Tell us about your business.In 2005, I started PALETA in my kitchen by delivering clients healthy twists on haute cuisine with ingredients sourced from local farms, cruelty-free ranches, and responsible fisheries. As a survivor of late stage terminal cancer, I have made it my mission to introduce the world to a healthier lifestyle. Today, PALETA has become a positive force from coast to coast. Home to Southern California's first certified green kitchen, PALETA provides designer meal services to the greater LA and OC areas, and ships our popular MIND & BODY CLEANSE and our organic cold pressed Juice Detoxes nationwide. PALETA was built with the understanding that the environment directly correlates to the quality of the food produced and the well-being of my clients. Reducing our ecological footprint has been a crucial part of my business and we continue to implement more sustainable business practices. We are committed to supporting our community and preserving our planet’s resources for future generations.
What makes your business stand out?PALETA focuses on providing our clients with the highest quality local and organic produce. We source only wild-caught or sustainably farmed products from Cleanfish approved seafood purveyors, hormone & antibiotic-free poultry, and grass-fed beef from cruelty-free ranches. We implemented Meatless Mondays for clients to experience the delicious variety & health benefits of a vegetarian diet. We package our products in BPA-free materials and use biocompostable, biodegradable & recyclable containers. PALETA built its green kitchen per LEED specifications & standards and is equipped with energy & water conservation systems, an on-site greenhouse & a composting system to add value to our organic food waste. In addition, we proudly contribute to numerous philanthropic organizations, ranging from animal cruelty prevention non-profits, to feeding the hungry, to cancer non-profits, to planting a TREE for every qualified purchase. We have negated our carbon footprint 100% with our efforts!
What's the best business advice you've received?I was diagnosed with an extremely rare, advanced stage terminal cancer when I was 21 years old. As a result of subsequent surgeries and intensive chemotherapy regimens, I lost the ability to have children. And while I am extremely fortunate that radical treatments and surgeries saved my life, the reality that I would not be able to give birth caused an immeasurable amount of mourning, loss and grief for me over the years. It was only until someone special said to me, “Trees were created for many reasons. Some are intended to bear fruit. The rest are intended to provide shade. Go into this world and provide shade, care and love to those who need it.” It forever changed me and is what drives me in my business. The deep satisfaction I feel when my clients’ lives are improved through a healthier lifestyle via PALETA is the nurturing I thought I would miss out on. I am only grateful.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now