From The Tribes To Your Table with Christian Ramirez and Andrea Barron

AIH 39 | Tribe to Table

 

Anyone can relate when it comes to the struggle of choosing the best restaurant to dine in or the best market to purchase fresh food from. Most of the time, it all boils down to two factors – the quality of the food and the reasonability of the price. Tribe to Table is one of the best options when it comes to both. Its presence online and brick-and-mortar market provides a channel to bring Native American products to people. Tribe to Table’s founder Christian Ramirez ensures that all products represented are superior-quality wild food and come from the highest levels of environmental stewardship that is involved when working with food from tribes. Discover their process of maintaining the freshness of their products, their plans of producing meat besides seafood, and their launch of grab-and-go meals. On the side, Andrea Barron from Tribe to Table uncovers CBD products and its advantages to one’s health.

Listen to the podcast here:

From The Tribes To Your Table with Christian Ramirez and Andrea Barron

We’re going to talk about one of our favorite new partners or affiliates, whatever you want to call them, Tribe to Table. The reason we brought them on is that they’re doing something very interesting. What they’re doing is they’re actually taking all the Native American tribes from around the country and they’re bringing them together to create a boutique Native American store that’s going to have wild caught seafood, teas, coffees, CBD oil, just about anything you can imagine in terms of food products and beyond. What they’re doing is they’re actually helping create relationships with these Native American communities that have had the best relationships in terms of sharing their products with the world and bringing them to the market.

Taylor, you’re a great cook and your food is amazing. Once we partnered with them and we’ve found how they’re sourcing the food. Everything from the olive oils to their balsamic glazes to their salmons, their black cod, their lobster tails, the way they package it all and send it to us, it’s heaven. It’s like getting something that’s caught that day and eating it.

As a brand, as a company, part of our mission is helping to find the best quality foods and products so that we can all build ourselves from the foundation up with these amazing products. The CEO or the Founder of the company, his name is Christian Ramirez. He started in the seafood industry, but then he transitioned into this whole tribal mission.

Andrea Barron, who’s coming on the podcast with him, they were worked together. She started off working with me back in my CBD business before I started this show. If anybody wants to know more about CBD, it works. It’s from the hemp plant. It’s non-psychoactive and it helps with inflammation of the body and opens up the receptors in the brain that may be dormant and it helps to heal overall. I’m a big proponent, I’m a big believer. Through Andrea and Christian, they have designed and built the best CBD on the market. He mixes his CBD with olive oil so it transports faster into the system.

It tastes good. What’s great about their CBD is one, you actually feel the effects of it. Most CBD products you won’t. Two, it’s only two ingredients. It’s olive oil and CBD. No crazy mixes and this, that and the other. You’re getting two ingredients and you’re feeling great and it’s helping to reduce stress. Anytime we reduce stress, life is good.

My sleep is profound. Deep sleep is great because of the CBD. I’ve got to mention here too. If you have not already done this, put your email down on Taylor’s subscription list on the website because he’s giving out his eleven tips.

We’re giving out eleven tips and what I’ve done is I’ve taken my years of experience in the industry, in the health world and distilled it down to what I believe is the foundation of health. If you invest in creating this foundation for yourself, you can go explore whatever you want to explore in terms of recovery and health. From this foundation, you’re going to have all the essentials your body wants and needs to thrive. Part of that is organic whole foods. Why I love Tribe to Table is they’re sourcing from the Native American tribes. You don’t even have to question whether it’s going to be good for you or not because Native American tribes don’t believe in anything besides farming in a way or cultivating food in a way that is healthy for the body.

Christian goes the extra mile of third-party testing it to make sure there are no toxins in the food. I love any company I can go to and say, “I know this is going to be good for my body,” and I can click and I want to be able to trust them. What I came to find is that I can trust Christian and I can trust that the way he’s cultivating these products and the way he’s giving back to the tribes. He goes the extra mile to two miles to ensure that everything that he’s bringing from the tribes to the table is pristine and healing.

Taylor, you talked about the food. I got hungry because you made a meal for about fifteen of us with Tribe to Table foods and you’re very picky being a chef for many years. The way you made the seafood and the way you designed everything around it. He makes both pescatarian. He uses meat. Taylor would go vegan and vegetarian, but everything that is sourced from Tribe to Table tastes so delicious that my palate right now is getting watery thinking about that. I want to eat it immediately.

We did the wild rice. We did some of the wild salmon and the sauce from a couple of the Native American teas. We steeped the teas in water, mixed them with a little honey from the Tribes and a little bit of citrus from the farmer’s market that’s local and in season right now. That with the wild rice and a little bit of fish is perfect. Keep it simple. Let the ingredients speak for themselves because when you get high-quality ingredients, you don’t have to try as hard when you cook. You can put salt, little pepper, maybe a little bit of seasoning on there and you’re good to go.

Let’s get on our guests already because I can sit here and talk about food forever with you.

Let’s go find out from the man himself, Christian, and the woman herself, Andrea Barron.

Thanks, Taylor.

Welcome, Christian and Andrea. How are you doing?

We are doing good.

You guys are representing Tribe to Table. Seany, how are you doing?

I’m excited here.

Christian, will you tell us a little about who you are and what you guys are cooking up?

