Red Ape Cinnamon® was founded in 2006 by Kestrel Growth Brands, Inc., a company that finds unique ingredients that are grown by small family farmers around the world. Marty and Bill discovered was that what all of these farmers had in common was a love for producing quality, organically grown crops, and a lack of resources to brand, package, and sell their products to larger, more lucrative markets abroad.
The farmers and their families would always ask, "Can we partner with you? We'll grow it, you sell it." Marty and Bill did just that. They launched the Red Ape Cinnamon® brand to accompany their other organic brands. Within a couple years it became clear that Red Ape Cinnamon® was a hit and it began taking on a life of its own.
So in January 2013, Marty and Bill partnered with Dan Vishny to form a new company focused only on the Red Ape Cinnamon® brand.
Cassia cinnamon is what most people recognize as cinnamon. Another type of cinnamon is referred to as Ceylon or Sri Lanka cinnamon.Ceylon cinnamon is finer, crumbly and not as strong as cassia. Red Ape Cinnamon® is a type of cassia cinnamon (species Cinnamomum burmannii) sometimes referred to as Indonesian Cinnamon or Korintje Cinnamon. Vietnamese or Saigon cinnamon is a different but closely related species (C. loureiroi).
The cinnamon we consume is made from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Newly planted trees are allowed to grow for 6 or more years before being cut down just above the ground. This causes shoots to grow out of the remaining stump and roots which can then be harvested every few years. This method is known as coppicing and it is a sustainable method of crop management. The outer bark is scraped off of the harvested branches and discarded. The inner layer is then separated from the woody core which is then sun dried. The bark curls while drying resulting in cinnamon quills. It is then cut to length for cinnamon sticks or ground for cinnamon powder. Older cinnamon trees produce a higher volatile oil content in their bark resulting in a more intense cinnamon flavor.
For starters, we only select the highest quality, organic cinnamon with a minimum volatile oil content of 3%. Additionally, our cinnamon is processed slowly and carefully- you know, the old fashioned way. If cinnamon sticks are ground under high and fast pressure, the cinnamon tends to burn resulting in the brown cinnamon you commonly see on the shelf. If you take your time grinding the sticks, the result is a luscious, more flavorful red cinnamon- i.e. Red Ape Cinnamon®.
Orangutans are the "red apes" and our cinnamon is named after them. Our cinnamon comes from Indonesia which is home to the red ape. Unfortunately, their habitat is threatened by man so we donate 5% of all profits to organizations that protect orangutans and their habitat. So far the recipient has been The Nature Conservancy and the funds have been specifically earmarked for orangutan habitat preservation. In addition, we have adopted Kesi, Dodo, Gober and her twins through Orangutan Outreach.
All Red Ape Cinnamon® products are certified organic and gluten free. The organic premium ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks are certified Kosher. All products are non-GMO, but not certified.