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“3 Cricketeers is truly the blending of our passions.
Chad’s for the environment and sustainability.
Claire’s for health and nutrition.”
Claire and Chad Simons
Feeling the need to change
Growing up seeing environmental devastation by conventional farming and other sources of pollution, Chad pursued environmental law determined to help make a change. There he learned about and researched alternative protein sources that were farmed sustainably. He finished law school, became a patent attorney, but still felt the pull to do more. Chad studied biology and chemistry and learned more about sustainable agriculture.
At the same time, Claire was working as a maternity nurse and educating new mother’s about caring for their new babies and themselves, including healthy diets to support recovery, breastfeeding, emotional health and energy. The American diet was always lacking in these areas. She started researching other cultures, their medicinal foods and their way of cooking and couldn’t learn enough.
Call to action
When Chad and Claire’s son came home with a cricket cookie on Earth Day, he realized entomophagy could play a significant role in healing our planet and he wanted to become a part of the movement. After talking Claire into setting up a cricket habitat in their home’s basement, they all jumped on board including their three boys. 3 Cricketeers was born!
Claire began to research the nutritional benefits of eating crickets and was amazed with their nutritional profile. 80% of the our world’s population eat insects as a form of protein. Here in the US, row crops and large livestock have become our primary source of food and insects are known as pests. However, crickets are an indigenous food in North America and provide the essential nutrition we need. Containing prebiotic fiber to promote gut health, reduce inflammation and boost immunity, crickets are truly a superfood. She immediately began to incorporate crickets into their family's diet.
The first farm was a 700 square ft storage space in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota. During this phase they learned and understood the importance of starting out small to build a healthy, sustainable farm.
They then moved into their current space at 3260 Gorham Ave, right down the street from the first farm. Here their process started to take shape. This urban farm was the perfect setting to grow and build the licensed commercial kitchen. We proudly became a member of Minnesota Grown, the Department of Agriculture’s collective of Minnesota’s producers.
Our first cricket farm build at 3260 Gorham, 2018
A little help from our friends
Chad and Claire assisted Dr. Sujaya Rao, Head of Entomology at the University of Minnesota, with her “Jiminy Cricket” study at the MN State Fair in 2018. Dr. Rao’s passion for entomophagy as a sustainable solution blended with 3 Cricketeers from the beginning. They have worked closely with the Entomology Department, Agricultural Marketing Department and the Food Science Department applying for grants, incorporating interns and testing their products with students and faculty.
While attending a bug dinner at Cafe Blanca Bistro, Claire and Chad met Chef Gustavo Romero a world renowned chef from Mexico. He grew up eating insects in Mexico and incorporated them deliciously into his dishes. The following summer at Travail he introduced KUA, Modern Mexican Cuisine with an option to try chapulines, gusanos and chicatanas. Chad and Claire were honored to have him assist them at the Great Minnesota Get-Together later that summer in 2019 and then for him to ultimately join the team. Chef’s help has been invaluable. He has assisted with creating our crickets finishing feed in the farming process and has also help create spice blends for our Seasoned Roasted Crickets.
Our Urban Farm in 2019
Our on-site commercial kitchen built in 2018
And the Adventure continues.....
Check out Claire's website all about baking with bugs and more recipes.
Entomophagy or the practice of eating bugs by humans, is new to a lot of people. We get it! Did you know 80% of the world eat insects as a source of protein? Here are a bunch of questions we are regularly asked about our crickets, and our farm to fork process.