Meet Justin and Patricia Yin from Live Free Foods
Following the low FODMAP diet can be a challenge. You have to acquaint yourself with what you can eat and what you cannot eat. You have to learn a whole new way to read labels to make sure that a product is diet compliant.
Some foods, such as the salad dressings made by Live Free Foods, are lab tested and certified low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly.
This means you can eat their Ranch Dressing and Italian Dressing knowing they are guaranteed to be low FODMAP.
The original owner of the business, Scot Savarese, has turned the company over to Justin and Patricia Yin, so we thought we would revisit the brand and introduce you to Justin and Patricia. They might be newcomers to the FODMAP product space, but they have personal experience with the diet.
Our Journey From Gassy Baby to Low FODMAP Business
Dédé Wilson: Justin and Patricia, thank you so much for speaking with us. We have been aware of your products for quite some time, originally through the company founder, Scot Savarese. Tell us how you came to be the new owners. I understand it was a circuitous route that began with the birth of your son!
Patricia: Yes! It all started after I had our son in 2019. They say that every baby cries and wakes up multiple times a night, so we didn’t think anything of it when we experienced sleepless night after sleepless night. Fast forward to our son’s first check-up and our pediatrician immediately recognized that our son had colic and acid reflux and proceeded to prescribe me (as a nursing mother) what can only be described as the most restrictive diet ever: no garlic, no onion, no dairy, no beans, nothing processed, nothing artificial, and no caffeine (aka no morning coffee)!
It wasn’t quite low FODMAP, but very similar.
My husband and I went to Whole Foods and started looking for some “healthy” items that fit my new diet and found that there was hardly anything that I could eat! While the items that were available all tasted like poor imitations of the real thing. All except a Caesar dressing that tasted absolutely nothing like Caesar and was so bad I made my husband go back and return it!
Restrictive as the diet was, it worked. A few days after I started following the diet our son was sleeping better each and every night. The problem was that any time I attempted to reintroduce an item (say a scoop of ice cream…) our son would end up telling on me that night.
Around this time my husband found out Scot was looking at selling his company and got some samples of his dressings. After my experience with the Caesar (of another brand) I was hesitant to say the least, but it was night and day. Here were products that didn’t taste like imitations of the real thing, but actually just as good without the side effects!
We took a quick look at the reviews and experiences other customers had and decided that we needed to make sure that these products stayed available for others like us.
New parents are always ready for anything, but when health issues arise it can be devastating. Luckily, it sounds like you had some great medical guidance from the get-go – and you actually had a connection to Scot. Tell us about that and how it led you to the low FODMAP diet.
Patricia: My husband, Justin, knew Scot from a business group and had followed his journey from start up to the shelf. When our pediatrician prescribed me the “no gassy foods” diet, it was Justin who suggested that we reach out to Scot to try an alternative to what we could find in the store. It was only later that we realized that there was a defined diet called low FODMAP.
Justin your background is in Chemical Engineering and Patricia, you are a Civil Engineer. How did you decide to make the leap into being low FODMAP product manufacturers?
Patricia: Both of us have always been interested in business because both of our fathers are businessmen. That said, we both also saw the volatility and instability that can come from running your own business so we choose safer professions in engineering. (We never said that they were good businessmen…).
Neither of us are huge risk takers, but after my experience with my son, trying the products, and reading about the experiences of others online we both decided that Live Free Foods was worth the risk.
Ranch and Italian Dressing: Customer Favorites
When you took over the company, there were a couple of products already – the Ranch Dressing and Italian Dressing. Tell us about the flavor profiles and the customer feedback you have received.
Patricia: Absolutely. Ranch is our best seller and when we took over, Live Free Foods was in the middle of a recipe transition. Scot had been working to use better ingredients and get a better flowing Ranch after feedback that customers couldn’t get it out of the bottle.
Unfortunately it looks like we may have gone too thin, so we are now in the process of getting version 3 of our Ranch produced that should be a happy medium between dressing and dip.
The Italian has been solid from day one, so we have no plans to change it at this time.
And lastly there was also a Caesar dressing that we have decided not to bring back yet because we wanted to focus on our two biggest sellers, Ranch and Italian.
Can you tell us if you have plans for expansion?
We absolutely do, however Live Free Foods is more a labor of love since we both also work full time (and have a little one to take care of), so we’re slower than some of the other companies out there.
We’re also always taking suggestions so let us know if there’s something else you’d like to see from us!
Our Commitment to Quality
Let’s tell everyone about what your products are “free-from” and about your product guarantees.
Our products are certified Low FODMAP with no Garlic, Onion, Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Artificial sweetener, Corn syrup, and also Keto Friendly.
We’re also working on getting Non-GMO Project Certified.
Lastly, we also have a 30 Day, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you try our products and don’t love it, let us know and we will give you a refund no questions asked.
I think what differentiates us from other companies is that we focus on taste. We don’t want to be a cheap imitation of the real thing. We want to taste BETTER!