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Meet Natalie Jaconetty of Herb&Seed Plant Based Kitchen in Echo Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Jaconetty.

Natalie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Chicago in a time when organic foods were considered somewhat strange, and few households even recycled their waste. As a young child, I remember my mother bringing bags of veggies from Whole Foods to soccer practice and using a big pot in the kitchen for composting. Needless to say, these practices were not the norm in most households in Chicago at the time. I remember rolling my eyes when she served us chocolate tofu birthday cakes and sprouted wheat bread peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, not realizing at the time how lucky I was to have been exposed to these wonderful building blocks of health and well-being. In addition, my stepmother is an amazing health-based cook able to whip up the most delicious meals with a Medical Medium book in one hand and her veggie spiralizer in the other hand.

As a result, I would say I was exposed to out of the box, homeopathic, natural, alternative-seeking women. This experience led me to pursuing a whole-foods, plant-based diet with a desire to share what I have learned with others. I was quite fortunate, from the beginning, to have tons of vegan recipes at my disposal from the many years of cooking with my Mom and I started to consider running a business incorporating what I had learned. I had always dreamed of starting a business using sustainable products from start to finish bringing the mindfulness I had learned at home and translating it into a new type of kitchen where it could be shared with others. My vision for Herb & Seed Plant-Based Kitchen is definitely home-grown. Everything served is organic, locally-sourced or home-grown produce utilizing only compostable materials. I am so excited to see Herb and Seed Plant-Based Kitchen evolve and grow and where the journey takes us.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say the road has been relatively smooth so far, all things considered. As a new business, inevitably there will be mistakes made along the way but you always have to be willing to learn from them and use them as a tool to refine and improve. Having said that, I feel so lucky and grateful for all of the support I’ve received so far.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Herb&Seed Plant Based Kitchen – what should we know?
Herb&Seed is a whole food plant-based meal delivery service, meaning whole food produce that is not refined and has no animal products. People have been doing vegan for a long time, perfecting meat substitutes and sauces, but what makes us different is our shift away from the vegetable oils, soy, and refined flours and emphasis on healthy ingredients only. We work with plant-based nutritionists to get this right while incorporating many of my favorite recipes from home. Many health-focused plant-based food services will often focus solely on nutritional content leading to loss of flavor or use mundane, uninspired combinations. We specialize in bringing out delicious flavors while creating new, innovative combinations. In addition to all of that, we are dedicated to sustainability. We use all organic produce, compost all waste, and conduct a plastic-free business.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have been so fortunate for the support I have received starting this service. My mom, my sister, and my boyfriend all play an active roll in the business as well as other helpful friends. My mom contributes amazing recipes and actually helps with delivering the meals on Mondays. My sister provides preparation help and her boyfriend has helped with graphic and design ideas. Also, I must recognize my boyfriend’s incredible efforts with meal preparation, clean-up and inspiration. Our success is surely a team effort.

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