“I was trying all these beverages on the market and they all tasted bitter… or there was a lot of erythritol or stevia, or flat out sugar…so when I found SōRSE, with their flavoring and their emulsification, it was like all the stars aligned.” – Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic & Mad Tasty.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – and nothing says “I love you!” more than a healthy dose of chocolate. Chef Stacy Primack took the Valentine’s game to the next level with this jazzed-up version of Hot Chocolate, fashioned in the style of Red Velvet cake. Once you’ve made a batch of this perfect winter beverage, don’t forget to top this perfect February beverage with CBD-infused XO Marshmallows #PoweredBySōRSE.
YIELD: 2 servings
15 mg CBD per serving
- 1 1/2 c. milk*
- 1 1/2 c. cream*
- 1 gram SōRSE liquid (isolate or broad spectrum)
- 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle and scraped
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. honey
- 4 oz. 72% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 T. red food coloring
- 1 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1 T. vanilla pudding mix
Heat the milk, cream, SōRSE, vanilla bean seeds, salt and honey to a scald. Whisk together. Add chocolate, food coloring, cocoa, and pudding mix. Whisk until frothy. Split the hot chocolate evenly between mugs. Serve with whipped cream, marshmallows, or as desired.
*If you are lactose intolerant or are allergic to dairy products, you can substitute coconut milk for the milk and cream.
Meet our Technical Project Manager, Mike Schmitt. His academic background in Business, Food Science, and Microbiology and sixteen years of experience in the food and beverage industry lends itself well to working on the Operations team at SōRSE. Mike is the kind of person who will take on any challenge put before him, and he loves being a problem solver and mentor to his colleagues. Mike sees himself as a Jack of all trades who finds all of the work he is doing fascinating and fun, which makes him a valuable member of the team.
How did you end up at SōRSE? How did you find out about the company?
Prior to SōRSE, I worked at Doehler North America as a Technical Project Manager, and prior to that, I was a Food Scientist at Darigold for nearly ten years. After leaving Doehler and not working for a while, I got to the point where I just threw my hands up in the air and started calling people I had known from my past jobs, and Scott Riefler (CSO) was one of them. Scott and I had a wonderful supplier/customer relationship at Darigold; he really impressed me with his ability to be straightforward and honest, and he was someone I really trusted.
Scott asked if I was open to working with CBD, which I was. He said there might be a position at a company he was involved with, and it was SōRSE. The process from the first conversation to job offer was a whirlwind – it happened in 12 days! I came into the job knowing I would be doing a wide array of things – and it has been fun seeing how I can be of help with my food, tech, and business background. Officially, I’m a Technical Project Manager here, but “Startup Technical Generalist Manager” is a title that I created for myself.
What have been some of the significant moments in your time here?
Definitely coming to the understanding that we are so new in a young industry, that we have the ability to work with and guide lawmakers who are trying to regulate this industry, and that we can set ourselves apart through best practices. Having a food and beverage mentality and mindset is already built into what we do and what makes our product stand out. We have opportunities to improve, but we are definitely leaps and bounds ahead of our competitors. One of our competitors has even asked if we could convert some of their extract for them because they liked our liquid emulsion so much; it is so clean compared to their product. Our competitors are trying to follow us and are definitely not at the same level as we are.
In your time at SōRSE, what are you most proud of, and what do you love most about your job?
I’m proud of being trusted to get things done. In the past I’ve been entrusted to do a lot of different things, but to be trusted right off the bat feels fantastic. I am also encouraged to try something new all the time. At SōRSE you can really do anything you want. After working for companies with so much structure, I didn’t realize that I would flourish in a startup environment, but it turns out I like to build structure around the chaos. It’s also been fun to have been able to mentor and help others in ways that I hadn’t imagined.
