Battle With Cancer Inspires CEO’s Healthy Mission
In 2009, Krista Anderson was given three months to live. She learned that her cancer had returned and metastasized.
“I started reading health books and met with experts to figure out how to help my body recover,” Krista said. “The foods we eat help our bodies heal. I had to start taking better care of myself.”
For Krista, that meant treating food as medicine. She strongly believes that the food we eat helps nourish and heal the body. This philosophy carried her through nine months of chemotherapy and more than six years of cancer-free living afterwards.
“To me, it is a testament that God is real in my life,” Krista said.
I relied on my faith to see me through that journey. Now, it inspires me to help others nourish their bodies with life-giving foods.
Krista realized that it was difficult to find healthier options when she was in and out of local gas stations. She felt that she needed to do something about it. So she sold everything she owned and started her own business. ESSTAR – a natural health food distributor that aims to help people stay healthy on the go – was born from Krista’s desire to help others.
“I don’t ever want anyone to be in the position I was in,” Krista said. “I want to help people improve their health through the foods they eat.”
What started as getting one healthier item on the shelf quickly turned into an entire section. From there, she continued to grow partnerships with food manufactures and retailers to make healthier options available to all customers.
“Access is key,” Krista said. “Everyone should have access to healthier foods – no matter their income or location.” Krista said that food should be nutritious and healthy. Any food offered by ESSTAR contains less than 10 ingredients that you can pronounce and make in your own kitchen. ESSTAR started in just 10 stores, and has grown to serve 65 convenience store locations.
But Krista isn’t taking a victory lap just yet. She has big goals for the next year as ESSTAR works with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to bring healthier foods to more gas stations across the country.
“I love PHA’s commitment to making the healthier choice the easy choice,” Krista said. “It’s about the lives of Americans and it’s a big mission for us.”
ESSTAR pledged to place healthier options close to gas station checkouts and advertise healthy options at the gas pump. They also committed to have 75% of the products in their “Healthy on the Go” snack display meet PHA’s healthier product criteria. Krista hopes her story inspires others to battle through adversity and come out stronger than ever.
“It’s a dream come true and I’m thankful that my life was saved for something like this,” Krista said. “The suffering I went through wasn’t wasted and I’ve been able to pay it forward. It’s very rewarding to watch my vision unfold and to bring America back to health and healing.”
Learn more about the ESSTAR movement.