We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordanna & Michel Kasander and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordanna & Michel, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
When we started the Keto WOE (way of eating) we very quickly saw that many of the Keto products on the market were only available online and with that, most times you had to buy 3 or 6 of something and then pay quite a bit in shipping costs as well! Also, some grocery stores were starting to have a small Keto section, however, we found that almost all of the products in that section were not actually Keto! We had been talking about starting our own business for a few years, but knew this was the right idea! Up until now, no one had created an all clean-Keto store where you know everything is sugar free, low carb and gluten free. Where everything fits into the Keto WOE! San Diego was the perfect first location. we wanted to create a store where we wanted to shop! Where we could get all of the amazing products and foods we were looking for under one roof. With that, we always want to keep things fresh for our customers and constantly bring in new products and always focus on small and local businesses. We are working to be a one stop Keto shop where you can get your groceries, snacks, meals, sweets and so much more!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When we set out to create the Keto store, we wanted to create a safe space for anyone who follows a Keto, gluten free, sugar free or low carb lifestyle. With that, we made the decision to only allow clean products in our store. We wanted to build our brand and our reputation in a way where our customers could trust us. That if California Keto sells it, then you know it’s a safe and clean product. As the Keto WOE continues to gain in popularity, there are a lot of well known brands out there now getting into the Keto market. However, many of these products still contain either quite a bit of sugar, or ingredients such as Sucralose or maltodextrin, which we would never eat ourselves, so we didn’t want to bring it into the store. Another area where we feel sets us apart, is that we have a huge focus on local on small business. At this time, we work with over 23 San Diego companies! We are a small business supporting other local and small business, so not only are we quite proud of that, it’s amazing to be able to work with other people and help them grow their brand as well. As we continue to grow and open more locations in. other areas, we will do that same there, to always be supporting local wherever we are. This road has not been easy, as I believe anyone building a business from the ground up would agree! But it’s been amazing and so rewarding. We have so many customers who thank us for opening and creating this space for them, and hearing the positive feedback makes it all worth it! We have learned a lot along the way, and there is so much more to learn and we grow, but excited for the ride!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So many amazing places to take people in San Diego! We just love this city and feel so lucky to be living here. Since we live in OB, we would certainly start here with a trip to Dog Beach, a walk out to the ends of the pier and then roof top drinks at THC and a night cap at one of our other favorite places in the neighborhood. We would definitely go on one of the amazing hikes we have here! A bike ride to Coronado and take the ferry back one day. Hit up Old Town for tacos, drinks and shopping and then walk around Balboa Park. Every morning would start with a workout at my favorite gym, Performance 360 and yoga in the evenings at Reunify! We would visit the Embarcadero and have lunch at the Carnitas Snack Shack and one night stroll around Gaslamp for some barhopping. You can’t let anyone leave San Diego without taking the to La Jolla to see the seals too!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well, first off, my Sister, Arielle Freedman. She started Keto before anyone in the family and taught us the basics! She brought us grocery shopping and introduced us to this WOE from the very beginning answering all of our annoying questions all the time. She was so supportive! Then, the entire family started Keto and as we all started feeling better and losing weight, that’s when the idea for the store was born. We got right to work and worked with our extremely talented friend, Kim Jenkins who created our logo for us which we just love. From there, as we started to reach out to some of our favorite products to explain what we were starting and that we would love to carry their products! We got so much support from the Keto community, it’s just been amazing! We currently have over 23 local products on our shelves today! We work with three local bakeries, Just Made Keto, Keto Dessert Company and Enci Sweets who keep our fridge stocked with delicious treats like cheesecakes, cupcakes, donuts and cakes! We even work with a local woman, Marisol Garcia, who makes us Keto Tamales! Prior to the pandemic, we also held a lot of events, such as tastings, Keto coaching and book signings. With that, we would like to give a shout out to local Keto coach, Michelle Borthwick, and some of our local vendors Bhu Foods, & Keto Primo and Logan Sneed who came to San Diego and our store for a book signing! We are also thrilled to have our very own in-house Keto Coach and employee, Mike Gorman. Overall, between our families, friends and the amazing suppliers we work with, we have been nothing but supported and it’s been amazing ride so far!