My name is Christian Ramirez. I’d been in the seafood industry for 25 years. In 2013, I partnered up with the Nisqually Indian Tribe from the Pacific Northwest. That’s in Olympia, Washington. In ‘99, I bought a home in Victorville when there was no one there. The population was 30,000. Across the street where I used to live was Nisqually Avenue. Fast forward to 2013, I partnered up with the Nisqually Indian Tribe. I had no clue. I think it was meant to be. Once I found that out, I didn’t realize it until after. I’m like, “I’m across street Nisqually.” Fast forward to 2018, I find out I’m 38% Native American. One of the chairmen said, “You’re Native American?” I was like, “No, I’m not Native.” I ignored it. When they finally got the DNA, I found out that I was 38%. The Nisqually Indian Tribe people, they’re people of the grass, people of the river.

When I got involved, I helped them build that whole infrastructure and showing them how to process, how to handle fish and how to sell it and when the product was caught to the process room and then as a finished product and where it should be. Within 30 days, I helped them build their processing facility. When that happened, then all the other tribes like Quinault and Makah, Paiutes, all their products started coming in. They offered me and said, “Christian, we want to have our product in California.” That’s how I started to build this relationship with the tribes. It grew from there.

I learned that what's given to me, I don't keep it. I have to give it back - and it's helping people. That's my inspiration and I live by that. I learned that from my mother. Click To Tweet

Our main product was our keta salmon because nobody wanted keta salmon, especially in California. It’s known as a chum fish, but it’s a grading fish. My goal was to get it into the casinos, which is in the Morongo Casino now. It took two years for this to happen. It got done. We even sent the product to hotels in Mexico, in Cancún, in Yucatán and Mérida. That’s how it all started. Also when we started bringing all these other tribes on board, there were a lot of products that were offered that we couldn’t sell to the casinos that we’re selling to because it was retail packaging. I came with an idea, “How about if we build a creative restaurant?” We started coming up with names and a friend of mine said, “Tribe to Table.” That’s how Tribe to Table started.

What makes me laugh is you mentioned you grew up on what was the street?

Nisqually Avenue.

It’s funny when you look back on your life and there are these little Easter eggs where you look back and there are these little hints at what’s coming up. It’s almost like a foreshadowing of your own path. How did you progress then from this initial idea as a restaurant to what you are now? You let people know what you are now because you just opened a brand-new store and everything.

From the restaurant, I sat on the idea for a while. I decided to change it to a market because at a restaurant I can’t tell the story. If the waiter is taking your order, he can’t tell you the story. We changed that idea and said, “We’re going to incorporate that, have a small little kitchen in the market.” That’s why I decided to change it to a market. Having the market, we were able to build community, to talk about our products, spend the time with the customers. We opened on a Black Friday, November 23rd, 2018. We weren’t even ready but something said, “We have to open, we can’t wait anymore.” We did and it was great. People love the store. We represent over 60 Native American tribes and it’s growing. We have honey, we have batter mixes.

They taste so good, we cook with them all the time. It’s amazing stuff. Explain the fish. It’s wild caught. Everyone is so into farm-raised stuff right now, which we can’t stand. It’s wild caught and you’re bringing the fish that the native catch and bring it to more Native American Indians.

With Nisqually, when it’s Chum season or if it’s Chinook season or King Salmon, when the fish is coming upstream or right before it’s coming upstream, that’s when the product is caught. It’s native caught, which means wild. Once the product is processed, there’s nothing added to the product because we don’t believe in adding any preservatives or additives or anything. The product is processed on the reservation or on the processing facility up in Olympia, Washington or Tumwater, Washington, then it’s shipped to our warehouse down here in LA. We finish the product and then we package it and put it into our store. No one touches the product but the tribe and us. Sometimes they’ll send it already as a finished product, but we like to do a secondary QC, which is our quality control. That’s why we check the product again just to make sure that our customers are getting good quality products. We have from Salmon to Halibut, Black Cod.

We’ve had it. We cooked for twenty people. It was awesome. Your Halibut and your Salmon was probably the nicest fish I’ve ever had. I’ve been all over the world and I’m a foodie. We try to bring quality and taste to our community. What’s cool about it is you not only to sell the fish, you’re selling rice and you’re going to get into the vegetable side as well. Everything you touch and the source is phenomenal. Everyone who knows my history, my CBD side and getting stuff from the hemp plant and helping the body heal through plant-based products. You even now have that to offer.

First off, when I first cut open those Salmon packs after I thawed them out, it’s like this breath of fresh air where you get a lot of fish out there and it’s like, “This smells funky and it’s still edible.” When I cut those open, there is no funky smell at all. It was almost refreshing. I feel I just ripped this out of the water, like standing next to a bear up in King Salmon Country and put it right on the plate, which is amazing. I would love for you to go a little bit deeper too into why is the way you’re sourcing your products so valuable and so meaningful to you?

When we built this processing facility in Nisqually, it was very important that we built that processing too so we can maintain the freshness of the fish. How do we do that? When we built that, I said, “We have to have an ozone machine.” What’s an ozone machine? I had to explain that. It’s basically a machine that mimics ozone, it creates ozone. When there’s a thunderstorm and it rains and then it stops raining, you have that metallic smell, that’s ozone.

