So often, we sit down for lunch or dinner at a restaurant and make no connection whatsoever with the food we are eating. I believe the key to long-term success in the food industry, and the key to good public relations, is that the business owner must truly be connected to the food they are serving. In turn this should make guests relate better to the food.
I know of almost no one more connected to the food they serve than Pamela Elizabeth, owner of Blossom Du Jour restaurants in New York City. Whole Foods just started selling a line of products from Blossom Du Jour and they thought her story was so interesting they had an artist recreate her image for an in-store display.
“I Think what’s unique about my situation is the fact that I never had a dream to open a restaurant, or cafe, or to be a business owner,” Elizabeth said. “What inspired the opening of Blossom was the thought that I could perhaps encourage people to stop eating animals by offering delicious, healthful options at a vegan eatery.
According to Elizabeth, “My passion for wanting to somehow make a difference in the world for animals is what blindly led me to enter a business I knew absolutely nothing about.” Now with several restaurants in her growing dining portfolio, she is becoming a leader in the vegan food industry!
Rich Goldstein, CEO of Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas came into his own healthy food business in a different, fascinating way that also resonates with many people.
Goldstein was the CEO of a large company and stress was getting to him. “It was during that period of time,” Goldstein said, “That I discovered the power of classic practices of health and well being. Including yoga, as well as a healing and stress preventive diet to allow me to work most effectively well under stress, while maintaining my personal well-being, vitality, and day-to-day energy.”
Years later he earned his Masters degree in public health.
Goldstein says he wanted to “develop a greater personal understanding around the research into personal health and well-being. I wanted to understand where the leading edge was in integrating ancient essential healing cuisines, time tested healing practices including meditation and movement, and modern healthcare.”
Goldstein bought Natural Epicurean five years ago and his passion for the “healing cuisine” taught at the school is now evident and no doubt a big reason the school is attracting students from all over the world.
Solomon Choi, CEO of the national frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles, is so dedicated to his business that he is not one to sit behind a desk all day. Instead he can often be seen in his restaurants, at business-related events and making appearances on TV.
Choi developed a love for fro-yo at a young age.
“A family friend has been operating the first self-serve frozen yogurt shop in California,” Choi noted. “In 2007, I reached out to him and asked if he would teach me his business. He agreed and for three months I considered myself an unpaid apprentice. I learned everything that I could about how to run a successful self-serve frozen yogurt shop.”
“In March 2008, armed with an investment from my family, I chose NYC as the destination of where I would build my own frozen yogurt franchise,” Choi said. “It took me very little time to understand what my customers liked and wanted because I worked at the shop everyday and had conversations with them.”
Today there are forty two 16 Handles stores in six states and with 150 additional stores coming soon internationally. The reason for his success, Choi says, is simple: “My own curiosity, persistence, and understanding what I and the customer want.”
Think about your own story. That could be the key to a successful public relations campaign and in turn a successful business.