Kristofor Lofgren - Founder and CEO of Sustainable Restaurant Group
Kristofor Lofgren is a founder, CEO, and investor based in Portland, Oregon. As a consummate creator, Kristofor views business as the ultimate platform to impact positive change in the world. Kristofor has shaped his life and work off of one motto instilled in him at a young age – “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science & American Studies with Honors, Kristofor initially desired to be an environmental lawyer as he understood even then that sustainability is one the biggest issues of our time. However, after looking at the rise of the farm-to-table movement in the culinary industry, Kristofor thought about conquering the impossible by taking the practice to the next level with one of his favorite foods: sushi. In 2008 Kristofor set out on a mission to build the most innovative and creative group in America, the Sustainable Restaurant Group (SRG). SRG is the living embodiment of this mission, whereby the environment, people, community, and profits are all accounted for at the highest level, in unison. Today, under Kristofor's command, SRG runs two successful concepts (Bamboo Sushi and QuickFish Poke Bar) in six locations around Portland, Oregon and Denver, with 10 more slated to open in the next two years, including in new markets such as Seattle and San Francisco.
When Kristofor is not working to foster and grow the culture and people of SRG, you can find him engaging with thought leaders around the world on sustainability, leadership and culture. As well, he is frequently working with suppliers, environmental scientists, and policy makers to create deeper impact for his companies. Kristofor enjoys spending his time outside of work with his wife, family, friends and participating in adventure and adrenaline sports.
Kristofor Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:
Sustainability in the chain restaurant industry
How to source local and sustainable while also providing affordable products
Impacts of sustainability on employee engagement
Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders
Kristofor's Final Five Question Responses:
What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability leaders that might help them in their careers?
Think with your heart as much as your head and don't be scared.
What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?
I'm most excited about, I would say technology helping to move sustainability forward at a faster rate. So things like, for example, having laboratory ground meats, and things like that, that would actually remove animal cruelty and the need for so much methane gas to be produced by the factory farming of animals.
What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?
I don't necessarily have one particular book that I love in sustainability. Anything by Bill Mckibben is always great or William McDonough. Kind of anything in those worlds is always good.
What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?
Probably my iPhone is probably the best thing. I don't actually have a computer and I don't use tablets very often. I literally just do everything with my phone now. I have a computer but I never use it. I turn it on maybe once every two months. So I would say that for somebody who's on the go as much as I am, my phone is my life.
Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you were leading with the Sustainable Restaurant Group?
You can either go to my website, kristoforlofgren.com, or you can go to sustainablerestaurantgroup.com or bamboosushi.com, or quickfish.com. So any of our company websites all kind of tell a different story. But all weave up into one common focus and theme.