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Downtown Acton Gets a Little Bit Cooler – 70 Below Opening Storefront Location

Started in 2018, 70 Below produces a wide variety of freeze dried goods including fruit, desserts, candy and dog treats. They have been exclusively selling online and at local Farmer’s Markets, including Acton and the Winter Market at Terra Greenhouses. Courtney and Mark Stanley started the business with one freeze dryer and have since expanded to four. Chef Courtney explained her process, “Freeze drying is the process of placing food under a sublimation temperature of -70F or cooler in a scientific freezer. After a 7-10 hour freeze cycle, a heating unit comes on along with a vacuum pump, placing the food under extreme vacuum pressure. During this process any moisture extracted changes directly into gas, and freezes to the interior of the unit. An entire cycle takes roughly 40-50 hours. All moisture is removed from our products but 97 percent nutrients are retrained, all without the use of chemicals or preservatives. Our new packaging leaves our products shelf stable for up to one year.” She also says that “COVID has been good for (her) business” and has grown from one mail order every two weeks to one to four orders per day. “Our product is shelf stable and can be stock piled.” “We weren’t looking for storefront,” Chef Courtney tells Acton UP. “We wanted to expand our production area and the storefront was just a bonus.” The store will be open concept so people can see the process and the equipment. If you haven’t already tried 70 Below and are wondering where to start, the top three sellers are ice cream sandwiches, strawberries and space Skittles. What sets them apart from other freeze dry operators is that “all produce, except bananas, is from Ontario. And all dessert items are made from scratch.” When Courtney says “scratch” she isn’t messing around. For example, for her freeze dried ice cream sandwiches she, makes the cookies, mixes the ice cream, makes the sandwiches then cuts them in to bite size pieces and freeze dries those. She recently improved her recipe to make them lower in sugar and fat as well. With the expanded production area, Chef Stanley is also looking to expand her products and include things like powdered spinach (for smoothies) and other vegetables. 70 Below will be moving in to 9B Mill Street East, downtown Acton, and plan to open April 15. They will continue with a Saturday market as well in either Milton or Georgetown.





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