Keen One Quinoa first sprouted in an unassuming classroom at the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business in 2007. Tasked with a class project on new product development, founder Christopher Algea — a cash-strapped college student at the time — decided quinoa could be an affordable, nutritious option over the empty calories of typical dorm food. His classmates agreed and the seeds of the brand began to take root.
THINGS GET GROWING
After graduating, Christopher’s passion for quinoa persisted. He and a few friends began experimenting with recipes and sold their goods at local farmer's markets and small retailers. Their popularity skyrocketed, prompting Christopher to head to Bolivia in search of a source of par-cooked quinoa, which would help the small team keep up with demand — and keep the business afloat. On a double decker bus ride to Oruro, the heart of the Altiplano, Christopher met his quinoa match: a direct supplier of fair trade Organic Royal quinoa, which remains the primary source of quinoa for the brand to this day.