Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments – A Year in Review

The past 365 days have been a whirlwind of new ventures, memories and milestones for our team, and we can’t wait to embark on another successful year in 2017. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’d like to share some of our favorite highlights of 2016.

Without further adieu, here are our sweetest moments of 2016!

Providing Sweet Experiences for All

Bert Cohen founded Surf Sweets in 2008 with one mission in mind–to offer delicious and guilt-free sweets for anytime enjoyment by anyone, regardless of food restriction. Since then, nothing brings bigger smiles to our faces than when we receive letters telling us how our allergy-friendly, clean-ingredient treats are bringing safe snacking options to homes like yours. From providing a child living with food allergies with safe-to-eat jelly beans, to offering a recovering patient their first sweet treat in months, we’re honored to hear and see the ways in which our squiggly sweets facilitate magical memories for our community.

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in ReviewOur 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Fun Fan Art


We love seeing the creative ways our fans weave Surf Sweets into the lives of their families. The stories, posts and pictures that you share with us online truly brighten our days. One of our most imaginative fan creations of the year came from Kathy Thornburg. We love her cinematic candy creations featuring our Watermelon Rings and Peach Rings. What do you think?

Raising Allergy Awareness


Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

As a supplier of top 10 allergen-free treats, we love looking for opportunities to support and promote allergy awareness, a cause near and dear to us. Did you know that 15 million Americans live with food allergies? This fall, Surf Sweets partnered with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and their annual series of FARE Walks to raise awareness and funds for individuals living with food allergies. FARE’s mission is “to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.” We were honored to join forces with this worthy cause and help serve up some fun, games, education and a few sweet surprises just in time for Halloween!

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Fun Blogger Creations

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Throughout the years, we’ve scoured the internet and have discovered truly impressive blogs that offer everything from party planning tips, to creative parenting hacks and allergy-friendly recipe ideas and more. These bloggers and their helpful insights have brought warmth, deliciousness and increased productivity to our days. And, we especially love when they incorporate Surf Sweets treats into their content, like these delicious Dark Cocoa Brownies from Heartbeet Kitchen and these Teacher Appreciation Day Treat Labels from Casa Moncada.

Surf Sweets Touches Down at Target!

2016 was a year of big announcement for Surf Sweets, but this one was definitely one of our personal favorites! On April 10th, Surf Sweets became available for purchase at participating Target stores across the United States. Seeing our Fruity Bears and Gummy Worms dot the aisles of one of the USA’s most popular retailers was truly unforgettable–and only eclipsed by the excitement of our fans!

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Our Famous Fans


Superstars need super snacks. That’s where Surf Sweets comes in! This year we were elated to see some of our most followed fans share their love and Surf Sweets with their online and IRL [“in real life”] communities.

Christian Covington, Defensive End for for the Houston Texans, handed out our allergy friendly goodies to lucky boys & ghouls on Halloween.

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Stand-out soccer team, The Chicago Red Stars, stocked their locker room with organic Fruity Bears during the season, proving these incredible athletes run on clean ingredients.

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

The former queen of Bayside High, Tiffani Theissen, told the Love With Food community that it was impossible to eat just one of our jelly beans. P.S. She was right!

And reality star, Kourtney Kardashian, spread her love of better-for-you candy on Snapchat!

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

2016 has been a year of exceptional memories. What were some of your sweetest moments in 2016? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you, From Surf Sweets

Thank you, From Surf Sweets

Dear Surf Sweets customers,

2016 has been an amazing year for Surf Sweets, and we definitely couldn’t have done it without you.

When Bert Cohen founded the company in 2008, he wanted to create a brand that embodied a healthy, active lifestyle and provided consumers with clean ingredient, allergy friendly, great tasting treats — the very things he valued as a father.

