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​Describe your business in three words: innovative, empowering, impactful

 

What inspired you to create SoulFULL?

Reyanne Mustafa: Krissy and I are servers at a restaurant in San Diego. It was here that we were able to witness first-hand the enormous amount of food being wasted every night. The food waste is not the leftover scraps on customer's plates. What we are talking about is food that big-volume restaurants oversupply on and must throw out at the end of the night. This food is untouched, nutrient-dense, and high-quality.

One day, Krissy and I decided to wrap up the excess grains and take them home. We headed down to 17th Street in downtown San Diego, an area that's densely populated by the homeless. Distributing these grains to the people there first-hand taught us a lot. It was a personal experience; it was life-changing.  

We soon realized that hunger is not a scarcity problem; it is a logistics problem. There is plenty of food to go around. We concluded that problems like hunger should not exist, because it is not a lack of food, it is an inefficient distribution of it.

Using a 1:1 model, we intend to donate one item for every one item that is sold, empowering the consumer to make change within their community. We strive to bridge the gap between food surplus and food insecurity. 

 

What's the hardest part about starting a new company?

The most challenging part we have encountered so far has been changing the mentality of consumers. When one says "food waste," most people immediately think of the scraps on people's plates, when in reality we are working with food made by chefs. The food waste we are working with is food made in larger quantities that results in waste.


What role has San Diego State played in your success?

We must credit SDSU for much of our success and direction. On campus we have the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad — located in the SDSU Lavin Entrepreneurship Center — which allows any student on campus to apply and turn their idea into a business.

Through the center we were able to do five months of guided and intense entrepreneurial experiments. I like to describe the program as a crash course for business and make a joke that I am getting an MBA in business in five months.


What advice would you give other college students who want to start a business?

Use your resources! As students we are in the melting pot for opportunity, plus using the "student card" has come in handy many times for us. There are a bunch of grants and programs to help students launch their startups. We just won a grant that landed us both in Canada recently to receive an award.


What's next for SoulFULL?

Currently we are working toward getting our product to market. This entails finalizing food handling permits and licenses. We are also in the process with some of our chefs to finalize the recipe/formula [for our bars and cookies].​