SHANNON ALLEN: The Health Huntress
After her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Shannon Allen struggled to find fast but healthy food options, so she took matters into her own hands. Enter Grown, an all-organic and allergy-friendly restaurant at the forefront of the health-conscious movement. When was the moment you decided to create Grown?
I’m a doer. I don’t believe in the words “no” or “impossible.” When my son Walker was diagnosed [with diabetes] and there were no healthy fast-food options when I needed them, I felt frustrated and defeated. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, Shannon, nobody is going to come save you. I called my husband, [Miami Heat legend] Ray [Allen], and said, “If nobody’s got big enough balls to reinvent fast food, I’m going to do it.” That’s the moment Grown was born.
What does the future of Grown look like?
We’re growing! We have two locations at Hard Rock Stadium, and they are the only USDA organic-certified fast-food concepts in an NFL arena. We’re opening in Orlando in Lake Nona inside of a Walmart. My dream is for every family, regardless of income or zip code, to be able to have access to organic fast food. With Grown living inside Walmart, a huge behemoth of a company that really cares, it truly makes us accessible to everyone.
How do you balance business, marriage, and motherhood?
I find balance in my family. They are my source of joy, and spending time with them is how I recharge my batteries. Ray and I try to steal our moments. We’ve been together almost 21 years, and it’s important to remember why we fell in love and to stay connected. And it’s crucial for our five children to know that they are the most important thing in our lives. Grown, 8211 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami, 305-663-4769; grown.org
PHILANTHROPY PHILOSOPHY: You can make an impact on someone’s life by sharing your time. It’s the small moments that really touch people.