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Purist Foods, Inc; doing business as White Mountain Foods, Located at 3301 E. 5th Street, Austin, Texas.
White Mountain Food’s mission is a simple one: to provide our customers with completely additive and preservative free, minimally processed, organic when possible, tasty, vegetarian foods.
Our 40 year customer base, concentrated in Texas but spread out all over the continental USA, is very diverse, including the transitional, those wanting to eat healthier but still do most of their shopping at a regular grocery store; the ethnic or traditional market, those that have a family or cultural history of eating foods similar to our products, the health food enthusiasts, those that prefer to do all their shopping at a health food store; the food as medicine market, who use food products as alternative medicines or have eliminated certain items from their diet on advice from a physician; vegetarian/vegan, those that limit or completely eliminate animal products from their diet; and the health food purists, those that refuse to consume food that has been adulterated or engineered in any way.
From the Desk of Reed Murray, Founder, White Mountain Foods:
When I started this company (it became White Mountain Foods in 1980), I had been making yogurt at home for years. Since the early 1970’s the proprietary formula has not changed except for the addition of one ingredient, the B. Bifidum culture. Our yogurt has not changed since then and remains identical to the yogurts made across Asia, the Middle East and eastern Europe for millennia.
As a young man, I had planned a career in aerospace engineering. My dream was to design, engineer, and build a rocket, climb in, light the fuel (which I had cooked up and loaded myself), and explore the moon. When I discovered that engineers didn’t do that, I left college and became a carpenters apprentice with a firm that tore down historic homes and rebuilt them from the ground up. Not rocketry, but I was creating with my own hands and involved with the process from digging the foundations to putting on the roof and the finished product was, in part anyway, my responsibility.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s a group of young radicals (hippies?) started what has become the natural foods industry because they were dissatisfied with the way our food supply was becoming increasingly processed, chemicalized, corporatized, etc. Rachael Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ (and others) had alerted us to the dangers of this and we wanted to chart a new course. “You are what you eat” and “food for people, not for profit” became a mantra of sorts, as we strove to offer clean, healthy, minimally processed foods, bulk organic grains, bakery products, etc. to family and friends in our communities who wanted healthy food.
Much like tearing down an old house and rebuilding it to suit new owners, we, without thinking about it in those terms, set about tearing down the business of food and rebuilding it to reflect true human needs. In doing so, we lit a rocket engine that has propelled us and the natural foods industry literally into uncharted waters.
As founder of White Mountain Foods, I have been able to create and sell the kind of food I wanted to eat, the kind of food I wanted my family to eat; simple, unprocessed or minimally processed LIVE food that not only supports robust health but tastes good. All of our products, from our organic whole bean tofu to our chipotle mushroom tamales, are minimally processed, organic where possible, simple and simply good tasting food.
White Mountain Foods is not just about food; its also about community. What use is good food if we’re not living in a community that supports us and is supported by us? I passionately pursued my “real food” dream by supporting staff, customers, retailers and distributors who felt the way I did. I ultimately chose east Austin for our current home by redevolping an abandoned meat packing plant that had become a haven for petty crime and drug users…we recycled it. East Austin at that time was a neglected part of town experiencing high crime and unemployment. Rebuilding and using the space was consistant with our values. Many of our employees live in the area around our plant and we are neighbors with a brewery, recycling business, glass blowing studio, arts venue, and a community organizing group that sends rebuilt bikes to 3rd world countries and is in the process of remediating an abandoned landfill.
I created White Mountain Foods the way I lived my life. It was not about the money. It was and is about creating and sustaining right livelihood through honest and productive work that enhances individual and community life. Our marketing effort, or rather lack of it, attests to our focus on a “real food” versus “engineered” food. My heart was in it. I created delicious health food for a family dinner table. This is our core value.
While some things have changed (I retired from active participation in 2001), I am happy to say that under the leadership of my brother Jeff Murray, our commitment to individual and community health and product quality is being maintained with a new look, new labels, an expanded community presence and approach to partnering with our consumers and channel partners. 2005 marks our 25th year, and as always, our goal is to bring White Mountain Foods quality to more homes and communities looking for real food for their real families.
Message from the CEO, Jeff Murray:
My relationship with White Mountain Foods started thirteen years ago. During that time I have discovered that the founder, Reed Murray, myself and our customers share a common philosophy: human beings first, business and profit second.
Producing products that support health begins with providing our employees a healthy, enjoyable, safe and supportive environment to work in. That atmosphere of support directly transfers to our products. Our products are, and will always be made with one thing in mind: the health and support of our customers and the environment we live in.
It is my privilege to guide White Mountain Foods into the new century using the structure of our founder’s vision, my own thirty-plus years of experience in and around the health food industry and a continuously co-created, progressive business model. This blueprint will allow White Mountain Foods to expand, develop strong distributor, retailer, consumer and community relationships, actively market current, new and private label products and provide a conducive, supportive environment for entrepreneurs with innovative product and business ideas that support our common goals: healthy people, healthy commerce, healthy planet.