Boulderites and husband and wife team, Rob and Tania McCormack, are taking the simplicity of an all-American favorite and have conceptualized a convenient product with authentic, flavorful ingredients. Their company, Fishski Provisions, produces a prepackaged macaroni and cheese made with GMO free pasta and peppers, with the added bonus of sustainability. Sold in recyclable plastic and paper packaging, the new design is complete with a 2 cup water line for accurate measuring, making it an ideal option for the active, outdoorsy, Colorado lifestyle.
“I personally used to eat a lot of boxed Mac n’ cheese when Rob was out of town and whenever I made it, I would throw in other things,” says Tania McCormack, co-owner of Fishski Provisions. “The flavors were soft so I used to add spices or vegetables. We were backpacking last summer and we decided to try and do that from scratch.”
Some supermarket research yielded that there were no other products like it available and the McCormack’s saw a niche. After tasting a plethora of different dried cheeses, Fishski opted for a secret combination that she says “has a nice cheddary, blue cheese hint to it.”
By happenstance while attending a wedding, the McCormack’s met their pasta distributors, Zerega. Originally started in Brooklyn, New York in 1848, Zerega is known as the first pasta company in the United States.
To specialize their Mac n’ cheese they began by experimenting with green and red chiles, sourcing from a family in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area that has been roasting peppers for over 100 years.
“My favorite is the green chili,” says McCormack. “We spent the fall making sure the recipe was solid and by December we felt confident to sell.”
Fishski sent us samples of both and we agree that the green chili has a little extra kick we really dig.
Since April 2017, Fishski Provisions has been available in Lucky supermarkets in Longmont, Boulder and Table Mesa, Colorado along with Hazel’s Beverage World. Their local presence plus additional online sales, with a heavy demographic in the New York area, accounts for over 2,700 bags sold to date.
Fishski is planning to grow their brand to include more variety, adding more vegetable combinations, a gluten free option and jalapeño grits. Flavors like Sriracha and ranch are popular requests and will help inspire what comes next.
“You don’t need milk or butter, only 2 cups of water,” says McCormack. “So it’s great for camping. We’re trying to bring back that richness of real Mac n’ cheese.”
The McCormack’s donate a portion of the profits to a rotation of different philanthropic organizations. The current benificiary is Boulder Flycasters, a chapter of Trout Unlimited, a cold water conservation group.
The mantra of Fishski Provisions is to bring interesting flavors to people and encourage consumers to try new things.
“Your whole life is an adventure and eating is a part of that,” says McCormack. “So, eat for an adventure.”