AIH 39 | Tribe to Table
Tribe to Table: Ozone itself is intelligent in that it’s the way your body naturally gets rid of parasitic organisms inside of it.

 

It can only be found in the upper atmosphere.

It kills 99.9% of all bacteria. What we do is once the product is harvested or caught, we let the fish sit in slushy water with ozone, that’s ozonated water, for a few hours. That automatically gives it an extra seven days of shelf life. What it does is it cuts all bacteria growth instantly. By doing that, it maintains that freshness and you’re going to get that freshness, that sea smell. It maintains that once it’s packaged because of we filet it. It’s slashed and then we filet it, then we package it. We chill it. There’s a process to that. That’s what maintains that freshness of our products.

What’s so cool about that is the fact that you’re using ozone because most people don’t even know about it. Ozone itself is intelligent in that it’s the way your body naturally gets rid of parasitic organisms inside of it. There’s a teeny tiny microbe in the human body that produces ozone to kill foreign invaders. You’re basically killing off all the things that would be harmful and it tends to have this intelligence where it’s not hurting the things that’s actually beneficial. I would imagine you’re getting rid of all these potentially harmful, but my line of thought is there are probably still a lot of the beneficial components coming through. It’s this very intelligent way to bring fish to market. That’s very ingenuitive.

In 2003, we were the first seafood company to use ozone. Our processing facility didn’t smell like seafood when we would process and we would process about 30,000, 40,000 pounds a week on a slow day in 2003. That’s in one of our facilities in Downtown LA. That’s when the ozone was introduced to our company. We had customers come in and they’ll be like, “It doesn’t smell like seafood in here. Why?” “Because we have miracle water.” That’s all I would say. I never told them what it was until after because we didn’t want anyone to know because that was our secret. It will attract the customer. That’s who we are. We’re always getting creative in what we’re doing, make things better. It’s about why because we care for our customers. We love people and we want to give good product. My job is to make sure that the consumer is getting good quality product.

I know that your shop just opened them. You deliver to people’s homes too. You’re able to bring these fish and your products to people’s homes with home delivery.

Yes, we have a great FedEx program. If it’s close by, we would personally deliver it. With our FedEx program, the rates that we get, we were able to deliver your product the next day and you’ll have it by 10:30 AM.

This is Salmon. Give me an example. You gave us a bunch of fish and it was all delicious.

What we have Salmon, we have our Halibut, which is another technology we’re using. It’s called a cast. That’s a cryogenically frozen fish. What we do is we cryogenically freeze our fish so there’s actually no expiration date on this product. It’s like where Michael Jackson’s body is at right now. We have this Halibut and I’m going to give you some of this. You let this defrost. Once you defrost, you will never know the difference if it feels fresh or if that was frozen actually. What this technology does is it suspends it. It doesn’t crystallize like the traditional freezing. Once the product is crystallized, then it becomes porous and it breaks down. It’s broken down to where when you cook it, you can see it’s a little spongy. Have you seen when seafood is a little spongy? It’s because it was the way it was frozen or processed. With this cryogenic technology that we use, it’s Korean. It looks like a jacuzzi. They actually use Soju in this ingredient. It’s a liquid form.

Soju, the Korean liquor?

Yes. Once we dunked that fish in there, vacuum packaged, within three minutes, it’s already pretty much frozen. We give it about thirteen minutes to completely freeze. It gets pasty white. When you look at it like, “What is this?” Once it defrosts, you get all those natural colors back. It’s an amazing technology. Our customers love it. They’re like, “How is this possible?” I tell them, “Show me a fresh, and then I’ll put it next to this. You’re not going to tell the difference,” unless you’ve been in the industry for a very long time.

Consumers can teach you how to build your store. Click To Tweet

What I appreciate about you and the work that you guys do is you’re always looking to, “How can we create and bring to market the best possible quality product?”

The quality is amazing.

Beyond that, you’re also, “How can we bring the best quality product, but also how can we help the community? How can we give back to these Native American tribes? How can we create this larger, more beautiful network and community?” You brought 60 tribes together so far. What are they saying about what you’re doing? I know sometimes there can be tribal rifts. I would love to hear what are they saying about you? How are they feeling about everything that you are doing and connecting?

I’m so glad you asked that because this is what’s really important and this is why we do it. I’ll give you an example, the fishermen. You have these big seafood companies that come in and say, “It’s keta season,” which is chum. “We’re going to pay you $0.38 a pound.” Think about that. They’re in small boats, coming upstream, coming up the river netting their products and loading their fish. If you have 100 pounds, that’s $38. It’s a lot of work. It’s not easy. I understand they live on the reservation, but there’s got to be more incentive to that. What Nisqually did is went to the fishermen and came up with this plan and saying, “Why don’t we pay them double or $0.78 or $0.80?” That’s what happened.

It’s about paying the fishermen more so they get to make a bit more money, because what do they do offseason? There’s no money for five, six months, unless they go on fish for the next thing. For four months there’s really nothing to do. There are times where we’ll pay more for the fish, even more than what it’s worth so that they can have that incentive and say, “Let me go out and fish.” We were there once and they were harvesting King Salmon. It’s almost $2 a pound. They said, “It’s a Friday, we’re going to pay $5.” You had all these fishermen out there and bringing in a bunch of fish. That’s what it’s about. It’s about not depleting the fishermen. Depleting them what I mean is financially. Give them that incentive, pay them more to keep this going because that’s what’s creating their jobs. We’re getting a great product. If we’re getting good money for the product, why not pay more to the fishermen? Keep this cycle going.

