Talking Small Biz: Healthy foods, with an online twist

MICHAEL HINKELMAN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kriti Sehgal cofounded Pure Fare, which has two Philly locations.
MICHAEL HINKELMAN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kriti Sehgal cofounded Pure Fare, which has two Philly locations.
Posted: March 07, 2013

K RITI SEHGAL, 29, a University of Pennsylvania grad who lives in Center City, is co-founder (with her brother, Kunal, who lives in New York) of Pure Fare. The company, launched in April 2011, provides fresh, healthy all-natural foods supported by Web tools that enable consumers to track health goals. Pure Fare has two locations: 21st Street near Walnut, and South Street above 16th, both in Center City.

Q: Tell me about the idea for Pure Fare.

A: It started as a technology idea. We partner with a company that's built software called My Fare. Customers can track what they eat here and keep up with their health and nutrition. The software has more value with a food component.

Q: You and your brother run the business together?

A: Kunal runs the back end of the business, the financials. I run the day-to-day marketing end.

Q: Where did you come up with the money to start the business?

A: We got an SBA [Small Business Administration] loan and also used our savings.

Q: What's special about Pure Fare?

A: We don't use white sugar or white flour, and all our breads are gluten-free. We work with a nutritionist to guide our menu. We have an online platform for tracking what and how much you eat. And you can see every ingredient that's in the each portion.

Q: Who's a typical customer?

A: They're between 18 and 40, mostly women, moms to professionals. They come in three or four times a week. We're open for for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Q: You're sustainable?

A: We compost with local farms. All of our packaging is compostable. We filter our own water and buy organic and fair trade.

Q: Is the online platform unique?

A: There are lots of tracking platforms. Pure Fare is different in that it's seamless. So anytime you come to Pure Fare and we scan in any identifiers, all the nutritious information on your purchase will automatically go to your profile on our Web page.

Q: How much revenue did you have last year?

A: Approximately $1.3 million.

Q: How many employees?

A: 16 full time, not including me and Kunal.

Q: What can I get at Pure Fare that I can't get elsewhere?

A: I don't think you will go to many restaurants and find cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles or squash lasagna. If you like Pure Fare and make it part of your lifestyle, we want you to come two or three times a week. We think the Web tools and nutrition data on our food build trust in our brand.

Q: What's the backstory behind the name Pure Fare?

A: It just goes with our mantra - pure, clean and 100 percent good.

Q: Where do you see Pure Fare in five years?

A: We'd love to open in other East Coast cities. As we grow, there's stuff we don't want to lose. We care about the product and what goes into making it.


On Twitter: @MHinkelman


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