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Inspiring Conversations with Marc Pierce of GTFO It’s Vegan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marc Pierce.

Marc, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I remember the day, July 27, 2015. My wife Tanya and co-founder of GTFO It’s Vegan said “honey, we are going vegan!” Now realize at the time, we lived in Chicago, the heart of steak country, and I looked at her with skeptical eyes and said “GTFO, are you serious!?!” At the time, I was 45 years old and had grown up in the midwest where meat was a standard part of our diet. As a loving and devoted husband, I, of course, said I was open to the idea but wanted to know why.

Tanya went on to explain how she had read about the cruelty of animals, the negative impacts on the environment and our health, and as spiritual human beings – it does not align with what is right, just, and why we are on this planet. To summarize it best, one of my favorite authors, Henry David Thoreau said…

“I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.”

So the next day, I had my very last Italian sandwich from Potbelly’s and final pepperoni deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s and, with that, committed to a new way of eating, and more importantly, thinking.

What I didn’t know at the time was the positive impact it has on my health. I was born with a hole in my heart, something called Tetrology of Fallot, which was partially fixed when I was 5. But as life has it, and as a common outcome of having this type of surgery in 1975, I then needed another surgery in 2006 to replace my pulmonary valve.

I thought I was in the clear, but in 2015, when my wife made the declaration we were going vegan, I also had my annual heart check-up and learned that my aortic valve was expanding beyond the acceptable limits and I would need a third open heart surgery. Already having two open heart surgeries, I could not imagine having a third. Not to mention at this point I had three amazing children, Sam, Jake and Brooklyn, and honestly couldn’t fathom going through a surgery for which I may not wake up.

My cardiologist suggested we monitor the situation and make the decision in six months. Six months later, I had another MRI of my heart and the results were something they have never seen before…simply put, the diameter of my aortic valve decreased and I would not need another surgery. Nothing else had changed in my life but my diet. So if I had any question before, I now was a true believer.

So here we are in 2021, and my wife Tanya (Co-Founder of GTFO, It’s Vegan) and I sought to start a company that would give others the benefits what she gave me five years ago — another chance at life. And of course, innovation in vegan food has come so far along that the options are limitless and new vegan food innovations are available that we could never have imagined before (e.g., plant-based burgers, vegan butter, etc.)..so living a vegan lifestyle is easy. Our goal with GTFO Vegan is to make living a vegan lifestyle easy, fun, and delicious. So we bring to you GTFO, It’s Vegan. We hope you enjoy our offering and join us in our mission to bring a better way of living to life.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Now that we are just 12 months since launch, it has been a crazy and wild ride. We started with just a few hundred orders per month and have now grown to thousands per month and are the largest player in the market. We also started with a 3PL and are now in our own warehouse.

We did encounter a few major struggles along the way:

1) Figuring out cold shipping, especially throughout Covid and the surges in direct to home shipments

2) Balancing rapid growth with working capital requirements

3) Finding a world-class marketing team

As you know, we’re big fans of GTFO It’s Vegan. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Launched May 15, 2020, GTFO It’s Vegan has quickly emerged as the largest player in the online vegan grocery market.

GTFO It’s Vegan is a progressive online retailer, wholesaler and distributor of curated vegan foods.

We are pioneering the “New Age Vegan” movement, appealing to individuals who may not be vegans today but are seeking to eat and live better without sacrificing the enjoyment of eating a great meal.

We seek out the newest innovations in vegan foods from all around the world, including meat, seafood, cheese and dairy, bakery, snacks, and much more. We currently have over 1400 skus.

We try every product before featuring it on our site to ensure each one adheres to our taste and texture standards; so when you try our products, you want to say “GTFO It’s Vegan”.

We pride ourselves on giving the best possible customer experience, from an easy to use, visually appealing online shopping experience to processing orders within 24-hours for delivery within 1 to 3 days (at the customer’s request).

What’s next?
Ultimately we strive to have the size and infrastructure similar to a Walmart or Amazon. We want to be everything vegan to everyone across the world. While we are starting with online wholesale and retail of groceries, we plan to expand into clothing, cosmetics and many other emerging vegan marketing.

First, up will be launching a full line of our own private label grocery items.

Next, we are opening additional locations in the Midwest and East to reach our customers faster and cheaper.

Then we plan to vertically expand into things like tackling poor packaging and striving to become zero carbon footprint.

We also plan to expand into other international markets.

Contact Info:

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