Our Coconut Story
100% USDA certified organic, Raw, Non GMO Project Verified, Vegan coconut water and coconut meat...
Exotic Superfoods started as a raw food store/restaurant in September 14, 2006 in Queens, New York. We were proud to state that our store, juice bar, and restaurant only used and carried organic foods, food products, and ingredients for our conscientious consumers. At the time, our kitchen and juice bar utilized tremendous amount of the cone/house shaped young Thai coconuts for its nutritious water and coconut meat just like every other raw food juice bars and restaurants everywhere in the New York City. But fortuitous circumstances had led us to find that these cone/house shaped coconuts were not “fresh, raw, and nutritious” as we had erroneously thought and believed. Our initial research showed that these young Thai coconuts were dipped in harmful chemicals before being shipped to the United States. With further research, we discovered that these conventionally cone/house shaped young Thai coconuts were sprayed with fungicides and other harmful chemicals on the farms while they were grown. Unfortunately, still, these conventional cone/house young Thai coconuts are generally perceived as fresh, young, and nutritious by the regular coconut consumers. They are, indeed, not as fresh and young as people think and believe. When the coconuts are harvested, processed, and ready for shipping, it takes the coconuts about 1-1/2 to 2 months to arrive into the United States; furthermore, this period of transit does not include the necessary store shelf life thereafter! Considering the 2 months long ocean voyage and the store shelf life, these conventional young Thai coconuts must therefore be treated with harmful chemicals to deter bacteria and mold growth. These conventional coconuts are not fit for coconut consumers, raw foodist, nor health food consumers who consume them for its nutritional health benefits. After knowing these detrimental factors about the conventional Thai coconuts, without due consideration, we decided to outcast them from our store. This decision we had made created difficulties and challenges for the continual survival of our store: we had no coconuts for our juice bar and restaurant, and no better alternative to replace them. Furthermore, a lot of our clients who patronized our store regularly were purchasing, predominantly, our prepared foods, juices, and smoothies made from these conventional coconuts.
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 big green coconuts had a lot of coconut water, they lacked the coconut flavor and coconut sweetness of the conventional young Thai coconut variety; also, these big green coconuts came with very little coconut meat that we needed for a lot of our raw food recipes. Furthermore, our clients were fearful and confused about purchasing them for their own use at home because these green coconuts were big, awkward, time consuming, and dangerous to handle in their home kitchen. Moreover, the clean up! Chopping your own whole coconuts leaves your kitchen a sticky pile of coconut shell fragments and sticky spilled coconut juice everywhere. What mess! We had to find a better and more convenient source where everyone can utilize the coconut in all kitchens. With time and perseverance, we finally found a source of coconut in Thailand where we could import whole 100% USDA certified organic raw/unpasteurized young Thai coconuts. These organic coconuts were not chemically treated so its shelf life was limited to perhaps less than 2 weeks. At the beginning, we had the certified organic young Thai coconuts flown overnight into JFK airport in New York. When we received our first shipment of certified organic young Thai coconuts, they were beautiful and perfectly delicious: the coconut water was indeed very coconutty tasting and they contained the right amount of young coconut meat for our raw food recipes. Indeed, 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. This Fragrant variety is solely grown in Thailand an no where else in the world. They were selected and picked for its natural and organic sweetness. Although we were happy that we had finally found these wonderful organic whole coconuts, we were still encountering stressful challenges with shelf life and cost of bringing the coconuts into the US. Firstly, the cost of shipping the organic young Thai coconuts airfreight overnight was extremely expensive. With this method of shipping the organic whole coconuts, it was not economical nor practical for people to buy on a regular basis. Secondly, our larger and primary challenge: the lack of shelf life of these organic coconuts. We noticed that within two weeks of storage in the refrigerator, the organic young Thai coconuts started to grow mold on the outside of their shells. The short shelf life resulted in spoilage, waste, and expense! Although these organic coconuts were indeed 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: Harvest and freeze the coconut water and coconut meat instantly. This allows the coconut water and coconut meat to not age until they were defrosted and ready to eat or drink by the consumer. This freezing method also allows for unlimited shelf life as long as they are kept frozen at all time. Furthermore, this simple solution maintain the young freshness and the flavor of the organic coconut water and coconut meat. And on a definite positive side, the shipping was much more economical because the frozen coconut water and coconut meat were shipped in a freezer ocean container and no longer have to be flown in airfreight 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 much 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. Exotic Superfoods is the first 100% USDA certified organic raw coconut water and coconut meat on the market. In January 2009, We started a new venture and offer Exotic Superfoods’ 100% USDA certified organic, raw, and frozen young Thai coconut water and coconut meat to all the health food stores, juice bars, restaurants, and people in Queens, Brooklyn, and NYC. Exotic Superfoods is committed to using only certified organic coconuts. We are currently working with other conventional coconut farmers in Thailand to switch over to organic methods. Some companies who also sell organic coconut water will use conventional coconut water if organic supplies run low during the low season and not alert their clients that they are doing so. Here at Exotic Superfoods, we would rather run out of product than lose our integrity in which we live by: truth, honor, and love. We provide our consumers what we promise: 100% USDA Certified organic Kosher Non GMO Raw Frozen coconut water and coconut meat.
... The Other Coconut Products On the Market: Tetra Paks and Cans
Most coconut water in tetra-paks and cans are from made concentrates (to dramatically reduce the cost of shipping the fresh product and also to help with the homogenization of flavor, color, and so forth of the product); these products are heated/pasteurized in high nutrients destroying temperature to ensure maximum shelf life of their product (please keep in mind that this process of preserving the product is mostly for the purpose of keeping these coconut water on the shelves for a long long period of time without spoilage. It has nothing to do with the consumer's health in mind); and last but not least, the coconut water is flavored to mask the unnatural flavor of the adulterated coconut water. The consumers are no longer drinking a hydrating and nutritious beverage as these companies seem to claim. These highly processed coconut waters on the market are not certified organic, so from growing to processing to transporting to sitting on the market shelves, they are just adulterated and highly processed beverages.