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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 1/4: One Restauranteurs Story Through the Pandemic

Meet the Founder of honeygrow: Justin Rosenberg

Today I sat down with a business owner who got started right in my backyard, Justin Rosenberg. Justin is Founder and CEO of honeygrow, a fast-casual stir-fry and salad concept founded in Philadelphia in 2012. With a mission to create a unique, spirited brand focused on simple, wholesome foods, Rosenberg has led the company's creation and growth, which will consist of 26 units by year end. The company has raised over $70 million in equity financing and has grown into the Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington DC and the New York City metro areas with sights set for becoming an enduring, sustainable organization. In 2021, Justin was distinguished as a member of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class.


Prior to launching honeygrow, Rosenberg worked as an Asset Manager and Manager of Energy Services for PREIT in Philadelphia. After seven years in the finance and real estate industry, Rosenberg decided it was time to pursue his true passions of entrepreneurialism, cooking and creative brand-building.

What I wanted to know from Justin was how his company fared during COVID, since he is in one of the hardest hit industries. Right away, Justin’s sales dropped by 65%. Luckily, they were considered an essential business and stayed open. Justin said the key to turning things around was just embracing the tough stuff and moving forward quickly. Right away, they started doing curbside pickup and delivery through 3rd party vendors like Doordash and Uber Eats. By being on those 3rd party sites, it allowed a lot more people to discover the brand. They also really pushed digital marketing and advertising during the pandemic to stand out from their competitors who may have been pulling back some of their advertising to save money. Justin’s take-out sales went from 8% to 50% of their total revenue.


In addition to employing those methods, the business was also able to secure PPP money,

which helped them keep 700 employees employed. While they did close 2 of their

underperforming locations, Justin believes the business is doing better than it ever has.

Listen Here for More of Justin’s Story:

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