Since then, we’ve been proud to serve our customers by providing treats that kids love and that their parents don’t have to worry about. We use ingredients you can read, from the highest quality sources, and we work to show that health and taste are never mutually exclusive ideas. In addition to using the best ingredients, our commitment to health and safety carries into our treat-making processes. We use allergy-friendly facilities, and everything we make is safe for almost anyone to enjoy.

As we continue to grow, we appreciate you — our customers — for being more than just valued consumers of what we make. You don’t just enjoy our products, but you share them with those you love: taking them to school, giving them to friends and families, sharing our content on social media – being the very best ambassadors that we could ever ask for. Day after day, we are humbled by your support.

Now, as our family has grown into the new Wholesome! family, we plan to keep the innovation coming. We will continue to create the products you trust and find new ways to give back to the world in which we live. Since 2001, Wholesome Sweeteners has had the same commitment as Surf Sweets to make the world a healthier place. We pioneered the Fair Trade certification process for sugar in North America in 2005 and we’ve given more than $11 million to farming and beekeeping cooperatives in the developing world. That means that the families who farm our ingredients will be treated fairly and given the opportunity to take care of their families and communities.

All of these things, we can do because of you. We thank you for being our most valuable resource, and we are looking forward to another amazing year.

Olu Beck

CEO of Wholesome!

better for you blogs

Our Favorite Better-For-You Blogs

There are many reasons to love the internet. It keeps loved ones connected, it allows us to discover far away lands and learn new things from the comfort of our keyboards, and if you’re anything like us, it makes it easier to access the latest and greatest content from your favorite bloggers.

Whether you’re into watersports, party planning tips, yummy (and healthy) recipes, living with food allergies, decorating advice or any and everything in between; there’s likely a blog–or seven–covering your intended topic area. While perusing the world wide web, we’ve come across some blogs that are as sweet as candy and helpful to boot! There are so many bloggers that are parents and healthy living advocates that we love! This is a list of our favorite bloggers who help us live better-for-us lives!


Naturally Savvy

Our Favorite Better-For-You Blogs

If you’re a regular reader of the Surf Sweets blog, then you’re aware of our love affair with Naturally Savvy. A quick look at their website will show you why. With informative alternagraphics, advice on organic living and a strong emphasis on self-care; Naturally Savvy has proven to be an essential resource for parents seeking to bring more balance, harmony and healthful habits into their homes.

Martha Stewart

Holiday decor ideas? Check. Healthy and hearty recipes? Check. Expert hosting tips? Check.

Martha Stewart has been wowing audiences with Pinterest-worthy crafts and lifestyle advice for decades and her website is continuing to do the same. Ms. Stewart has literally written the book (several, actually) on entertaining; so it only made sense to include her in our round-up of favorite blogs! We love navigating to Martha’s site when looking to impress guests, indulge in some do-it-yourself crafting or are seeking healthy alternatives to Easter basket goodies.

Fork and Beans

Our favorite better for you bloggers

At Surf Sweets we pride ourselves on offering candy that is free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and the top 10 allergens. We do this because we believe in providing yummy snack options that everyone can enjoy. Cara, of Fork and Beans, is also dedicated to supplying wholesome and delicious options to individuals living with dietary restrictions. Cara says it best in her own words, “Fork and Beans is a site where people with dietary restrictions will not only feel normal, but find that eating without certain ingredients can still be good.” With recipes like Lemony Hummus Crab Dip, we think she’s succeeded in making allergen friendly food fun!


Tracy Bush is a renaissance woman. An author, blogger, food allergy consultant, self-professed “kitchen geek” and more, she brings a sense of humor and extensive food knowledge to her ever updated blog roll. If you’re in need of allergy friendly food product reviews, recipes and advice, Tracy is your gal!

Simply Gluten Free

Our Favorite Better-For-You Blogs


One thing’s for certain, the blog content on Simply Gluten Free is simply amazing! From gluten free flower  cupcakes featuring Surf Sweets jelly beans to quick and easy midweek meal ideas, this food blog has a delectable collection of recipes that people living with and without dietary restrictions will love!

