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The 'Real Food' Advocate
Musk may have made his fortune as a tech entrepreneur and early investor in his big brother Elon Musk’s X.com (now part of Paypal), but he has long held a love for cooking and a passion for nutrition. Now, he’s creating a network of businesses designed to bring America’s food system back to one focused on healthy, local food grown on chemical-free farms. Among his ventures are Next Door, a more casual version of his full-service concept, The Kitchen bistros; and The Kitchen Community, a non-profit that puts learning gardens in schools.
Known for: Musk has been applying Silicon Valley thinking to farming and food with the promotion of sustainable sourcing in a convenient format. His Next Door model aims to make it easy for customers to get scratch-made items that “nourish your body, nourish the farmer and nourish the planet.”
Power move: Musk is aiming to seize control of the industrial food supply system with the launch of his Square Roots project. An incubator of vertical farm startups in shipping containers in Brooklyn, N.Y., Square Roots seeks to empower the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in the “local, real food revolution.”
What’s next: Expanding his Next Door concept across the Midwest, with a goal of reaching 50 units by 2020, and making a broader impact with his Square Roots project.