The graw foods team is a dynamic, passionate group of friends who share a common goal. Our company was founded on the idea that really good food can and should be really good for you! Our Holistic Chef Ken Immer found his calling when he started combining his love of delicious foods with techniques and ingredients that actually make your body work and feel better. In order to share their amazing products with the rest of the world, a team of people inspired by this synergy has come together... let's meet them!
Former butcher/charcutière turned ‘ecstatic living activist’ dropped traditional French cuisine for a yoga mat, and everything in his life changed. This is where he found his purpose. Having spent many years steeped in the culture of sensual pleasure that is the restaurant industry, he was not about to give up the amazing satisfaction that delicious food can offer. However, his newfound zeal for health and wellness was seeming to dictate that obsession was about to end. Discovering that most of the vegetarian/health food readily available to consumers was mediocre at best- and very foreign to most people- Ken decided there must be a better way, and it must somehow be related to the entire body and soul connection. After many, many hours in the kitchen experimenting with all sorts of new ingredients and techniques, poring over books which in the past were relegated only to ‘special dietary needs’ and ‘tree huggers’, Ken actually found that he could use his fundamental knowledge of cuisine to dissect these recipes and extract the essence of robust health, and apply his skill in preparation so as to preserve flavor and texture while maintaining nutritional integrity. This plant-based diet he was working with surrounded him with fresh ingredients, which eventually drew him to the raw food movement and ultimately gave birth to the graw bar-which is at the core of the new cuisine he was establishing. The creation of this delight was proof enough that there is a whole universe out there of healthy ingredients just waiting to be combined in new ways that allow you to continuously enjoy food while changing your body chemistry and improving your overall health. Ken’s cuisine speaks to you in ways that more ‘traditional’ foods do, by drawing from standard tastes and textures allowing the familiarity that we have of certain foods to remain while our bodies process that same food in a new way to digest and absorb the nutrients, creating an even deeper feeling of satisfaction than previously experienced. Chef Ken now cooks foods that are new to most of his friends and family, but are received in a way that is comforting instead of confronting. When he shares this knowledge with others, he recognizes the fact that everyone has certain limitations about what they are willing to do and feel comfortable changing. Chef Ken invites you to join him on your own journey to ultimate wellness, following your personal path by providing tools and direction that empower you to create your own healthy home kitchen! Chef Ken currently oversees production and day-to-day operations at the facility, he also is an adjunct instructor at The Culinary Institute of Charleston, teaches yoga one day per week at a local community center, and travels around the Southeast promoting graw foods products and teaching cooking and lifestyle classes.
Mitch White spent the first half of his
professional career in the tennis industry. After attending Virginia
Commonwealth University on a tennis scholarship he transferred to Purdue
University and then went on to play professionally and coach for many years and
was director of tennis at the prestigious Chantilly Golf and Country club in
Chantilly, VA. In 1992 he launched a tennis management company called Topspin
Unlimited based in Washington DC which was acquired by a competitor in 1996.
From 1996-1998 he was partner in sports facility development company ISG.
Mitch's role with ISG was to lead the planning of: building and facilities
design, sports and health programming, facilities operations, marketing plan,
budgets and to build the sales team as well as identify channel partners and
secure sponsorships. Mitch successfully sold his interest to the partnership
upon the launch of the facility in Gaithersburg, MD in 1998 at which time he
became involved in the government IT company owned by his wife which was successfully
sold in 2005 to a publicly traded Canadian firm. After many years of travel
throughout Asia he founded Simon & White LLC in 2006, a consulting company
which specialized in helping U.S. based businesses expand into Asia, with
emphasis on South Korea. Marquee clients included companies like Carfax and
Johnny Rockets. In 2008 Mitch was asked to help launch DMBCi, the sports based
interactive technology division of DMBC-the Digital Media Broadcast Company.
The division was responsible for the broadcasting of live sporting events on an
internet based interactive platform to subscription viewers. After successfully helping launch DMBCi Mitch
was approached by gRAWnola (now graw foods) to help lead the growth of the
company, as an investor initially and then as the CEO and partner. Mitch helped
turn the company into a strong regional presence in the South and attained an
average YOY growth rate of 75% since taking the position in 2009. He's grown
the company from 2 product and a single market focus to 13 diverse product
offerings and multiple new markets and revenue streams. "my goal is to
make graw foods one of the leading health based snack food companies in the
U.S. utilizing our expert knowledge of food science, unique manufacturing
methods and explosive growth of food consumers looking for healthier snacks
that taste great".
He has been a member of several prestigious
organizations including YPO and Capital Clubs and has been a guest speaker on
numerous of panels.Born and raised in the Washington DC area,
Mitch lived in Charleston from 1998-2000 while competing on the professional
tennis tour. In early 2011 he left DC to once again call Charleston home...
Meet Natalie Shultz: She comes to us from the quaint little town of Winchester, Va. (that's about an hour outside of the DC area) and we feel very fortunate that she joined our growing team this past February of 2011 as CMO/EVP of Sales and partner. Her savvy business instincts, efficiency practices and background in sales and marketing made her a natural choice to our team. She believes in order to be successful, first you must believe in what you do, because if you don't....who else will. Second, over deliver...people never expect it and always remember it. Third, everyone is selling something....so you had better be the best! Natalie's very first job, at age 15 years, was that of a humble Chick-Fil-A employee, this is where she first began learning all about outstanding customer service, partnering with an excellent product and working in a team environment. Natalie has managed an art gallery and studied under the mindful eye of a master potter eventually becoming a sculptor.....this is where she first began honing in on her marketing skills and thinking outside the box...using the left and right side of her brain simultaneously. Moving along quickly, she found her passion to be business development from inception to a successful company. Last stop before graw foods she was working with ABC where she had carefully crafted her client list and helped drive each of their unique businesses to new levels. After joining the executive team at graw foods she is responsible for directing sales and moving into new markets as well as guiding the marketing and branding of the company through its growth phase. Involved in creating efficiencies, methodologies, recruiting and training for production which ultimately drive sales.
She is thrilled to call Charleston home now and looks forward to growing yet another successful business!