Aug. 24, 2021

64: The Role Food Plays In Shaping Our Identities, with Lonny James Ruben

“We forget that food is the most powerful drug that we put in our body three to four times a day.” - Lonny James Ruben.  Lonny James is the owner of Bunny James Boxes, a leader in food tribe-based gifting. Born in a family with diet...


“We forget that food is the most powerful drug that we put in our body three to four times a day.” - Lonny James Ruben. 

Lonny James is the owner of Bunny James Boxes, a leader in food tribe-based gifting. Born in a family with diet restrictions, it gave him the idea of allowing people to receive food gifts that fit their diet. In this episode, Lonny narrates how he took inspiration from his family’s food story in building his business.

Food for Everyone

Lonny grew up in a family with specific food restrictions and preferences. He is lactose intolerant; he has a vegan brother, a celiac sister, and a diabetic father. Moreover, his mother is allergic to eggs, avocados, bananas, and other food, and another sister is allergic to chocolate. For health reasons, meals with the family have been a hassle to Lonny. It even went to the point where his mother has to prepare separate dinners for each member of the family. This situation sparked Lonny to start a gifting company that considers what others can and cannot eat. The rationale behind it is to allow everyone to receive a gift that fits their diet. It is Lonny’s way of having an inclusive take when it comes to food. As a result, he has enabled people to embrace their different eating styles.

Moving Towards Sustainability

In an effort to become carbon neutral, Lonny goes the extra mile in having an alternative to their packaging that is environmentally friendly. Seeing the effects of climate change making itself evident is the driving force behind it. Additionally, Lonny explains that companies with sustainability in their principles are able to survive as a business as opposed to those without. People are also drawn into companies with sustainability goals as he observed that traffic on their website is always congested on the About Us page. Lonny is now in the process of shifting to 100 percent biodegradable packaging. While the technology is on the expensive side at the moment, he believes it is worth the price. 

 

Outline of the Episode:

[02:48] What a food tribe is and why inclusivity is important to the brand

[06:07] Evolution of Lonny’s family dinners as they learn about their food restrictions

[11:21] Changes, preferences, and backlash over certain diets

[21:53] Sustainability incorporated into the brand subconsciously

[30:44] “Pray for the haters, love the struggle”

[33:35] Fear of failure as the reason to keep going

[37:52] Origin story of the company name, “Bunny James”

 

Resources:

Website: https://bunnyjamesboxes.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrbunnyjames/

Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lonnyjames/

TikTok: @mrbunnyjames

 

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