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Sarasota-based entrepreneurs develop app to promote plant-based living

The Optamiz app is a resource users can tap into for restaurant suggestions and recipes.

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A new app designed to provide resources and information on plant-based living is coming to an app store near you. 

The Sarasota-based Optamiz app provides users with information including national and local plant-based restaurants, recipes and a social media platform. 

“We think we came up with something really cool,” co-founder and CEO Heather Hackett-Kaufman tells Coffee Talk. The idea came when her husband, Ken Kaufman, the co-founder and COO, was interested in learning more about plant-based living while Hackett-Kaufman wanted to know more about cooking. “The goal is to educate and optimize health.” 

Building the business venture, which now includes a podcast and cooking channel, didn’t come easy and required a key entrepreneurial lesson: staying nimble. Over the past three or four years of developing the app, the pair have had several different ideas for what it should be. “That was an expensive lesson,” she says, citing as one example a chiropractor app idea that didn’t make it. 

Additionally, the pair is challenged with juggling Optamiz with their other business: Sarasota Sports Medicine, a chiropractic and functional nutrition clinic Kaufman founded.

The app is free, and the revenue model is focused on sponsors, advertising and premium content. Restaurants also can pay to get a top listing on the app. And the team is developing merchandise that will be available through the app. 

With a constant improvement mindset, the team is preparing for a big update at the end of June. “There’s so many things the app can do,” Hackett-Kaufman says. “If we can really optimize the features, it will be one heck of an app.”


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