Kristi Knoblich Palmer
I first became acquainted with Kiva Confections when a friend of mine passed me one of their tiny blueberry/chocolate confections. You know the ones, the tiny infused blueberries are offered in a lovely tin, enrobed in lusciously smooth chocolate, without a tinge of the grittiness that sometimes plagues lesser brands of THC infused chocolates. These tiny gems come micro-dosed, as not to overwhelm the beginner by too much THC, too fast. You'd have to eat a couple handfuls to really get buzzed, and I don't think that's the reasoning behind these infused treats. They do pack a nice buzz, so start slowly as I always recommend. Try one, wait an hour or so if you need more, take more. Otherwise sit back and enjoy the good feeling. The chocolates are beguiling too from a product standpoint. They are soft across the tongue and teeth, well blended buttery and rich to the mouth. The blueberries are perfectly ripe and plump. A gorgeous treat that also gets you buzzed. A win/win for people like myself who enjoy medicating without drawing attention to ourselves. When you light up a joint, no matter what state (of mind, or otherwise), you are in- it's going to attract all kinds of attention. But pluck a couple Kiva Blueberries into your mouth and all is better. It's uncanny to think that everything should be sweet- Kiva is well balanced in the flavor quotient. Not too sweet, just right.
I like what I've tasted from Kiva. They seem to really enjoy flavors, just like myself. It's refreshing to see such passion in our industry. That is the cannabis industry, of course!
Photo: Kiva Confections
Kristi is the co-founder of Kiva Confections, the brand that is innovating the cannabis industry through the concept of micro-dosing. Kiva products are available in over 550 dispensaries across 6 states with Kiva's Blueberry Terra bites are the #1 best selling cannabis infused chocolate product in the country. Kiva's goal is to make edibles both a premium cannabis experience AND a wonderful culinary experience. They source the finest ingredients from around the world to make our confections.
WB: Where are you from?
KKP: I grew up in the Bay Area, California and went to school in Castro Valley, CA. My connection to the area runs deep. I am a 4th generation dweller of the area and my husband and I just bought our first home here, with hopes to someday bring in the 5th generation. The bay also provided the perfect environment in which to raise a cannabis company.
WB: Why cannabis over say, a traditional business career?
KKP: A traditional business career was something I never considered. I had planned to be a photographer, and it was along that path that I met my husband, Kiva’s CEO and co-founder, Scott Palmer. But when it became clear that photography wasn’t paying the bills, we turned to cannabis and never looked back. The cannabis industry is really fun and mildly addictive — a little like the plant itself, I guess. We are in love with the exciting and challenging nature of the business and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
WB: Tell me about your company. What are your six month goals? One year?
KKP: Kiva is a team of over 100 extraordinary people who are passionate about furthering the acceptance of cannabis with innovative edible products. It's a wild ride we're on, trying to pioneer a burgeoning industry, so at the company things are fast-paced, intense, ever changing, and super exciting. We don't ever forget to have fun, which would be impossible to do anyway because we’re never more than an arm’s reach from cannabis.
In the next six months, we plan to launch some fun, new flavors of our existing products. Within a year, we plan to have some totally new edible product categories. We don't launch a product unless we feel its damn-near perfect; one year should allow us to get the quality level people have come to expect from Kiva. In addition to product will also be market expansion. New states come on-line all the time now; we will chase down the next big opportunities outside our home state of California.
WB: Do you cook? Culinary School? What are your influences? Is there anything that you prepare at home that brings a tear to your eye? Why?
KKP: There’s this onions dish I make that really brings a tear to my eye, yes. (Dad joke!) I’m like an imposter-chef. I really don't like to cook, but I married a foodie who loves the latest cooking gadgets and obscure ingredients — the more complicated the recipe, the better it tastes! he believes — so I have challenged myself to master 10 killer staples before I die. I make a mean bone broth. I have been schooled in culinary (Scott and I can’t agree on how to cook the turkey, so we each make our own and then determine the winner of the turkey cook-off; he wins by a land slide every time, but it takes him 8 hours of hands-on time to do it, so is that really winning?), but I have not attended culinary school.
WB: What about flavor? What are your culinary influences?
KKP: Flavor is everything in Kiva products. Often times cannabis edible companies ignore flavor in favor of function, especially in the old days (this has 10,000 mg THC and tastes like hash!) but that has never been the Kiva way. If I go to a restaurant where the food is bad, I never go back a second time. We look for unique flavors that marry well with the cannabis taste, rather than completely cover it up or let it be the primary flavor component We are starting to play with more mainstream flavors now, too, but we don't intend to lose our flavor edge.
WB: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would that be? Doing what?
KKP: I would be on this Southwest flight into the Bay Area, answering these questions, of course! I do absolutely love what I do. But since you asked, I could use a month-long trip to Hydra, Greece where Scott and I got married, and we would invite our friends and family, drink wine, go for a hike, swim in the Mediterranean, and consume some edibles. All knowing that soon we would be back with the team in California pounding out some delicious cannabis edibles and bringing our A-game to our loyal Kiva-fans.
Warren Bobrow, the Cocktail Whisperer, is the multi-published author of six books. Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, Whiskey Cocktails: