From the Founder, Emily


ICYMI: We were stoked to reveal our latest addition to the Lil Bucks fam last Friday: MATCHA COOKIE CRUNCH CLUSTERBUCKS! It took us just under a year to bring this to life. Last year (April 25, 2020 to be exact!) we surveyed y’all via Instagram to see what flavors really spoke to you. And via that post and email, the answer overwhelmingly had to do with the Matcha Lion’s Mane idea.

This was originally inspired by Four Sigmatic’s delish Matcha Lion’s mane lattes that I was using to power my intense entrepreneurial days. How could we turn this into snacking form, for the ultimate brekky bite or afternoon pick-me-up for y’all?! 

After noodling on it for a while, we ultimately moved away from the pistachio idea because we want to provide something gluten-free, grain-free AND nut-free for y’all. So many grain-free products just replace grains with nuts for the protein and the crunch factor, but with increasing allergies and some just trying to avoid nuts for calories or other diets, we didn’t want to go down the nut path. So, bye pistachios, and hellooooo COOKIES.

Enter: Tenzo Matcha

The food industry is super connected, and I was chatting with Sydney of MadeBy, an adaptogenic cookie company based out of Los Angeles, who swore by Tenzo Matcha in their limited-time matcha cookies. High quality matcha? Cookies? Hi. Sydney introduced me to Steve, the founder of Tenzo Matcha, and the rest is history.

Photo from Tenzo

I was enamored with their founding story: sick of the low-quality matcha being sold across the U.S.. Steve and his friends went to Japan on a quest to find better matcha (well, they were vacationing there, but why not use a vacation as an excuse to find the best matcha ever??). They basically stumbled upon this amazing farm and met a Japanese tea master with over 400 years of matcha-making experience in his family. Together they crafted a proprietary blend of ceremonial and organic matcha for daily drinking and set out to bring this to the U.S.A.

We were talking about using their matcha for our Matcha Lil Bucks, but I was getting so excited about their story and sourcing, that I was like, hey, let’s try this out in our new Clusterbucks flavor tests. 

It’s. SO. Good.

The Tenzo Matcha’s bright green hue alone is a testament to the quality. It has the perfect delicate flavor without being too earthy. Y’all wanted a matcha flavor, and we found the best matcha, so we set forth to create the Matcha Clusterbucks!

Adaptogen of Choice: Lion’s Mane

You know we love adaptogens when it comes to Clusterbucks. Reishi mushroom in the Chocolate Reishi, and Ashwagandha in the ayurvedic-inspired Turmeric Lemon Myrtle. Lion’s mane was the natural adaptogen pairing of choice since I had already enjoyed lion’s mane with matcha before (thanks for the inspo, Four Sigmatic!). I loved how sharp it made me feel in the morning. As someone with a little A.D.D., anything that helps me focus is a pantry staple for life. 

We are super careful with sourcing adaptogens as they are just now increasing in popularity, and, similar to what happened with matcha, companies come out with lower-quality adaptogens so they can sell them cheaper and undercut the pricing of the highest-quality sources. We are committed to sourcing the highest quality ingredients from buckwheat to spices to our adaptogens, and so we bypassed the cheap products and went to the best mushroom source: Nammex, the sourcing brand behind the high-quality consumer mushroom brand Real Mushrooms. It’s literally the most expensive lion’s mane mushroom we found, but with good reason. We are givin’ you that good good.

And Finally: THAT COOKIE CRUNCH FACTOR 🍪

We are learning to pair exciting new ingredients like buckwheat and adaptogens with flavors you know and love. The overwhelming popularity of the Cinnamon Lil Bucks is proof that you LOVE all-time fave brekky flavors with sprouted buckwheat. Familiar flavors bring more people into the buckwheat obsession camp, and we love our growing tribe!

You’ll even notice on the new packaging we changed the Clusterbucks tagline from “Adaptogenic Buckwheat Clusterbucks” to “Buckwheat Granola Clusters”. It’s the same product but the word “adaptogenic” literally scares some people away, hah. So anyways, what’s a deliciously familiar flavor that will pair wonderfully with the Matcha, and will get mouths across the nation watering?? 

🍪 🍪 🍪 🍪 COOKIES 🍪 🍪 🍪 🍪 

And by using a rich cacao butter, cacao nibs, vanilla extract and sea salt, we created that cookie-like taste without any more sugar, besides from the maple syrup as we always use. We even tried adding coconut sugar to some tests but found that the Clusterbucks didn’t need that extra sweetness. With just 3g added sugar per serving (from the maple syrup) we’re staying true to our belief that delicious food doesn’t need to be pumped with sugar to excite your taste buds.

As Thrillist recently said, Clusterbucks are “wildly addictive”, and we have no doubt the Matcha Cookie Crunch might just become your fave. 🙂 

Enjoy!
Emily