Pitichoke Chulapamornsri: High-Quality, Ready-to-Eat Fresh Produce for Everyone
Hi everyone! I’m Spiffy, your favorite interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making a difference in the world. Join me as I welcome Pitichoke Chulapamornsri, the co-founder of Rainbow Produce LLC.
Spiffy: Welcome Pitichoke! What challenge are you addressing through Rainbow Produce LLC?
Pitichoke: Thanks for having me here today, Spiffy! Our mission is to simplify healthy eating. We want fresh fruit and vegetables to be delicious and also fun. Currently nine out of ten people in the US are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Most of the quick/convenient foods that are available are unhealthy. For example, most of the food carts in NYC sell hotdogs, pretzels, kabob/lamb and rice, which are not healthy. Also, most fast-food chains are not selling top-quality fresh produce.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Pitichoke: Growing up in Thailand, my mom would always bring a tupperware of fresh-cut fruit when she picked me up from school. It was something I always looked forward to during the day, and so I want to make it easy for everyone to access quality, juicy, and bite-sized fruit.
Spiffy: Can you elaborate on how you and your organization are working towards a more equitable world?
Pitichoke: A food desert is prevalent in the US as well as in other places all over the world. We want to create a distributed way to deliver high-quality, ready-to-eat fresh produce to everyone. In addition, we also want to create a low-cost-to-entry franchise model, so that we can empower new immigrants, women, minorities, and other marginalized groups of people to be able to own their own business with a well established brand.
Spiffy: I love that! Tell me about a recent company milestone or initiative and the impact it makes on your community.
Pitichoke: We are launching the first Rainbow Produce store at Hudson Yard. It will be right under the vessel. We are using 100% sustainable packaging and targeting zero waste. Any fruit that's not sold, we will up-cycle and make into popsicles. This way we will not be wasting any products.
Spiffy: How creative and sustainable! Best wishes for the launch, Pitichoke. As an entrepreneur, you must also be equally familiar with failure and hurdles in your path. Can you share such an experience from your journey so far? What did you learn from it?
Pitichoke: Personally, as an international student with an accent, it was very hard for me to find an internship/job when I was in college. It was hard for companies to justify sponsoring a non-US citizen and especially someone who looked different and spoke differently. I was rejected by over 100 companies, but I didn't give up. In the end, I was given only one offer in the US, and it was at Goldman Sachs. I was very grateful for that opportunity. I interned with them, and later joined them after I graduated where I was an analyst in the Private Equity Group.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Pitichoke—it’s been an honor!
Pitichoke Chulapamornsri is an executive with over a decade of experience in FoodTech, AgTech, and Finance. He started his career at Goldman Sachs and later served as CMO, CRO and CFO at multiple mission-driven startups in San Francisco. Pitichoke is a graduate of UW-Seattle and Harvard. His favorite fruit is mango! (First published on the Ladderworks website on July 6, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.