The Stories Behind The Best Healthy Brands

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Today, we're interviewing the founders of some of our favorite healthy brands. From nutritious bone broth and collagen to innovative health testing kits to natural meat delivery, read on to discover what inspires these entrepreneurial leaders!

Today, we're interviewing the founders of some of our favorite healthy brands. From nutritious bone broth and collagen to innovative health testing kits to natural meat delivery, read on to discover what inspires these entrepreneurial leaders!

Here at R+R, we're all about holistic, integrative health and wellness – from the food on our plates, to the products we put on our bodies and in our homes, to the resources we use that support balance and optimal health.

While on one hand it seems like we're exposed to more toxins than ever before, this is all being countered by more people who are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, taking matters into their own hands, and doing their part to create a business that serves the greater good.

I, for one, find these leaders super inspiring! I love hearing people's stories and getting to know the heart of what drives their motivation.

You may already follow our In Her Shoes series where we share uplifting interviews with influential experts in health, nutrition, and lifestyle. Today, we're interviewing the founders of some of our favorite healthy brands!

Ready to get inspired? Let's do it!

Kettle & Fire Bone Broth


Kettle & Fire is one of the healthiest, highest quality bone broths on the market that delivers amazing health benefits! I personally use it on a regular basis because:

  • It's incredibly rich in minerals (notably calcium and magnesium) and amino acids (protein)
  • Thanks to the gelatin (collagen) and cartilage from the animal bones being simmered over a long period of time, anti-aging bone broth reduces inflammation, heals the gut and boosts immunity (read: like chicken soup on steroids that helps you fight colds and the flu)
  • It's proven to aid in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, infections and even improves mental and emotional health

Kettle & Fire is made from 100% organic, free range chicken bones and vegetables. It's clean, real food – you’ll find no harmful chemicals, no added preservatives or hormones and no MSG. Plus, it's Certified Gluten Free, Whole30 Approved, BPA Free, Paleo Approved and USDA approved! 

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Interview with Justin Mares, CEO & Co-Founder

1) What was your biggest inspiration behind starting Kettle & Fire? 

I started this company after I heard about bone broth in late 2013, while looking for ways to improve my healing post-Crossfit. Around the same time, Nick (my brother) tore his ACL while playing soccer and was looking for natural ways to speed the healing and recovery process.

That's when I started learning more about bone broth and looking for ways to get more collagen and amino acids in my diet. After looking for quality bone broth I couldn't find ANYTHING, so started Kettle & Fire. And gave Nick a job 🙂

2) What would you tell someone who was on the fence about purchasing Kettle & Fire?

I'd tell someone on the fence to give K&F a shot, and try incorporating bone broth into their morning ritual 2-3x a week for a few weeks and see how they feel.

3) What is your favorite product from Kettle & Fire?

Mushroom Chicken

BONUS: Kettle & Fire is giving away 6 cartons of their Mushroom Chicken Broth to one lucky winner! ($42.99 value) Head to the bottom of this post to enter!


EverlyWell is a revolutionary company providing reliable at-home health test kits for anyone to take in the comfort and convenience of their own home. They work with the same labs doctors’ offices use and offer lifestyle guidance based on your health results. They have a huge range of tests, from Thyroid Health, Food Sensitivity, metabolism, Vitamin D & Inflammation, Sleep & Stress, Sexual Health and more! You can check out all of their at-home health test kits here.

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Interview with Julia Cheek, Founder & CEO

1) What was your biggest inspiration behind starting EverlyWell?

After personally having a really bad experience with very expensive lab testing that resulted in little explanation from my doctors, I knew there had to be a better way – especially since managing biomarkers is a top contributor to preventing chronic disease. With a few other passionate people, EverlyWell was launched to redesign lab testing to be convenient and meaningful.

I also knew that the market was ready, and I knew that if I didn’t at least try, that I would regret that decision for the rest of my life. I was super passionate about the idea and solution, but I also looked at the market forces and believed this could actually work.

2) What would you tell someone who was on the fence about purchasing from EverlyWell?

There are quite a few benefits for testing at home with EverlyWell rather than visiting a doctor’s office or lab. First is the matter of convenience, which saves you from having to take time out of your already busy schedule. Also, with our easy-to-understand results you’ll receive, the confusion typically associated with traditional lab results won’t be an issue.

Lastly, co-pays, deductibles, and multiple doctors visits can add up — EverlyWell will save you money by testing from home. With our convenient at-home sample collection process and your results delivered to you on our secure platform in just days – it has never been easier to take control of your health.