For us, that’s what’s really important. That is what Tribe to Table does. It’s about not low-balling on the price. When we talked to the other tribes, the first time we talked about is, “How are we going to make this work on both ends?” For us to low-ball, then how do we keep that infrastructure going? How do we help with that economic development? How is it building that community by taking? It’s not about that. Tribe to Table is about helping and giving. If we’re making enough money, if we make more, then give them a better price so we can keep this going and help build the tribal communities. If we don’t, then what they built goes away and it doesn’t make any sense. Our job is to keep them in business and to keep them going and promote their products. Tell the community, “This is what it is.” We have a few people come and say, “This is too expensive. I can get it cheaper at this store.” “Let me tell you the story,” and I explained to them why these prices. In all honesty, the prices are not that expensive.

We have with us our partner and he lives in Tennessee and he’s got a family of five. If we were to ship him King Salmon, what would it cost him to feed a family of five in Tennessee? I’m saying this so some people get the idea that it’s not expensive.

If we send him King Salmon to a family of five, we can send them a fillet, which would be a three-pound filet. That three-pound filet is going to cost him, delivered, about $42.

If you were to buy that at Whole Foods, it would be $60.

No, it would be $90 to $100 easy. That’s not even counting the delivery. Remember, we have a special rate. Another thing that we do is we don’t upcharge on the delivery. For example, we’ll tell the customer, “This is your price but we’re going to charge you more on the delivery.” We don’t do that. We’re very transparent. Tribe to Table is about being honest and being direct and being open. Being who we are with the customers because we want that trust. We’ve built that already in a few months. To have our customers come back and say, “Thank you. Your products are amazing and it’s good. Thank you for helping the tribal communities.” That’s what motivates us, even more, to work harder and to bring in more of these tribes. It isn’t easy. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Every day we’re working, we’re creating new products, we’re sourcing new products and it keeps growing. We need people to know we’re the voice for the tribal communities. We need that voice to be heard.

AIH 39 | Tribe to Table
Tribe to Table: By making sure that the tribes are taken care of, you help them build and grow.

 

What you’re doing is you’re emphasizing quality over quantity and juicing everything for what it’s worth. It’s in the way of the way you’re doing business and working with these communities and trying to give back more and help them build. It’s not a straight way of saying, “We’re very grateful for the work that you’re doing and the way that you’re bringing these products to people.” Whether it’s a formal acknowledgment or not, they feel that and they receive that and they say, “These people want more for us.” They start getting more creative, “How can we go that extra step?” because they feel valued and they feel empowered versus like, “People are just coming in and taking everything we have.” You’re really starting to, in essence through the work that you’re doing, rebuilding these communities that have been very depleted and run down.

You’re talking about your fish. Do you plan to get into meats or chickens or turkeys or any of that stuff in time?

Absolutely. We have a meeting and I was supposed to be there with the Iowa Tribe, which is in Kansas. They called me and said, “Christian, can you help us? We want you to consult for us and help us build our processing facility.” That’s where I have a lot of my expertise is building processing facilities. They said, “Can you help us with our beef processing facility, our poultry processing facility?” I said, “Absolutely, I’m there.” I’m supposed to be going there and help them not only with that, which is another topic, but with the hemp farm. I’m going to help them because we’re going to partner up with what the Iowa Tribe. That’s the goal. We’ll be bringing in buffalo. We’re going to be bringing in beef, poultry, eggs.

There are so many different products that we’re bringing in. It’s a lot of work because we have to make sure that the product is processed on the reservation. We have to make sure that it has to be HACCP-certified or it has to be USDA standards. That’s my job. I have to make sure that because of my experience of being in the food industry for over 25 years. We’re still growing. We’re listening to the consumer of what they want. The consumers are the ones teaching us how to build our store. Tribe to Table, our first store in Montrose, California, that’s our flagship store. Once we get that right, our goal is to grow up through California throughout many states. We’ll be bringing in a lot more proteins.

Just being at the store at the grand opening, you already have so many amazing products on the shelves. I’m looking forward to watching this grow and develop and how you make more relationships. Do you have any stories of any specific tribe or connecting with someone that touched you?

Yes, in Spirit Lake. When we first opened the store, we ordered maple syrup. It’s from a family of four, Spirit Lake up near the Canadian border. We love the maple syrup. It’s generic bottling and packaging but the product was amazing. It’s a family of four, a mother, father and two children. What they would do is they would harvest the maple syrup. When I called to reorder the product, they didn’t have any product. I’m like, “Why don’t you have any product?” “Because we don’t have bottles and labels.” That’s our job. That’s what we do. “How can we help to make this work?” “We need bottles and labels.” Until this day, there are still other things that they need to be taken care of. We have to send them bottles and labels so they can continue to harvest maple. With the weather, it’s been so bad. It’s been pretty difficult. That right there, that story touched me. There’s a lot more that I will experience once I’m there on the reservation and I get to see what we did within the Nisqually. I was able to see that and live what’s going on. That’s what moves me.

