Food News

Phoenix Is Sweet On Earth Sugar's Raw Organic Snacks

Earth Sugar's colorful packaging.
Earth Sugar's colorful packaging. Jennifer Meyers
“I sleep three hours a night and crank out a hundred cakes a week,” says Jennifer Meyers, chief confectionist at the Phoenix-based superfood confectionary called Earth Sugar. “I like to say I’m creating the purest form of joy.”

Meyers, right now a one-woman show, is pitching raw organic desserts made from whole foods. Her top product, Super Bark Classic Crunch, is a blend of cashews, dates, coconut and mesquite topped with cacao crunch, maple drizzle and sea salt crystals.

“I’m basically taking ingredients that have been around since the beginning of ancient time and blending them with sweetness that comes from trees, bees, plants and seeds,” she says. “My goal is to create decadent, tasty food that you can enjoy regardless of your dietary preference — things made without all the processing and icky ingredients that are taking a toll on our overall well-being.”

Meyers grew up in small-town New Jersey, where her grandparents ran a meat market and grocery that sold homegrown fruits and vegetables and ethnic pantry items. Her other grandmother was an English teacher who taught Meyers to write.


“So growing up I knew food and how to put a story on paper, and I figured one of those would be my life,” she says.

Writing won out over baking, at least at first. At Penn State, Meyers studied journalism and ran the university’s lifestyle magazine. Then something happened to her stomach.

click to enlarge You'll find no gums or tapioca fiber in Jennifer Meyers' Earth Sugar treats. - JENNIFER MEYERS
You'll find no gums or tapioca fiber in Jennifer Meyers' Earth Sugar treats.
Jennifer Meyers

“I didn’t know what it was,” she says. “But literally overnight I went from being able to eat anything, and my garbage disposal of a belly would digest it, to not being able to eat anything without getting sick.”

Meyers was eventually diagnosed with a serious digestive illness known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO. She switched to a gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free diet, stopped eating processed foods and began reading the ingredients list on every grocery item she bought.


“I learned about how these horrible foods affect your skin, your mood, your hormones, your eyesight,” she says. “I wanted to do something to change that for other people.”

On a whim, she booked a flight to Phoenix from her post-college home in New York City. While she was here, she met her boyfriend and decided to stay and see if she couldn’t make a go of confection-making.

She launched Earth Sugar in March with what was meant to be a test run.

click to enlarge Earth Sugar's Caramel Candy Microcake has a soft almond crust, gate butter caramel and a snappy cacao coating. - JENNIFER MEYERS
Earth Sugar's Caramel Candy Microcake has a soft almond crust, gate butter caramel and a snappy cacao coating.
Jennifer Meyers
“I posted an ad on my Facebook page offering a sampling of my organic confections,” she says. “You know, just to see what the interest would be. And in about eight hours I had more than 250 paid orders.”

All at once, Meyers was in the sweets business. Today, Earth Sugar is available at a half-dozen farmers' markets, at various valley retail outlets, and through the company’s website. She regularly sets up shop at the Carefree farmers' market on Fridays, downtown Chandler's market on Saturday mornings, and the High Street market on Sunday mornings. She attended the downtown Vegan Night Market earlier this month and plans to return for the next one on November 13. Followers can keep up with Earth Sugar on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok.

“I’m overwhelmed,” she admits. “Sort of overnight, I became a full-time confectionist.”

It’s an unusual word, she admits. “But I’ve never known what to call myself because I’m a bit of a variety show. I’m an inventor and I’ve worked in journalism, and when I’m making confections I’m blending, not baking them, so I’m not really a baker. I don’t feel like a chef and I don’t want to call myself a maker.”

Calling herself a confectionist sets her apart, Meyers believes. “I haven’t found anyone who’s making sweets that don’t have any thickeners or gums or toxic chemicals or food coloring. My confections are just nuts, seeds, and fruits sweetened with some form of plant. A lot of others are adding monk fruit or tapioca fiber, which are both natural. But are they healthy?”

Meyers is kind when people refer to her as a baker.

“It’s funny to me, because I can’t even begin to make a regular tray of brownies,” she admits. “But you better believe that if you want me to, I can make one from avocadoes, black beans and jicama.”
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela