After 35 years of working on the board for Pepsico and Burger King, Brian Swette was introduced to a vegetarian diet from his daughter. Joining with his wife, Kelly, who has a background in marketing, the two started Sweet Earth Natural Foods in Moss Landing, CA.
A true west coast original, this company rises out of the wake of fast food and sugary sodas to provide consumers a cost-effective way to eat properly and maintain a vegetarian diet.
Kelly Swette’s background is primarily as a marketing director, enabling the company to leverage her knowledge on packaging and advertising. They state that one of the primary benefits of having a smaller business is the fact that they can focus on getting to know the people their clients.
Building the company from a small operation with 10 people, it now employs 200 people and is poised to expand into over 10,000 locations this year. This makes it one of the fastest-growing retail food companies on the west coast.
Investing $5 million, the two have built a vegetarian food business that produces meals such as bowls, burritos and breakfast bowls. For example, the company offers a mushroom ravioli that features parmesan, ricotta, mushrooms and fennel and features 23 grams of protein.
One of the main concerns many people have is that vegetarian food does not have enough essential vitamins and minerals as traditional food, but that is simply not true. Sweet Earth Natural Foods prides itself on creating food that is far healthier than the standard frozen meals from other companies.
Additionally, the Swettes are focusing the direction of the company in support of sustainability for the environment. On the company website, it keeps a running clock showcasing the amount of plant protein it’s created since its inception. It breaks down more information such as how many animals have not been used, how many miles have not been driven, the amount of carbon dioxide offset by the plant growth, etc.
Brian and Kelly Swettes both have a long resume of working for major companies including Procter & Gamble, eBay and more. The power couple is bringing their decades of combined knowledge of Fortune 500 business structure to the growing environmentally-friendly vegetarian food market.