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OUR STORY

Our Vision

We believe healthy eating and sustainable agriculture - through the integration of regenerative farming, nutritional science, and culinary innovation - hold the keys to building a more humane, healthy, and sustainable future.

azuluna foods

Our History

Dr. George Saperstein of Tufts University is awarded grants established by Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Liebermann to develop a strategy for expanding sustainable agriculture and reforming healthcare in New England.

2004

Azuluna Foods secures an exclusive Whole Foods Market partnership, the first foraging contract of its kind.

2007

Azuluna Foods expands to pasture-raised pork and lamb production, receiving positive feedback from local chefs and consumer focus groups.

2009

Our first hub farm, Woodstock Sustainable Farm, is established in Woodstock, CT.

2012

Farmer and entrepreneur, Ken Rapoport, acquires the brand. Revitalizes the business to include value-added products that deliver agricultural sustainability. Becomes a founding member of the Food Innovation Council at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

2018

Azuluna Foods is invited to move its production facility to Johnson & Wales University's Providence Campus, one of the nations leading culinary education institutions. Gains strategic access to some of the best culinary minds, producers, and farmers in the greater New England area.

2021

meet the team

Our Experts

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Ken Rapoport

Co-founder | farmer | entrepreneur

Ken is a farmer and co-founder of Azuluna Foods. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and has since pursued entrepreneurial endeavors in the technology sectors, supporting IT and telecommunications, power generation, and software- businesses that continue to thrive today.

Ken knows nutritious food and sustainable agriculture are key to building a more humane, sustainable, and healthy future for people, animals, and the land. He established Woodstock Sustainable Farms in 2011, pasture-raising animals through rotational grazing; feeding his community in his 18th century event center; and investing in state-of-the-art energy alternatives like biochar heating systems, wind turbines, and solar panels. Ken and his staff have preserved nearly 200 acres of pristine, New England landscape in partnership with the Wyndham Land Trust. Securing this land and nurturing its growth for eternal conservation is a legacy to his late wife, Linda, who is the inspiration for the farm and its bounty.

Ken acquired the Azuluna Foods brand in 2019, merging his farm with programs established at Tufts University, expanding the agricultural services of Azuluna, and fortifying our partnership with Whole Foods. Ken believes that vertically integrating food production, processing and distribution can enhance local economies and improve community health. Ken has unified the best of sustainable agriculture, advanced dietetic sciences, culinary innovation, and medical research to create Azuluna Foods’ mission: Regenerative Farming. Better Food. Stronger Communities.

Ken Rapoport

Co-founder

farmer | entrepreneur

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Geri Brewster, RD MPH CDN

director of nutrition education | nutritionist

Geri works with Azuluna Foods as our nutrition educator and advisor, developing personalized nutrition programs for our clients in either group or one-on-one settings.

Geri’s “whole person“ approach has made her an effective and motivating clinician with positive outcomes. In her 35+ years in private and corporate practice, and as an educator at the University of Bridgeport, she is known to not only change diets but lives.

Geri graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Tech. She earned her Masters in Public Health Nutrition from New York Medical College and was awarded the Sirach Award for outstanding achievement in the field of Public Health. She is the recipient of many accolades and honors including the Excellence in Practice award from Dietitians in Functional and Integrative Medicine at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She holds many advanced certificates of study in the field of nutrition, health, and weight management. Due to her expertise, Geri has been featured on and quoted in numerous radio shows, news programs, and periodicals, including Wall Street Journal Radio, CNN, and NY Times.

Geri Brewster, RD MPH CDN

director of nutrition education

nutritionist

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Dr. George Saperstein

Dvm | azuluna foods advisor

Dr. George Saperstein received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University and has had an extremely diverse career in veterinary medicine. Starting out in private practice, he moved to academia and was on the faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University for 34 years.

