By Shannon Harts
As we embrace longer, sunnier days with some welcome warmth, today’s Made in the FLX product can be the perfect complement to a spring or summer snack of local produce: It’s Ithaca Hummus.
As its name suggests, Ithaca Hummus made its first appearance at the Ithaca Farmer’s market in 2013.
Chris Kirby, the creator of Ithaca Hummus who still runs the company today, said he showed up to that farmer’s market, “with a cooler of fresh lemon garlic hummus and a dream.” He also brought with him experience working as a restaurant chef and a lifelong dedication to wholesome food.
“I wanted to prove it was possible to produce food on a commercial scale using nothing but real food ingredients and a process that respects their natural beauty,” Kirby said via email.
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice was an important ingredient in this first batch of hummus Chris made, and it continues to be a major aspect of many of Ithaca Hummus’s appealing and slightly tangy flavors today.
Ithaca Hummus was so successful at the Ithaca Farmers market that it made its way into Wegmans only about a year later. Today it is also available at many other recognizable national retailers including Publix, Whole Foods and Target.
“Through the early support of the Ithaca community, fellow artisans, and all those who gave us a chance to show the world what we’re made of, today Ithaca Hummus can be found in grocery stores nationwide,” Kirby said.
FingerLakes Farms is a valued distributor of Ithaca Hummus. The company also works with the distributors UNFI and KeHe, which help certified organic and other products made with natural integrity make their way onto grocery store shelves around the U.S.
Although today Ithaca Hummus travels to stores around the country, it’s still made in the Finger Lakes region. Specifically, it’s made at LiDestri in Rochester—the facility that also makes LoveBeets which appeared in our Fall 2020 issue. At this facility, Ithaca Hummus is made without preservatives with a cold-press process that preserves the integrity of the fresh ingredients, according to Ithaca Hummus’s website. These authentic flavors have helped Ithaca Hummus cultivate a dedicated following in the Ithaca area and beyond.
“The gratitude we have for our fans and supporters is inexpressible, and we promise to always do our best for you,” Kirby said.
Learn more by visiting ithacahummus.com.
Made in the FLX is a weekly column highlighting the small scale food producers of the Finger Lakes. Each week we will feature a locally made food product that is distributed widely throughout the region and beyond, showcasing the strength and quality of our local resources. If you know of a product we should feature, please email firstname.lastname@example.org