About a month ago Mike G. and I sat at my kitchen table, munching absentmindedly on some roasted chickpeas I had recently found in our local grocery store. Mike had a flash of sensory recognition and exclaimed that they reminded him of mealworms that he had eaten in Thailand, which were served as a bar snack, just like the pretzels or peanuts we eat here. Mike is a professional chef/business owner and I’m a pretty good home chef with an entrepreneurial streak of my own. We’d been tossing around business ideas for as long as we’ve been together, and within a few minutes it became crystal clear – WHY NOT BUGS?
By the next day, we had a our first order en route – crickets are a go! We started thinking of names for our larval-stage company…Insectivore, Crick-Crack, Bugz, Crickettes, my mother’s contribution, Crunchies, and dozens more. Finally, in a flash of clarity and a dash of double meaning, Planet Grub was born! Get it? Whether you think of grub as food or as an insect it works, and that’s the whole point.
We started learning things about crickets. Amazing things – they’re super high in protein, packing in more protein per calorie than beef with less fat. There perfect for paleo and gluten free diets, and are even kosher. They’re also earth-friendly, and pound for pound, use a tiny fraction of energy and water that beef requires.
Fast forward to today – our debut day at the Troy Farmer’s Market! After some recipe (and bug!) crunching, we have our first official batches of crickets for sale!
We will be partnering up with Thunder Mountain Curry (Mike G’s other gig) and serving our Sriracha Ginger Lime Roasted Crickets as an optional topping for his awesome pad thai (they add a great crunchy bite!) and three types of sweets: CrickaBark (60% cacao dark chocolate with crickets, almonds, crystallized ginger, pepitas, & cranberries), Crickatoffee (crunchy toffee with almonds), and Crickabrittle (cricket-almond brittle). We’re still testing our recipes, so it will be interesting to see how Crickatoffee vs Crickabrittle plays out!
And I just got me some cricket powder, so Cricka-chip cookies are a coming soon!