CalBusiness

 

Summer 2007

Feature Story

Your Haas Network

Kirsten Tobey, MBA 06, and
Kristin Richmond, MBA 06

Co-Founders, Revolution Foods Emeryville, Calif.

 

School lunches usually evoke images of processed macaroni and cheese and "mystery meat." But Revolution Foods co-founders Kirsten Tobey and Kristin Richmond, both MBA 06, hope to change that image to roasted barbeque chicken and couscous.

 

Since last August, work at Revolution Foods has started at 4:00 a.m. putting together nutritious and mostly organic meals for select Bay Area schools, primarily in low-income communities with little access to healthy food. And with their company's rapid growth, the work isn't likely to subside. Revolution Foods' deliveries doubled to 1,500 meals per day at the start of 2007 and are expected to double again before the year's end.

 

Although Tobey and Richmond had worked in food service programs before coming to Haas, where they met, they developed their focus and operating principals in their classes. Those principals include environmental responsibility, providing benefits to employees, and offering above-living wage compensation.

 

"We might have started Revolution Foods but it would have been very different," Tobey said. "The way we conduct our business is something we solidified through Berkeley."

 

They also leaned heavily on the Haas Alumni Network to launch the company. Investors, suppliers, and even interns can be traced to Haas. Lecturer Will Rosenzweig, who they point to as instrumental in helping develop Revolution Foods, sits on their advisory board.

 

Richmond and Tobey hope to help kids incorporate healthy eating into everyday life. Each week they distribute postcards with a game that teaches kids about nutrition, and once a month they try to serve something kids have never seen to "shock" them into thinking about food.

 

"The glimmer in a kid's eye when he says, 'hey, I like brown rice' or asks 'what is couscous?' is what we are most proud of," Richmond said.

 

Kirsten Tobey, MBA 06, and Kristin Richmond, MBA 06

Kirsten Tobey, MBA 06, and
Kristin Richmond, MBA 06

Co-Founders, Revolution Foods Emeryville, Calif.