Martha Pincoffs: She’s the Original Grainster

January 11 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Come and Get It!

When you get home from a long day of listening to your colleague Randy ramble on about how overworked he is, the last thing you probably want to do is whip up a homemade meal. Generations of busy women before us definitely felt this way too. That’s why dining out has long been a welcome option for those who could afford it. But the price of dining out has increased significantly, putting a whole new spin on the phrase “bringing home the bacon.” For instance, did you know that in 1838, a mere quarter would buy you a perfectly cooked steak? In 1912, 50 cents would get you an entire meal at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco—including dessert. And as recently as 1966, for a little more than two bucks, you could sit down to a fully prepared Christmas dinner. Talk about a meal deal!


When you have a food allergy, dining out may not be an option, particularly if you avoid gluten. Given the health benefits, many folks are opting to exclude gluten from their diets these days. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that one in five Americans actively work to include gluten-free foods in their meals. While gluten is enemy No. 1 for people with celiac disease, the Mayo Clinic found most Americans who live a gluten-free lifestyle haven’t been formally diagnosed with the disease, but simply prefer the way ditching the gluten makes them feel.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Martha Pincoffs, Founder of Hot Dang Burgers

Today’s Woman to Watch is on a mission to empower people with real, good food. And though she’s the creative mind behind one heck of a tasty concoction, her path to culinary success wasn’t cooked up overnight. It all started when Martha Pincoffs, a trained chef and cooking instructor, was challenged by her sig-o to cook every meal—using locally available ingredients—at home for a year. Martha agreed, and began creating healthy recipes for her family.

Of course, this is easier said than done for most of us. Keeping a well-stocked kitchen and cooking daily is no easy feat, but Martha accepted the challenge wholeheartedly, anticipating she’d spend the year learning more about homegrown vittles and saving some money. One day, Martha hastily whipped up a grain-based veggie burger for her family. It was an absolute hit, and friends who’d visit for dinner began regularly requesting Martha’s veggie burger. That gave Martha the bright idea to turn her homemade experiment into a business. That’s when she launched Hot Dang Burgers.

Martha debuted her Hot Dang Burgers at a farmers market and before long, the popularity of her product enabled her to land it in local grocery stores and eventually supermarkets in nearly half the United States, including Whole Foods.

Nowadays, Hot Dang sells four types of veggie burgers consisting of beans, barley, rice and other simple ingredients. Martha suggests eating Hot Dang Burgers in the classic fashion, but also crumbled over salads, cooked into enchiladas, sprinkled on a baked sweet potato—you name it. Hot Dang even offers breakfast toasters, gluten-free, protein-rich bites of morning goodness in flavors like maple pecan, cinnamon raisin, and berries and seeds.

In addition to this “original grainster” founding Hot Dang Burgers, Martha also recently worked as the president of Hat Creek Provisions, a fermented-food biz that’s definitely the real dill!

Martha’s yearlong kitchen experiment led to some life-changing experiences for her, and while she admits success is great, she says what’s most rewarding is that those culinary adventures enabled her to be the most authentic version of herself. Well, hot dang!


Let’s finish up today’s story with Martha Pincoffs’ favorite quote from research professor Brené Brown:

“You can be scared and brave at the exact same time.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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