Where did you mushroom journey begin?
During the summertime in my elementary school years, my brothers and I would scan our backyard for little brown mushrooms. We’d collect as many as we could, mash them together into a patty, bake them in the sun, then dare each other to take a bite.
What is your mushroom spirit animal and why?
Lion's Mane because I’m cerebral, have a mane of hair and the lion is one of my spirit animals! If we each had multiple mushroom spirit animals, then the honey mushroom would be my second because it’s always growing.
Quote that you live by?
“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.” –– Ram Dass
Tell us one of your favorite facts that captivated you with the fungi world.
The honey mushroom is quite captivating. It’s the largest organism in the world and is up to 8,500 years old.
What is your favorite mushroom pun or funny joke?
What made the mushroom forager such a great person? He had good morels.
Tell us about yourself.
Alden Blease was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for food. Growing up in Maine as a vegan athlete, he experienced firsthand the vital functionality of a healthy diet and the drastic ways it can improve quality of life. After witnessing the illnesses of several close family members, including his grandfather, he made it his personal mission to heal the world through food. In high school, he began studying the tangible effects of diet on the human body and the ways it can optimize performance. He used his own athletic training as a testing ground, and when he saw positive results, he was eager to share this knowledge with others.
When a modeling contract took him from Maine to New York City, Alden found himself among some of the city’s finest vegan chefs. He jumped at the opportunity to take classes with them and strengthen his dietary expertise.
The entrepreneur that he is, Alden found an immediate application for what he learned. He needed fuel to meet the demands of his long modeling shoots and high-intensity workout regimen. Armed with new vegan knowledge, he began searching for raw superfood options that were sustaining, inexpensive, and portable. He didn’t find much. Shortly after, Alden quit modeling to study Biological Engineering at the University of Maine which is where he began to supplement his dietary and performance knowledge with scientific principles. His dedication to studying and fitness was unyielding. But with class all day, grueling 2.5 hour runs in the evening and the most basic meal plan, Alden needed constant and sustained energy. His meal plan simply wasn’t sufficient and it was quickly maxed-out.
Fortunately, his food and fitness research had prepared him to find a solution. A trip to the local health food store provided the ingredients necessary to continue developing his energy bars, and campus took notice. After watching his friends eat unhealthy college food, Alden started selling them his vitalizing superfood dough out of a backpack. They loved the way it tasted, he loved the way it made them feel better. The Redd bar prototype, branded “Rawgasms,” was born. Demand increased, and Alden, never someone to give less than 100 percent, dropped out to put everything he had into, what became, “Redd”. From hand-wrapping bars in his room, to meticulously testing his first recipe, to collaborating on the sleek packaging design, Alden has never stopped perfecting his products.
What is your brand's story?
Better for the planet and our bodies, R.E.D.D. offers a new generation of plant-based nutrition delivering a unique balance of low sugar, high fiber energy from hand-crafted recipes that are truly delicious. Each R.E.D.D. product contains plant-based protein and is packed with superfoods, adaptogens, and pre + probiotics. Certified vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and kosher.