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Meet Jill Motew of Zemas Madhouse Foods in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Motew.

Jill, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Zemas comes from the initials of my five kids (Zev, Emi, Max, Asher and Simon). The Madhouse, well, it’s my house 24/7 with all the family chaos! It’s also a “Madhouse” out there shopping for clean, healthy foods, let alone clean, healthy gluten-free foods. We all want convenient, instant health food gratification, but here at Zemas our philosophy is about balancing healthy cooking, baking and finding the right on-the-go snacks when needed. I developed my gluten-free, ancient grain based products from a health, fitness and ADHD perspective. I began to look at food as fuel and for my active family there’s no better way to feed them than with healthy ancient grains as part of a well-balanced daily diet. Clean ingredients, calories that matter. Stacks of pancakes free of gluten, white rice flour and refined sugars, warm muffins free of preservatives, shelf stabilizers and unhealthy fats and pizza crust full of superseed nutrition that even I will indulge on are key for fueling my five athletic driven kids. No matter what your health, allergy or dietary issue is, or even if you don’t have any (but, we all do!), there’s a Zemas product that will work for you.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Never a smooth road starting a food manufacturing company. We have had all types of struggles, from packaging designs and edits, finding complementary brokers and sales reps, ingredient sourcing, formulations and where to put our marketing and public relation dollars.

Please tell us about Zemas Madhouse Foods.
We specialize in better-for-you, family friendly baking mixes and ready to eat cookies that are made using gluten-free, ancient whole grains and super seeds. What sets Zemas apart from our competitors are the following:
-our products are top 8 allergen free, meaning we are safe for all households that have a family member with food allergies, food sensitivities and Celiac Disease
-our products are refined sugar free
-our products are rice free(rice acts as a filler flour in so many gluten free products which also makes them high in simple carbohydrates and low in nutritional value)
-our products are certified Kosher, Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified and Vegan

I am most proud of our taste and texture that I was able to create using so many better-for-you ingredients.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
That’s a loaded question and I truly believe I went thru those struggles to get to where we are now, which my whole team and I are very excited about. Yes, mistakes cost dollars, but each experience taught us about which next step to take.

Pricing:

  • Baking mixes range from $4.99-$6.99
  • Ready to eat cookies range from $3.99-5.99
  • Cookie snack packs(coming our soon) range from $1.50-$1.99

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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