From Steak to Kale

by Jen Phillips April

Bucolic Bucks County is home to artists, writers and — The World’s Healthiest Chip?

The company founded by a former steak loving corporate executive, Brad Gruno, is on a mission to spread the word about the benefits of raw food.

From a recent appearance on the Today Show, an interview in Forbes magazine and now a book deal with Random House, Brad’s Raw Chips is taking raw food mainstream and giving back to the Bucks County community along the way.

A Health Crisis

With the health crisis in America, nearly everyone is worried about their health and wants to lose at least a few pounds. Brad’s Raw Chips gives an outlet to do that without complex diet plans or a “lecture’ type feel.

It’s Got Crunch

Brad’s products include dehydrated veggie chips and dehydrated kale with flavorings like garlic and jalapeno peppers.

At first, he sold them at Farmer’s markets. They proved so popular he approached a Philadelphia Whole Foods about carrying them—which they did. Next, it was Princeton and then Whole Foods Stores up and down the East Coast.

Besides being good for you, they’re tasty and crunchy. All the chips and crackers are dehydrated below 115 degrees which preserves the foods’ nutrients and enzymes yet gives you the crunch you want.

Hoda Kotb of the Today Show liked them so much she raved about them to Kathi Lee. Not one to waste an opportunity, Brad loaded up the car and showed up outside of the Today Show’s studio with homemade signs and boxes of the soon-to-be famous dehydrated kale and veggie chips.

Social Media Amplifies Word of Mouth

When asked about the role of social media in the growing reputation of Brad’s Raw Foods, Brandon Underwood, the Director of Communications says, “The growth of the company is almost traceable in real time through the growth of the social media channels.”

Frankly, that makes sense considering how passionate the healthy food community is about what they eat.

The staff uses social media to connect with people in the raw food community, vegans and other healthy food types. By having conversations with the people already part of the communities and making healthy food “fun” for reluctant converts, they’ve grown their fans across the country.

On Twitter they use hashtags such as #hail2thekale to connect with like-minded people who’ll spread the word about their product.

Currently, Brad’s Raw Chips is having a jingle-writing contest. Contestants send in their entries and fans can vote. You can see the contestants via Facebook or on the website. The winner will be the Brad’s Raw Chip jingle maker.

That’s just one way the company aims to get people involved.

There are currently two Facebook Business pages—the main one, Brad’s Raw Chips and the 7-Day Raw Challenge. This is an introduction to the raw diet and people choose to “go raw” for a week. Participants share pictures, recipes and their experiences. Plus, they offer encouragement and support.

All this exposure is working, Brad’s Raw Chips is expanding on the West Coast with plans to enter the steak eating capitals of Texas and Chicago afterwards.

Within Bucks County, Brad’s Raw Chips recently opened The Chip Factory in Pipersville, a hub for juicing, cleansing, music, art, yoga, raw and nurturing foods, learning, workshops, and community!  Check out their latest factory happenings here.