Q&A With Donny Makower of RDCL Superfoods and The Gentle Barn
When we first started In Good Company in 2020, it was a way for us to focus on the positive stories in our community amid the lows of the pandemic. As the conversation around re-opening California continues, we're proud to evolve our blog and newsletter to feature clients and friends of the firm on our blog to showcase the impressive ways in which individuals and companies are giving back or impacting our community.
In our first of many on this blog, Employment Partner Karina Sterman interviews Donny Makower, CEO and Co-founder of RDCL Superfoods and Chairman of the Board of The Gentle Barn regarding his commitment to advocating for plant-based living and animals.
Karina: Hi Donny, thank you for joining us for this Q&A today. Can you please introduce yourself and share what your role is with RDCL Superfoods?
Donny: My name is Donny Makower and, over the past few years, I have realigned my personal and professional endeavors around my passion for plant-based, cruelty-free living. I was formerly the President and Co-Founder of RED Interactive Agency, a premier digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, which I ultimately sold. I’m currently the CEO & Co-Founder of RDCL Superfoods, a new brand that makes plant-based superfood products. I’m also a public speaker and the Chairman of the Board of The Gentle Barn, a national nonprofit organization.
Karina: I see that RDCL Superfoods provides consumers with plant-based, nutrient-rich, “clean” foods that are easy to incorporate into one’s daily routine. How have your products helped consumers during the pandemic?
Donny: We actually developed our first two products right after the pandemic started. We conducted research and engaged in social listening to learn about people’s most common needs in health and wellness during the early spread of COVID across the country. It was unsurprising to learn that most people don’t drink enough water – and they know it. So we developed two superfood hydration products (called Radical Elements) that not only taste great and provide added hydration from organic coconut water, but they also include evidence-based nutrients and botanicals that are proven to support people’s needs around energy, focus, stress-reduction, and immunity.
We most recently launched Super Cocoa, our vegan superfood hot chocolate that serves as a healthy, yet indulgent treat – especially during the ongoing pandemic when people are trying to increase their intake of nutrient-rich foods. It contains a wide variety of organic vegetables, fruits, and ancient grains & seeds (such as kale, spinach, broccoli, blueberry, elderberry, chia, quinoa, and more – don't worry, you won't detect any of it). It also contains six grams of organic pea protein per serving and has only 1 gram of naturally occurring sugar. This is a totally new approach to hot chocolate, as we use ingredients that are unique to the category. Plus, you can even make it cold or blend it with ice and your favorite plant-based milk – I love having it this way, especially with summer around the corner.
Karina: Let’s touch on The Gentle Barn. You are the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Can you tell us a little bit about what The Gentle Barn does and how they are making an impact in the community?
Donny: The Gentle Barn specializes in the rehabilitation of abused and neglected animals. We’ve rescued animals ranging from chickens and cows to horses and sheep, and they come from slaughterhouses, backyard butchers, or other difficult circumstances that would have otherwise led to their ongoing suffering, abuse, and death. Plus, we not only help and advocate for animals – we help people and the planet too. For example, our educational programs are designed to teach students through direct interactions with animals. Students are encouraged to explore such things as empathy, kindness, and responsibility. Moreover, The Gentle Barn encourages and promotes plant-based living, which has a significant positive impact on our planet (as animal agriculture is one of the largest drivers of greenhouse gases, habitat destruction, land and water use, deforestation, and many other environmental concerns).
The Gentle Barn’s mission aligns well with both my personal sensibilities and the values of RDCL Superfoods. It’s been a rewarding journey thus far and I look forward to what's ahead.