We’re fortunate to work with amazing entrepreneurs; true partners building brands for a new generation. A recent Forbes article on female Food & Bev Entrepreneurs led us to reflect on all of the driven, innovative and overall badass women that we’ve been fortunate to encounter in our work. These individuals are responsible for bringing wildly innovative products to the forefront of the industry. Each with their own unique voices and stories.
Women are underrepresented as entrepreneurs, making up only 36% of new business owners since 2012. (Source) But as Beyonce once said, “girls, we run this mother” and today we shine a light on that beautiful 36% percent in the hopes of inspiring others to make it 50-50! While most of the individuals we mention here are founders and CEO’s, we also work with countless female brand managers, marketers, strategists, creatives, account managers and other roles that are fundamental to the success of a business.
Founder and CEO Kris Buchanan C.N. opened the GOODONYA deli with a passion for serving up locally sourced, organic and delicious food. Over the years she’s overseen launches of even more locations, landed the GOODONYA bar in Whole Foods, and helped formulate the 1051 Organic Sports Drink. Her unwavering commitment to quality of food and kindness as a lifestyle have set a shining example for entrepreneurs everywhere.￼
Sometimes, brilliant companies need a leg up – especially in the food and beverage industry. Jordan Gaspar (a former corporate lawyer) and Lauren Jupiter (previously an investment banker) co-founded the incubator AccelFoods to launch innovative natural food startups to success. Both bring their solid backgrounds in the food and bev world to the business, as well as product accelerators – particularly relevant is Jordan’s experience working with Golden Seeds, a female-focused early investment firm.
As CEO of Alpine Start, Alex Hanifin showcases her robust experience in the natural CPG world. Recognizing that the instant coffee options on the market are subpar at best, she partnered with climber Matt Segal to create a product that outdoor enthusiasts have been lacking – a coffee that can be made on the go and actually tastes great. The company has centered itself around providing the comfort of coffee for early backcountry mornings, and the convenient single serving coffee packs have made their way onto shelves at REI and Whole Foods.
An Indian food tradition has been reinvented as the “free-spirited snacking” movement, in the form of Bohana popped water lily seeds. Cofounders Priyal Bhartia & Nadine Habayeb are practitioners of Ayurveda (an ancient health and wellness promoting life science) which lent inspiration for their decision to bring this product to the masses. Recognizing the power of snacking, they took the opportunity to introduce a satisfyingly popcorn-like munchie that packs in plant protein, amino acids, and antioxidants while leaving out allergens, corn and grain. Additionally, they take pride in ethically and sustainably sourcing these seeds from Indian farmers.
And Bohana, a snack food company, makes bags of air-popped water lily seeds, “one of the most popular seeds in Ayurveda.” They’re similar to popcorn or puffed rice, and come in cheddar, spice or Himalayan pink salt flavor.