Mommy’s Me Time

Being a mom is incredibly fun and rewarding; but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without it’s fair share of hard challenges. That’s where Amber of Mommy’s Me Time comes in. Recognizing that even superheroes (a.k.a. moms) need encouragement, she created her blog to be a space for busy moms to get some well-deserved inspiration and confidence boosts. If you’re looking for a network of support or a few mommy related LOLs, Mommy’s Me Time is the place for you!

The Allergy Free Wife

Our Favorite Better-For-You Blogs


The Allergy Wife is a woman on a mission. As a NYC residend and travel-loving city dweller living with a gluten intolerance, she’s committed her life–and her blog– to finding “the best places, products and services for allergy free living.” Best of all, she’s sharing all of her secrets spots and tricks of the trade with all of us! Follow her blog for gems such as allergen-free city guides to exotic locales like Mexico City and gluten-free food swaps!

Raising Whasians

In need of fun, creative and engaging activities to do with your kids? Christie of Raising Whasians has you covered. With an encyclopedia-like index of crafts, recipes, reviews and more; this blog equips twenty-first century parents with everything they need to keep their kiddos entertained. We love this souped up list of kids crafts for fall!


Our Favorite Better-For-You Blogs

Many parents know the struggle of getting children to happily eat healthy meals featuring good for you ingredients. When it comes to kiddos scarfing down their vegetables, the dinner table can quickly turn into the negotiating table. Enter Weelicious. With irresistible recipes specifically formatted for toddlers and out of this world school lunch suggestions,  this site is our go-to online destination for “fast, fresh and easy family recipes”.


What are some of your favorite lifestyle and/or healthy living blogs? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!





Surf Sweets Contest

Back-To-School Photo Contest

Celebrate a new school year with Surf Sweets! Enter our Sweet Smiles Back-To-School Photo Contest for a chance to win Upload to win a candy prize pack from Surf Sweets and Dabbawalla bags!

Entering only takes one step! Simply upload a picture of your sweet smile to the form below:

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what does it mean to be organic?

What Does it Mean to Be Organic?

TV shows, the Internet, other parents on the playground — everyone is buzzing about organic living. So, you may have decided to check it out, finding yourself in the grocery aisle staring at food packaging. But, like many other buzz words, it can all be a bit confusing. When a product is labeled “organic,” what does that really say? Let’s break down the word and talk about what it means for you, your family, and your lifestyle.

What Does it mean to be organic?

What Does Organic Living Really Mean?

In the simplest literal term, organic means that something is chemical-free. But, there’s a cultural aspect to organic living, too! It means that you are choosing to buy items that are good for you, your family, and the environment. And, this extends past just food. Organic living entails more than just what you eat, but also what daily products you use, what clothes you wear, and what choices you make every day. It involves being aware of what chemicals you are exposed to and what effects they have on the environment.

Let’s use what we eat as an example. Historically, agriculture didn’t involve using extra chemicals to help crops grow a certain way. Meat was processed without steroids. But now, it’s common practice to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides in farming and to use hormones in meat processing. These chemical enhancements became more common because they help food producers make more food and control aspects like size and color.

But, this level of scientific control can have negative effects — both on the health of those who are consuming these modified products and the environment that receives all of the product waste. These chemicals can be dangerous, even more for growing children who are more susceptible to toxins than adults.

Organic vs. Non-organic: How Do I Know?

Organic food and items are definitely different from those that are non-organic, although sometimes, that difference isn’t a visual one.

You can be in the produce aisle looking at two cartons of strawberries that seem the same, except the difference is huge. Strawberries are grown with an alarming amount of pesticides compared to the average amount used. While an average 25 pounds of pesticides are used per acre for crops, a whopping 300 pounds are applied to every acre of strawberries. That’s 12 times the amount of pesticides which long-term toxic effects can cause harm.

