Owned and operated by Vermont native Liza Semler with the help of her family, Moretown-based Nude Food Co. specializes in organic, plant-based treats aimed at satisfying people’s sweet tooth -- and their conscience. From nut-based “bliss balls” to cashew “cheeze”cakes, their products are homemade with nutrient-dense and allergen-friendly ingredients that “love you back.”
For those who visited the Waitsfield Farmers Market in 2019 or who have stopped by von Trapp Farmstead more recently, the name might sound familiar. After a brief hiatus in the wake of COVID-19, they are back in business with renewed focus and a more customer-centered philosophy.
Despite their local roots, the idea behind Nude Food Co. was actually conceived on the other side of the world. Semler’s first introduction to plant-based treats came 10 years ago when she was living with her husband and baby daughter in Perth, Australia. There, she witnessed a growing trend towards more conscious nutrition and lifestyle that differed from what she experienced growing up here in Vermont. Cafes, beaches and markets were packed with upstart companies looking to meet this growing demand with their own creative takes on plant-based snacks and goodies. The more she learned, the more she wanted to find her own niche in the market.
When she moved back to Vermont in 2016, she did so with that dream in hand. For the next three years, Semler experimented with recipes and slowly built her business while raising two more children. It paid off, and Nude Food Co. was born in 2019. After early success at the Waitsfield Farmers Market that year, they were forced to step back and reevaluate with the onset of the pandemic. But by observing the way other businesses persevered, Semler found that a direct-to-consumer approach offered more adaptability, freedom and transparency than selling through third-party distributors. Since the pandemic, she noted, her buyers have become more “savvy” -- prioritizing the reliability and convenience offered by online ordering. By responding in this way, it seems Nude Food Co. is well-poised to rebound strongly.