Do you plan to sell it to Whole Foods? Do you plan to sell it to the casinos in Vegas? I know you’re talking about the casinos, the Indian casinos. Not many people know about the casinos in California, but they’re across the United States and they’re huge on the tribes. Do you plan to only sell to those casinos or do you plan to go to a big box or will Costco or Walmart ever be on your range, on your sight?

We’re going to sell to Whole Foods. We’re already in Whole Foods with our coffee, with our partnership, the Shinnecock Tribe. We’re partners with them and their coffee’s already in Whole Foods in Long Island and in Manhattan. When we met with Ben from the Shinnecock Tribe, we had a discussion about selling the coffees in Whole Foods on the West Coast. I said, “Ben, why don’t we do a collaboration on the packaging? Let’s put Tribe to Table with Thunder Island.” He loved the idea. We created these different labels for six different coffees that they produce or that they roast on the reservation, the Shinnecock Tribe reservation. We have a few weeks to finish the labeling. We will be offering the coffee to Whole Foods on the West Coast because that’s a goal that Shinnecock Tribe wants. We’re going to make that goal happen. That’s what Tribe to Table does. We don’t want to be competing because we’re a market, we’re a Native American market. The reality is there’s really no competition because our products are Native American produced, harvested and caught.

What I’m picking up on is you’re in a way the connector between these tribes and bringing their product to your market. Also if they want, you’ll help them take it that extra step further. The way I see it is you’re making sure that the tribes are taken care of and they’re not being abused.

By doing that, it’s helping them build and grow.

You become what you eat. If you're eating the highest quality food, you're going to become the highest quality version of yourself. Click To Tweet

You’re putting the money back in their hands. You’re being of service, which is profound.

That’s the word, it’s being of service.

That’s what this show is all about. That’s what my journey is all about. As Andrea here knows the rest of the team. It’s brilliant. As you grow, do you see yourself being able to service the families in the world or America with a proportion meal, whether it’s fish or beef or organic vegetables or starch? Do you ever plan to do that? If I had the access or people like myself who aren’t able to leave the house the first six months after their injury or these veterans out there who are suffering trauma and they want to eat good healthy food, could you proportion let’s say that a family of five in Orlando says, “I want to feed my family with your food three times a week.” Do you ever see yourself being of that service as well too?

Absolutely. We’re already developing it. We have an industrial kitchen or processing facility and we also have a partner that owns a restaurant and we’ve been doing a lot of testing at the restaurant after hours. We’re coming up with grab and go meals. We’re going to have them frozen, we’re going to have them fresh. The frozen would be like meal prepping. We would have our Native American wild rice with the wild King Salmon or wild keta or Coho, depends what’s in season. Even though our products are frozen, we’ll be producing these grab-and-go meals.

It has no shelf life because what you just explained, you can keep these in your freezer. A mom who has got her husband out at war and she’s taking care of her family of two or three kids, she can put this in her refrigerator on the freezer and know that she’s serving her kids a healthy meal, waiting for her husband or a fellow partner to come back from a tour.

We did some testing and we used wild rice. I’m going to give you a little bit of the ingredient. I’ll give you a little bit of our secret. We don’t like to be secretive. We let everyone know what we use in our products. For example for our wild rice, we’re using a vegetable broth. We’re using our Seka Hills from the Yocha Dehe Tribe olive oil. We’re using our Nisqually-harvested coho salmon. What we do is we cook the salmon, cook the rice and then we put them in these little trays. I put that in the freezer for 30 days. I put it in the microwave for three and a half minutes. Honestly, the rice was so moist, it wasn’t dry. It wasn’t hard. It’s like we just cooked it. It’s all because we’re using quality products. It’s all-natural products. I believe that if you’re using all-natural products, you’re going to get good quality product by the time you end up microwaving or cooking it. We’re developing those meals and we’ll be ready to go.

That’s helping to start to make everything more and more accessible. That’s where we want to go, is one, telling the story and educating people on why what you’re doing is valuable. You’re creating all these amazing products. How can I get my hands on them? Right now you’re the only one shop in California, but if you can distribute and send people and start to spread the love, then more people are going to start to taste the food and go, “This food feels different.” I remember I was eating the food and eating the wild rice with the salmon and I made a sauce out of one of the teas that you carry and putting it all together. You feel it in your body. You feel nourished and taken care of because this food is so pure and so well-handled.

After eating his food, I didn’t feel heavy. I didn’t feel lethargic. I didn’t feel bloated or gassy. I felt like it was nourishing my body. Taylor, I’ve got a question for you because I know that you cook meals, you are the organic super chef. You’re catering to a lot of people who have a brain injury, stroke and traumatic events. How is this food going to help them heal?

In terms of the body, one of the biggest things you can do is eat high quality food. My belief is you become what you eat and if you’re eating the highest quality food, you’re going to become the highest quality version of yourself. If you’re looking to heal, you want to be putting the best fuel in your body. I’ve heard an analogy before. If you’re driving a race car, you’re going to put in low octane fuel or high octane fuel to get around the track and win. You want to be putting the highest octane resources and fuel in the human body because that’s what’s going to help you show up and help you feel nourished and taken care of.