So, it is important to know if what you think is organic actually is. When shopping at a store, your first step is to look for a USDA organic seal. It’s only given to products that reach very specific guidelines such as preserving natural resources, support animal health, and omitting any genetically modified ingredients.

How are Organic Brands Different?

Brands that have products that are certified organic, such as Surf Sweets, seek to eliminate the unnatural barrier between ingredients and your taste buds. They provide people with a safer, healthier alternative that benefits families and helps with the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. This process starts from the very beginning because every sourced ingredient is safe for the environment and for the people that are growing them.

Okay, I’m convinced! How do I do it?

From the elimination of toxins to increase in nutrients and taste, organic eating is worth the effort. Not sure how to start? Here three simple ways to start living more organically today.

1. Check the labels.

Grocery stores now make it easier than ever to spot organic items from their non-organic twins. Look at the PLU number. If it’s organic, it will contain five digits that start with ‘9.’ If you’re at a farmer’s market where items may not be labeled with stickers, you can always ask the seller to see his or her certification paperwork.

A product’s ingredient list is also an easy way to see how organic it is. Organic food companies are often transparent about the ingredients they use so if you look at the label on a product or online, you will probably recognize them all.

2. Start a small vegetable garden.

When you grow your own food, you know exactly what is in it. Start a garden with a few of your favorite vegetables and make it a fun family project! You can use organic seeds to start and then create your own compost as a fertilizer. Greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and root vegetables like carrots are easy to grow and perfect for your family’s dinner salad.

What Does It Mean To Be Organic?

3. Make your own cleaning products.

Most cleaning products, even those you use in your kitchen, contain a ton of chemicals. Instead of using those, create your own. Many natural items found in your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator such as vinegar, lemon, and salt can do a great job of cleaning with little or no added chemicals.

Remember that choosing to live a more organic life can make a huge impact even with small steps. It can take some time, practice and patience, but even simple measures, like choosing sustainably made clothing or eating candy with organic ingredients can make a big difference in your lives.


Is organic living important to you? Show us how and what products help you live organically on Facebook or Instagram! We’d love to hear from you!


Snack pack giveaway announcement

Class Party Giveaway

To celebrate the start of a new school year, we’re giving away 5 sets of 30 Fruity Bears snack packs– that’s enough for a class party!

Fruity Bears are:

  • Made with organic fruit juice
  • Free of the top 10 most common food allergens
  • Free of artificial dyes, artificial flavors and HFCS
  • Verified non-GMO
  • Made in a nut-free facility
  • Certified gluten-free
  • Vegan

Entering only takes one step! Try out your luck below:

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Talking to teachers about your child's needs

How to Communicate Your Child’s Needs at School: 14 Guides for Parents

It’s hard to verbalize the gratitude, happiness and peace of mind when a teacher or school administrator becomes an advocate for your child. Sometimes, when your child may have a specific need (like a dietary restriction) a little extra communication and education is required between parents and the school.

However, it can be hard to know where to start with those conversations. To help get you more school-year wins, we’ve compiled some of the best guides for talking to your child’s school about their needs, whatever those may be.

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How to Preserve Your Child’s Imagination

Summer break is just around the corner. When vacation season is in full swing, your child’s playtime can easily transition into time spent on Netflix in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

It can be easy, tempting even, to hand our kids the family iPad and a solid WiFi connection to keep them engaged when they’re bored (or preoccupied when we’re busy). Fortunately, there are ways to keep your children entertained while getting lost in something other than the internet.

For ages children have saved planets, wrestled dragons and sailed the seven seas all before snack time. With a healthy dose of imagination, so much is possible. Imagination: it’s the one thing kids the world over never seem to have in short supply; and it’s easy to rekindle with the right tools. Sometimes kids need a little motivation to ditch their Nintendo 3DS in favor of a trip to the sandbox.

Here are six tips to preserve your child’s imagination while pumping up their summer fun!

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