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Rawvolution: Part I , Tips on Starting a Successful Raw Food Business

Monday, October 20, 2008 by: Kevin Gianni
Tags: raw food, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Matt Amsdam shares his story of going raw and advice on starting and growing a successful raw food business.

Renegade Water Secrets with Matt Amsdam, the CEO of Rawvolution and owner of the Rawvolution café in Santa Monica. He's also the author of the book Rawvolution which is a raw food preparation book and the creator of "The Box," which ships raw foods directly to customers in the continental U.S. overnight.

Kevin: Why don't you tell a little bit about yourself so those who may not know who you are will get an idea and then we can just rock and roll.

Matt: Well, as it pertains to this call, like you said I have a company called Rawvolution where we ship prepared raw food anywhere in the country. You mentioned the café that we have in Santa Monica, my wife and I own that. I've written a book called "Rawvolution" as well, which is a raw food preparation book.

Kevin: How did you get into it? It must have taken a little bit to go from just being an ordinary guy to owning this business that ships this food all around the country.

Matt: Yeah, it was definitely a process, a pretty powerful process that I'd say was one of the biggest changes in my life, biggest events in my life. I was living in Ontario, Canada in, well for my whole life up until '98 at which time I heard an interview on the radio with David Wolfe, who is a prominent raw food lecturer and author. He was talking about raw food in general and a book that he had just written about it. I just heard a piece of that interview but I was very curious and I ordered his book and read through that cover to cover in about a day. Upon closing the book I was so inspired and taken with the logic of it that I said, "This is what I'm going to do."

I began eating raw food exclusively, changing my lifestyle, and then from there it was a process of wanting to get more involved in the promotion side of it. In other words, getting the message that I so believed in out to other people. So I moved to Southern California. There was more going on than in Ontario, Canada at that time, and still now, and began hosting dinners for folks on a weekly basis, while I was creating my recipes and perfecting them.

Then I got the idea that maybe people can't always come out and I can get the food to them. So I came up with the idea of the box delivery service. We served the local Los Angeles area. In time I realized that people in other parts of the country would like to experience it as well so we started shipping them overnight with FedEx. That led us to opening another location in New York to more effectively serve the East coast. One thing after another kind of just...responding to the growing needs of the raw food customers.

Kevin: Yeah. A lot of people ask questions about starting a raw food business, so why don't we just start with those questions first and then we'll move into some of the raw food prep questions. I think the biggest question that we got was, how do you necessarily go from idea to actually having something that's there? That was kind of the biggest question. There are a lot of chefs on the call and they're like, "How do I go about doing something like this?" What's the easiest way without the stumbles and bumps that I'm sure you experienced?

Matt: Right. Well, without being discouraging I'll say it's an interesting thing because this raw food message is so inspiring to people that, the way that it was to me, I wanted to share it with other people and you want to spend a lot of time doing that but you've still got to pay the rent. So a lot of people come to this idea of, "Well I'll turn what I believe in and what I love into a business that I can pay my rent with." What I think we're seeing is that there's sometimes more raw food business people than there are raw food customers. That's been the case for a couple of years, but I think it's starting to change as the movement grows. It's starting to be possible for organized individuals to really do something and get products out there.

In terms of your specific question, how to manifest that, how to make it into reality, I think it's sort of the same thing in the regular business world. You've got to come up with an idea that has legs, is really what people want, and then just start where you're at. I think people sometimes feel like they have to jump right in with big leaps. The best place to start is here you're at. If you want to open a restaurant or something you've got to come up with a menu, which means coming up with recipes. Just starting with the very basics at the very beginning and knocking out each task as necessity dictates. Just growing as you need to, rather than biting off more than you can chew and getting into something that's bigger than you can support with your customer base. Does that make sense?

Kevin: Yeah, I think it's pretty insightful that you mentioned that you were doing a raw food Meetup and you were just bringing people together first before you invested in the overhead and all that sort of stuff. Right?

Matt: Yeah. Especially in those years, as I said there was more going on in California than anywhere but at that time it was still a pretty humble or modest group of people that were really involved in it and wanted to devote money to it. In other words, customers that were willing to pay for what was being offered. I think the best business advice I could give, raw food business or any business, is to start small because you can always grow as necessity deems, when more people want what you have. You've got to be able to make it work on a small level before it can go big.

Kevin: And the reason that you expanded out to ship the box all over the country is because of demand, correct?

Matt: Yeah. It was definitely not a frivolous decision. It was actually something I
labored over a long time thinking, "OK, am I going to just split my work over two coasts and split the customers?" In other words, have the same amount of people ordering but be operating two kitchens. So I really had to give some serious thought to whether that was going to be the case and I realized after much deliberation that bringing a kitchen to the East coast would bring shipping costs down and the freshness of the food would go up, so there'd be customer growth based on that improvement. I was already shipping to the East coast from LA so it seemed like if we opened there it would only go up.

To read the rest of this transcript for free as well as access a full archive of information by health experts on abundance, optimum health, and longevity just like Matt Amsden, please visit http://www.renegadehealth.com/inner-circle.p... for a free 30 day trial.

About the author

Kevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.


His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit www.LiveAwesome.com.

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