Meet the top mind behind one of the best edible lines in the country
Coda Signature is an award-winning, multi-state, premium cannabis infused products company based out of Denver Colorado. Founded in 2015, Coda Signature manufactures wholesale premium infused edibles, topicals, and concentrates products for the medicinal and adult use markets in Colorado and California.
We sat down with Lauren to talk about what it’s like working in the cannabis industry as a classically trained chocolatier and what the future of the edible line has in store.
Tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to the cannabis industry.
I trained at the Valrhona pastry school in Tain l’Hermitage, France. I spent six months there and another month in Paris at a few patisseries before returning to the States and moving to New York. I quickly found a place at Per Se, one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants. I was there for two years before leaving to seek out opportunities in the raw, vegan chocolate space. I became incredibly fascinated with chocolate as a superfood, as a healthy alternative. I wanted to explore the fundamentals and history of chocolate at its core. I spent about four and a half years doing that before branching out on my own. I saw an opportunity in the cannabis space. I wanted to elevate the quality and experience of infused products and edibles. I saw the opportunity to start that process in Colorado. I moved there in March, 2015 after meeting Mark Grindeland and Elizabeth Cook, the co-founders of Coda signature. We all had a very clear vision of what we wanted to do in the cannabis space.
How did family and friends react to the idea of jumping from the traditional food industry to the cannabis industry?
Surprisingly well. Both my mother and my father are very strong, business-driven people. They recognized that it was a clear, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Since then, they’ve taken a very active role in the cannabis space, doing research and learning more. Their enthusiasm has grown parallel with mine.
Tell us a little about your R&D process, how you create products.
The goal for me is to create moments in time that can be connected to flavor — coffee and donuts, for example. And, no, we don’t put donuts in the bar. The goal is to dissect the key elements that remind us of an early morning treat, from texture to smell. Of course, flavor is important, but it’s also taking different elements and combining them to create recognizable moments, whether it’s from our past or something that evokes a really wonderful memory. It’s being able to tap into that level of nostalgia that, I think, people are drawn to when it comes to food and nourishment as a whole.
Your food concepts are far outside of the norm of the cannabis industry. Is it your goal, along with Coda signature, to raise the bar for edible companies?
I think we’re all working toward a common goal. The hope is that, with each of our successes, the cannabis industry will become more accepted, more familiar and safe. It’s our job as manufacturers to collaborate, work together and demand excellence of each other.
Elements like terpenes, terpenoids and flavonoids are becoming more familiar to the consumers. Do terpenes enter your thought-process when you create new edibles?
Terpenes are not unique to cannabis. Terpenes exist in many of the ingredients we use on a regular basis in the conventional world of food. Now with terpenes and cannabis, it can be a little bit tricky because they can be very volatile. In certain elements of our cooking process, we end up cooking out those terpenes just by the nature of temperature. But I absolutely believe that through the dedication and masterful work of our extraction departments, we’re able to use of many of those strain-specific terpenes to create a really clean, consistent flavor, as well as the cannabis experience. They’ve really refined their process to a wonderful level of consistency. With edibles, that’s the goal: to create a repeatable experience. Our extraction departments have been able to master the extraction of CO2 and the activation of the THC, while still maintaining a really high quality CO2 oil.
How do you perceive the future of cannabis and food?
People now have the opportunity to be creative with cannabis. When you look at the enthusiasm for food, chefs and restaurants that’s evolved over the past few years, you see that people are taking an active interest in the quality of their ingredients, the beauty of presentation and the exploration of new, exciting flavor profiles. That’s where cannabis is heading. Plus, the end-user is able to participate and determine how they consume. Our hot chocolate on a spoon, for example, doesn’t limit someone to just creating hot chocolate. We want that product to open up a whole world of opportunity for consumers. They can drizzle it over ice cream or melt the chocolate into a recipe of their own and use it in a safe way. Our products are tested by a third-party lab, so we can help consumer create safe edibles for themselves.
Regarding your new line, the Fruit Notes line, are there hurdles that you face cooking vegan or gluten-free?
In this day and age, it’s not as challenging as it used to be. Sure, there’s a huge list of ingredients you can’t use, but there are just as many ingredients that you can use. Fruit Notes are vegan. We’re using fruits, organic sugars and pectin. Obviously, it’s gluten-free as well. We’re not incorporating any gluten products. Having spent so many years working with vegan and raw chocolate, this is an exciting opportunity to problem-solve and create those flavors that are recognizable, without consumers even realizing that they’re missing things like dairy or gluten or high-sugar products. I never really think of it as going without. It’s an opportunity to challenge myself to create an opportunity for people to try something that they may not have tried in the past.
Is there something that you haven’t infused yet, but would really like to try to infuse?
We definitely have some products that we’re considering for the future. This continues to be an opportunity to push, not only myself, but our end-consumer to continue to try new and exciting flavors that they wouldn’t have ever tried before. The world is your oyster! By the way, creating cannabis-infused oysters is a personal goal of mine.
What’s on the plate for Coda Signature in 2020?
To continue creating nationally recognized, trusted brands. We have a wonderful array of new products in edibles, topicals and concentrates that have become go-to brands for infused products. I really want to emphasize the criteria we’ve set forth for ourselves in safety and quality when we create any new products. We strive to maintain that level of excellence in everything that we do.
Make sure to check out Coda Signature by visiting www.CodaSignature.com. If you would like your dispensary to carry Coda Signature, make sure to leave them a message by Clicking Here