From the Start

Kristy and I are so proud of our product and company, Simply Perfect Powder. It took us almost 6 years to get to this point and there have been so many steps in the process. That being said, there have been a number of people along the way that have supported us and that we could never have done this without. Our purpose of this page is to recognize the individuals that have been instrumental in helping us get to this point and to give you a little more on how we came to this endeavor. 

In 2009, Mike Thelen started the Black Rice Project. Mike understood the amazing health benefits of black rice and he took on the task of figuring out how to sprout it and freeze dry it. Mike understood that sprouting black rice would improve the bioavailability, would make it easy to digest and that by freeze drying it, people all over the world could experience the health benefits in an easy to consume powder. What drove him even further was that he knew that this product could help the world. When it comes to famine relief, a freeze dried whole food that people can live off is the ideal solution. Especially when your alternatives are foods that can spoil or that need to be cooked. 

I met Mike in 2014 and I was taking protein powders, BCAA’s, creatine, vitamins, fish oils, and a number of other supplements. I was in good shape, but I didn’t feel good and I was getting sick often. Mike began to educate me on whole foods, healthy supplements, and the difference in the quality between certain supplements and the companies that made them. He also introduced me to black rice. I was hooked immediately and was intrigued by the science behind this superfood that I knew nothing about. I took my first trip to Thailand with Mike in 2016 and I immediately knew that the country was a special place. 

In the summer of 2017, I resigned from my assistant principal job and began working on several projects with Mike, one of them being Sprouted Black Rice Powder. Mike had created the project several years before and he brought me right in as a partner and investor. This is how Mike was. He was a selfless individual who would do anything for the people he cared about. I worked alongside him and the Thai group through the creation of the Thai company, Rai Din Thai. I was honored to work closely with Mike and to learn about the entire process. From finding the farmer for the high quality rice we needed, to seeing how he designed the factory and to learning about the machinery needed, how it worked and how it all led to the sprouting process. It was such an exciting time and we were traveling back and forth to Thailand every two months.   

Eight months into our business ventures, Mike passed away suddenly. It left his close friends and family reeling. Mike had reached so many people throughout his life and the loss was devastating to everyone that knew him.

With the help of Mike’s wife Lea, our business partner Bryan, our Thai group Arun, Geoff, May, and Dr. Kasit, we continued to complete Mike’s vision. We had to all work together to finish the factory, get the sprouters in place and make sure that the sprouting process was done correctly. This was no easy feat, but as a team, we were able to see it through and we have been producing Sprouted Black Rice Powder since 2018. 

I continued to work on the project, but went back into education in late 2018. There were certain events that led me back into that career. I kept on with Rai Din Thai and we have continued to produce Sprouted Black Rice Powder for companies around the world. 

Soon after Mike passed away, I met my wife Kristy. I was out of education and I reached out to her for support and someone to talk to. We knew each other from our previous job and our relationship took off from there. From tragedy comes blessings. We stayed in our education jobs through COVID and I continued to work on black rice and Kristy became passionate about the project as well. We both saw how much this product was helping our friends and family and we knew we had to take it a step further. Last summer, we resigned from our education jobs and started Simply Perfect Powder, because we knew it was time to bring this product to everyone. 

Now that we have made it this far, we have a need to truly express our gratitude for all of the people that helped us get to this point. Mike brought me in and taught me this business. He was a mentor, my best friend and a brother. The loss of him has been debilitating at times and I know I wouldn’t be in this position without him. He started this project and now Kristy and I will continue it in our own way with Simply Perfect Powder.

I can’t express enough gratitude to his wife Lea, who is our family. She, like Mike, is always selfless and eager to lend help when needed. Lea has been with us through it all and has been such a support as we were able to get Simply Perfect Powder going. Mike’s son Lancaster has become a brother to me and he continues to be a positive presence in our lives. He and Lea are always encouraging us and always do anything to support us. We could not have done it without them. 

We owe many thanks to the Rai Din Thai group, Dr, Kasit, Bryan, Geoff, Arun and May. They have been instrumental in getting us to this point and getting our product off the ground. 

Simply Perfect Powder has finally come to fruition for Kristy and I and we know how important this venture is. We also know that we have had a tremendous amount of help and support along the way. We can’t wait to spread the word and share Simply Perfect Powder with all of you!