Helen Seitner opened a natural foods store in Flint, Michigan in the 1920s, long before kale was cool. She regularly purchased hundreds of pounds of produce for juicing, and great-grandson Matt Weiss grew up witnessing the benefits of her healthy lifestyle. Helen lived to a sprightly and vital 100 years, and used that time to preach the power of whole fruit snacks, and drive home the lesson to not let anything—including stems, roots, seeds, and rinds—go to waste.
The apple clearly didn’t fall far from the tree when it came to Matt. The maker previously worked in the investment research industry, where he covered innovative and disruptive growth companies in the health and wellness space. Little did he know, he was destined to become one of them!
Taking a page from his great-grandmother Helen, Matt developed a line of snacks whose secret ingredient has nothing to do with what he adds, but what he’s chosen not to subtract. That would be the rind, which he describes as the heart of the fruit’s nutritional power, being rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. And it’s not just a boon for consumers. Matt’s motto to “Keep it Real, Eat the Peel,” is also better for the planet, since preserving the rinds amounts to diverting over 100,000 pounds of annual food waste.
How else is he affecting change through fruit? Matt launched the Love is RIND charitable initiative as a force to combat childhood hunger. The company partners with local organizations to donate nutritious food snacks on weekends; a time when access to food outside of school is more limited.
As for his own family, Matt has found it incredibly gratifying to watch his three children embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship, by critiquing, working on new flavor combinations and packaging design, and preaching the power of the peel to everyone they meet! Great great grandma Helen would be proud.