Meet the Republic – OlgaMeet the Republic Raw Republic Vegan
This month I am excited to introduce the brains & beauty that works behind the scenes for Raw Republic! Olga Gavrilenko is currently our Executive Chef who also assists with management at headquarters. Aside those major roles, she even dedicates time to co-create with me (Brooke, your Raw Marketing Manager) on curating the freshest content for The Raw Deets – our weekly newsletter & blog!
I remember when I began working for Raw just over a year ago and Jesse, our Co-founder, told me I had to meet Olga because he knew we’d get along. It is safe to say that his assumption was absolutely accurate! Her and I have become great friends and business partners as we share similar a passion for health, wellness, and even have a similar outlook on spirituality.
Having someone like Olga who has lived and breathed the vegan lifestyle for most of her life is certainly crucial to our company culture. You know more about a company’s intentions and level of authenticity when you can take a peek behind the curtain and find out who is running the well oiled machine so to speak! We’re grateful to have her as a member of Raw Republic and can’t wait to see where her vision will lead us next!
Can you tell us a little about history and what lead you to Raw Republic?
“I’ve been working in hospitality and the health food industry for over 12 years now. I happened to be teaching a class when I met Jesse and we kept in touch until we were able to create an opportunity to work together.
Prior to this, I was a GM in a similar type of place but I always had my own vision to open a franchise just like Raw. It made perfect sense to join the team when I saw that we were a couple years into business and some of the foundational aspects were set in place. It helped to come in during a time when it wasn’t a baby company anymore, but more of in its teenage years where I could come in at a level where there was great traction. It has been such a symbiotic realtionship where I can do a lot of development.”
What tips and tricks have you picked up from this line of work?
“More on the developmental side of things, creating operational systems with our food.”
Do you think that there is any insider knowledge that only people in your line of work would have?
“Surely! The amount of work that goes into every product before it appears on the line is immense! I don’t think most people realize how many variables there are to consider like: cost, shelf life, entering it into our POS systems, contacting marketing to have a photoshoot setup, labeling, and training staff… the list can go on! If you want to be in this business you have to be crazy! (The good kind of crazy – pure dedication and passion!)”
What’s up next for Raw Republic? + Are there any skills that you want to personally master as you sharpen your blade in this arena of development?
“Our future plan will still include Good to Go items while we continue to introduce more of an array of choices to our expanding menu. There is honestly a whole new concept in the works but because of how many processes there are, it is taking a bit of time. One thing about Raw is that we are always aiming to stay current regarding the trends in plant based foods as we grow. What’s special is that our core members truly share the same vision for the long term. We are creating a unique company culture that supports its employees, many of which happen to be millenials who are also becoming successful young leaders as we expand.
I’d like for Raw to one day have more pop-up dinners where I would be able to showcase plating skills!”
Being that I know you personally, I am aware that you speak Russian fluently. Do you know any other languages or have some that you desire to learn?
“Yes, I am fluent in Russian and English. I know some Spanish but I don’t speak it fluently. I would like to though and know that if I immersed myself in a country for a few months it would click.
Perhaps I won’t learn these in this lifetime, but it would be cool to know Sanskrit, Mandarin, or ancient Russian dialects.”
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with that extra time?
“Oh my god, I would clone myself, that would be great! There is so much I want to do… I am a method actor so I’d really like to get back into it so I can face my fears of the stage (I’m not camera shy but the stage is a whole other question!) I would defintely travel all the time and get into financial investments more. I would also teach more classes relative to food or personal development.”
What was the worst thing you ever ate in your life from a fast food restaurant?
“I had eaten McDonald’s a long time ago… that would count! I became a vegan when I was 15 but there was a point in my life I had switched back over for a short stint of time. It was only about 1 year until I quickly realized how I needed to return to my healthier habits!”
Work hard or play hard?
“I like working hard but putting joyful enthusiasm into what you do is the key!”
Jogging or Hiking?
What’s the most imporant quality in a partner? Intelligence or their humor?
Soup or sandwich?
City or countryside?
Money or free time?
“I want a lot of money so I can have more free time with the residual income!”
Interview and images by Raw Republic’s Marketing Manager, Brooke Rosenblum