High Country: Mawa’s GrainFreeNola bakes a CBD-infused batch
McQueen Hospitality’s latest venture is in partnership with local cannabis cultivator Silverpeak.
If you know Mawa McQueen, she lives up to her surname reigning supreme over her locally based business empire, which includes two (soon to be four) restaurants, a bustling catering business and a granola brand.
This month, Mawa’s GrainFreeNola (MGFN) will debut a CBD-infused version of its healthy snack line in partnership with Silverpeak, whose cannabis farm is located in nearby Basalt. In February, McQueen, with her husband and McQueen Hospitality co-owner Daniel McQueen, will also open a new location of The Crepe Shack adjacent to Silverpeak’s Aspen dispensary. The Crepe Shack is currently open in Snowmass Base Village and the duo has plans to also open at Union Station in downtown Denver in 2022.
Born in Africa, raised in Paris, and living in places like England, Spain and Maine — Mawa ultimately landed in Aspen and brings a global influence to her cooking. Personally gluten-free, Mawa launched MGFN in January of last year so she could enjoy granola without the grain. Unlike most mass-produced granola that is made with oats, grains, and a lot of sugar, MGFN is also paleo and vegan. Mawa makes everything herself, including hand-mixing and hand-sealing each package. She prioritizes freshness as well, ensuring that each delivery of nuts is no older than three months.
“Each continent, culture and tribe across the world tells a story and provides unique nutrients to energize and heal,” Mawa shared. “Our granola brings together these ingredients — sourced with intention and made with love.”
Mawa started using CBD about three years ago in her own wellness routine. She was inspired to infuse MGFN to help more people discover its health benefits and “just chill.”
“Trust me, this was an amazing discovery I had right before the pandemic. CBD calms me down during stressful days — and helps me talk less!” Mawa said with a laugh. “It’s also very relaxing and makes me sleep better at night.”
Each bag ($25) of Mawa’s “Hempnola” comes with with 20 milligrams of CBD (substituting for the grapeseed oil in her regular batches), which Silverpeak extracts and provides to her directly for self-infusion at her Aspen Business Center headquarters — also home to Mawa’s Kitchen’s flagship restaurant (which also recently underwent an extensive renovation, state-of-the-art ventilation and UV light systems included).
Silverpeak was a natural fit for MGFN’s CBD oil supplier not only because they’ll be neighbors downtown, but also because Mawa loves their product.
“Their CBD oil is completely organic, all-natural and clean,” Mawa added. “Working with someone local was also really important for us — it’s all grown right here (in the Roaring Fork Valley). I literally can go and check on my plants.”
There are five flavors of MGFN (also sold online): Berry Me, Green Machine, Health Nut, Out of Africa and Tropical Paradise ($14.95), which feature range of organic ingredients from pumpkin, flax, chia and hemp seeds to raw almonds, walnuts and cashews — with no added sugars, grains or fillers of any kind.
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