Chef Breana Thomas Tells Us How She Started Her Unique Company
Written By: Ameihia Turingan
Photographed By: Andrea Domjan
Chef Breana Thomas’ patio is surrounded by wood and greenery elements. With a large green bush wall that blocks her yard from the outside world, the cozy space is filled with plants on trellises, succulents in ceramics and a larger wooden table-bench underneath fairy lights. Near the bench is a blue sign that says “be grateful” with an image of a kitchen grater. These charming details in the chef’s yard reflect how important nature is to the feel and look of the patio. Plant-based is not just an aspect that characterizes her home, but it is an integral part of the food she serves in her culinary business Nutrivenience.
Thomas’ culinary roots began in her childhood where she developed a passion for cooking after her parents always created tasty and extravagant meals. However, it wasn’t until she started working at True Food Kitchen where she began to focus on health, nutrition and wellness. “It added purpose to something that was already my hobby,” said Thomas.
She turned her hobby into a career by going to culinary school at The Art Institute and studying holistic nutrition. She embarked on a career as a personal chef where she noticed a recurring request that her clients all wanted—meals that would help them to lose weight. Thomas experimented with her clients by trying various fads, most of which ended up being unsuccessful and unhealthy. Nonetheless, she found that a diet based on plants and whole foods worked best for herself and her clients. Not only did they lose weight, but felt great while doing it. After recommending and serving this food to a few of her clients, she received more requests as more individuals were referred and drawn to her service.
In January 2016, she took the leap to help even more people live healthy lifestyles with her meal program Nutrivenience. Since day one, her goal has been to “make health readily available” through plant-based, whole foods. Nutrivenience “nourishes the entire body with whole, live, nutrient-dense meals and cold-pressed, organic juice.” The meals are 100 percent vegan and omit all animal products and processed foods. The program focuses on boosting energy, immunity and overall health through a combination of cleansing and fasting. Customers can choose a three-day or five-day cleanse in which they receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, green juice or almond milk and vegetable broth each day. Each meal comes in a plant-based container or a recyclable glass bottle denoting the day, mealtime, dish name, ingredient list and other nutritional guidelines. To provide convenience, customers have the option to receive home deliveries or pick up their meals at indoor cycling studio UNION Ryde in Newport Beach.
Thomas carefully crafts the vegan meals in a tasty and fun way so it’s not solely salads, whole grains or raw vegetables. “We try to be creative. Like take a salad and construct it in a different way. We’ll do burritos wrapped in greens instead of a tortilla with a cashew cheese sauce, make sushi, and common everyday items like burgers with a vegan twist. We’re trying to break the healthy food stigma by making our meals approachable as well as delicious,” said Thomas. She switches up the menu each month and plans it by considering what produce is in season as well as aspects like the weather and habits in those months. “We focus on things that are going to support your lifestyle during those months essentially. For example, in the summer we use ingredients that are cooling, hydrating, and give extra support to your skin because of increased sun exposure,” said Thomas.
While most individuals initially try Nutrivenience to lose weight, they are pleasantly surprised to find that what they receive is more than just weight loss. Customers have told Thomas that they have not only lost weight, but feel refreshed with healthier skin, better digestion, increased mental clarity, higher quality sleep and more energy after a cleanse. To continue seeing these effects, she recommends that customers complete a five-day cleanse each month.
In her business, Thomas values building personal relationships especially with the nature of her product and service. “I think feeding people is really personal. It’s not like you’re selling an article of clothing or a piece of jewelry. You’re giving someone something that they’re going to put inside their body that can affect their health, good or bad,” said Thomas. She likes to play a hand in every aspect from planning the menu, making meals from scratch, checking in with customers through their cleanse and delivering meals with her team every Sunday and Wednesday. Since her goal is to continue building a community, Thomas would love to do wellness retreats involving fitness and nutrition in the future.
As her business continues to grow, she has learned the value of patience and gained the knowledge that she’s making a difference in people’s lives through customer’s emails, messages and feedback. “Sometimes it brings me to tears reading those. It’s just so rewarding,” said Thomas with a smile.
Sidecar Run: Thomas loves donuts and her favorite place to get them is at Sidecar Doughnuts. One of her favorites from the shop is the Huckleberry Doughnut.
Order Up: Thomas’ all time favorite dish on the Nutrivenience menu is the Chili Cheese Fries made with mixed root vegetables and a vegan cheese sauce. She also loves the strawberry rhubarb granola.
Just Keep Spinning: Thomas has been a spin class instructor for over two years. Spin helps clear her mind and she loves that she can be 100 percent present and be herself.
1790 Whittier Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Sign Up for a Three-Day or Five-Day Cleanse With Nutrivenience in Costa Mesa