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Friday, March 18, 2016

Toufayan Bakeries

Toufayan Bakeries

The Toufayan family bakery in not only making delicious bread, but also making an impact in the world around them.

The ToufayansThis tight knit family business has a history of giving back. Karen Toufayan, VP of Marketing and Sales, credits her mother with instilling the important values in the family, and her father Harry with reinforcing it since they were children.

“Ever since I can remember, my Dad was always giving back to the community or anyone in need,” said Karen. “From small gifts to people he came in contact with daily, to dropping product off at local fishing derbies, it’s part of who he is.”

One of the largest and most significant projects undertaken was the rebuilding and expansion of a youth center in Armenia. After visiting his home country, Harry was moved by the need of children in the city. Undertaking the rebuilding of the crumbling structure, Harry also implemented improvements and additional activities. The center now houses an after school program with a focus on arts, sculpture, weaving, music and sports. After the completion, Harry saw another need for healthy meals, and once again expanded the center to include a soup kitchen which offers 3 meals a day, 365 days a year to those in need, including children and the elderly. Harry and his wife privately sponsor the center and make quarterly visits to oversee operations and determine additional need.

The Toufayan’s also help out at home, with donations and activities to support a number of causes. When asked what their most passionate endeavor is when it comes to giving back, Karen replied, “Children and their education. So many schools struggle with budget cuts, and it’s a perfect way to give back locally and invest in the future.” In 2009 the Toufayan’s ran a NYC marathon and raised more than $35,000 dollars to help a local school. In 2011 the Toufayan sisters ran again and raised almost $40,000 for the school’s financial aid fund. For the last ten years, Toufayan has also partnered with a local school to offer a breakfast snack for children who didn’t eat at home.

MuckFest 2014 Beginning in 2014, Toufayan partnered with the National MS Society in both New Jersey and Florida, two of their major operating areas, to give back to the local community and help fight multiple sclerosis through support of fundraising efforts and participation in local community events. As a major corporate sponsor, Toufayan donated lunch to over 12,000 participants at the New Jersey MS Walk in Ridgefield Park. Siblings Greg and Karen Toufayan (and executives at Toufayan) also quite literally “got their hands dirty” in June at the annual Muckfest MS event in New Jersey, a mud run and obstacle course that brought out over 4,000 participants to raise awareness and funds for MS research and education. In September of 2014, Toufayan will participate in three Bike MS events, two in NJ, and one in FL, donating lunch for all of the participants. The partnership between Toufayan and MS grows stronger in the local communities of Florida and New Jersey each day, with more planned events for the future and beyond.

Natural disasters are also met with product shipments to feed those in need. Victims of recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and hurricanes on the east coast received assistance from Toufayan. Heart Walks, 5ks, AIDS charities and other activities are supported through lunch sponsorships and product donation. The Toufayan family is passionate about national organizations including the American Red Cross and Health Corps as well.

Like the long tradition of baking in the Toufayan family, they hope to pass the tradition of giving down to the next generation as well.
When I eat sandwiches, I prefer either toast or wraps for the 'bread.' Traditional bread sticks to the roof of my mouth if it has mayonnaise or even mustard on it. Both toasted bread and wraps eliminate this problem for me, plus wraps are healthier for you, if you're watching your carbs intake.

I have used pitas for the 'salad' type sandwiches, and they were good. But they're not really 'snackable.' So I was excited when I received this shipment from Toufayan Bakeries for review.

^^Toufayan Pita Chips (L) and Goodie Girl cookies (R)^^

The Toufayan family has taken its 85 year history of making pita bread, and created the first gluten free pita chip that tastes great. Toufayan’s Gluten Free Pita Chips are Vegan, Non GMO, Oven Baked and are All Natural, with no Cholesterol or Trans-Fats. Our Gluten Free Pita Chips also have a uniquely crunchy texture with a taste the entire family will love. Like our original pita chips, Toufayan Gluten Free Pita Chips are “Scoop-Able”, specially shaped to scoop up the goodness of your favorite dips. Enjoy Toufayan Gluten Free ”Scoop-Able” Pita Chips either as a snack or with your favorite dips.

