In 2005 we founded our first company Alive, LLC, a healthy lifestyle company. Our services included both the food and exercise components of leading a healthy lifestyle. These services included: food delivery service called Alivebags, physical training for adults, high performance training for young adults and summer camps. But it was at our restaurant Alive Eatery that a group of parents from Saint John’s School approached us with the idea of becoming their cafeteria operators.
As they explained, they were looking to dramatically change the normal fare of high sugar, fried food school cafeteria offerings to a high quality, healthy options cafeteria. They added that even though we were not offering school cafeteria services, our expertise and food philosophy lead them to believe we would be the perfect fit. So, after careful consideration we decided that it was a natural extension of our original vision and entered the RFP process in 2010.
The deadline to submit the proposal found us in California with our Alive in Training group. So, after running the Big Sur marathon, we submitted our proposal to become Saint John’s cafeteria operator and continued our recovery period from the beautiful but grueling 26.2-mile route. Both events have proven to be unforgettable.
In business, being the first has many challenges no matter how clear your vision and mission is. This is particularly true if you happen to be guided by the tenet that nutrition is the key to optimal physical and educational development. Simply put, when we opened the doors to the new, Aliveschool cafeteria in 2010, kids were baffled (and frankly not that thrilled) to find that we did not have fried foods, sugary snacks or sodas. Instead, we had a surplus of fruits, home-made goods and vegetables. And to add insult to injury, since we bread and bake our own chicken tenders, one kid actually remarked he didn’t like them because “it tasted like chicken.”
It wasn’t easy, but 9 years later (and going strong) we can proudly say that even Brussel sprouts have sold out and our commitment to offer nutritious food using, fresh and high-quality ingredients that taste great has not changed. On the contrary, since then we are now part of another school’s community, the Baldwin School, in which we began Aliveschool cafeteria services in 2016.
At the risk of sounding like a cliché - we truly love what we do. And it is because of this fact, we are committed to constantly challenging ourselves to provide variety in food offerings, quality of service and promote wellness in all our endeavors.
We look forward to continued partnership with our school communities in providing nutritious food as well as the development of projects that further zero-waste initiatives with compost and vermicomposting programs, hotbeds, herb gardens, Summer programs and workshop contributions that promote connections to food and health as well as environment wellness wherever Aliveschool takes us.