Eagle-based Carrot Co. is now selling carrot dogs and carrot lox in local retailers
One of the most challenging things vegans, vegetarians and plant-based eaters deal with each holiday season is the never-ending abundance of traditional holiday food, much of which contains meat and animal products: including appetizers such as pigs in a blanket and bacon-wrapped whatever at holiday parties.
Now selling at Village Market in Edwards and Color Coffee Roasters in Eagle, Carrot Co. hopes to give people who don’t eat meat or who like to eat less meat an option to enjoy classic American foods: hot dogs and lox.
Eagle residents Mika and Greg Poulos like to ensure their small family — rounded out by 14-month-old Gwyn — eats plant-based: Mika is vegan and Greg eats meat only on special occasions. But every time they went to a potluck summer barbecue, Mika knew the only thing she would be able to eat was the thing she brought.
“Okay, here we go, going to another party where I’m not going to be able to eat,” Mika said.
So she tried bringing carrot dogs for the family and a few extra for people who wanted to try them.
Carrot dogs themselves are nothing new and have gained recognition among vegans. The basic recipe involves peeling and simmering carrots in a marinade. Carrot. Co uses a special, secret blend of spices to achieve tastes that mimic a hot dog and a slice of lox respectively.
The carrot dogs were the first product the Poulos family created for Carrot Co. The recipe evolved from what Mika made for the family, and the first time she served it was at Gwyn’s first birthday party in September. She served only plant-based food, including carrot dogs. Everyone seemed to like them, and that proved Carrot Co. could actually work. Mika was still a bit on the fence, though.
“Greg asked me one day, ‘How do you want to introduce yourself? Do you want to introduce yourself as the CEO of Carrot Co.?’ I got chills,” Mika said.
The Poulos family then sent an anonymous survey to all their friends who came to the party and used the feedback to help jump-start Carrot Co. They produce everything the company sells in Eagle.
“I sold about 60 packets from my house to people around the valley,” she said. “We live down in Eagle and it has been known that I will load up my daughter’s little trolley and go door to door. She’ll push the carrot dogs and sell them door to door.”
“She volunteers though, so we’re abiding by the child labor laws,” Greg joked.
Once the carrot dogs took off, Greg remembered when Mika made him carrot lox — the first moment where he said, “You need to sell this” and created the impetus for Carrot Co. — so Carrot Co. got started on creating the carrot lox.
While the Poulos family loves the positive environmental impact Carrot Co.’s local delivery model and plant-forward ethos, ultimately, their goal is to create a product that people enjoy eating.
“The whole point of the company is to make people healthy, save the environment — there are plenty of studies showing what meat agriculture does to the environment,” he said. “We’re here to try to save the world. People love hot dogs and people love smoked salmon.”
The carrot dogs come in a four-pack for $6, and the carrot lox comes in a 6-oz. pack for $8. Both are air-sealed and can last in the fridge for three weeks. Pick up carrot dogs or carrot lox at Village Market, order some carrot lox on your bagel at Color Coffee Roasters or visit gotcarrot.com to learn more about the brand and order online.