“You don’t have to convince someone to eat an apple because it’s gluten-free,” said Grant LeBeau, son of Rickaroons creator Rick LeBeau, and co-founder of the company. “It’s the same for us. Rickaroons have ingredients that happen to be gluten-free.
“We’re not an imitation of another product. We didn’t try to reverse engineer bread by putting in 50 filler ingredients to get to a bread-like product. Rickaroons are just naturally gluten-free and naturally delicious.”
Rickaroons officially began business in 2013 when Grant and Rick began selling their energy bars — made with shredded coconut, coconut palm nectar, cocoa beans, dark chocolate chips, sunflower lecithin, and blended almonds — at local farmers markets. But the original “Rickaroon” was created 12 years before when Rick set out to make a gluten-free cookie for his girlfriend, who at the time was battling multiple sclerosis.
“This was back before we had all these gluten-free options and the doctor said she had to cut out gluten from her diet,” said Grant, who was in middle school at the time. “She told my dad, ‘If you love me, you’ll make me a chocolate chip cookie that I can eat.’”
Rick — who was also a vegan triathlete — had a cookie business with his girlfriend called “Ultimate Naturals.” The two shared a love for baked goods and his girlfriend’s request for a wheatless cookie became the foundation of Rick’s Rickaroons. Though Ultimate Naturals was not able to be sustained through the 2008 recession, Rick says he, “never stopped improving the recipe for Rickaroons.”
“I would make them as often as I would run out, which was usually every couple of weeks,” said Rick. “And I always had the intention of starting up the cookie company again.”
In 2012, Rick and Grant joined forces after Grant graduated from college and collaborated with Grant’s sisters, Stevie and Christina Schweighart to help oversee sales, marketing, graphic design, and accounting. Rick, the team’s only baker, began coming up with new flavors like Megaroons, with chia seeds and cacao nibs, Mocha, with dark chocolate espresso, Peanut Butter Protein with peanut butter, pumpkin seed protein and dark chocolate, as well as Mint To Be.
“That one’s my favorite,” said Grant. “It’s our answer to a Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie. But our Chocolate Blonde with dark chocolate and coconut, that’s been the best seller since day one.”
“I love them all,” added Rick. “Whichever one I’m eating is my favorite.”
The Chocolate Blonde, originally called “The Origaroon” was the prototype Rick gave to his girlfriend as her own, custom-made chocolate chip cookie. While she was able to see Rickaroons gain speed up until 2015, Rick’s girlfriend eventually passed away. Rick and Grant make sure Rickaroons stays connected to its roots, participating in fundraisers such as the Susan G. Koman: Race for the Cure, San Diego County Credit Union Walk MS, and Walk MS: San Diego.
Rickaroons is also available at more locations than just on Amazon or the company website. Megaroons, Mint To Bes, and Mochas can all be found at Jimbo’s Naturally!, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market, Juice Kaboose, and Cardiff Seaside Market. Each box of Rickaroons holds 12 cookies and is priced at $25. Currently, Rickaroons is also working on a nut-free and chocolate-free line of cookies.
“It’s funny how there are so many different groups of people that end up gravitating naturally towards Rickaroons,” said Grant. “We’ve had women tell us that we were their food-of-choice during pregnancy and for breast-feeding because our cookies are higher in plant fat and lower in sugar. So, it’s fun hearing who we end up being supported by and who we end up working for.”
Grant added: “Like it says on our site, this all starting for ‘love for a strong woman and a healthy lifestyle.’ We’re excited to continue to share our family’s recipe and mission to feed the world in a way that’s good for the planet, good for their bodies and good for their taste buds.”
Are Rickaroons a dessert or a healthy snack?
Both. Rickaroons were created by Rick LeBeau as a clean-burning energy food for pre or post workouts. Since LeBeau is both a lifelong health-conscious athlete and a lifelong dessert connoisseur, Rickaroons turned out to be a delicious dessert as well. So eat Rickaroons any time of day and feel good about the dietary choice you've made. For more information, visit rickaroons.com.