Wellness has always played an important role in first-time-founder Rachael Gorjestani’s life. From childhood revelations, to nutrition school, to founding her adaptogen-based health & wellness brand Goldmine, Gorjestani is dedicated to flipping the narrative surrounding modern health and wellness.
Health and wellness are trending, there’s no doubt about that. As Gorjestani describes, they’re “having a moment.” But Gorjestani noticed at a young age that modern wellness seems to follow a very strict script: one that tells us what to eat, how to workout, and exactly what is good for us. More importantly, she noticed that this script does not work for everyone, starting with those closest to her.
As a child, Gorjestani watched her mother struggle with debilitating migraines that doctors couldn’t explain. She followed medical advice and did everything she was told to do to feel better, but nothing worked. Eventually, she found out that those migraines were caused by a plethora of allergies she never knew she had to basic ingredients she had been eating every day.
This showed Gorjestani at a very young age that health doesn’t just mean eating what society tells you is good for you, but rather, health means figuring out what makes you feel better and pursuing that.
“I saw the discrepancy between what society was telling us was healthy and what actually makes us feel good.”
Gorjestani carried this realization with her into her young adult life and used it to help others understand their own health, first within her private chef business, then in nutrition school, and now as the CEO and founder of Goldmine.
She explains how both as a private chef and a nutrition student, she had a very intimate look into other people’s health. Both experiences allowed her to work one-on-one with people and help them assess their health and ways they could feel better that were unique to them.
So where does Goldmine come in? Great question.
While helping others maneuver through their health journey, Gorjestani was going through one of her own. Like any millennial in San Francisco, all her plates were full. “I was burnt out. I was feeling brain fog, fatigue, and was just worn out,” she says. “It didn’t make sense to me because I ate healthily and had an active life, so why was I forgetting my thoughts mid-sentence?”
She began seeking natural solutions to help with mental acuteness, energy, and stamina, when she discovered the perfect solution: adaptogens. Back in 2015, her class touched on adaptogens while she was in nutrition school and they immediately peaked her interest.
“For me reading about adaptogens was like ‘why don’t more people know about this? This is exactly what we all need.”
For those who, like me, are the people who don’t know about adaptogens, let me give you a quick rundown. Adaptogens are a group of herbs similar to lavender or chamomile that help the body cope with stress. They help with mental clarity, the immune system, and energy, among other things.
Gorjestani saw adaptogens as a means of not only improving her own well-being, but assisting those around her who were too burnt out to help themselves.
“Goldmine started as a really genuine desire to provide something that could support people, and which they could integrate into whatever they were already making on a daily basis.”
She dove right in experimenting with adaptogens after that initial discovery. She brewed teas, blended powders, took tinctures, and immediately felt a difference in her personal health. She then shared the blends she made with her friends, clients, and yoga community, and received a just as immediate positive response. That feedback inspired her to start selling her products on Instagram, which was when she realized this was more than just a hobby.
“That was when the idea of Goldmine really snowballed into a realistic thing,” she says. “I could see that it was making a real impact on the people I was selling it to and I was also feeling the impact myself.”
As with any first-time business owner, Gorjestani’s next steps consisted of loads of research, endless networking, trial and error, and tons of “deep, deep, deep Google searches.” She started working with certified herbalists right away to ensure they had synergistic formulas that were bioavailable, and through those herbalists, she was able to connect with farmers and suppliers directly to build her transparent, high-quality adaptogen brand.
But as a heart-driven “solopreneur” entering the sales and brand awareness-driven CPG world, Gorjestani has undeniably faced challenges. The pay-to-play aspect of this industry forces small businesses to redirect their (already limited) capital away from quality and towards exposure, something Gorjestani adamantly does not believe in.
“Quality and responsibility come first at Goldmine,” she says. “We’re growing a company that supports other small businesses and farmers because that’s what’s meaningful to me.” Sadly, she knows that while she prioritizes quality over publicity, there could be companies just across the street doing the opposite to boost profit. “The CPG space, unfortunately, it’s just like that.”
Luckily, the passion, energy, and heart Gorjestani has put into her business is reflected in the exposure she naturally attracts. Instead of gaining some hollow form of publicity by paying for it, Gorjestani’s dedication to high quality continuously rewards her with meaningful partnerships.
Goldmine’s first ever in-store appearance proves that point. A few years ago, she was doing her usual shopping at her favorite SF local co-op, Rainbow Grocery, when she ran into a friend/employee and future buyer (of which she was unaware at the time). They struck up a conversation, she mentioned Goldmine, and he loved it.
“The first time I saw Goldmine on the shelf was this really big moment for me,” Gorjestani explains. Not only was it a milestone for her small business, but she was able to support an all-natural local co-op that she absolutely loved at the same time. And from speaking with Gorjestani personally, it sounds like Goldmine reflects that same win-win mentality.
Fast forward a couple of years and you can find Goldmine in over 100 locations nationwide! In fact, thanks to an upcoming partnership with Whole Foods, that number should change to 140 very shortly.
“I wasn’t sure as a small brand how it was going to be to work with such a large company like Whole Foods, but I’ve been so blown away with how wonderful everyone I’ve communicated with has been,” Gorjestani says of Goldmine’s partnership with Whole Foods.
In addition to the 40 NorCal Whole Foods locations, you can also find Goldmine in independent boutiques, co-ops, giftable shops, cafes, and even smoothie shops all over the Bay Area, everywhere from Outer Sunset to North Oakland. While she’s not 100% sure what the next steps are for Goldmine yet, she is antly looking for ways to expand while making sure to maintain the quality of their products and supply chain.constantly working on new ways to expand while also really maintaining the quality of their product and supply chain.
Gorjestani started Goldmine with a genuine desire to make life, health, and happiness just a little bit easier for herself and those around her, and the reviews prove that she’s done it. Whether you’re struggling to survive or living your best life, there is no doubt that these products will improve your day-to-day life. With a motto like “life is imperfect, Goldmine is here to help you think, move, feel your best,” how could they not?
// You can shop Goldmine on their website; drinkgoldmine.com, and find them on Instagram @drinkgoldmine. Feature photo by Julia Stotz.