Sea Salt
Tastes like salt. I mean, just take a piece of pita bread, sprinkle salt on it, bake it to a crispy chip and eat it. Nice crunch to it though. I think I may try these with my Dill dip later on.
TASTE: 8.5/10

Salted Caramel
Didn’t taste the salt on these. More of a sweet taste to them. Thought I detected a bit of a chocolate flavor on them. I think these would be good to scoop a ‘fruity’ dip with, like a sweet cream cheese dip or scooping ice cream with.
TASTE: 9/10

Chili Lime
I had something like this before, but I can’t remember where or when. I want to say it was the Takis Fuego Hot Chili & Lime tortilla chips, but nowhere near as hot. I didn’t taste the lime, and the chili flavor was very nice.
TASTE: 9.5/10

Toufayan Bakeries are also responsible for distributing Goodie Girl cookies, a line of gluten free cookies. I wasn't expecting these, but I was ecstatic to get them just the same.

Mint Slims
So get down with my forever cool, Mint Slims. OMG — A gluten free thin mint people! It's the perfect treat, and trust me, Just the Right Amount of Wrong.

When I first saw these, I thought they were going to taste like the Girl Scouts Thin Mints. But they were SO much better. The mint level was on par with Keebler Grasshopper cookies or if York made their Peppermint Patties into cookies. I LOVED these.
TASTE: 10/10

Toffee Chaos
Buttery bits of toffee, caramelized crispy rice, and mini chocolate chips. It's the perfect treat, and trust me, Just the Right Amount of Wrong.

Tastes a lot like a Skor bar baked into a rice cookie. Very crunchy; a bit too crunchy for my teeth, but a delicious taste to them. I think the only change I’d make to these is make them a little more chewy.
TASTE: 7/10

Quinoa Chocolate Chunk
Quinoa is the brain food of the Aztecs. Shove some chocolate in there and "Oh...my!" A sophisticated gluten free cookie for the blogs.

A gluten free Chips Ahoy. I couldn’t tell these were made with quinoa. A bit hard on the first crunch, but I really enjoyed these. Just the right amount of sweetness with the chocolate, which wasn’t hard like most ‘chocolate chunk’ cookies. The hardness was about the same as chocolate chips.
TASTE: 9/10

Oatmeal Raisin
A scintillating update to a classic that will evoke fond memories that will wake up your taste buds. Just imagine crunchy mounds of toasted oats, cinnamon and raisins. A classic indulgence.

I love oatmeal, however Oatmeal Raisin cookies aren’t usually on my list of favorite cookies. These are the exception. I’m not sure why, but I thought I tasted a heavy sweet salted flavor in these, but I didn’t see salt in the ingredients. I did like the raisins and how they were still plump, even after being baked. These also crumble in the mouth, so these are easy to chew with minimal pain if you have oral issues.
TASTE: 8.5/10

Midnight Brownie
A dark cocoa brownie, packed with chunks of semi-sweet Belgium chocolate. Not overly sweet. It’s the perfect gluten free treat that’s sure to please even the most discriminating palate!

My least favorite of the cookies. These were WAY too chocolatey for me. I don’t really care for brownies, so I ended up giving these to Mama Melissa, after I took enough for photos/taste-testing.
TASTE: 4/10

^^Toufayan Gluten Free Wraps^^

Like our regular wraps, Toufayan Gluten Free Wraps use only top quality, wholesome ingredients. They are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free. True to the original traditions, we hearth bake each wrap to perfection so they are convenient and versatile. They are moist, delicious and nutritious. Toufayan Gluten Free Wraps are great for breakfast, lunch or afternoon snacking.

These taste just like your typical tortilla wraps. Nothing more I can really say about them. I liked these a lot.
TASTE: 8/10

Savory Tomato
Reminded me of the bread used on a Wegmans subs, with the tomato 'juice,' mayonnaise and Italian dressing. Very yummy. One of my favorites of the 4.
TASTE: 9/10

Garden Vegetable
Tastes like you added a slice of tomato and lettuce to a sandwich, without the mess of the tomato ‘juice.’ Very yummy. The other favorite of the 4.
TASTE: 9/10

Wasn’t too keen on this one, which surprised me, considering I love spinach on my subs from Subway. I used roast beef and Lacey swiss on this, with Dill dip instead of mayonnaise. If you like a heavy spinach flavor, you’ll enjoy these wraps. But I didn’t care for it.
TASTE: 6/10

The only problem I see disabled people having with any of these foods, minus any chewing issues the person may have, is with the wraps. They didn't like to stay 'wrapped' for me, so I ended up making 'sandwich tacos' with the wraps. They worked great for that.

Both Toufayan Bakeries products and Goodie Girl Cookies are available from most larger chain grocers and 'big box' stores. I personally didn't see these brands in my local Wal-mart; then again, I wasn't specifically looking for them. However, I did see the Toufayan products in my local Wegmans store, in the bread aisle.

Very yummy snacks and wraps, with none of the junk added.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

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