Jonas Falk loves food. When he was an undergraduate attending Michigan State for hotel and restaurant management, he came up with an idea for a business venture. Though he got a D on the paper (he attributes this to his lack of writing skills), today he has managed to make it into a hugely successful company called OrganicLife. The company has earned $20 million in revenue in seven years, has 300 employees, and is taking the public school system by storm.
There has long been a debate going on about the type of food students are served at school. Lately, though, the debate has grown more heated as the nation begins recognizing its obesity problem and realizing that serving kids nothing but carbs and sugar for breakfast and lunch might be attributing to it. Falk’s company has been incredibly successful in large part because of timing. People want to make a positive change in what we’re feeding kids, and OrganicLife has the answer.
The ideal that OrganicLife operates on is simple: no canned or processed foods, real chefs, and restaurant-quality meals. “Serve great food, provide great service and make people happy every day,” Falk says. Not only does this provide healthier food for the kids already eating school lunches, but it has also been the cause of a serious uptick in the number of students who choose to eat cafeteria lunch.
“We banked on the fact that more kids were going to come in to eat every single day if the food was great,” Falk said, according to Forbes. It turns out he was right.
At just 28 years old, Jonas Falk landed himself on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list this year. So far, OrganicLife is just within Illinois, but maybe someday we’ll see it expand nationwide.
“You don’t have to do a lot to change food services,” Falk said. “We’re going to take grass-fed beef and whole-wheat buns from a bakery that we love and that’s going to be our cheeseburger, instead of taking grade-B meat and a processed hamburger bun.” They’re also not taking the fun out of lunch—kids can still eat the foods they love, like pizza. “There’s nothing wrong with pizza as long as the chefs are making the dough and tossing them in the air and cooking every day.”