The world of food is changing! More and more people are cooking (and eating) without dairy milk and animal products. Every day we see something new on the front of the environment, or equitable ideology, or ethical choices, surrounding the use of animals for food and every day I feel such joy to be alive in the age of compassion and consciousness. We are so awesome!!
My name is Susana Romatz. My partner and I started our Avellana journey five years ago, commercially producing vegan cheese made from hazelnut milk. We processed thousands of pounds of hazelnuts, extracted thousands of gallons of unbelievable hazelnut milk, and produced the most delicious vegan cheese I (personal bias aside) have ever tasted.
While this was a very rewarding job, we were dismayed to find that the price point for our cheese was cost prohibitive for many people. That weighed on us from the beginning. We were approached by a distributor who was interested in getting our cheeses into a larger market and we discovered that that price point was going to go up even more, once a middleman was introduced. We were at a turning point. We would either need to go big and expensive, or reconsider our goals and methods. Did we want to produce a cheese that only a small percentage of people could afford? Or was it time to take a different tack and re-examine our mission?
We decided to change direction. We decided that, while we so appreciate (and often purchase) awesome pre-made vegan cheeses, for us, showing people how to make their own crazy delicious vegan cheese and providing the very best tools to do so, made more sense to us. Teaching people allows everyone the opportunity to grow and learn like we did in the process of product development, as well as keeping the cost of the final products lower, reducing packaging, and increasing self-sufficiency.
The machines that are available on the market to date are mostly lacking in power. We tried to use our juicer to make nut milk to poor results, because a lot of the nut material wasn't fully broken down, wasting the good fats and proteins locked inside the cellulose. We quickly realized that the only way to really extract as much goodness as is possible from the fibrous nuts, is to use a machine to grind them up completely, then use centrifugal force to sling out those delicious fats and proteins. So we ended up buying a commercial grade soy milk maker to do the job. Unfortunately, when it arrived we realized it wasn't engineered or constructed the way we needed it to be for this job of extracting. We took out parts, drew up plans, and had some new parts tooled from food grade plastics. In essence, we made our own custom commercial nut milk separator.
Once we stopped producing our cheeses, I realized that what the world needs is a way to make really delicious nut milks without needing a damp, squishy nut milk bag or wasting expensive nut materials on machines that aren't powerful enough to properly break down their fibers. A machine that would transform the fibers extracted into a usable flour, rather than compost or further waste materials.
I started drawing up plans and the Avellana Separator was born.
What We Need & What You Get
I hired an engineer to draw up preliminary plans for a prototype and to produce a rough design model of my idea (pictured in the video-Thanks Mercury Metal!). Next, I partnered up with an company that does "end to end" product development. End to end means that they examine my CAD files, help me come up with a working prototype, and together we will produce a line of separators for retail.
We need $30,000 to move forward to the next phase of prototyping. Though we have a patent pending beta prototype that shows the basics on how this separator works, we need further product evaluation, engineering, research, and testing to finalize a working prototype. Once we reach this goal, we will move into phase two of our fundraising plan, which will allow us to reach out to the larger manufacturing facilities necessary in order to produce a small initial run of manufactured separators.
In more detail, the money we are raising will be spent in this way:
Stage 1. Research, mechanical engineering, concept refinement, and CAD review at a cost of $13,000.
Stage 2. Alpha prototyping, materials, developing proof of concept, part fabrication and assembly, and testing at a cost of $9,000.
Stage 3. Product refinement, CAD refinement, designing and manufacturing modifications, and fully field testable beta prototyping at a cost of $8,000-$12,000.
Once we get to this point in the process, we will have a fully functioning nut milk separator and we can use that beta prototype to secure the funding necessary to manufacture a run of 1,000 separators.
There is a LOT of work that needs to go into this process before the finished results come to our doors. You might ask yourself, why would I trust this process with my hard earned money? How do I know that this product will come to fruition? Well, though there are no guarantees in life...anyone who knows me will attest that I am not a quitter. I believe that this product will help change the way we make food. Not to mention the fact that I desperately need this product to make my life easier, healthier, and tastier.
That, coupled with the fact that I am working with world class engineers and product manufacturing experts...with your help we will see this product through to completion.
Once you sign on for a separator, you will be on the list to receive one of the first home use, highly durable, efficient, and easy to clean blender attachments made to separate fiber from liquid suspensions of all sorts. This machine is designed to make DIY nut milks, juices, and nut/veggie/fruit flours fun and easy. No more soggy nut milk bags. No more wasted materials. No more difficult cleanup. Just simply the best nut milks and juices you will ever taste.
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