A leader in the school’s International Veterinary Medicine program, Dr. Saperstein directed a USAID-funded livestock disease control program between Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. He later led a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization project addressing the control of Avian Influenza in Indonesia. When he retired from Tufts, Dr. Saperstein was the Amelia Peabody Professor of Agricultural Sciences, the Director of Corporate Research, and Chairman of the Department of Environmental and Population Health. As Director of Corporate Research, he facilitated many collaborative research projects between life science companies and academia over a 13-year period. From 2001 to 2007 he was also the school’s Assistant Dean for Research. Working under a series of USDA grants, Dr. Saperstein founded Azuluna Brands LLC to develop markets for premium, pasture-raised livestock products, and to promote farmland conservation, farm profitability, and agricultural biodiversity.

Dr. George Saperstein

Dvm | azuluna foods advisor

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Thomas J. "TJ" Delle Donne

mat, cec | azuluna foods advisor

Chef Delle Donne is an Associate Instructor and Assistant Dean of Culinary Relations at Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts.

Growing up in the Little Italy neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware, Chef Delle Donne cultivated his zeal for the culinary arts and, at the ripe age of 14, began working under Chef Daniel Dogan. Determined to pursue a career in the culinary arts. He enrolled in Johnson & Wales, obtaining an internship with Chef Douglas Rodriquez, a pioneer of Nuevo Latino cuisine and executive chef of the famed Alma de Cuba. Upon his 2004 graduation, Chef Delle Donne obtained a position as executive sous chef at the prestigious Hay Harbor Country Club located on Fishers Island, N.Y. In 2005, he returned to Johnson & Wales as the assistant director of culinary events and was the personal chef to the university president. In 2006, he was awarded Best Young Chef in the Northeast region by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest international gastronomic society.

In 2007, he earned his Master’s degree in Foodservice Education from the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School at Johnson & Wales and began informing the curriculum at Modernist Cuisine. In 2010, he was promoted to an Associate Instructor, where we spent 6 years in the classroom and further developed the curriculum. Throughout his career, Chef Delle Donne has cooked for a myriad of notable figures including Alain Ducasse, Emeril Legasse, Daniel Boulud, David Kinch, George H. W. Bush, and Barbara Bush. Today Chef Delle Donne is a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation and continues his legacy as Associate Instructor and Assistant Dean. Additionally, you can find his publications featured in Flavor & the Menu Magazine, Yankee Magazine, and 41 Degrees North Magazine.

Thomas J. "TJ" Delle Donne

mat, cec | azuluna foods advisor

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Dr. Mark V. Crisman

dvm, ms, dipl. acvim

Dr. Crisman grew up in the Hudson Valley where his family raised Arabian horses and his passion for the health and well-being of animals fueled his dedication to veterinary medicine.

Mark received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Warsaw, Poland. He then received a Master of Science in Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University after completing an internship and residency in large animal internal medicine. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1990.

From 1987 to 2010, Dr. Crisman served on the faculty of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where he was a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and chief of equine medicine and surgery. He is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

He has authored/co-authored over 85 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. Dr. Crisman joined Pfizer’s Veterinary Operations (Zoetis) in July of 2010.

Dr. Mark V. Crisman

dvm, ms, dipl. acvim

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Ryleigh Mullens

msc. | Sustainability and Outreach Manager

Ryleigh believes that sustainable agriculture can enhance the environmental, social, and economic prosperity of our region. She grew up in New Hampshire cultivating her love for the outdoors and passion for animal science.

After graduating with her Bachelor of Science in pre-veterinary medicine from the University of Rhode Island, she worked in numerous small animal practices and excelled within the pharmaceutical industry before pursuing her Master’s of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

While completing her graduate program, Ryleigh conducted research studying a systematic trial of sustainable soil amendments, worked as URI Campus Food System Liaison, and studied urban agricultural practices for application in Providence, Rhode Island. Her thesis focused on hyper-local food system resilience, developing a framework that noted indicators of agroecological equity and sustainability.

Today, Ryleigh is the Sustainability Coordinator for Azuluna Foods, developing experiential education courses, professional outreach, agroecological media content, and regenerative agriculture protocols.

Ryleigh Mullens

msc.

Sustainability and Outreach Manager

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Nick Miniter

farm manager

Nick believes the animals we raise deserve the highest level of respect and compassion, from pasture to plate. Nick has over 30 years of experience raising livestock, honing his high-welfare, regenerative agricultural practices for the good of the animals and the land on which they graze.

