One thing I've loved most about starting Wholistic Nut is the badass women I've been able to meet and do business with. Women who are not only business savvy, but genuinely committed to making a positive change in our society.
Insert Olympia Auset, founder of SUPRMARKT. Olympia and I met at a panel several months ago talking about innovations in food and food access for improving the health and livelihood of Los Angeles. I learned about Olympia's work in helping to bring food to the 1.3 million people in South LA alone who live in 'food deserts' via her weekly pop-up fruit & veggie stands she does across LA and her subscription produce boxes.
Since meeting Olympia, I've become a customer of SUPRMARKT, ordering weekly SUPRMARKT boxes to be delivered to the women of Miriam's House~ much of which I use when I teach my monthly whole food cooking workshops there. Olympia even joined me last month to teach the women how to make her famous SUPR Stew. You can check out the video and recipe here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX5uZoQfd_Q&t=32s
Please read on to learn more about Olympia and her incredible work. Also be sure to check out http://www.suprmarkt.la/ and follow them at @supr.mrkt !
BC: Tell us about SÜPRMARKT. What is it and why did you feel like it needed to exist?
OA: SÜPRMARKT brings affordable organic produce to the people and places that need it most in a weekly pop-up grocery + subscription service. Since starting in 2016, SÜPRMARKT has served up more than 800 cases of produce because food is the best, and cheapest form of health care man has. 1.3 million people living in South LA have access to just 60 grocery stores and 23.5 million Americans are food insecure. People in food deserts lead other groups in deaths from preventable disease, and nearly 1 billion per day is spent on treating preventable disease in America. This is the climate SÜPRMARKT is working to change.
BC: What prompted you to start the business?
OA: While at Howard University, I learned a lot about the food system and how much food impacts peoples lives. I became vegan in 2009. I lived in Inglewood at the time I was becoming raw vegan and I was surrounded by corner stores and fast food. To get fresh, quality food I traveled 2 hours by bus. Simply put, I want my friends and family to live. Diabetes, Cancer stats, etc. aren't just stats for people in my circle, they are loved ones we have lost.
BC: What about running this business lights you up?
OA: Seeing photos of meals people have made, and going to people's houses and seeing our produce there. Running a business can be very abstract and transactional but when I see the actual impact our work has in action, it makes me smile.
BC: What does food equality mean to you?
OA: People from all areas are able to access fresh foods affordably. Everyone having equal opportunity to eat healthily and doesn't have to feel stressed while shopping because they want to eat salads or drink juice for a week straight. Fresh, quality food is a human right.
BC: What’s one habit or routine you do that makes you feel whole- physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually?OA: I make time each week to do something for me/ with me. I might go the beach, dip in a friend's jacuzzi, or just go for a walk in the neighborhood, but carving out time to be yourself is incredibly important to keeping your spirit alive and healthy. I have learned the hard way that caring for yourself is not optional.