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Founders Everywhere: Dominique Crenn, Sarah Brandow, Charles Michael Yim, and Miko Lorenzo
Dominique Crenn, Sarah Brandow, Charles Michael Yim and Miko Lorenzo are the co-founders of VitaBowl. They provide customizable meal plans using food as medicine to address specific health concerns.
Welcome to Founders Everywhere, where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at Everywhere Ventures, a global pre-seed fund supported by a community of 500 founders and operators.
Have you ever considered asking your doctor to prescribe you better food to address your health issues? VitaBowl is providing food-as-medicine through their premium delivery brand. They use evidence based studies and practices to create meal plans tailored to addressing chronic health conditions and dietary needs. The timing is right, as there is new federal regulation that offers 100% reimbursement for telehealth services for a nutritionist or dietitian, as well as a few meals per week for specific patients. They are serving B2B customers across government, schools, hospitals, and corporations, as well as individual customer subscriptions.
The founding team of four started VitaBowl in San Francisco and banded together over their belief that food is a medicine and should be accessible to everyone. VitaBowl’s superfood meals were designed by nutritionist Sarah Brandow and Michelin-star celebrity chef Dominique Crenn. Rounding out the team are Miko Lorenzo, who comes with extensive experience in the food and beverages industry, and Charles Michael Yim, a serial entrepreneur and investor with 2 successful exits.
Three of the four co-founders were impacted by breast cancer in different ways and it really served as a catalyst for their collaborative venture. Dominique is a breast cancer survivor and shifted her entire restaurant menu to be plant-forward. Miko’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and after chemo all her doctors told her to go on a plant based diet. Sarah has a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and her thesis was on breast cancer incidence and recurrence rates and how that relates to food.
VitaBowl recently deployed a Reg CF (crowdfunding) campaign on Republic, which is an opportunity for anyone to invest and join them on their journey to create a healthier world and make a positive impact on the food system.
What is VitaBowl's North Star?
Our Northstar is helping people live healthier and happier lives through food as medicine.
What makes VitaBowl a “must-have” vs a “nice-to-have?”
We mostly serve people with diabetes and food really is a medicine and a requirement for their health. We also help people with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, IBS, high cholesterol, and others. Instead of prescribing pharmaceutical drugs, we’re trying to push and pioneer people eating correctly to reverse, if not mitigate, the risks of their health condition.
Tell us about some recent milestones.
We are now nationwide in 50+ cities in 40+ states. When you log into VitaBowl, just type in your zip code and choose a specialized meal plan based on your needs.
We raised a $3M seed round and were featured in Forbes.
What have been some of the greatest challenges founding VitaBowl?
When we first started it wasn’t easy to scale from a single kitchen while maintaining quality control. We still have our headquarters kitchen in North Hollywood, but luckily we partnered with Territory Foods/Meal Logic, which allowed us to expand nationwide.
What motivates you to go into start-up battle day after day?
There’s nothing like receiving a message, email, or phone call from a customer saying “I don’t have X condition anymore,” or “ My c-reactive proteins have gone down.” Looking better, feeling better, and having more energy are important, but actual tangible real world results that lift people out of a state of disease is one of the most powerful things we can do for somebody because that’s freedom and health is the most precious thing in the world.
Sarah owns an organic vegan donut shop called The Better Donut. It is a passion project and all of their donuts are made with organic ingredients and without the use of plastics.
Miko is in a band called Sunshine Navigator and plays the guitar, bass, and does backup vocals. He was also a VJ for MTV.
Dominique is the chef and owner of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. She was the first woman in the United States to receive this honor.
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