The restaurant industry is a killer business and will often lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle, a stress level beyond control, and can cause health and mental ailments that most will ignore in exchange for success. Recently I met up with Jason Acosta, a longtime friend and client. He was the co-owner of well-known Italian eatery Pizza Rustica, but just this past January gave it all up to move his family to Caledon – at which point he went 90% raw and vegan. A businessman at heart, his new lifestyle has led to the inception of a plant-based catering company called Comfort to Raw, as well as a peaceful mindset and limitless happiness. After our meeting, his story inspired me so I decided to share it as I feel all of us can learn from people who are able to make such drastic changes to achieve inner peace…
Acosta, along with three friends, started Pizza Rustica over a decade ago. They were young, hungry and single. The restaurant life was a fun one, and while it was hard work it was fairly easy to manage as a twentysomething with lots of energy. Success is contagious, though, and greed quickly took over the team’s desire to achieve more. Acosta, being the leader of the pack, worked harder than anyone and visualized Pizza Rusticas all over the GTA and potentially in other cities. His desire for success was getting the best of him, and his stress levels ran high. After the second Pizza Rustica opened, problems between partners made life a little more difficult. But setting his stress levels aside, he was the peacemaker who tried to fix all the problems and strove to drive the company towards more success.
Fast forward to 2013 and Acosta was exhausted, over-stressed, angry, and needed a change. So in January 2014 he sold his shares and his Etobicoke home, took the earnings and moved his family to Caledon to try to change his lifestyle. Mission accomplished.
Now, six months later, Acosta has just launched a new catering company called Comfort to Raw, all inspired by his experience, knowledge, and desire to reach ultimate peace and happiness. Not only is he now in business on his own, his family lives a plant-based lifestyle and feels better than ever. Spending days in the kitchen with his wife and partner Pamela, they enjoy creating new recipes that could satisfy the most carnivorous of people.
“I was running the rat race for so many years and then I realized life was moving too fast, I was unhealthy, and I wasn’t enjoying anything. Moving my family and rediscovering how to love myself and life was the best thing I could’ve done,” says Acosta. “Now we live a quiet, happy and healthy life that is more satisfying than anything I’ve accomplished in my past. Working with my wife on the development of new raw recipes is fun. Having the time to meditate every morning and watch my daughters grow up is the most satisfying part of the changes I’ve made.”
Comfort to Raw takes all our favourite comfort foods and turns them into healthy raw and vegan delicacies. Acosta discovered that you don’t have to eat junk to be satisfied, and there are many ways to create raw/vegan versions of some of the world’s favourites. Pizza, tacos, sandwiches… all of these are available on the Comfort to Raw menu. They also offer custom cleanses and consultations for those who are so inclined. Catering mostly to corporate events and parties at this time, the goal is to open a store in the next few months. But Acosta is determined to stay grounded and always remembers family, health, and happiness comes first.
“Live with your truest intention. Be grateful. Have sincere efforts and learn to love yourself by reconnecting back to mother nature. Nothing has been more beneficial to my life than a plant-based lifestyle,” says Acosta. Perhaps we can all be inspired by his adage?
If you’re interested in discovering what Comfort to Raw offers, you can find more at www.comforttoraw.com or contact them at Info@comforttoraw.com or 647.272.9291
Will you give Comfort to Raw a try? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.