We had the good fortune of connecting with Jody Boyman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jody, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Hungry Planet began as a passion project. Todd Boyman, my sibling co-founder and I, wanted to do something meaningful to solve two of the world’s most pressing problems: the health of humankind and the health of our planet. We set out on a mission to craft a wide range of proteins to feed our growing human family, prevent environmental destruction, avert global pandemics, and reduce animal suffering. Crucially, they had to be a simple switch for conventional meat, while also delivering superior nutrition. After a decade of culinary R&D, we developed the most authentic and complete range of plant-based meats available in the world – and the innovation continues!
What should our readers know about your business?
Our vision from the start was created on three pillars including environmental impact, health & wellness and animal welfare. We wanted to build a platform for positive change, one where people could eat their way to a healthier planet while staying true to our deepest values. From the beginning, we approached the opportunity differently. We’d already been eating plant-based for decades, but we knew that in order to transform our food system, we had to create delectable plant-based meats that would appeal to everyone.
Our vision feeds directly into our mission which is simple: to bend the curve on personal and planetary health with the only full range of delicious and nourishing plant-based meats. We are proud to have launched 18 meats into foodservice right before the pandemic hit, and then we pivoted to bring forward (by about a year) 17 retail meats so those hungry at home would have nourishing options. No easy task with a relatively small team and all manner of supply chain challenges, but we continue to tenaciously build our team, our proficiencies, and our network.
Now you can find our delicious, nutritious and versatile plant-based meats all over the country, in foodservice and retail, including all 362 Sprouts and increasing numbers of Albertsons/Safeway. We are also available online at Costco.com and Amazon. We have a handy Find Us page https://www.hungryplanetfoods.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We are proudly headquartered in the heat of the Midwest, St Louis, so I’d suggest eating at several restaurants that menu Hungry Planet including Chicken Out and Pi Pizzaria! And of course touring the Gateway Arch, visiting the beautiful old Courthouse, and immersing in nature by wandering through the Botanical Gardens. When visiting Denver, definitely check out Meta Burger (3 locations and growing) who platforms their innovative, award-winning burgers entirely on Hungry Planet Beef and Hungry Planet Chicken.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many wonderful influences! Our parents, for raising us to be empathetic, free thinkers. Also, recognition to certain titans in the plant-based space who were the earliest movers like Seth Tibbott of Tofurkey and Bob Goldberg of Follow Your Heart. I had a beloved Chief Seattle’s quote taped to my wall as an adolescent: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. I’m thankful to Rachel Carson for writing Silent Spring and John Robbins for writing Diet For A New America that helped me understand how our food choices greatly impact our health, our planet, and billions of sentient beings each year who are trapped in our food system. I’m also a lifelong Jane Goodall fan girl and these quotes have always resonated with me: “If the factory farm does indeed unravel – and it must – then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused.” and “Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?” and “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” I’m fortunate to stand on the shoulders of giants and receive great inspiration from their leadership.