POSTED BY: KEELEY
With all the craziness in the business lately, its always fun to think back to the very beginning of the company. I remember right around when we began making peanut butter, we were just trying to find friends to take it off our hands so we wouldn’t eat it all!
One day during Journalism class, I had forgotten my water bottle, and I borrowed an empty Mason jar from my friend Kalie. Rather than return an empty jar, I brought her jar back full of our very first batch of Chocolate Espresso peanut butter! As one of the first samplers of our peanut butter, Kalie can certainly testament that what we sell now tastes much better than our first crazy experiments!
Not only has Kalie always been a loyal Wild Squirrel supporter but she is also an incredibly inspiring student, barista, cyclist, outdoors enthusiast and all around awesome woman! Read on for her insights on fun trips, sibling love, and yummy camping food :)
Hey Kalie! Let start with the basics — where do you go to school/what are you studying?
I’m a 20-year-old journalism major at the University of Oregon, but I’m also studying women’s and gender studies, as well as ethnic studies.
That sounds like a pretty busy schedule! Do you have a job outside of school?
As a college student, I’m so lucky to have two on-campus jobs at the UO. I work as a barista and baker at a coffee shop in the Erb Memorial Union, where my job includes making lattes, baking cupcakes, and then consuming the leftovers. I also am an Event Coordinator at the university’s Outdoor Program. At the Outdoor Program I can exercise my passion for the outdoors with a community of people who share the love of self-propelled adventure! Working at the OP also allows to me connect with those who have the same interests as me. I spend my time creating posters and publicizing for cool events on and off campus.
She’s riding a stationary bike to help POWER a local music festival… Awesome, right?
Besides school and work, how do you fill your time? What are your passions?
When I’m not in class or at work, I’m either away rock climbing/exploring for the weekend or making dinner with my friends and roommates. What is even better is when these two things combine, and I get to make delicious dinners at camp after a long day of climbing in the sun. For some reason cooking is so much more rewarding when it’s done on a tiny stove, prepared with dirty hands and eaten with your best friend while the sun sets on an epic day.
So I guess she’s not afraid of heights..!
Who/what inspires you?
It may sound corny, but the people who inspire me most are my siblings. I have three siblings and we are all very close in age. Because of our close-ness in age (only five years between the oldest and youngest child), we’ve always been huge influences on each other. When my brothers graduated from college last year and they were swept up by “real jobs” and paying back student loans, I quickly learned how important it is to embrace the freedom of my youth. They keep me grounded when I’m feeling most stressed about my future. My younger sister, so laid-back and confident, forces me to face the things that make me most uncomfortable or anxious. Every thing about each of my siblings inspires me to be the best version of myself that I can be.
Cutest siblings… ever.
What was your most recent great vacation/trip?
For spring break, my friends and I spent 11 days on rock climbing trip in Red Rocks, Nevada! We camped right outside Las Vegas and spent every day on the beautiful orange-colored rock, climbing til we couldn’t move. We always try to explore a new climbing hotspot each spring break (last year it was bouldering in Bishop, California!). Despite the 16 hour drive and 70 mph winds, so far Red Rocks has been my favorite spot. On our rest day we hiked through winding canyons along the Colorado River to a secluded natural hot spring where we soaked our tired muscles. I always look forward to spring break each year as a break from technology and showers, and this year did not disappoint!
What are some of your favorite foods to make while climbing/camping — any cool recipes to share?
My go-to snacks are just ideas that I’ve copied from others. A snack that my climbing partner SWEARS by, is a “Peanut Butter Honey Roll-up”. He spreads a thick layer of peanut butter on a flour tortilla, drizzles honey on top of it and then rolls it up and eats it! He never leaves camp without this.
For breakfast, a friend of ours taught us to make a meal he calls “Hashbrown Happiness”. He shreds two potatoes into a skillet with a little bit of olive oil and breaks up brocoli to add to it. Near the end he cracks several eggs into the skillet and sprinkles some cheese over the top. We now love this meal so much that we make it at home too.
Enjoying a packet of Vanilla Espresso almond butter on the go!
What is your favorite flavor of Wild Squirrel?
My two favorite flavors of Wild Squirrel are Cinnamon Raisin and Vanilla Espresso! I like the Cinnamon Raison flavor on bagels and rice cakes, but I eat the Vanilla Espresso just by itself!
What’s your next adventure? Anything new/exciting you are learning how to do?
My next adventure is kayaking the McKenzie River in an inflatable kayak for my roommate’s birthday! It will be our first time floating the McKenzie outside of a raft, and we’re so excited to try it out!
Kalie, you’re awesome!