by Morgan Toland
Joolies brings organic medjool dates to the forefront of produce as a healthy on-the-go option for snackers everywhere. Medjool dates, also known as the king of dates, are a great source of energy, have a low glycemic index, and are full of beneficial nutrients. In a joint partnership between the Kohl Family Farm and Venice Brands, co-founders David Kohl and Greg Willsey are on a mission to share the nutritious goodness of Joolies’ organic medjool dates. David Kohl is the managing partner of La Quinta Date Growers, one of the largest growers of organic medjool dates in the United States. The farm is one of the first date producers to become organic and operates at the forefront of sustainability and environmental awareness. Greg Willsey is the founder of Venice Brands, a Los Angeles based consumer brands platform focused on incubating, investing, and building successful customer facing brands across the food, beverage, fitness and pet verticals.
Joolies is changing the date-ing game! Growing for nearly 20 years, the family farm includes roughly 1,000 acres of date palms, along with a 100,000 square-foot facility in the heart of Coachella Valley, California. At Joolies, we take pride in our organic roots and sustainable farming practices to support the environment and minimize both plastic use and waste. From palm tree to package, sustainability never takes a back seat. Joolies uses paperboard material sourced from recycled paper products, utilizing less than 2g of plastic per package. In addition, we are the only date grower that is certified USDA Organic and Glyphosate Residue-Free, which means no harmful chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides in our products.
Our California farm is single-origin, vertically integrated, and operates as a zero-waste facility. We are an eco-conscious company at the core and upcycle our imperfect dates into value-added products, cull into cattle feed and palm fronds into fertilizer. We do all we can to support the environment and are constantly looking into more sustainable solutions to strive to be our best.
Kosher has always been one of our requirements as a brand to ensure the highest quality products and represent our customer’s values. Aside from our USDA organic and glyphosate residue-free certifications, all of our products are kosher certified. We offer organic medjool dates in pitted and whole sharable sizes, pitted snack packs, premium and upcycled “ugglies” in bulk, and value-added date syrup. As dates are a symbolic food for the Jewish community, we wanted to provide products our loyal date-ers could completely support and trust. After launching our value-added date syrup, the product was not initially kosher. However, we changed our business structure and completed several measures such as switching co-packers and upgrading the manufacturing process to achieve the certification and uphold the kosher symbol throughout our entire portfolio. Throughout our experience, OK Kosher has been a helpful and informative partner as we continue to develop our brand and launch new products.
Upon launching in February 2019, Joolies applied for kosher certification to be inclusive of all communities and religious backgrounds. Rabbi Shlomo Klein is our OK Kosher Rabbinic Coordinator and he works closely with Katrina Jully, Senior Technical Services Manager at Joolies. Katrina and the OK team work together to overcome anticipated challenges as Joolies continues to expand and grow the brand. In addition to Rabbi Klein, the OK Kosher team assisting Joolies includes local rabbinic field officials, along with several representatives in the data entry, ingredient approval, product approval, and Halacha and policy departments. Throughout his experience with Joolies, Rabbi Klein stated, “I have found the Joolies quality and management teams strongly dedicated and devoted to the kosher program. Joolies is committed to bringing products that are at the highest levels of quality and kashrus to their loyal customers.”
As of this month, Joolies continues to showcase its kosher priority in its latest product, Jooliettes. Diced organic medjool dates panned in high quality chocolate offer a fresh twist on a childhood classic. Jooliettes brings innovation to the chocolate-covered fruit category with a strong health focus. Made with only the best, organic ingredients, Jooliettes includes three different flavor combinations: Sea Salt Dark Chocolate, Blood Orange Dark Chocolate, and Matcha Dark Chocolate.