Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diego Silva, CEO of Avatar Natural Foods, located in Henderson, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a food manufacturing and distributor; our customers are Whole Foods, Sprouts, Bristol Farms, Costco and etc.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Diego Silva, and I want Americans to eat better. And our Henderson, Nevada-based food service and manufacturing company, Avatar Natural Foods, makes clean, ready-to-eat food accessible, affordable, and delicious.
Oghigian and I have worked in the food sector in one way or another for more than two decades. Soon after I immigrated to the U.S. at age 17, I landed a job as a restaurant dishwasher. I worked my way through the ranks, eventually becoming a pastry chef. By age 21, I'd opened my first restaurant. While that venture closed in 2007, that steady determination led to the launch of Avatar Natural Foods when I was just 23.
Since then, the company has grown to be a leading gourmet food manufacturer, distributor, and importer. Avatar has grown to nearly $30 million in annual revenue and earned a coveted spot on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest-growing private companies due to hard work and some hard-won lessons.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
A decade ago, we realized how technology would revolutionize the food service industry. As we learned about food service tech, I have traveled to more than 50 countries and toured roughly 200 factories to find the best balance of innovation and automation without sacrificing the human element of his business. "We are able to process from fresh to frozen, all the way through," he says. "Very few companies can do what we do."
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Engaging the team to join the mission with us as in today's time, people don't want to work on food production.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Stay true to your mission - Focus on being the best, and the money will follow - Innovate, Innovate, Innovate!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Invest in your mission. We believe that clean, healthy food could be part of the solution to health problems like cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. "People want to eat clean," he says. The challenge? Making the food affordable and accessible.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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