Keri Aivazis: Farm-to-Fork Advocate and Entrepreneur
Keri Aivazis is the co-owner of Urban Radish, a farm fresh grocery store in the Los Angeles Arts District that supports small farmers and selective, seasonal produce. She is an experienced entrepreneur with an extensive history in the food services industry who is passionate about transforming communities and promoting healthier lifestyles.
Along with her love of connecting consumers with locally grown, healthy food alternatives, she enjoys gourmet cooking, especially Mediterranean cuisine due to the strong influence of her husband, who is from Greece. She travels frequently and particularly loves visiting the east African nations of Tanzania and Kenya while also collecting exotic fabrics and modern art pieces from those countries. She also travels to China and Europe and is enthusiastic about bringing aspects of other cultures into her daily life.
Her other passions include investing in local philanthropic organizations in an effort to improve Los Angeles.
Homeboy Industries is an LA-based organization that serves previously incarcerated men and women to engage in a healthy lifestyle and prepare them for the workforce. There are a variety of tangible ways the surrounding community contributes to the cause, including donations, volunteers or supporting the various social enterprises Homeboy Industries has built.
Other opportunities includehiring Homeboy graduates into your workplace and creating strong professional relationships, a meaningful effort that Keri Aivazis plans to implement in her employment process at the Urban Radish.
Homeboy Industries functions primarily as a family environment, a luxury that most of the young men and women in the program did not have growing up. The mentor relationships, staff member encouragement and personalized plan toward success have changed the lives of clients for more than 25 years. The supportive community encourages clients to learn more about their strengths, job skills, education tracks and how to support their own family members and communities.
Urban Radish – Farm fresh market
The full-range market is receiving ample praise from the LA community, especially those in LA’s Arts District where the 8,200-square-foot market is located. The Arts District is an invariable food desert where locals lack access to major supermarkets and fresh food. Keri Aivazis and co-owner Carloyn Paxton are both farm-to-fork advocates who plan to restore the community with fresh, seasonal produce in addition to everyday grocery items.
Aivazis and Paxton have specifically designed the market to connect the community to a more tangible understanding of where their food comes from. The full-range grocery store is distinguished from other supermarkets, because the owners themselves have served as curators of their assortment, visiting local farms and distributors to ensure high-quality products.
Both Keri Aivazis and Carolyn Paxton are passionate about changing the community food system and providing a place where consumers can not only shop for groceries but also socialize with others. In this effort, they have incorporated a courtyard area into the design of their store to allow community member to congregate while enjoying prepared foods and plates of cured meats and artisanal cheeses.
All in all, owners, Keri Aivazis and Carolyn Paxton, are dedicated to creating an environment composed of exceptional employees and service and high quality products. They envision their store to be a community eatery and marketplace that assists the community not just by serving their culinary needs but also by promoting local workforce development organizations.
Keri Aivazis: Food and Beverage Industry Professional
Liber Capital, LLC.
Aivazis has invaluable experience in the food and beverage industry and an extensive background in management consulting. She was a managing director of Liber Capital, LLC, where she founded a specialized investment platform in the beverage arena and developed an in-depth investment thesis to support beer wholesale consolidation as well as the growth capital needs surrounding the craft brew industry.
AKTI Partners, Inc
Keri Aivazis was the founder and CEO of AKTI Partners, Inc., a boutique consulting firm, which became the US arm of an international consulting firm. Aivazis served companies across the full range of strategic and operational issues from corporate and business unit strategy through to organizational restructuring, supply chain optimization and large-scale cost take out. Aivazis has deep experience with mergers and acquisitions and was a trusted advisor to private equity firms targeting acquisitions in the consumer and industrial markets.
Aivazis specific client experience included: i) Growth strategies for a number of multi-national companies in industries including confectionary, snacks and beverages, ii) Transaction support for manufacturers looking to diversify into health and wellness, iii) Product rationalization focused on optimizing the portfolio profitability for food manufacturers, iv) Supply chain network optimization for multiple companies in the beer and spirits industries, and v) Strategic due diligence support for various private equity firms seeking to invest in consumer retail industries.
Mitchell Madison Group
Before that, she was a consultant of Mitchell Madison Group in Los Angeles, a company she worked for after graduate school where she specialized in post-merger optimization, cost reduction, outsourcing and sourcing.
Her client industries served included entertainment, financial services and healthcare. At MMG she reduced the expense base of the global entertainment and beverage company by sourcing a $200 million spend in commercial print.
Keri Aivazis received a Ph.D. in applied mathematics with an M.S. in mechanical engineering at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
From 1994 to 1998, she excelled as a graduate student and then Ph.D. student while also contributing several beneficial publications, including: “On Spherical Vortex Models for Homogenous Turbulence, Physics of Fluids,” 13, 2019 (2001), as well as “Pressure Statistics and the Fourth-Order Velocity Structure Functions for Isotropic Turbulence,” AIP, (December 2000).
Keri Aivazis is more than an experienced professional in the food services industry and a co-owner of fresh foods market, Urban Radish. She is a strong advocate for the farm-to-fork movement and a strong supporter of cultivating community life. Keri Aivazis is also abusiness leader who promotes welfare efforts and provides previously incarcerated men and women with a chance at a new life.
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