Andean Dream Story
In the summer of 2006, Los Angeles based entrepreneur, Ingrid Hirstin-Lazcano founded Andean Dream. Her husband Fernando Lazcano-Dunn, who was serving as the consul general of Bolivia, in Los Angeles, introduced her to the plight of the indigenous quinoa farmers in Bolivia who were at that time living well below the poverty line.
After developing the first quinoa cookie, in her home kitchen in Los Angeles, she traveled to Bolivia in June of 2006. Upon her arrival, she connected with a group where she would source her quinoa, who had obtained organic certification for 280 indigenous quinoa farming families. In addition to farmers, she saw an opportunity to improve the lives of single mothers and persons with disabilities, by selecting a local manufacturer who employed those individuals.
In late fall of 2006, two flavors of her quinoa cookies were introduced exclusively in the Southern Pacific region of Whole Foods Market, which was the beginning of what is now a 12-year endeavor that has continuously benefited the farmers and workers in Bolivia who are associated with this project.
In 2011, New York businessman Klaus Whitney, joined the Andean Dream team as a partner and has been actively involved with Mrs. Lazcano in running the day to day operation of the company.
The impact that the founder Mrs. Lazcano had on the social economy of Bolivia and the lives of the local people, gained her recognition, as well as, an invitation by the United Nations to speak and share her story at the 2015 International Year of Quinoa Celebration that was held at the UN.
Andean Dream also contributes in the US, by donating its products to charities and events. In the summer of 2015, the company served as a “Champion” Sponsor of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles. A donation of 48,000 quinoa cookies was provided to the athletes participating in one of the world’s biggest international sporting events.
This line of Gluten Free / Allergen Friendly products continues to provide food options for consumers with special dietary needs, vegans and those who are looking for high quality, nutritious products that are manufactured in a dedicated facility free from Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Corn and Nuts. All products are Non-GMO and Fair trade. The line presently consists of All Natural quinoa cookies, Organic pasta, and soup mix. Products can be found in all Whole Foods regions, as well as, other Natural and Conventional food stores as well as on the menus of many popular restaurants throughout the country.