Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to chat with COO and co-founder Gabriel Breternitz to take a deep dive into Good Apple's business model and its operations. Read on to learn more about what drives & inspires Gabe, how Good Apple's business model creates sustainable food support, and where he sees Good Apple heading in the future.
Get to Know Good Apple's Gabe BreternitzFebruary 1, 2021
How did you get involved with Good Apple?
Zack and I were roommates when we kicked off Good Apple. We went to college at Rice University together and afterwards both found our way to Austin - him for medical school, me for another job and to come live in my hometown. When Zack approached me with the idea for Good Apple, I was immediately on board. The idea of a 'Tom's Shoes' or 'one-for-one' business model for local produce just made sense to me. Austin has an incredible local food economy, but it also has above-average rates of food insecurity. All in all, Good Apple was a great opportunity to start something new with my college buddies, while doing some meaningful good for my hometown.
What about Good Apple's mission motivates you most?
I grew up in Austin and I’ve watched it transform into this destination city over the years. For the most part, I think the growth has been good! But, it hasn’t been good for everyone, and we’ve seen existing problems like racial and economic inequality get worse. So, I see Good Apple as a way to try to share the benefits of having a thriving food culture with communities that don’t always get to reap the rewards of our city’s growth. There’s also something uniquely compelling about sharing the same great, local produce each week, no matter who you are in Austin or what your income level at the moment might be.
So, Good Apple is a social venture. Why is that an important distinction to you?
Over time, it's gotten harder and harder to ignore the negative externalities traditional companies can create in the pursuit of profit: environmental pollution, waste, or just plain unsafe products. And, for a long time, it’s been really hard as a consumer to avoid contributing to those problems because alternatives aren't readily available. Lately, though, there’s been a growing movement to create social benefit companies that think about the types of negative externalities they create and try to incorporate solving the problem into their business model. With Good Apple, I see it as taking that idea one step further; not only are working to mitigate the potential negative externalities we create, we’re actively addressing a big problem - food insecurity - that we are really well positioned to make a difference in and create lasting impact.
What is your favorite part of your Good Apple box each week?
To me, the service itself is just a lot of fun. The produce list changes each week, and oftentimes there will be something different you might not have thought to buy yourself. So you get to figure out what to do with it, and a lot of times that pushes you to cook more interesting meals. We also always include a recipe card in the box to help get those creative juices flowing. If you haven't seen it, these days, we're also sharing even more recipe inspirations throughout the week on our Instagram at @goodapplefoods. I’ve had a blast cooking with the box. Believe it or not, I’ve had more than a few customers tell me that getting their box each Sunday is like Christmas!
What's next for Good Apple? Where do you see yourself taking the business?
Right now, I'm focused on making our paid service better and better - I want to add as much value for our subscribers as possible. The way I see it, the more our customers like and stick with our service, the more people we can help. So far, we’ve delivered nearly 750,000 pounds of produce to our community, but to truly make our approach to fighting food insecurity sustainable, I want Good Apple to be as convenient and high quality as possible. So if anyone has any suggestions for new features or changes you think can make Good Apple better, I’m all ears!