For our community, it’s going to be the food that helps you heal. Food is one of these essential aspects of healing. The food that you eat directly influences not just what you’re being built up, but it also influences the gut health. If you have never heard this, if you have a healthy gut, it creates more serotonin, which then makes you a happy person. Food is very important to health and healing. If you can get the best quality food in your system, I highly advise it and you are bringing that to the table from the tribes.

AIH 39 | Tribe to Table
Tribe to Table: Native Americans were among the first people to grow the hemp plant and use it in their everyday lives, not only as a functional food but as a healing herb.

 

It’s according to FDA standards that you can only eat salmon twice a week. It’s recommended. I eat salmon for 30 days. With those omegas, I didn’t get sick. I felt like a different person. I had to season it differently because I don’t want to get sick of it.

You lost some weight too. That’s a whole bunch.

I think a pound a day I was losing and just walking 20, 30 minutes a day and eating straight salmon and rice and some greens. It’s very simple. Not for breakfast but I was eating twice a day. Salmon is a great protein, especially with those omega oils.

It’s one of the better protein sources. Fish in general but especially salmon because it’s neuroprotective with the omegas, and especially for the brain injury community, getting those Omegas in the system.

The 3, 6, 9 for sure is what they recommend for all of us right after the hospital.

It’s neuroprotective and it’s going to help your neurons and your brain health better.

This is better than going to a doctor and getting a prescription of drugs. You get this food delivered right at your house. You’re going to heal, you’re going to take care of your tummy, take care of your family. It’s almost like this opioid addiction that’s going on or that I was introduced to and all other drugs. The happy food that you’re making is better than taking happy pills. I mentioned my own analogy. I’m not a doctor, I’m stating from my own experience of what I’d been witnessing and listening to is what you’re doing is placing Big Pharma by bringing people healthy, organic, delicious and yummy food. Thank you for that.

Our job is to source the best one.

Going down more of a healing avenue, obviously we’re not recommending anyone go off of their drugs or stop seeing their doctor. As you start to heal, what Sean’s getting at is the food that you eat can start to feel almost transformative. Once you start connecting and getting deep into that, you have this realization of how helpful it can be.

I’ve lost weight myself. I’ve gotten off my drugs now, my meds. The only thing I can think of out there right now is Chipotle or Sharky’s who’s servicing organic food, wild caught fish or organic beef. Anything else out there as far as fast food goes or ready-made meals, there’s no one else doing it. I won’t take my kids anywhere. My kids won’t go near any of the McDonald’s or Taco Bells, any of that stuff. You are onto something where you can almost be the source for all these fast food places to re-brand themselves and buy from you.

If you're looking to heal, you want to be putting the best fuel in your body. Click To Tweet

In all honesty, we don’t want to sell to these big corporations. We’ve done it already. We’ve already sold to Costco, we sold to Walmart. We sold to Super A Foods, we sold to Albertsons and the list goes on and on. What I’ve learned from that is that once we sell our product, there’s no story to it. It’s the story that counts. By selling the product directly to the consumer, we tell them the story. That was the whole purpose of opening up Tribe to Table. On the distributor side, on the seafood side, we sell to the native-owned casinos. There are 578 registered as of 2018, federally recognized casinos nationwide. We want to be part of that. We want to be able to sell to these casinos, but we can’t sell to all of them. What do they have that we can sell? It’s a partnership here.

What you’re starting, in my opinion, is you’re starting a movement and the movement is towards understanding where the food that you’re eating is coming from. Glenn Foley said you’re starting to create this relationship with food. When you do that, your body starts to intuitively understand, “I need to be eating this because it’s making me feel better.” I want to get into one of the other things that you are doing. You were talking about hemp and how you’re starting to create CBD products as well. We have Andrea here. She’s your CBD expert. Maybe you can go into why you wanted to create that and what the impact has been.

I’ll give you a little bit of input on that, then I’ll pass it over to Andrea. I’m very new to CBD. I know the growing side of the THC side of it, but CBD is very new to me. I’ve heard a lot about it when I first got involved in 2018. I decided to get involved because if this can help people, then let’s get involved. We started going to different labs and I was starting to understand it. I realized that there’s a lot of crap out there. These companies are lying to people, to the consumer. The last meeting we got up and I’m like, “We’re doing this ourselves. We’re going to produce it.” I asked Andrea, “Did you really believe that we’re going to process ourselves and produce ourselves?”

We did, within 30 days, 45 days. We ended up creating our own products. This was white labeling but now it’s like, “No, we’re producing our own products so we know what the consumer is getting.” We’re going to share all of this. I’m not going to tell you when. You will see it. I’m going to share all of this information. The consumer’s going to see what they’re getting. We’re transparent. We don’t want to lie to the consumer. We want them to know what they’re getting, what is it that they’re consuming because we wanted to help. That’s where we’re at right now. I’m going to let Andrea takeover. She has a lot more experience than I do.

Just on that note, you don’t want to be misleading. There’s so much noise and there’s so much BS in the health and wellness industry. It’s so refreshing to have someone who you can trust to have your back. It’s all game of misleading and putting a word on a label that doesn’t actually represent the product to trick someone into buying it at a higher price or whatever.