3) What is your favorite testing kit from EverlyWell?

We are striving to change the way people engage with lab testing by making it accessible to the general population – so I’m excited about each and every one of our at-home test kits.

Butcher Box contents


ButcherBox is a monthly subscription service that delivers 100% grass-fed beef, free range organic chicken and heritage breed pork directly to your door. It's one of my favorite services that I regularly rely on to ensure I'm getting high quality, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. Goodbye tedious shopping, and hello, convenience!

Get a peek into one of my ButcherBox deliveries here, and then take advantage of $10 off + free bacon in your first order!

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Interview with Mike Salguero, Founder

1) What was your biggest inspiration behind starting ButcherBox? 

One night, I ended up in someone's living room picking out my very own $400 pile of meat from a cow share. Not just any cow, either – a 100% grass-fed cow. I was instantly hooked on the pure, natural taste, and was thrilled to discover the health advantages of grass-fed beef. I learned that not everyone has access to grass-fed beef, or their exposure is limited to products like ground beef. Currently, only 1% of the total beef consumed in the United States is 100% grass-fed. Our goal is to make grass-fed beef (and now, heritage breed pork and organic chicken) more accessible than ever before.

2) What would you tell someone who was on the fence about purchasing a ButcherBox?

ButcherBox is the country's most trusted source for beef, chicken, and pork online. You can rest assured that all the meat is humanely raised and free from antibiotics and hormones. The animals freely roam on pasture and are never put in feedlots.

The beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, the chicken is free range organic, and the pork is pasture raised. The price comes out to less than $6/serving with free shipping straight to your door. You can cancel anytime without penalty, so give it a try!

3) What is your favorite product from Butcher Box?

The ribeye steaks! They sear great in a cast-iron and can be ready to eat within 15 minutes. Season with just a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, then throw in some Kerrygold butter and thyme at the end to finish it off. Sear for 4 minutes a side on high heat and let rest for 7 minutes in loosely wrapped tinfoil to keep warm. I usually pair with collard greens with garlic and sweet onions. So easy and healthy.

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My favorite place to get natural, organic wine is from Dry Farm Wines, which curates the world’s best natural healthy wines in subscription boxes. There's no additives, industrial machinery, or GMO fruit in their wines, meaning you get a finished product that’s organic, clean, and has a positive impact on your health.

Amazingly, they only offer wines free of sugar and carbs (less than 1 g/L, so statistically sugar-free), which is super hard to find, but it makes a huge impact on how you feel (sugar = headaches) – say goodbye to hangovers! Plus, Dry Farm Wines lab tests every wine they import to make sure the alcohol content is 12.5% or less.

Sign up for Dry Farm Wines’ membership and get an extra bottle for just ONE PENNY in your first order!

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Interview with Todd White, Founder
1) What was your biggest inspiration behind starting Dry Farm Wines? 

My biggest inspiration behind Dry Farm Wines was to find a clean, natural wine I could drink regularly while staying healthy. After being in the wine business for 15 years – and being a health “biohacker” for the last few – I grew sick of the hangovers, sugar, and additives in commercial wines. But I loved wine, and didn't want to give it up. Thankfully, I came across lower alcohol, dry farmed Natural Wines. I was stunned. No sugar, minimal human intervention, and no headaches.

Today, I'm inspired to share this special natural product with as many people as possible. I firmly believe in the health benefits of moderate wine consumption, as long as it's the right kind of wine. I'm grateful for the chance to spread the LOVE in each of these bottles.
2) What would you tell someone who was on the fence about purchasing a membership to Dry Farm Wines?

If you're on the fence about joining Dry Farm Wines, you probably haven't tasted our wines yet. You'll experience the difference from the first sip. Seriously; you can taste the lower alcohol, lack of sugar, and organic grapes without being a fancy sommelier.

The wine reflects the earth from where it came, it brings people together, it pairs perfectly with food, and it doesn't cause negative reactions. Most importantly for me, it encourages vulnerability and authenticity with those around you. Conversations are always a little deeper over a glorious glass of Natural Wine.

Try it for yourself. But before you do, forget everything you know about commercial shelf wines. Our Natural Wines are real wines – a living product – nothing added or removed.

3) What is your favorite product/package/service from Dry Farm Wines?

I love our monthly case program. You receive 12 different red wines every month shipped to your door. For a regular drinker like me, I love the adventure of it all… you never know what wines you'll get, but you know they're all lab-tested for our strict health metrics and taste-tested to meet our unique aesthetic.

