I started beachgreens in July 2007 in an effort to make organic and sustainably grown produce direct from local farmers more readily available for the average busy person in the Greater Long Beach area.
My enthusiasm for healthier ways of eating started at age 15. I was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease, and told to watch my sodium intake. I headed into the kitchen and started cooking! This helped me to discover my passion, and to make choices about what I was putting into my body.
Now 15 years later, living a healthy life free of kidney disease, I feel the diagnosis helped direct my path. I studied nutrition at U.C. Berkeley, trained as a chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in Manhattan, and recently received a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle, a school on the forefront of teaching sustainable business practices through its MBA program.
I have also worked on organic farms around the country, in restaurants, as a personal chef and caterer, and as a cooking instructor. I worked to develop our network of community and school gardens with Long Beach Organic in 2002 to 2003. Ultimate fulfillment for me comes from connecting the farm to our forks. I love cooking, I love farming and gardening—what a better idea for a business besides the intersection of the two! A start-up company delivering local organic produce was the logical step.
My Turkish heritage deeply influences my love of food, as has traveling and living in different cities. I’ve experienced the common denominator that food is for us humans, no matter where we live or what we eat.
Being born and raised in Long Beach, it is a community that is near and dear to my heart. I feel there are many opportunities in our everyday lives to live in a way that is healthier for us, healthier for the earth, and all the while still being convenient. I am excited to introduce beachgreens as a small part of this larger picture.