I know a lot of you have been subjected to our barrage of emails and pleas to reach out and vote for us as a finalist in the Inc. Magazine/Alibaba.com Newpreneur of the Year Contest. Aside from knowing us or our products, this has been a labour of love 20 years in the making. And never have we felt more dedicated in knowing our mission can make a difference.
EAT CLEANER comes at a time ripe for change. With over 78 million reported cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. annually and concerns around pesticides, processed food and questionable handling practices, our products remove pesticides, wax and surface contaminants that can carry bacteria from produce, seafood and poultry. I founded EAT CLEANER with my dad, Dr. Shawki Ibrahim, Colorado State University Emeritus Professor, Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, M.A., Agriculture. With an emphasis on quality ingredients, sustainable packaging and beautiful branding, we created a line of all-natural products that allows consumers to take food safety into their own hands with the power of plant science. Dad has been an accomplished writer and professor for over 30 years, and began challenging government agencies to strengthen food safety procedures after receiving contaminated seafood at his local grocery store. I began my food and retail marketing career writing about sustainable agriculture and food safety issues (Food, not Phood) early in my career as the marketing director for Wild Oats Markets.
Dad’s brainchild and my love for all things culinary coupled with our mutual love for my two young children fueled the fire for this joint venture. We had discussed the product concept for years, but in 2005, the year my son was born, dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2008, I became a single mother, was traveling almost weekly and my home had lost 30% of its value. It hit me hard that life is uncertain and ultimately, you have to make tough decisions that are right for you. Tireless hours…I mean, long hours, sweat and tears from everyone who’s touched this brand. Working 80 hours a week sometimes, it’s been a challenging road. But we know we’re doing the right thing.
In honor of my father’s lifetime of commitment to his practice and my desire to create a lasting legacy for my children and an improved quality of life, we decided to push EAT CLEANER into overdrive. For my friend Gayle whose daughter was paralyzed after a bad bout with foodborne illness and as a preventative measure for everyone who eats (yes, the whole population), eating cleaner is for all.
If you think after reading this we still deserve your vote, please visit www.inc.com/newpreneur/vote.html
It will take a village to take us into the finals. Hopefully, we’ll meet some great neighbors along the way.