Some bonds are so strong and loving that they survive the tests of time and distance. Such is the relationship between two sisters, Gosia Reed and Monika Kozdrowiecka, co-founders of Virgin Raw Foods and the guest speakers at our September meeting. The sisters shared their incredible journey from humble beginnings in Poland to a successful supplement business in California. Their relentless search for healing foods led to the creation of Bee Panacea, a delicious blend of highly-prized superfoods that has improved the health of countless customers.
The more you give, the more you have
Growing up in Poland during the Communist era, Gosia and Monika lived in a tiny studio apartment on the fourth floor with an outdoor toilet and no hot water. Though they had very little, their food was pure and wholesome. Since stores only sold oil and vinegar, their family grew their own beets and potatoes and kept cows, chickens, and pigs.
Their mother had an abundant mindset, always giving them the two halves of a precious orange at Christmas even though she loved the fruit. When the family would receive a windfall such as a dozen eggs, their mother would immediately give six of them to their aunt. She taught them, “The more you give, the more you have.”
The birth of Virgin Raw Foods and Bee Panacea
Despite their poverty, Gosia and Monika knew that they were meant for something more. In 2000, Monika immigrated to the United States, and Gosia followed two years later. Monika recalled her father warning her not to eat chicken because they had antibiotics. Indeed, the chicken smelled strange to them at first, but they got used to it. Although life in the US was good, the sisters developed digestive problems from the food.
Over the last 14 years, Monika traveled to over 30 countries to learn about healing the body and mind. A few years ago, after walking out of the Raw Food Festival in Santa Barbara, Monika was inspired to turn her passion for food and healing into a business. She formed the company Virgin Raw Foods and invited Gosia to join her.
One day, Gosia called Monika excited to share one of the creations that had helped her to feel better and more grounded. Gosia was in her laboratory, i.e. her kitchen, mixing superfoods and herbs with raw honey. Monika could tell right away that the mixture had an amazing abundance and energy. Bee Panacea was born.
From the beginning, it was clear that Bee Panacea is special. The sisters put hand-drawn labels on their first jars and sold them at Rawesome. The first six jars sold, then a dozen, and another dozen. Bee Panacea is now sold online and at nearly 60 locations all over California, with new locations in New York and Canada.
Monika runs the business and makes sure Virgin Raw Foods is always growing, to provide people with Bee Panacea around the world. Virgin Raw Foods relies on word-of-mouth to market their product and has not spent a single dollar on marketing. When Victoria Beckham tweeted that she was taking one teaspoon of Bee Panacea a day, the resulting online buzz helped to spread the word even further.
An ideal blend of herbs, superfoods, and raw honey
As she passed out samples of Bee Panacea, Gosia explained its ingredients and health benefits. First are the bee products, i.e. raw honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis. Royal jelly is consumed only by the queen bee; if she misses one day, she stops being a queen and becomes a worker bee. The collagen in royal jelly gives beautiful, glowing skin within a few days. Propolis is naturally antiviral and antibacterial.
Second are the blue algaes, including spirulina and chlorella. The raw honey helps accelerate the natural heavy metal detox properties of the blue algaes.
The third group has adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms, including ginseng, reishi, cordyceps, astralagus, chaga, and shilagit (high in minerals). Bee Panacea contains the right herbs in the right proportion in their purest form. Virgin Raw Foods’ research shows it is not easy to find herbs that are pure enough for their standards.
The fourth group consists of superfoods not in the other categories, including goji berries, maca, and ginger. Something interesting happens when you combine goji berries, which is a superfruit on the herbal side that is adaptogenic especially for women, and maca, which is adaptogenic for men: they work equally well for both sexes. The ginger enhances digestion and metabolism.
Bee Panacea provides power shots of everything we need on a cellular level. Customers have said the formula is very centering, harmonizing and calming, but not so relaxing that you get sleepy. The double-direction adaptogenic herbs give energy during the day and tranquility at night, including the production of melatonin to aid sleep.
High and exacting purity standards
Virgin Raw Foods adheres to the strictest purity standards and employs an all-or-nothing mindset. “It’s like grassfed or nothing!” Gosia remarked. They ensure that all their ingredients are pure and of the highest quality by requesting an individual certificate of analysis for each ingredient in each batch.
“Made with two sisters’ love:” a message of integrity and encouragement
Originally encouraged by their mother to stick together as family for better or worse, Gosia and Monika now share that message of love through their company. Before founding Virgin Raw Foods, they felt like they did not belong. Now, they are so grateful to have a healthy product made with integrity to offer to other people.
They explained that Bee Panacea is not just another supplement — it is a model for the future of companies like theirs whose main intention is to reflect a journey, whereby the way the product is made is just is important as the product itself.
“Our message is simple: to treat the body the way that you believe is best, like it is not your own, like a baby you take care of — your intention is 100% there, you’d never sabotage a baby. I see you treating your body this way,” Gosia said. “What you cultivate in the Weston A. Price Foundation is what we grew up with. I feel at home.”
Help fight colony collapse disorder
As part of their passion for bee products, Virgin Raw Foods donates a portion of each purchase to educate people about colony collapse disorder.
For those of you who tried Bee Panacea, how did you like the taste? If you’ve been taking it for a while, how has it helped you? Share in the comments!