He grew up on a sheep farm in Massachusetts, raising purebred Corriedale sheep. Although Nick specializes in ovine production, his professional career has required a breadth of experience and knowledge regarding the husbandry of numerous livestock species including cattle, goats, swine, poultry, horses, and donkeys.

After graduating with a degree in business administration from Framingham State University, Nick managed the livestock production farm for the Animal Science department at the University of Rhode Island, developing a passion for sustainable agriculture education. His expertise in the industry has deemed Nick a Registered Animal Specialist by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.

Nick Miniter

farm manager

Our Pillars

01

regenerative farming

02

better food

03

stronger communities

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Sources

1. White, C. (2020). Why regenerative agriculture? American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 79(3), 799–812.

2. Teague, R., & Barnes, M. (2017). Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and grazingland livelihoods. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 34(2), 77–86.

3. Montgomery, D. R., Biklé, A., Archuleta, R., Brown, P., & Jordan, J. (2022). Soil health and nutrient density: preliminary comparison of regenerative and conventional farming. PeerJ, 10, e12848.

4. Kumar, S. B., Arnipalli, S. R., & Ziouzenkova, O. (2020). Antibiotics in Food Chain: The Consequences for Antibiotic Resistance. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100688

5. Muthukumar, Mandal, & P K. (n.d.). Concerns and consequences of industrial livestock and meat production. Journal of Meat Science. https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:jms&volume=12&issue=2&article=001

6. Tsatsakis, A. M., Nawaz, M. A., Tutelyan, V. A., Golokhvast, K. S., Kalantzi, O.-I., Chung, D. H., Kang, S. J., Coleman, M. D., Tyshko, N., Yang, S. H., & Chung, G. (2017). Impact on environment, ecosystem, diversity and health from culturing and using GMOs as feed and food. Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 107(Pt A), 108–121.

7. Caio, G., Lungaro, L., Segata, N., Guarino, M., Zoli, G., Volta, U., & De Giorgio, R. (2020). Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Gut Microbiota Composition in Patients with Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity. Nutrients, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061832

8. Cederroth, C. R., Zimmermann, C., & Nef, S. (2012). Soy, phytoestrogens and their impact on reproductive health. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 355(2), 192–200.

9. Payne, A. N., Chassard, C., & Lacroix, C. (2012). Gut microbial adaptation to dietary consumption of fructose, artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols: implications for host-microbe interactions contributing to obesity. Obesity Reviews: An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 13(9), 799–809.

Our Pillars

01

View sources ⟶

Regenerative Farming

Azuluna Farms use holistic, regenerative production practices that ensure the restoration and preservation of the land on which we raise livestock¹.

Our animals graze on pasture and are strategically rotated through paddocks, allowing for optimal vegetative regrowth and soil regeneration².

Not only does this benefit the land, but the animals as well - our livestock consume more nutrient-dense vegetation in a system that allows for the full expression of their natural behaviors³.

Additionally, our animals are never exposed to antibiotics⁴, hormones⁵, or GMO feed⁶.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of regenerative agriculture.

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Sources

1. White, C. (2020). Why regenerative agriculture? American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 79(3), 799–812.

2. Teague, R., & Barnes, M. (2017). Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and grazingland livelihoods. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 34(2), 77–86.

3. Montgomery, D. R., Biklé, A., Archuleta, R., Brown, P., & Jordan, J. (2022). Soil health and nutrient density: preliminary comparison of regenerative and conventional farming. PeerJ, 10, e12848.

4. Kumar, S. B., Arnipalli, S. R., & Ziouzenkova, O. (2020). Antibiotics in Food Chain: The Consequences for Antibiotic Resistance. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100688

5. Muthukumar, Mandal, & P K. (n.d.). Concerns and consequences of industrial livestock and meat production. Journal of Meat Science. https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:jms&volume=12&issue=2&article=001

6. Tsatsakis, A. M., Nawaz, M. A., Tutelyan, V. A., Golokhvast, K. S., Kalantzi, O.-I., Chung, D. H., Kang, S. J., Coleman, M. D., Tyshko, N., Yang, S. H., & Chung, G. (2017). Impact on environment, ecosystem, diversity and health from culturing and using GMOs as feed and food. Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 107(Pt A), 108–121.

