From Burger King Executive To Plant-Based Start-Up

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Small miracles happen every day, but few would ever imagine a key player moving from the front lines of the Burger King and PepsiCo industrial food wars (multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercials included) to the socially-conscious development of a plant-based sustainable foods company. But, according to Upstart Business Journal, that’s exactly what Brian Swette recently did.

The move from Burger King to barnyard-approved was as easy as an “a-ha” moment for Brian, who’s a former top executive at PepsiCo and chairman at Burger King. He had the convenience of experiencing two diverging positions — at work versus home. Spending years in the food industry, he watched as food became industrialized giving rise to real social health problems. At home, he saw a different possibility emerging: his daughter became vegetarian and his wife became deeply interested with how nutrition influences health.

“Knowing that health is one of the biggest challenges that face the country, I got this epiphany,” Swette said. “We could make a difference if we actually made a vegetarian food company.” He admitted, “[I]ndustrial food is really a curse … I was kind of on the dark side of food.”

So he teamed up with his wife, Kelly, now CEO of the family startup Sweet Earth Natural Foods, for what Swette likes to call his “legacy project.” At age 60, he’s thankful for the many high-profile careers that led him to this massive epiphany about the necessity for wholesome, cruelty-free foods. Together with 65 employees, Swette’s company now helps to save lives — humans and farmed animals alike.

From Benevolent Bacon and Burritos to Super Squares and Vegan Pies, you can find, Sweet Earth Natural Foods in Whole Foods and Target stores nationwide. 

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