In his native Costa Rica Mark Fachler was raised on clean eating with a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables. Attending university in the U.S., Mr. Fachler’s Pura Vida (“healthy life” in the vernacular of Costa Rica) was jeopardized by college cafeterias and fast food.
The spiral continued after college. Busy with his burgeoning corporate career, Mr. Fachler had the desire but not the time to maintain a healthy diet. “I was enjoying a variety of food but my body wasn’t,” he recalls. “All that fast food started taking its toll on how I looked and how I felt.”
And so the seed for Veestro was planted. In 2012 Mr. Fachler approached family and friends with his concept: provide plant-based meals that are tasty, healthy, and convenient. With the $240,000 dollars that was raised he recruited his sister Monica Klausner, who had 15 years of sales & marketing experience, to be his co-founder. The siblings were joined by Chef Jose, who today is a partner in the company. Delectable recipes were created and photographed, a website was launched, and in May of 2013, Veestro (“Vegan Bistro”) opened for online business.
Fast forward seven years to the present day, the company has enjoyed on average 150% sales growth per year with 200% year-over-year growth anticipated in 2020. From its 20,000 square foot facility in Los Angeles, the company’s 60 production employees prepare 50,000 meals per week. All produce is obtained from local farmers; each box is inspected by Jose to ensure adherence to the company’s high-quality food standards.
Having recently shifted focus to primarily a subscription-based sales plan, the Company offers 50 unique, fully prepared organic plant-based meals from which to choose. Options range from Turkish meatballs to portobello steak dinner and from enfrijolada rustica to South Indian coconut stew. Mouth-watering pictures, detailed descriptions and nutritional statistics are provided for every dish offered. Veestro has dedicated marketing efforts to social networking sites and search engine marketing. Subscribers are offered discounts when they select 10, 20 or 30-meal boxes. Depending on the selected box size, pricing before discounts are in the $10-$13 range per meal.
The frozen meals are shipped in insulated containers via FedEx. All packaging with the exception of the film used to seal the trays are plant-based. Customers need only heat and eat their Three Layer Scramble breakfast, Country Fried Chick’n dinner, or any of the other 48 delicacies.
“This is for anybody. Veestro is not a service exclusively for vegans or vegetarians,” Mr. Fachler said. “Eating plants is better for you, the environment and for animals.”
Five million dollars in aggregate has been raised since the company’s inception. An institutional round closed earlier this year to finance expansion of the production facility. At present, continued growth is CEO Fachler’s goal. An exit would be considered in the future if Veestro was approached by the right company.
August 5, 2020
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