Meet Andrew, the Fig Founder

Last updated: September 6, 2023

Hi there, my name is Andrew, and I’m one of the co-creators of Fig. I’d love to share with you why I’m building Fig – and why its mission is very personal for me.

Life throws a curveball

My life changed suddenly in 2014 after a work trip to Mexico. Up until that trip, I had never had any significant health problems. But when I got home from Mexico, I was in terrible shape. I was waking up in the middle of the night itching all over my body. My fatigue and brain fog during the day were debilitating. And within a few months, terrible GI symptoms started happening as well. Life as I knew it literally came to a stop.

From 2014 to 2017, I saw more than 20 doctors at all the best hospitals in New York City trying to figure out what was going on. Like clockwork, the doctors would tell me the same thing: “We believe you’re having terrible symptoms, but all of the tests are coming back normal. We don’t know how to help you.”

Finally some answers

In 2017, I was reading a blog from an alternative medicine doctor in Chicago. He mentioned a condition called SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth which is a type of IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. Desperate for answers, I flew to see the doctor, and the test for SIBO was off-the-charts positive. I finally had a partial explanation for my symptoms over the past three years.

The treatment for SIBO involved antibiotics and a significant diet change. I started a Low FODMAP, low sugar, and low preservatives diet. My GI symptoms resolved, and for the first time in three years, I finally started to feel like myself again. It made me a believer in the power of food.

Finding food with dietary restrictions

The problem? There were more than 500 ingredients I needed to limit or avoid entirely on the diet. I remember my first trip to the grocery store – I literally cried in the aisle thinking this was going to be my new life. I’d spend hours in the grocery store and often come home empty-handed. There had to be a better way.

This was the inspiration for Fig.

The start of Fig

The idea behind Fig is simple: Tell Fig how you personally eat, and Fig points you to the food that matches your unique needs: first at grocery stores and select restaurants and eventually everywhere you need to make a food decision.

The Fig app is the first step, but Fig is more than an app – it’s a movement to build the future we all want to see. We won’t stop until Fig helps you, your friends and your loved ones all understand and navigate your dietary restrictions, so you can enjoy food again, not fear it.

Most of the Fig team lives with dietary restrictions themselves, so this mission is very personal. Join us! Help us improve the Fig app. Sign our petition calling on manufacturers to stop using vague ingredients like “natural flavors” in their products. Or get involved however you can.

Thank you for helping us make life easier for everyone who lives with dietary restrictions 😊

Why I’m building Fig

My quality of life was terrible from 2014 to 2017. I was young, able to see 20+ doctors and knew how to research the internet for answers. I had every resource in the world, and it still took me three years to get back to good health.

My heart goes out to those who don’t have the resources I did. I want to help others struggling – both in terms of figuring out which foods help them feel their best AND then actually finding those foods day-to-day.

Fig won’t be completed overnight, but it’s needed and I’m committed to building it the right way. Thanks for placing your trust in us, and I look forward to helping you find food that is good – for you!