Each of our six verticals (industries served) is headed by one or more of our industry experts with the full support of our conscious collective of advisors and service providers. We assess your business needs from a holistic view and assemble your conscious team.
Lead: Renée Loux
Co-Chairs: Derek Sarno, Chad Sarno, Errol Schweizer and Kara Rubin
Our Food Vertical mission is to incubate and accelerate new and established brands in the natural food space to bring innovative, sustainable, conscious products to the market. Our goal is to build, scale and champion the next generation of industry brand leaders and engage in long-term partnerships and collaborations.
We recognize that every food brand and product is unique and requires specific types of support. From start-up and emerging brands to established and international brands, our spheres of service address and meet these needs to provide best-in-class strategy, execution and results. Our Food Vertical can engage all aspects of building, marketing, launching and scaling sustainable food brands. From business development, branding, packaging, and design to product R&D, in-house lab formulation, operations and management, marketing, sales, distribution, and funding support, our team can execute a full range of services on an as-needed basis to strategize and execute a roadmap of success.
Expertise: Natural Beauty Expert and Entrepreneur, Chef, 4x Author, TV & Media, Consultant, Branding and Brand Building, R&D, Journalism
Brands: Exhale Spa, Rodale Books, Women’s Health Mag, Scripps Network (Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV), Purina, Natural Gourmet Institute, Stone Barns, University of Hawaii, Method Home, Seventh Generation, co-founder of restaurants and natural beauty product brands.
Expertise: Product Development, Ingredient Sourcing, Pricing, Promotions, Marketing & Distribution. Errol was the lead merchandiser & negotiator for largest & most profitable department at Whole Foods Markets for over 7 years. He holds over a decade of experience in Organic purchasing leadership, possesses a strong operations background, has collaborated with 100s of supplier partners across over 80 categories to successful launches of 1000s of innovative new products, including Harmless Harvest, Siggi’s, Suja, Saffron Road, Califia and Evol.
Brands: Whole Foods Markets, Fairway Markets, Brandstorm, Kite Hill, Beyond Meat and Epic Bars
Expertise: Chef, educator & public speaker, Chad’s projects range from international chain restaurants and as executive chef to Whole Foods Mkt. Contributed to over 10 recipe books, been a guest on dozens of morning shows and in 2012 teamed up with bestselling author, Kris Carr to write the NYTimes Best Seller, Crazy Sexy Kitchen.
Brands: Rouxbe Cooking School, Whole Foods Market, Saf Restaurant Group, co-founder WickedHealthy
Expertise: Kara dedicated 10 years to leading Whole Foods Market’s grocery division in the Northeast Region, which included the company’s highest volume stores in the US. Kara has deep roots guiding retail strategy and working with brands ranging across the category spectrum. Brand, retail, pricing and distribution strategies, category analysis, promotional planning, retail execution. She worked closely with partners ranging from small, local entrepreneurs to large-scale, broadly recognized brands to build their businesses strategically in the region and nationally.
Brands: Whole Foods Market, Gourmet Garage, Happy Baby, Siggi’s, Rick’s Picks, Star Anise Foods.
Expertise: Whole Foods Senior Global chef & culinary educator and served as resource across all departments within the company, include R&D, restaurants and catering businesses until 2016. Former Chef/ for international Tibetan Buddhist monastery, a restaurateur, vegan organic farmer, food designer, educator of vegan, vegetarian and animal-based cuisines.
Brands: Whole Foods Market, Beyond Meat, Kite Hill, Miyokos, OSI, Gardein, Follow Your Heart, Field Roast, Hampton Creek, Del Monaco Foods, Ninja Squirrel Sriracha, co-founder WickedHealthy