7. Caio, G., Lungaro, L., Segata, N., Guarino, M., Zoli, G., Volta, U., & De Giorgio, R. (2020). Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Gut Microbiota Composition in Patients with Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity. Nutrients, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061832

8. Cederroth, C. R., Zimmermann, C., & Nef, S. (2012). Soy, phytoestrogens and their impact on reproductive health. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 355(2), 192–200.

9. Payne, A. N., Chassard, C., & Lacroix, C. (2012). Gut microbial adaptation to dietary consumption of fructose, artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols: implications for host-microbe interactions contributing to obesity. Obesity Reviews: An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 13(9), 799–809.

Our pillars

02

View sources ⟶

Better Food

At Azuluna Foods, we believe the foundation of health is nutritious and flavor-forward food, but we know how busy life can get. That is why Azuluna chefs curate convenient, seasonally-minded meals that are ready to eat in minutes: health without the hassle.

Azuluna recipes are crafted by classically trained chefs who collaborate with our team of dietitians to deliver nutrient dense meals that fuel your active lifestyle, optimizing health while prioritizing flavor.

All dishes are free of gluten⁷, soy⁸, GMOs⁶, and refined sugar⁹.

Our meals are responsibly sourced, featuring proteins from Azuluna Foods regenerative farms and sustainably sourced seafood. Whenever possible, our produce is sourced from local and/or organic producers, prioritizing small supply chains and conscientious growers.

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Sources

1. White, C. (2020). Why regenerative agriculture? American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 79(3), 799–812.

2. Teague, R., & Barnes, M. (2017). Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and grazingland livelihoods. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 34(2), 77–86.

3. Montgomery, D. R., Biklé, A., Archuleta, R., Brown, P., & Jordan, J. (2022). Soil health and nutrient density: preliminary comparison of regenerative and conventional farming. PeerJ, 10, e12848.

4. Kumar, S. B., Arnipalli, S. R., & Ziouzenkova, O. (2020). Antibiotics in Food Chain: The Consequences for Antibiotic Resistance. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100688

5. Muthukumar, Mandal, & P K. (n.d.). Concerns and consequences of industrial livestock and meat production. Journal of Meat Science. https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:jms&volume=12&issue=2&article=001

6. Tsatsakis, A. M., Nawaz, M. A., Tutelyan, V. A., Golokhvast, K. S., Kalantzi, O.-I., Chung, D. H., Kang, S. J., Coleman, M. D., Tyshko, N., Yang, S. H., & Chung, G. (2017). Impact on environment, ecosystem, diversity and health from culturing and using GMOs as feed and food. Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 107(Pt A), 108–121.

7. Caio, G., Lungaro, L., Segata, N., Guarino, M., Zoli, G., Volta, U., & De Giorgio, R. (2020). Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Gut Microbiota Composition in Patients with Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity. Nutrients, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061832

8. Cederroth, C. R., Zimmermann, C., & Nef, S. (2012). Soy, phytoestrogens and their impact on reproductive health. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 355(2), 192–200.

9. Payne, A. N., Chassard, C., & Lacroix, C. (2012). Gut microbial adaptation to dietary consumption of fructose, artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols: implications for host-microbe interactions contributing to obesity. Obesity Reviews: An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 13(9), 799–809.

Our pillars

03

View sources ⟶

Stronger Communities

From the preservation of soil microbiota networks to the fortification of regional economies, Azuluna supports communities at every scale.

Azuluna Farms is pioneering a new, cooperative farming model that expands regional livestock production, creating 120 new farm enterprises within New England by 2024. We believe in the benefits of a shared economy and fair wages, for all farmers. To learn more about our hub-and-spoke agricultural system, click here.

We want to empower the next generation with the knowledge to make healthy and sustainable dietary decisions. Azuluna Farms connect with schools within our region, offering a menu of experiential agriculture and nutrition education courses that align with the curriculum already taught in schools. With the farm as our classroom, we believe we can meaningfully impact over 200,000 students in the next 5 years.

Azuluna Foods provides free access to the most current industry innovation and research, breaking down information to provide readers with what they need to know to thrive.