Part 3 in a series where Krates Ng (co-founder of Mokugift environmental rewards) interviews fellow ecopreneurs. Today, Krates interviews Pawan Kothari of Green Coriander
1) Why did you start your company
I believe that eating fresh, well balanced, home cooked meals are essential for optimum health. The rise of fast foods and processed foods can be directly linked to the rise of obesity, type II diabetes and other preventable chronic diseases. We need to move back to the culture where people ate real food, made by real people and not by corporations. But not everyone has the time or the skills to make a good meal at the end of a busy day. We cook so that our customers dont have to. Green Coriander is a healthy, organic Indian meal delivery service that provides families and busy professionals a nutritious meal made with organic and high quality ingredients in San Francisco.
Our philosophy is heavily influenced by Michael Pollan and the Slow Food Movement
Our mission, other than providing fresh, delicious, healthy Indian meals to busy professionals and families, is to build a green business. We use organic vegetables as it promotes sustainable agriculture and organic meats as it supports humane treatment of animals. By cooking to order everyday we create minimal waste. Our take-away containers and utensils are bio-degradable, so most of our garbage goes right into the recycling or compost bins. We even have a zero-emission delivery service and deliver our meals on bicycles in Mission, SOMA and Financial District.
2) Is there a story about the name of your company
Coriander is among the essential flavors of Indian cooking. Commonly known as cilantro in the US, coriander is an annual herb used widely in food and holistic or ayurvedic remedies.
Green, the color of coriander leaves, signifies both the freshness we guarantee in every one of our meals and the values that inspire our company.
3) What was the toughest challenge in getting your company started and how you got over that?
The toughest challenge has been to create awareness of our company. As Green Coriander is not a brick and mortar restaurant, it has been difficult to get press or food writers to cover us. We have been relying mainly on word of mouth and social media tools such as Yelp, Twitter and Facebook.
While it has taken some time, Green Coriander is finally generating some interest with the Media. We expect a few, fairly esteemed, food publications will cover Green Coriander in the next few weeks.
4) Can you describe the moment when you knew that your company hit full stride as a business?
We are still fairly young company – less than 3 months old. We are moving to a bigger kitchen in April and will start a lunch service in addition to the dinner service we currently provide. Hitting full stride to us would mean having our own full time kitchen with a retail presence. I want to grow the company organically at a slow, yet steady pace.
5) If you had to pick one product or service in your lineup, which one would you showcase and why?
We are San Francisco’s first and only delivery service for healthy and organic Indian food. If I had to pick just one aspect of our food that differentiates us would be that our food is healthy. We cook in small amounts of heart healthy premium oils.Our dishes are labeled to suit every dietary need and we offer tasty choices for nut-free, gluten-free, vegan and diabetic diets.
6) How is your company going to grow in 2010? And how can other ecopreneurs help?
We will start a lunch service with delivery to Financial District in April. We also plan to expand our delivery areas for dinner to Peninsula, East Bay (Oakland and Berkeley) and Marin. By the end of the year we would like to offer our prepared meals to organic grocery stores in the Bay Area.