Brian and Kelly Swette
We couldn’t have asked for a better holiday gift! Former Board Chairman of Burger King, Brian Swette, has launched a vegetarian food company. The new company, Sweet Earth Natural Foods, touts its natural ingredients, such as nourishing grains, plant based proteins and vegetables.
From the look of its products, which include seitan, veggie burritos, and quinoa and lentil burgers, it would be hard to guess that its founder was once the board chairman of Burger King. But that’s exactly what founder Brian Swette was, until he was introduced to the sustainable foods movement.
As Swette learned more about health, food and sustainability, he had an “aha” moment. “I was kind of on the dark side of food” Swette says. “Knowing that health is one of the biggest challenges that face the country, I got this epiphany,” Swette said. “We could make a difference if we actually made a vegetarian food company.”
Brian and Kelly Swette launched the company about two years ago, operating out of a 35,000-square-foot site. Since then, they’ve produced 425,000 pounds of plant-based proteins, which is the equivalent of 280,000 chickens, Swette said. “We save about a thousand chickens today — if you look at the science of it, it’s mind blowing,” Swette explained during an interview.
With 65 employees, the company is ramping up production of its product line, having entered Whole Foods stores across the country, and gained spots on the shelves of numerous California grocery stores. The company has also started rolling out its products to Target stores.
Reaching the mainstream food industry, helping them to understand the harm that meat does to us and the world we live in, and recognizing the critical importance of vegetarian food, is exactly the kind of progress that can do so much for the vegetarian movement. This is one present we’ll treasure.