Win-Win: This Founder Is Using Extra Restaurant Food to Feed the Needy -- and Save Businesses Money
In our latest episode of 'How Success Happens,' an entrepreneur and chef shares how he turned his side hustle -- bridging the hunger gap -- into a growing non-profit in just a year.
How Success Happens is a podcast featuring polar explorers, authors, ultra marathoners, artists and more to better understand what connects dreaming and doing. Linda Lacina, Entrepreneur.com's managing editor, guides these chats so anyone can understand the traits that underpin achievement and what fuels the decisions to push us forward. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes.
Matt Jozwiak knows long days. A chef, he’s used to working into the wee hours of the morning. That training came in handy this year as he worked on his side hustle -- a non-profit looking to bridge the hunger gap.
Rethink Food NYC takes advantage of high quality food that might otherwise be thrown away. These might include seafood, veggies or stock left at the end of dinner service or even apples from an independent orchard. The non-profit transforms these ingredients into meals that can be packaged and distributed to hungry people.
This seemingly simple solution is easier said than done. Jozwiak needed to have complex chats with the FDA, the IRS, food banks and lawyers to get past some of the biggest hurdles: protecting donors from liability and recipients from food borne illness. But for Jozwiak, the challenges were well worth it.
The solution doesn’t just get good food to needy people, but could also boost food business. Tax incentives from donations could become a boon to low-margin restaurants, for example. Also, a special chef training program used to process the food into meals will create jobs -- and possibly carve out a niche for an entirely new food business sector.
Jozwiak has bootstrapped his non-profit into existence, and it launches officially after working in stealth mode for nearly a year. But key to its quick growth has been Jozwiak’s ability to plan and improvise, along with his willingness to recognize a successful idea, regardless of where it came from.
In our latest episode of How Success Happens, he talks about the importance of listening to others and building on their ideas to innovate quickly -- and what it teaches any founder.