How Thistle’s Ashwin Cheriyan Motivates People To Make Better Choices For Themselves and the Planet

Ashwin Cheriyan took the leap into entrepreneurship with his wife, Shiri Avnery, when he started the plant-based meal delivery service, Thistle, in 2013. He was a former corporate lawyer, and she was a climate scientist frustrated by how little people were talking about the environmental impact of reducing demand for animal products, let alone the impact on human health. They knew that getting people to shift their eating habits meant making plant-based meals more delicious and convenient. 

In this episode of Lead With We, Ashwin and I talk about how his personal connection to healthy food has sustained him through the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship, motivating consumers to make better choices, and so much more. 

Ashwin Cheriyan

Ashwin Cheriyan is an entrepreneur, recovering corporate lawyer and a mediocre surfer. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Thistle, a San Francisco-based modern, tech-enabled, organic food and nutrition company. He was also the co-founder of WeGoFair, a social enterprise providing ratings for hotels and restaurants reflecting their performance on social and environmental issues.

Prior to Thistle and WeGoFair, he spent 4 years in New York as an M&A associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. He received his A.B. in Economics from Brown University and his JD from The University of Texas School of Law.

Outside of Thistle, he spends his energy working with, advising and investing in startups, suiting up in neoprene to surf the “world-class” waves of Pacifica, and enjoying the abundant culinary delights the Bay Area has to offer.


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