About 13 years ago, Ian Gaffney became very sick and was later diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Because of his illness, he had to drastically change his eating habits.
“My diet had to take a complete 180,” he said. “I was eating the standard American fast food five days a week two times a day. It was really bad.”
But Gaffney soon cut out all unhealthy foods from his diet and instead sought food as a way to comfort and heal himself. He then learned new recipes from his peers about healthier alternative diets such as gluten free and how to incorporate raw ingredients into his dishes. This lifestyle inspired him to create a recipe for macaroons.
Ithaca residents meet and launch organic macaroon company
After moving to Ithaca from New York City and meeting Samantha Abrams, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2008, Gaffney said the two passed time by baking the macaroons in his mother’s kitchen. Little did they know, a business would soon come of their hobby.
“One night my brother was in town and he shot a video of us making the macaroons for my blog,” Gaffney said.
“The next day I called Samantha and said ‘Would you want to go to business together?'”
Gaffney said the organic edibles are inexpensive to make and Ithaca is their ideal market. The two then launched Emmy’s Organics, named after Gaffney’s mother. The pair began with four flavors of macaroons and sold their products at the GreenStar Natural Foods Market and the Ithaca Farmers Market. After pursuing other stores, bloggers and companies, Emmy’s Organics began receiving major orders.
Abrams said they then moved their kitchen to a larger space located at 629 W. Buffalo Street, across the street from GreenStar. Emmy’s Organics products are now available in many locations across the United States and even in Canada. Locally, Emmy’s Organics can still be found in GreenStar, but also Wegmans, Collegetown Bagels, Gimme! Coffee, Ithacamade and Ithaca Bakery.
Macaroons — in flavors such as Lemon Ginger, Chai Spice, Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Orange, Coconut Vanilla and Dark Cacao — are also available on the college campus wherever food is sold. Senior Erica Palumbo, who was snacking on the mini Lemon Ginger macaroons, said she enjoys Emmy’s Organics because of their surprising taste.
“They are unlike any cookie or dessert I’ve ever had,” she said. “They are healthy for you, but they still taste incredibly delicious.”
Abrams said Emmy’s Organics is expanding their product line with their recent release of Super Cereals, which all contain Organic Sprouted Buckwheat Groats. The company also produces chocolate sauce and super-fudge, Abrams added.
Moving forward, Gaffney said he and Abrams have many future goals for themselves and the company.
“We would like to get to the point when we don’t play such an integral role in day-to-day operations,” he said. “We would like to expand our product line and serve the whole country.”