VegReady: Open, Eat, Complete!
It’s said for a reason that in a healthy body lives a healthy mind.
In today’s fast-moving world, people are so busy there is no time to cook, let alone enjoy the things around. Everyone is grabbing fast-food, unhealthy meals that would satiate their hunger, all the while not paying attention to the detrimental effect it has on their body.
This, coupled with the idea of reducing the consumption of animal products, was the basis for veganism. But, the same obstacle arises – no time to cook.
Mark Perlmutter constantly questioned why healthy, affordable food was always so hard to find. He knew eating more plants (even for non-vegans) could help avoid diseases. So what did Mark do? He founded VegReady!
His mission was simple: help 2 million non-vegans eat 2 or more vegan meals weekly.
Behind VegReady’s creation, there are more reasons and fascinating stories. Let’s dive in and see how it all started!
Becoming a Vegan For Healthy Reasons
It all started in high school when Mark had digestive problems. At that time, he didn’t have a habit of eating healthy food - meat and potatoes every night for dinner and sometimes frozen meals.
At 18, he started to choose his own food and saw the positive effects of the change he made. This personal experience led him to the next move – becoming a vegetarian. Ten years later, in 1981, he became vegan.
Mark finished business school at the University of Maryland in 1972 and earned his Bachelor of Science, Real Estate and Business in 1975. He spent the beginning of his professional career educating thousands of individuals on affinity investing and the importance of diversification when investing in the early stages, first as a Co-Founder of Director IPO and then as Director of Micro Angels Institute.
While in the world of finance, he realized how unhealthy people live. Full day schedule, no time for meal preparation – it all reflects on the health.
Food Heals if Chosen Wisely
With some extra money he had, he decided to found a documentary film, “Simply row, reverse diabetes in 30 days”. The film is about how a plant diet can help and reverse diabetes, presented through examples of the 6 people with this condition who experienced the result. It was made in 2006 and gained huge popularity with 2 million views.
The results were great; however not sufficient to make a change. In fact, Mark didn’t see the expected progress even after the 10 years since the movie was made. People didn’t change their habits or start eating more plants, although they showed signs of awareness of the health benefits of turning more to a plant-based diet.
Mark learned two things from this little project: marketing was highly important, and people valued convenience more.
While someone else would be disappointed, Mark was motivated. He watched the market trend in big cities moving towards plant-based food as an alternative to meat, dairy, and eggs. Mark knew he couldn’t wait any longer – it was the time to use his marketing skills and finance background and start a company that would help people.
His dream was to invent and develop convenient, healthy, and affordable food that would improve the health and lives of millions of Americans.
Dreams Are To Be Lived
The idea and motive were there; now, he just needed to act!
So Mark focused on creating healthy plant-based food, ready to use immediately.
He chose Peru as his first cuisine option because it was the first country to solely rely on natural, straight-from-the-ground plants, i.e., the first country to ban GMO food. With food engineers and vegan medical experts, he broadened the options and made tasty food from homemade plants using the benefits of other cuisines such as Mediterranean, Thai, and Indian.
Thanks to technology and natural food processing, the food he made was without chemical preservatives and could be used in a 12 months shelf life. Plus, there is no heating or refrigerating in the process – from farm to table!
However, building a company proved challenging. Mark faced weeks of delays in his work, so he was forced to prolong his stay in Peru. But this didn’t seem to bother Mark, as he was enticed by the culture's beauty and the people's kindness. This is when he also met his life partner, so Mark decided to bring his whole startup to Peru and work remotely.
The Name is the Key
“HealingMeals” was the very first name of the company. It resonated with what the product does – a super healing food, a meal that can heal if chosen wisely. It sounded like the right one at first, but after several months, the feedback was not as expected. It seemed that people thought this service only focused on sick people.
So, Mark and his team started thinking of new ways to name their company. And then it hit them – why not go for a name that describes what they offer? Thus, VegReady came to be the name of the plant-based meal delivery service!
When the Product is Good, the Backer Will Come
The company was set up, and the meals were there, so it was time for VegReady to show itself to the world as one of the best meal delivery services out there. Mark went to Kickstarter, a platform that matches new ideas with backers and helps new projects to go live. Mark incurred $25,000 as a goal, and with the help of 328 backers, he has made $28,014 so far.
Meet the VegReady Team
Today Mark is in front of the company as CEO, leading changes and directing the creative team. Sean Privitera is Digital Marketing Manager who focuses on maintaining brand image and education throughout the Vegan community.
Katie Hajek is Operations Manager and manages projects. At the same time, Joey Shepp, Amazon Platform Advisor, built the website and now contributes to the development of the supplements line to reduce meat intake.
Sunny Gurnani, AI Advisor, who started as a customer first, now advises the Company on technical issues, including using AI to personalize meals matched to a customer’s third-party lab tests.
Dr. Andrew Freeman, known as the “The Vegan Cardiologist”, is a key figure in VegReady’s future. He currently advises patients to turn to VegReady for a healthier diet and has helped in the development of the algorithm and database for a personalized meal plan. Andrew will also be an investor in their next funding round.
Asher Brown, Vegan Influencer Outreach Advisor, first was only a customer but then began to spread messages about VegReady to influencers and celebrities in Hollywood. Eilene Cohhn, as one of the options owners, and a Director of PETA, promotes meals to mainstream consumers to reduce meat consumption.
John Perkins, Public Offering Advisor, and Terry Mollner, Strategic Acquisition Advisor, both long-time colleagues of Mark, are now responsible for the company's future.
John managed to help 3 startups raise $10 million in funds, and he plans to do the same for VegReady. Terry is responsible for identifying potential acquirers and advises Mark on the decision to sell or go IPO.
VegReady Today & Tomorrow
Patient and grateful for what he has done, Mark’s mission to serve 2 million people is now a reality. The demand for their meals is constantly growing on the market, pushing VegReady to grow even more. Today, VegReady is a food technology company driven to enhance your health by delivering doctor-recommended meals to match your DNA.
In the future, Mark plans on expanding and even going for an IPO. But before he gets there, he plans to allow a few people to invest and get shares in his company so that his rise has a solid background. With the support of the vegan community, Mark is certain about the development of VegReady!