Jennifer Peters, Just BE Kitchen Founder and CEO
Jennifer Peters has spent the past seven years building what she hopes to be the "Chipotle of Gluten-Free" empire, and is now the owner of Colorado's largest gluten-free restaurant group, with locations in Denver's LoHi neighborhood and Tech Center, and a third location that opened in Boulder December 2023.
Born and raised in Orlando, Jennifer spent most of her professional career climbing the corporate ladder in various tech and professional firms as a head of marketing, and was a director/partner of a market research firm. However, she wanted to close the gap between who she was and what she did.
Outside of work, Jennifer was a semi-competitive athlete and was fanatic about eating for high-performance. She started to work with a nutritionist who taught her the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet and the deep impact nutrition could make to athletic (and life!) performance. She became obsessed with whole foods eating, but found the options to eating out lackluster.
To close that gap between her passion and her paycheck, her first step was to go back to school and get an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. During a class project, she created the idea of a brand with allergen-free food at its center - the makings of Just BE Kitchen. In contrast to many of the restaurants that have allergen-free menu items, Jennifer wanted to create a menu beyond salads, acai bowls and large-style proteins. She leaned into high-quality comfort food that is tasty and craveable, and also has anti-inflammatory qualities. The idea created so much excitement and support that she was connected to former CEO of Burger King Brad Bloom as a mentor.
Jennifer decided that Colorado, a mecca for those with healthy lifestyles, would be the perfect place to plant her first Just BE Kitchen roots. The next couple of years were difficult as Jennifer faced rejection from dozens of landlords and banks concerned about her lack of a partner, restaurant experience and proof of concept. Jennifer decided to test her kitchen-made products at farmers markets and gyms, where the feedback was a resounding "HELL YES!" In 2017, she finally found a landlord willing to take a chance on her, and she went on to open her first location in the LoHi neighborhood as Colorado's first 100 percent gluten-free restaurant.
The concept proved to be a success, and she opened a second location in the Denver Tech Center in 2022, adjoining the gluten-free brewery Holidaily Brewing Company as a match made in gluten-free heaven. The third location, in Boulder, opened in December 2023.
In her free time, Jennifer loves rucking (hiking with a weighted backpack), lifting weights, playing pickleball and tennis, trying new healthy CPG brands aligned to her food ethos, as well as being dog mom to the sweetest pup, Savi Grace (Short for "Saving Grace").