When Nicole Bernard Dawes got pregnant with her first son in 2002, she was shocked at how hard it was to find organic chips or crackers to snack on.
“We’re always telling people what they can’t have—but that’s not a way to transform how people eat,” Bernard Dawes says. So she set out to provide a healthier solution and channeled her father’s success as the founder of Cape Cod Potato Chips, creating her own snack company, Late July, which launched in 2003.
Named after “that perfect moment in the middle of summer when you feel wonderful and carefree and have extra time with your family and friends,” Late July’s USDA-certified organic tortilla chips—made with creative healthy ingredients like chia seeds, quinoa, jalapenos, and sweet potatoes—are now sold at Whole Foods and in other grocery stores across the country.
What does the snacking expert and successful mother of two, who splits her time between Marin County and Cape Cod, stock in her fridge and set on the table? Naturally, chips and salsa play a huge role.
How do you describe your eating habits? We’re probably pretty close to all organic and non-GMO. There’s still a few products I haven’t found a great organic alternative for, like the Pacifico beer. There’s nothing I love more than a beer with a little lime. I also love to cook. We have a veggie every night. It’s fun to do lots of different veggies in a salad, or roast something in the oven with olive oil. I’ve been obsessed with rainbow carrots. In the spring you can get them all the time in purple, yellow, and orange.
So the limes are for the beer…what are the lemons for? We have a salad every night, with some form of lemony salad dressing. I like lemon instead of vinegar, I just think it tastes better. With the limes, I’ll also make salsa three or four times a week. I love adding cilantro and lime. It’s a magical combination. It’s a fun thing to make with my kids, too.
Are your kids picky eaters? My oldest son is not at all, but my youngest son is. He likes to cook with me, though, so I know if something is different, if he makes it with me, he’ll try it. I’m never one to make separate dinners. I have two boys, and they’re ravenous, so it’s hard to make enough of one thing as it is.
What’s in the container on top of the salsa? That’s veggie curry. I’d never made the recipe before. I was working with Edible Schoolyard, and they were making it that day and gave me the recipe. Since it doesn’t look super appetizing, I had my youngest son make it with me so he would try it.
I’m seeing a pattern here. What’s in the container on the top right? I always make a rice blend with rice and quinoa. I found that when I made plain quinoa, the boys wouldn’t eat it, but plain white rice isn’t super healthy. I cook them at the same time in the rice cooker and it comes out just fine.
Genius! Why the lactose-free milk? I’m lactose intolerant, and I drink milk in my coffee. I’ve tried other forms, but the only thing I like is the lactose-free milk. Probably because I like a prolific amount of milk in my coffee, so the nut milk tastes weird.
And I’m assuming there’s a stash of Late July chips somewhere that we can’t see? Oh yes, and it’s such a huge advantage of working at a tortilla chip company. I have a 12-year-old son, and whenever his friends come over, they can choose the flavor they like and munch on those.
Finally, what’s your biggest indulgence? There’s a donut shop near our house, and they make the most amazing fresh donuts. They have a truck too that comes near our house on Saturdays. I’m glad it’s not there every day though, or we’d be having them all the time. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit www.latejuly.com
(Photos: Late July)