One more thing. We don’t cut corners because we’re not looking at what profits are we going to make. Do we need to make money? Absolutely. What’s more important is giving those quality products. If we’re over here competing with prices, we’re getting quality products. Based on what’s out there, our prices will be much higher, but we decided not to do that. We want people to know that our product works. Another thing too is it’s a money-back guarantee. Why would we do that? If it’s money-back guarantee, what do you have to lose? We know what we’re doing, that’s why. We believe in it and it works.

You’re raising the bar.

That’s who Tribe to Table is.

Andrea, finish it off. Give us that CBD love. Tell us why we should be even thinking about this? I know it’s such a noisy space. Can you help bring us some clarity on what this is actually doing for us?

Just to catch you up to speed what my background is. I’ve been in CBD hemp for a few years now. The first company that I started with was gray. I learned a lot. I got to dig into how hemp CBD actually helps people and what it can do. I started to realize that there was a lot more to do with just CBD being in the space. I wanted to get more involved in the way it helps people and what cause you’re supporting. There are a ton of CBD companies out there right now. After a while, I actually branched out and partnered with Christian to start working on our own line and a number of other things that all tied into the umbrella of the market. I realized that not only do we want to create a quality CBD product, but what it came down to for me was creating quality products that can help people. With a ton of companies out there, for me it came down to what cause do you want to support?

There are tons of Native American tribes who have been growing hemp. I don’t think people realize this. Native Americans were among some of the first people to actually grow the hemp plant and use it in their everyday lives, not only as a functional food but as a healing herb. A lot of people know that there’s hempcrete out there now, but they were using it before the actual hempcrete word it was created. There are a number of different things you can do with it now, but what it came down to for me was what cause I wanted to support? After hearing that Native Americans were growing hemp and needed someone to go out there and connect the dots for them and show them that they can now build infrastructure in this industry with their hemp.

That’s how I tied into Tribe to Table and I educated myself and know more about the tribes. It’s no secret that CBD hemp in itself is a super food. People are taking it and replacing their meds and taking it as not only as a healer but people are taking it every day as a preventative supplement. Not necessarily when something’s actually wrong with them, but almost in a sense replacing their vitamins because they know that it’s a neuroprotectant and it can help with the body back into homeostasis. There are a number of reasons why people are taking CBD. That’s my background and for those reasons, I decided to partner with Tribe.

Sean, do you want to mention a little bit about what CBD has done for you and your own healing?

To add on, it’s a super food and it helps me to relax. If the brain is relaxed, you could start to heal the body. A lot of people like myself would get spastic or spasms and it hurts. Muscle pulls all the time. What Tribe to Table makes is a topical cream and a tincture that to me is probably the best out there. As Andrea knows, I’ve experimented with a lot of stuff with Eben Britton. This goes back for five years before CBD what was even allowed or legal in the State of California or in the States. What you said is so prevalent that our forefathers were growing hemp in their backyard. When I mean our forefathers, Abe Lincoln, George Washington were growing hemp in the backyard to build houses, to make clothes, even to make paper and to make books. They were taking it for pain relief.

For whatever the reasons are, we can blame the Big Pharma or whoever it is, people have come in here and tried to destroy and cause such a horrible messaging about the plant that it’s wrong and it’s something that we could take and the tribes are making this. Let’s support them. Let’s put it into our body. I’m telling you in the old age homes, as people get older, as people get the chronic pain, what I see with myself, the scar tissue alone in my body after being through all this amount of work or even an athlete or even an everyday mom or the children, pets, etc. They looked at as a horrible thing. I’ve heard it’s the devil’s weed. It’s this and that. It’s all BS. It works on me and it works on three dozen more people.

The problem I found is I could not find the right source of the product. Now we found it and we’re offering it to our people, our community, our veterans, our people with brain injury and people who are in pain every day. I’m so glad because you take your vegetables, you take your fish, you take your beef and you take your CBD, I promise you’ll walk again. I know it’s a profound statement, but you’re not going to get better if you don’t move. If you can get the willingness and the mindset to move again, you’re going to get better. That’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re feeding your body, the vegetables and the fruits of our planet. You put CBD in it. It’s from the hemp plant, from the marijuana plant, but so what? You look at the Tylenol, the Advils and I’m going off on a tangent because I’m making a point here. The opioids are synthetic heroin. I can take a Tribe to Table tincture or I can take six Advil. I’m taking the tincture. Forget Advil. It’s a byproduct. It’s a numbing effect. It’s not going to help my body heal. You can hear the passion in me is pretty profound because I speak about this all the time.

I’ll follow that up and say that I’ve tried other CBD products out there because I’m the type of person who’s like, “Let’s experiment with everything.” I am the human experiment of myself. I’ve tried CBD and I put it in my mouth and I’ve bought tinctures before because I’m just, “Let’s see what this is all about.” Honestly, I’ve never felt anything. I tried your 500-milligram tincture under the tongue and felt this shift in my relaxation. To me, that is so subtle but so impactful. If you dive into the scientist doing this, that and the other on these receptors in your brain, who cares? If you’re putting the body in a state of ease, the body has this intelligence to help heal itself. When you start to feel into that and you start to get these easy wins, you start to get hope. You start to build on shifting that perspective and how you feel. I would love to hear, do you have any stories? Christian, will you tell the story about your mom?

