Colleen Sundlie was living the Middle East with her young family when she developed a passion for the dates that are such a major part of the food culture there. When her husband's teaching gig ended and the Sundlies returned to the United States, Colleen turned her sights to bringing date syrup to the States.
Sundlie explained that "One of the things that has always interested my husband and I about dates is the long history.
From date syrup being referred to in the Bible as honey (seen in the Hebrew translation) to being an important source of nutrients to the Bedouins, to being enjoyed as vinegar and strong drink by the Mesopotamians- they are as rich in history as they are in flavor!"
Given her personal fascination with date and the growing interest in healthy eating and natural alternatives to refined sugar, Sundlie's endeavor was well timed. She dubbed her business the Date Lady, and launched with the date syrup known as silan in the Middle East. Today, her offerings have expanded considerably, with a line that includes date syrup, dates, a date-based caramel sauce, chocolate spread, date sugar, and a lovely date balsamic vinegar.
All of Date Lady's products are organic, vegan, gluten-free and certified kosher by the Vaad HaKashrut of Kansas City. Date Lady products are available at health food and specialty stores throughout the US, and can also be ordered online at abesmarket.com, amazon.com, or direct from the Date Lady website at ilovedatelady.com.
Prices range from $7 for 8 ounces of dates to $10 for a 10.5 ounce jar of the date-sweetened chocolate spread. Given the products all-natural ingredients, organic pedigree, and high quality, the pricing is quite reasonable. The Date Lady's tag line, "She brings the good stuff," is spot on.