Antonio Castro went from personal trainer to food industry entrepreneur and he’s not done just yet.
Orgánica started when I was 23. At that moment I was studying Exercise Sciences at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón and worked as a personal trainer. My own clients helped me develop the idea. I have always been surrounded by wellness, nature, exercise: a healthy lifestyle. During a trip to New York City I went into a Health Food establishment that made me wonder what it would be like to create my own natural product back at home. So the first thing I did when I returned to Puerto Rico was research. I read endlessly about fermentation, milk, yogurt – and created my first product, the strawberry flavored one.
Do you have a motto? What is it?
What has always led me to accomplish things: one step at a time. You have to wake up in the morning
order to achieve my dreams?”
Do you feel you inspire others with your work?
I think so. When we offer our products to small businesses we inspire them to move ahead and grow. Many of my clients are young entrepreneurs like me, so we inspire each other, in a way. I know that they benefit from selling my product, and that way we all grow.
How do you define healthy eating?
Eating organic is about eliminating any chemically processed items from your diet. For example, think of a fruit, which is a lot less modified than, say, pasta. Many of the foods we buy are so processed that they have to artificially add in more vitamins and minerals because otherwise you’d have a dead product that won’t nourish you. Organic foods are healthy from the start, protected from the source to make sure you receive all the nutrients.
A good diet should have whole wheat, lots of fiber, and it should respond to your body’s specific needs. Even though I understand the vegan lifestyle, I don’t like completely eliminating meat because the body needs those proteins and fats that are only present in meat. Good fats, like the ones you find in fish and linseed, aren’t saturated. And of course, I have to mention exercise. The body needs exercise in order to properly absorb the nutrients and process the foods we put into it.
So, why yogurt?
That brings us back to my trip to NYC. When I entered that Health Food store all the employees were doing everything naturally, fresh. They were chopping carrots and fruits, churning them into products and packaging them right there. I looked at a refrigerator and saw some yogurt cups that looked good and thought to myself: “I want to make that product, that’s what I want to do” because it’s an extremely healthy thing that I’ve always liked. When I arrived in Puerto Rico I had no idea how to make it, so I burnt a lot of pots and milk.