Audrey Ranstead is the founding partner of Baked Alaska LLC. A second generation baker with a self described entrepreneurial spirit, she decided to combine her love for food with Cannabis by starting an infused kitchen when Cannabis became legal in Alaska. With a focus on organic ingredients, Baked Alaska has developed a great reputation for tasty edibles with full spectrum effects for medicinal and recreational users.
How did your journey with Cannabis begin?
I was never a Cannabis user, but when Colorado and Washington legalized I followed the developments and it was very fascinating to me. I was more interested in the medical benefits of the plant and learning the differences between THC and CBD and terpenes, and everything else around the plant. So, that’s how I got introduced to Cannabis.
What inspired you to start your own Cannabis bakery?
I’ve owned a bagel shop in Fairbanks called Bagels & Brew for 14 years now, and before that I owned a little cafe and in the late 90s – an espresso cart in a Fairbanks business building. Food and beverage have always been my passion, and baking has always been a part of my life. My mom was an excellent baker who made wedding cakes here, and she was always in the kitchen, so it was a natural thing.
When did you get started, and what kind of products did you bring to market?
We got licensed on December 11 of 2018, and it took longer than I wanted, but we were ready to go and hit the ground running and had product on shelves before Christmas. We launched with one product, our ginger snap cookies, and then over the course of several months launched the rest of our cookies. They were well received, and so this summer we launched almost everything on our approved list.
What was the inspiration for your high CBD edibles?
I was really interested in the medical benefits, so we sourced a high CBD strain called Tora Tsu by Third State, and we made a 2:1 high CBD brownie bite that was extremely well received. So those quickly became our most popular product, in a six-pack with 5mg of THC and 10mg of CBD. For people who consume edibles on a regular basis, I believe they will feel the difference because it’s a gentle high with complete body relaxation. I also promote them to people who want to try edibles for the first time, because it’s not just about getting high. I now eat edibles and consume them mostly in the evening. So basically instead of a glass of wine when I come home, I now have a brownie – and it’s much more relaxing and really helps with sleep and waking up refreshed.
Tell us about your ingredients, which are designed to be healthful and wholesome.
We focus on all-natural ingredients. I’m a big believer in limited ingredients, and ones where you can pronounce the word. We also don’t use extracts in any form. We create full infusions, so all our recipes either start with Cannabis infused butter or coconut oil that we make in house. We use organic inputs and an organic base flower, trying to source as many organic ingredients as possible, keeping our recipes classic and very simple.
You also keep everything strain specific!
Yes we focus on effects, so for our ginger snaps and snickerdoodles we use a sativa strain, Green Crack grown by Blue Bear Cannafarm. And for our peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, we use an indica – Starkiller, also by Blue Bear. For our brownies, we use a high CBD strain from Alaskan Blooms called Snow Monster. We are very strain specific and source our Cannabis from really reputable cultivators and have a great relationship with them!
How does your packaging work to keep the products fresh?
I have my business degree from UAF with a marketing emphasis, so I’m very much into branding and packaging. I think our packaging is simple and conveys our message, but we went the extra step and have packaged every cookie and brownie in its own mylar, so everything stays fresh with a long shelf life.
I want everything to taste fresh and good.
Tell us about your healing balm that helped our Director Josh Stahle so much in his ACL surgery recovery.
We worked on the recipe for a year before getting licensed, and it starts with a coconut oil base and a high CBD strain from Ester Horticulture. Then we infuse into the oil the other ingredients, including shea butter, emu oil, beeswax, and lemongrass extract. Everything in our balm is good for you, but when you add in a full spectrum Cannabis blend it becomes medicine. The Emu Oil is transdermal and drives all the ingredients including the THC and CBD through the skin, and that’s why people are finding a lot of relief. I believe the full spectrum plant medicine is really important and it works! People buy the balm and feel instant relief, becoming repeat customers.
What are your hopes for the future of Baked Alaska?
We are looking forward to 2020 and the market is continually growing up here, so my hopes are that it will continue to grow and the stigma of Cannabis becomes less and less. I hope people will be more willing to try medical Cannabis, and I think edibles or topicals are a great place to start and stay too!
INTERVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX / alaska leaf | PHOTOS by BOOM MEDIA
We focus on all-natural ingredients. I’m a big believer in limited ingredients, and ones where you can pronounce the word.”
Cannabis snacks for humans and their furry friends