Rawsome-style food clubs proliferate because of partner conflict and public demand in wake of recent police raid

You couldn’t buy publicity like Rawsome has been getting since the raid. Although mainstream coverage has been mostly limited to the L.A. Times, Time magazine, and The Colbert Report, the story has been all over the blogosphere.

Business as usual at Rawsome Foods private club in Los Angeles. Pic: The Complete Patient.

And in spite of armed invasion by those purporting to represent “government”, the people who heard the story were not dissuaded from wanting the food. In fact now that they learned that there was such a place, where food could be obtained outside the regulatory stranglehold, they wanted in on the action.

So even though there has been a falling out between the founders of Rawsome and they’re each going their own way, the good news is that there are going to be more places in Los Angeles where people can connect with the kind of food they can feel good about. Here’s an excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s latest analysis of the situation in L.A.:

“I was in Los Angeles over the weekend, so naturally I paid a visit to Rawesome Food Club in the Venice area, not far from the beach.

I was struck with how small and unassuming the place is–certainly no match for the giant Whole Foods store just a few hundred yards up the street. There is an open area of a few hundred square feet with fruits and vegetables, and a couple of checkout clerks. Then there are two shipping containers–one with assorted packaged goods like dried fruits and nuts and coconut oil, along with a small cooler containing kombucha and ceviche seafood; and then a second refrigerated trailer full of raw dairy and meat products.

Maybe I was struck because, in the video of the federal, state, and local agents coming in June 30 with guns drawn, the place appears larger. Hard to imagine all the special agents crowding in, and what they possibly could have been afraid of in such a small area.

Probably it’s because Rawesome is so close to Hollywood, the drama capital of the world, that the Rawesome drama keeps taking new twists and turns. In the latest bizarre twist, there’s been a falling out between the two men credited with founding Rawesome in 2005–James Stewart and Aajonus Vonderplanitz. I described some of the tension in my Oct. 12 post about quality and outsourcing issues.

It seems like the matter reached the boiling point last week when Vonderplanitz came to shop at Rawesome and began telling other members that they should stay away from the eggs, because of his concerns over their quality.”…”

“In response to the entire mess, Vonderplanitz says he is working with friends to open two new members-only food outlets in the Los Angeles area, and hopes to have them opened in the next few weeks….”

Read it all on David’s “The Complete Patient” blog.

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