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Thrive Market Healthy Online Grocery Shopping


Thrive Market is an online retailer selling healthy foods and products at wholesale prices. It's one of my favorite money saving places to shop online! You'll find many of your favorite brands and health products offered at lower prices than in supermarkets and specialty health stores, and they're always running special promotions to give you extra discounts and free products with your orders.

In fact, right now Thrive Market is offering an extra 25% off your first order + a free gift! If you haven't tried Thrive Market, now is the time my friend. 🙂

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Interview with Gunnar Lovelace, Co-Founder & Co-CEO

1) What was your biggest inspiration behind starting Thrive Market?

We started Thrive Market to make healthy living accessible and affordable to everyone. The idea for Thrive Market was born out of a realization that geography and affordability are the two major barriers to accessing healthy food. It always seemed crazy to us that processed foods with lots of chemicals were less expensive than products without any chemicals or processing.

Thrive Market is for anyone who wants access to natural, healthy food and non toxic products at prices they can afford. We currently offer over 4000 of the leading organic, non-GMO brands at 25-50% off, shipped nationally.

2) What would you tell someone who was on the fence about purchasing a membership to Thrive Market?

The success of our business is built upon deep relationships with hundreds of the leading health food brands, allowing us to buy directly from these brands and pass all savings along to our members. We cut out the traditional middlemen involved in bringing a product from manufacturer to retail, including brokers fees, distributors fees, slotting fees, and retail markup. Instead, we charge an annual membership fee of $60, like Costco, and break even on product sales.

Plus, for every Thrive Market membership purchased, we donate a free membership to a family in need, teacher, veteran or student. We have thousands of families in our rapidly expanding Giving Program throughout the US. In addition to giving away memberships, we launched a Donate at Checkout program earlier this year that enables us to provide stipends to our low-income Giving Program members to further help support healthy habit formation. We believe that by providing financial support for the first four purchases of a low-income family, we can incentivize long term behavior change, proving one can buy organic, natural products at the same price as conventional equivalents for the first time in history.

3) What is your favorite product from Thrive Market

Essential Formulas Inc. Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics. I take these temperature stable probiotics with me whenever I travel and they're lifesavers. One thing a lot of people don't realize is the role a healthy gut plays in ensuring our immune system is functioning at its peak. This is especially important during a flu season like the one we're having!

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Vital Proteins is a high quality, trusted brand with a variety of collagen products. Taking a collagen supplement has a host of positive side effects–it improves your skin’s appearance, reduces joint pain, helps break down proteins and soothes your gut’s lining (AMAZING for anyone with digestion issues), increases your metabolism, strengthens teeth, nails and hair, helps your body detox AND reduces the appearance of cellulite. Woohoo!

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Interview with Kurt Seidensticker, CEO & Founder

1) What was your biggest inspiration behind starting Vital Proteins?

Health and wellness has always been a part of my life – I'm an avid runner, and have been my entire life. The start of Vital Proteins was really born out of personal necessity. As I was getting older, the effects of aging on my joints and bones became especially apparent. I was no longer able to run the distances I was accustomed, my recovery time slowed… my joints were getting creaky. I just knew I needed to find a natural way to help remedy some of the things I was experiencing.

Through quite a bit of research, I found collagen to be one of the biggest missing protein sources in our diets – and our body's most critical structural support. This was the “ah-ha” moment that spurred several years of research and trial before Vital Proteins was launched in January of 2014.

2) What would you tell someone who was on the fence about purchasing from Vital Proteins?

I would first want them to understand the many benefits of adding collagen to their diet and then I would explain Vital Proteins' commitment to using only quality, whole food-based ingredients.

You should be taking our products not because it's “trendy” or because someone on social media is doing it, but because you really understand how your body will benefit and because you truly trust the source.

3) What is your favorite product from Vital Proteins? 

I think my favorite product will always be the first SKU we ever launched, the Collagen Peptides. I add it into a green smoothie every morning.

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A big thanks to all of these founders for sharing their stories with us! Now, over to you: what's your biggest takeaway from reading these interviews? We'd love to know what inspired you, what you learned, or one action step you're now ready to take.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust.

6 thoughts on “The Stories Behind The Best Healthy Brands”

  1. I love getting to know the people behind the “brands”!

    Thank you so much for sharing this – it’s always fun to hear the motivation and inspiration behind the product.
    I recently joined Thrive and totally love it!

  2. I just love reading these interviews! I’m such a curious person and always wonder about the real people behind brands and their inspiration (which is why I also love the show Shark Tank)! Thanks for sharing – very inspiring!

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