I grew up in an ordinary American household. And by ordinary, I mean my parents divorced when I was 6, my dad was overweight, my single mom struggled to make ends meet and we ate a lot of junk food. My big accomplishment at age 9 was baking biscuits from scratch and using the oven to heat my own chicken nuggets.
I tasted freedom (and delicious home-cooked food) for the first time when I was 15. I was working full-time in a gourmet market and collecting a paycheck that allowed me to purchase fresh ingredients. I discovered savory recipes through a friend – ‘food formulas’ that produced consist and delicious results! My passion to cook was ignited.
My life came screeching to a halt when I was 19 and got diagnosed with an “incurable” autoimmune digestive disorder that had me down to 105 lbs and hospitalized for months. Doctors said “food had nothing to do with it.” In an act of desperation to save my own life, I tried ‘food as medicine.’ When my body miraculously healed, the call to deliver this break-through to the world rang loud and clear.
High on the excitement of a second chance at living, I trained professionally under a Michelin-starred chef. I cooked non-stop in my apartment. I worked as a private chef. I approach healthy eating from all angles, knowing that change in the food system would only occur if the change was delicious. I began developing my ‘real food formula’ – a set of best practices and operational directives that would give rise first to Rebecca Jean Catering and later Nourish Inc.
In the beginning, it was just me in a Toyota corolla, filled with carrots. I quit my job and dropped out of school to start my company following the 2009 recession. People thought I was crazy and my parents were less than thrilled. I boot-strapped everything with just a few thousand of my own dollars in the bank, which meant that we had to be profitable from day one.
We were first to market serving healthy food in the workplace – providing food daily for the most innovative companies in the world. Scaling came naturally (and quickly) as word of our quality and values spread. Still, we remain self-funded. This year, we’ll serve over 3 million meals in the SF Bay Area and over a 1.5 million pounds of fresh vegetables.
So, what’s next? Delivering real food to the masses has always been core to my mission. I know first hand how a lack of time and options can affect a family and even our individual livelihood. My next move is to bring real food to the nation. My team and I have been cooking up some fresh new concepts that I can’t wait to share. I am honored and excited to be on this journey with you.