We believe we have the most incredible lineup of vendors participating at the 2013 Expo. In fact, we’re so proud of them, we want everyone to know more about who they are and how their business fits in to the Expo’s passion for seeing Ottawa the healthiest city in Canada. We recently sent our vendors a list of four questions. Between now and the Expo, we will be highlighting some of these amazing vendors. Watch our blog every Tuesday & Saturday morning for another vendor spotlight.
Who are you?
SimplyRaw Express is owned and operated by husband-wife duo Mark Faul and Natasha Kyssa. Natasha has run SimplyRaw as a home-based consulting business since 2006, and the couple decided it was finally time to take the business out of the house and into Hintonburg.
Natasha has a very long history with raw foods, living the lifestyle since the early 1990’s, and has traveled extensively to study the living foods lifestyle. Author of the Canadian best selling book, The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual and TEDx Speaker, Natasha loves to read, study, and help people improve their health one bite at at time. She is currently writing a recipe book. Gatineau Park is Natasha’s escape, where she loves to run and hike in the summer and cross-country ski once the snow falls.
Mark has been a dedicated vegan since the late 1990’s, and has a management background. He is the order and systematization to Natasha’s creativity. For fun Mark enjoys being active running, hiking, swimming, cycling, snowshoeing and skiing.
“It’s easy to be passionate and driven to run a business based on a lifestyle that you live yourselves, and one which can change the lives of so many other people” says Mark.
How long have you been in business?
SimplyRaw has been in business since 2006, but the restaurant and healthy lifestyles centre – SimplyRaw Express – opened in May of 2012. Natasha has been teaching clients about raw and holistic health for almost 20 years; and Mark has over 10 years of management experience. However neither have ever owned or operated a restaurant before!
“This is a totally new venture for us, and the first 6 months was a huge challenge. We’ve learned a lot though, and come a very long way in just a short period of time. Fortunately we’ve had lots of help from some amazing staff, and through our kitchen angels volunteer program.”
What is your business all about?
SimplyRaw Express is Ottawa’s only 100% vegan AND 100% gluten-free restaurant. The majority of our dishes are also raw food. All our food and drinks are prepared to go, serving the health conscious person who doesn’t have the time for a sit-down meal (we do have a few tables to accommodate people with time to stay as well though!). We are known for our unique, cold-pressed juices rich in live nutrients and enzymes.
Through SimplyRaw Express we also off a unique selection of healthy lifestyles products, such as E3Live, BioSuperFood algae, spiral slicers, juicers, blenders, and dehydrators, among other things. The educational services of SimplyRaw are offered in the same space, with Natasha’s 28-day detox program, 14-day lightenup plan, raw food-prep workshops, support groups, and personal coaching all available on-site.
SimplyRaw Express is a holistic health centre seeking to educate and empower people to make healthy lifestyle choices, and to see the incredible benefits of incorporating fresh, whole plant foods into their lives.
The Expo focuses on four themes: be fit, eat right, think well, go green. Which of these does your business incorporate?
Our primary focus at SimplyRaw Express is healthy eating. All of our foods and drinks are made fresh in our open concept kitchen using only 100% fresh plant food ingredients, herbs and spices – almost entirely organic ingredients, and 100% gluten-free and allergen-free (also peanut-free). The only soy used is fermented, in minimal amounts. Our restaurant showcases creativity with simplicity – the ability to create amazing tasting foods & drinks, with minimal ingredients and a simple approach.
For us the vegan lifestyle also represents compassion and respect for all animals and for our environment. We practice and demonstrate eco-friendly business practices including:
- our takeout containers are all (i) compostable; (ii) biodegradable; OR (iii) recyclable
- we use energy efficient light bulbs
- we don’t cook (very much!) reducing energy use
- all our cleaning products are environmentally friendly
- we don’t use any toxic chemicals or products
- we compost (a lot!)
- over 90% of our “waste” is recycled or composted (we generate very little garbage)
- we are 100% gluten-free (no cross contamination in our kitchen)