What I love most about my work is the daily challenge. Because there is something new every day, I know that am not going to be bored. We have new markets we are going into, new suppliers we are working with – it’s great to be a part of this world. Today’s challenge is ensuring that our B2C products have risk assessments done, because B2B assessment is a lot different than B2C. This is connected to our overall goal and long-term strategy to be ready for when the FDA makes a ruling on how CBD can interact with food. We have to be FDA-ready to make the big sale. Consumers are demanding that they get access to products with CBD in them, and it’s just a matter of time before the FDA makes a ruling on how it can officially be put into foods and beverages.
Where do you see yourself in this role moving forward?
I envision myself talking on a variety of roles, as needed, to help the company grow. I ask that any company I work for challenges me, lets me do a little bit of travel, and gives me the opportunity to teach and learn. That has happened to my heart’s content here at SōRSE. In Week 8 of working here, I was able to travel to London to teach others about CBD in products and how it will affect development in the UK and EU. I’m also sharing as much as I’m learning with team; I see how important it is to understand state and federal regulations. We have 11 states with recreational laws, 33 that have medical. Each set of laws is different – and you have to know those differences. SōRSE needs to have a background in the similarities and differences of regulations in the industry to help make sure we can grow as the industry does, and I’m trying to help SōRSE understand this.
Can you share a fun fact that not a lot of people know about you?
Whenever I travel to a new country, I always have to stop by a McDonald’s to try a localized product or get a cheeseburger and fries. I really appreciate the effort that goes into making a cheeseburger in India taste like one in Seattle. I’ve met the team tasked with this effort at McDonald’s headquarters, and I love to nerd out with fellow food scientists doing their job on a global scale.
DIANA EBERLEIN GIVES HER INSIGHT ON THE CELEBRITY AND CANNABIS WAVE FEATURED ON CNN
CNN ran an article on Drake entering the cannabis space through a partnership with Canopy Growth. Our VP of Marketing, Diana Eberlein, shared her thoughts on which types of celebrity brands resonate with customers, and which don’t. “People are attracted to brands that are real and authentic…If it feels inauthentic, they will lose that audience very quickly.”
Emily Skrobecki Named in High Times Female 50
Also in November, Manager of Process Engineering, Emily Skrobecki, was honored for her work in the cannabis industry in the inaugural honoree class of the High Times’ Female 50. Each woman featured on the list was nominated and voted on by the public. High Times staffers wrote, “This collection represents fifty women in all areas of the cannabis space, from research to business and from politics to activism, who have made their mark in a truly significant and impactful way.”
Ryan Tedder, frontman of the band, OneRepublic, appeared on the Today Show to talk about his successes, his failures, his creative process. Toward the end of the interview, after being handed a can of Mad Tasty (powered by SōRSE) and asked what it was, he commented, “In all my downtime, I started a beverage company about a year ago with Interscope Records, my label, and some friends…It’s got 20 mg of CBD in each can…zero sugar, all natural. I drink about five a day.”
Our Manager of Process Engineering, Emily Skrobecki, was named one of the Cannabis industry’s most powerful and innovative women by Forbes. When describing Emily, writer Warren Bobrow commented, “The challenge of the unknown is what drives Skrobecki to search for knowledge and dive deep into this type of science.”
Background on Scott Riefler, Chief Science Officer:
Scott Riefler has over 40 years of cultivating and commercializing scientific and technological resources. He has spent the last 20 years translating his experience and applying it to food system innovation, literally bringing rocket science into the kitchen – and now cannabis. He has been with SoRSE since 2017, where he and his team developed a key water born platform for cannabinoid oils for the edible industry
Howard Lee says he hasn’t smoked a joint in forever. But the longtime Seattle tech veteran is definitely riding high as he leads a secretive startup called SōRSE Technology that is looking to be a major player around the red-hot CBD and cannabis craze.
SōRSE has been active for more than three years and has been “under the cover of darkness” for the last two, working hard on science that allows it to convert CBD and THC oils into a water-soluble product that can be infused more seamlessly into beverages, food and topicals.