Two decades ago, Khalil Rafati was sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles, addicted to heroin and cocaine.
He decided to give his life a turn and 13 years later became the first juice millionaire.
Rafati says the turning point came after his ninth overdose, after which he finally checked himself into rehab.
One day I woke up, and this was my life, and I couldn’t get out
He was born in Ohio in 1970 and he moved to LA in 2003.
Rafati left home to escape sexual abuse and follow his dream of becoming a film star.
The movie career didn’t work out. Instead, Rafati found success in selling sports cars.
His clients included actors Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Taylor, and Guns N’Roses guitarist Slash.
However, Rafati was also dealing ecstasy and heroin on the side. At that time, he first tried drugs and gradually became addicted.
“I was arrested more times than I can remember,” Rafati says. “I was completely messed up… I was always in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep.”
At 33, Khalil Rafati overdosed on heroin for the 9th time. Doctors brought him back to life using a defibrillator. It was the last time he ever took drugs.
“One day I woke up, and this was my life, and I couldn’t get out.”
As Rafati said in an interview, he had the seizures, abscesses, his teeth were literally rotting. So just the physical condition drove him to realization that it is time to make a change.
“I decided to get sober. Although the future started looking brighter, I was still smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, eating junk food and drinking copious amounts of coffee and energy drinks.
I always felt completely drained.”
After spending four months at a rehab center, he has been clean ever since.
Never, ever, ever give up. That’s it. Never give up
Soon one of friends introduced Rafati to juicing and superfoods.
“The results were remarkable and instantaneous. I began to feel alive again”, he said.
Rafati took up odd jobs like gardening and cleaning houses. He saved money and opened his first business in 2007.
It was Riviera Recovery Center, a sober living house in Malibu.
Our products are not the only thing we deliver. We deliver happiness to customers
There he began making his own juices for patients and staff. His smoothies became very popular in and outside Malibu.
“So many outsiders came to Riviera Recovery just to enjoy one of my smoothies”, he said.
In 2011 with $50,000 he had saved in gold coins Rafati opened SunLife Organics in Malibu, California.
Its mission was simple: to love, heal and inspire.
“We wanted a place where people could go for organic juices, organic salads, organic everything really. …and escape from our iPads, smartphones, and “social networks.”
Today Rafati has six juice bars and over 200 members of staff across California as well as he is the owner of Malibu Beach Yoga.
In an interview to voyagela he once said, “Our products are not the only thing we deliver, we deliver happiness to our customers.”
Rafati advices all those who want to get rid of any addiction or have a business to “never, ever, ever give up. That’s it. Never give up.”