Meet the Keeper | Kristi Knowles of Mother Raw
When it comes to plants, there’s no such thing as an unhealthy obsession. That’s why all of Mother Raw’s dressings and dips are crafted to be naturally nutritious without being heated, depleted, or mistreated. No matter the flavor, the end result is always amazingly delicious, incredibly versatile, and wonderfully kind to nature.
The company was originally founded as RawFoodz by Michelle Kopman, a foremother of the healthy eating movement. Years later, when Michelle passed away, executive Kristi Knowles was asked to pick up where she left off. Today, Michelle’s pioneering vision lives on through Mother Raw, named in honor of their fierce founder and Mother Earth.
Recently, we caught up with Kristi to learn more about the Mother Raw journey and hear her advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
01 What led to the launch of Mother Raw?
It all started with Michelle, a savvy entrepreneur who asked, “Why can’t my salad dressing be as healthy as my salad?” So, she developed her own organic, plant-based recipes. Michelle was passionate about real food and nutrient-dense ingredients like hemp and chia seeds long before they were trendy. She was truly ahead of her time.
02 What obstacles did you face along the way?
The loss of Michelle was devastating for our team. She was our guiding light and an absolute joy to collaborate with. Collectively, we had to channel that emotion and rally together. We’ve amplified the foundation she built while staying true to the company’s roots, and I know she’d be proud to see where we are today.
Together, we mapped out our core mission and set sail for sustainable growth across North America. “Put Good on Good” isn’t just a motto — it’s the mantra behind everything we do.
The obstacles we currently face are largely related to our pace of growth. Our products are available all across the continent, so working with lots of different distributors can be challenging. Sometimes, we feel the growing pains, but we’re excited on the whole.
03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
I have so many! But will settle for a few:
• As an entrepreneur, you see new opportunities and take risks. Remember that your innovative spirit is what moves us all forward.
• When you feel stuck, decide on one small action you can take to press on, even if it’s just an inch.
• Take care of yourself and nurture the drive that brought you here. Experience nature. Talk to people who inspire you. Listen to a podcast that energizes you.
• Work with trustworthy people who challenge you in a positive way and have your back. You won’t have time for anything less. A good team will keep you focused, savvy, humble, and appreciative.
04 What’s on the horizon for Mother Raw?
So many exciting things are brewing and ready for lift off! We’re launching our #plantobsessed campaign to educate even more people on the benefits of plant-based eating — and how ridiculously easy it can be.
Also, we’ve got more delicious dips and craveable quesos on the way — they’re all dairy-free and nut-free (apart from coconut). Foodies are dipping, dunking, spreading, and even eating our products right from the spoon, so we’re excited to give them more of what they love.
05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
There’s no magic formula for work/life balance. Is it 50/50? 70/30? Or something else? For me, it’s less about time and more about feeling fulfilled in both areas.
Like any executive in a leadership role, I put a lot of time into my work. But, in turn, that leaves me feeling energized and satisfied. When I’m feeling drained, I recharge on the personal side. Hiking, running, skiing, meditating, and gardening bring me joy. I also love experimenting in the kitchen with my family and friends. To stay balanced, I consciously build these activities into my schedule.
What inspires me is making a positive impact on all fronts. Plant-based living means healthier people, better lives for animals, and a thriving ecosystem. I’m always fueled by our mission, because it makes the world a better place for today, tomorrow, and beyond.