This 1,000-milligram I actually developed it for my mom. I would talk to my mom and tell her, “Mom, you should try the CBD.” She’s like, “No, there’s a weed in it.” I said, “No, mom.” I explained it to her and then we went online and I looked it up in Spanish. She read it and she said, “I’ll try it.” That’s when I developed the 1,000-milligram with the Arbequina olive oil. She’s like, “No, give it a better taste.” I said, “Try some olive oil.” I blended it with the olive oil and she loved it. Her blood pressure is stable since my mom’s been taking it. My mom can sleep at night. She can’t sleep. She goes, “I don’t take it in the morning. It relaxes me too much. I take it at night and I sleep,” and my mom sleeps for seven, eight hours. My mom never does that. She would always wake up with any little noise and now her blood pressure’s great, stable, she sleeps at night, she doesn’t have anxiety. She’s telling her sisters, my aunts and uncles like, “You’ve got to try this.” They’re like, “No, it has weed.” I’m like, “No.” She’s explaining it to them. My uncles are taking it. I’ve got some friends taking it. I’ve been giving out samples and we have some customers that have tried it and they’re like, “This stuff works.”

I want to point this out. You are coming to market at a price that is well-below what is out there.

I’d say normally 1,000 milligrams. You see bottles out there for 30 milliliter bottle or one ounce for $120. We’re at $70.

The happy food that you're making is better than taking happy pills. Click To Tweet

$70 is what our 1,000-milligram tincture retails for. Whereas we’ve actually priced it reasonably below at least fifteen to twenty other 1,000-milligram tinctures that I’ve seen were ranging anywhere from $90 to $160. I think we’re well-below where your 1,000-milligram tincture cost should be and still within giving a quality product, being able to deliver a quality product.

What makes your product different from what’s out there?

It’s because we’re using quality ingredients like olive oil. They’re produced in small batches. It’s local and it’s native. It’s simple. Just by saying it’s native, I don’t have to explain if there are pesticides. We don’t believe in that. Our isolate is tested. We’ve got to make sure we get all the full test. They Photoshop these test results. I’m serious. This is ridiculous. They Photoshop these test results and why? All because it’s about making that money. That’s what I love about it. A lot of people can probably hate me for this, but I don’t care because we’re here to make people feel better and give them what they deserve. That’s what makes us different, is using quality products. We have to research and make sure that the products are quality. We test and make sure there are no heavy metals in our isolate. It’s been actually fun to be doing all the research and learning it. Remember, I have a processing background, so this is processing. To me it’s easy. I understand it but I’m still learning it. That’s what makes us different.

What you’re doing, in my opinion is you’re coming to the table with a high level of integrity and trying to be as transparent as possible, and you’re giving people a product that stays pure to the original source as possible, while making it easy to use and accessible. I’ve got one more question you can both answer and it’s something we ask everybody who comes on to the podcast. What’s your inspiration?

My inspiration is helping the less fortunate, helping those in need, helping the ones that don’t have the means to get it. I’ve been like that since I was a kid. I learned that what’s given to me, I don’t keep it. I have to give it back and it’s helping people. That’s my inspiration and I live by that. I learned that from my mother. Andrea, what’s your inspiration?

After learning that I was 50% Native American and diving in to see more about what these tribes are about and how they’re coming together, my inspiration is supporting these Native American tribes. Building on indigenous enterprise and getting their name back out there and to be the voice and the liaison between the tribes and the community. They have so many great products and different functional foods they’ve been making for years and people don’t know about them. We can now get those back out there to them. My inspiration is supporting them and getting their voice back out there.

Will you let everyone know where they can find your website and where they can connect?

Our website is TribeToTable.com. We’re located in Montrose. We’re at 2329 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose, California. We also have a great dog bar. What is a dog bar? You bring your dogs to the dog bar and we give them wild salmon skins as treats. We give them wild shrimps as treats. We produce a product. There are no preservatives. You can buy them by the ounce, $7 an ounce.

After hearing from you, Christian, it’s amazing. The next thing for you is you’ve got to run for mayor or for office because what you’re doing is you’re being of service to people. We need more people like you in this world.

Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story. If you’re inspired out there reading, please look up Tribe to Table because they honestly are coming to market with such integrity and such passion and amazing products that you’re going to create this massive paradigm shift in the world of how people are thinking about how they eat and everything.

Also how to heal too, Taylor, which is so well-said. Andrea, you’re awesome. We love you. Your thoughts, your words, being on board with Christian is your perfect new avenue for everything. Thank you for doing that.

Thank you.

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About Christian Ramirez

AIH 39 | Tribe to TableIt all started with seafood. Fishing is a way of life and a deep-rooted part of the culture for many Pacific Northwest.

Fishermen still feed their families and make a living the way they have for generations beyond generations. Through the seafood trade, as well as being native himself.

Tribe to Table’s founder became well acquainted with the superior quality of the wild foods he was coming in contact with as well as the level of environmental stewardship that was involved when working with food from tribes.

About Andrea Barron

AIH 39 | Tribe to TableSkilled in grasping the big picture. Creative and results driven strategic leader.

Problem-solver with a passion for learning, creating, conceptualizing, developing, and implementing innovative solutions, as well as partnering closely with business leaders.

Hemp extract sales, aerospace, lean manufacturing, and process improvement. Strong communication skills Enjoy working in teams for maximum effectiveness.

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