while they were grown: these young Thai coconuts were CONVENTIONAL: grown and processed with harmful chemicals. And there were more issues with these conventional young Thai coconuts; it was and still is this general misconception of its freshness and young quality; they are, indeed, not as fresh and young as people think and believe. After the coconuts are harvested and processed for shipping, it takes the coconuts about 1-1/2 to 2 months to arrive into the United States; and, furthermore, this period does not include store/market shelf life thereafter!: They are not “young” nor “fresh,” they are aged coconuts and the harmful chemicals to preserve them. So, due to the long ocean voyage and considerable shelf life thereafter, the conventional young Thai coconuts therefore have to be treated in harmful chemicals to deter bacteria and mold growth. Veritably, these conventional young coconuts are not healthy to consume. They are truly not fit for raw food or non raw food lifestyle, at all. At this point, we decided to no longer use the conventional young Thai coconuts in our store. This decision had created difficulties and problems: we had no coconuts for our juice bar and restaurant and furthermore, a lot of our clients who patronized our store were purchasing, predominantly, our prepared foods, juices, and smoothies made from them.
WE HAVE TO HAVE GOOD QUALITY HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS YOUNG COCONUTS SOMEHOW AND SOMEWHERE! We started to try other sources of young coconuts in the market. The first that we tried was the big green young coconuts. Although these coconuts had a lot of coconut water, they lacked the coconut flavor and sweetness of the conventional young Thai coconut variety; also, these green coconuts came with very little coconut meat that we needed for a lot of our raw food recipes. In our store, most people were shy and confused about purchasing them for their own use at home because these green coconuts were hard and dangerous to open and would leave the kitchen a sticky pile of coconut shell fragments and sticky spilled coconut juice everywhere. What waste, what mess! We had to find another source. With time and perseverance, we found a second source of coconut in Thailand where we could import certified organic young Thai coconuts. We had the certified organic young Thai coconuts flown into New York overnight because they were not chemically treated so its shelf life was very limited. When we received our first shipment of certified organic young Thai coconuts, they were perfect: the coconut water was very coconutty tasting and they contained the right amount of young coconut meat in each one superb and practical for raw food recipes. These young certified organic Thai coconuts were naturally sweeter than the other varieties of the coconuts in the market because these certified organic Thai coconut variety were call the Fragrant variety. They were selected and picked for its natural and organic sweetness. Although we were happy with the certified organic young Thai coconuts compared to the conventional young Thai coconuts there were still problems: Firstly, the cost of shipping the organic young Thai coconuts overnight was extremely expensive which made the price of these coconuts very high and not economical nor practical for people to buy on a regular basis; and secondly, our larger and primary problem, was shelf life of these organic coconuts; we noticed that after two weeks of storage in the refrigerator, the organic young Thai coconuts started to grow mold on the outside of their shells. With the high cost of these organic coconuts and their short shelf life resulted in spoilage, refuse and waste. What waste! Although these organic coconuts were perfect: certified organic, raw, and not treated with chemicals, we decided they were not our long term solution. So, we contacted our associates in Thailand and told them our problems with these organic young Thai coconuts. After some time of trials and testings came the solution: Upon harvesting the fresh young organic coconuts, the coconut water and coconut meat were instantly bottled and placed into bags and froze immediately. This would allow the coconut water and coconut meat NOT to age at all until they were defrosted and ready to eat or drink. This simple solution maintain the young freshness and the flavor of the organic coconut water and coconut meat. And, on a definite plus side, the shipping was cheaper because the frozen coconut water and coconut meat were shipped in a freezer ocean container and no longer flown in overnight. When we received our first shipment of the frozen organic coconut water and coconut meat, our priorities were to do further testing and sampling to make certain this frozen process did not effect the quality of the coconut water and coconut meat. Every frozen bottle of coconut water and frozen bag of coconut meat had to taste as good as if the coconut was picked right from the tree: after multiple samplings and testings, the coconut water was, indeed, as flavorful and sweet as the fresh young organic coconuts and the coconut meat as soft, silky and delicious as if we would spoon the coconut meat from its fresh source. The experience was similar if not the same as having a freshly harvested organic coconut off the tree but without the messy labor, of course. This simple solution also made our raw food preparations easier and simpler: the products came recipe ready all we had to do was to defrost completely and use. We no longer had to worry and be anxious about the shelf life of the coconuts as long as the products were kept frozen until ready to use. With all these good fortune we had a misfortunate: after two years in business, we closed our raw food store due to monetary reasons. But, we loved, believed, and lived in spirit with our raw food lifestyle: where our foods are organically delicious, unprocessed, simple, and easy. We all love young coconuts; but we do not have to be subjected to having just eating and drinking CONVENTIONALLY grown ones. We decided to start a new venture and offer Exotic Superfoods’ 100% certified organic, raw, and frozen young Thai coconut water and coconut meat to all the health food stores, juice bars, restaurants, and people everywhere. Today, we no longer have to choose between chemically treated “fresh” and “young” coconuts and chemically processed pasteurized coconut products; now people and stores are given the option to drink and eat raw unpasteurized certified organic coconut water and coconut meat.