What’s the inspiration behind The Good Kitchen?
My Mom had her first heart attack at 40. My Aunt had hers at 32, my Grandmother at 36, my cousin passed away at 28 from heart failure and my Uncle died from a massive heart attack at 39.
To say I am personally motivated to live a healthy lifestyle is an understatement. After my Mom had her heart attack and I was her primary caregiver, I knew I needed to not only help her but make changes in my own lifestyle.
Once I began my journey into paleo diet and functional fitness, I never looked back. My husband and I became coaches and ran a Paleo challenge at the gym where we coached. I noticed people would not stick with the lifestyle change after 30 days—no matter the results they would see.
When I started inquiring, it was all about convenience. We lived in Charlotte, NC and people were busy. Many thought if they just worked out enough that their diet didn’t matter. With my understanding of health improvements personally over a several year period, it became my mission to make it easy and delicious for people to eat healthy.
It’s not only about what you eat—it’s also about what your food eats.
How do you handle risk and competition?
I think my super power is seeing risk as an opportunity. I handle risk by moving through it, surrounding myself with very smart people that will move mountains for our mission.
Competition—bring it on. When I started The Good Kitchen, 90% of my job was to educate people about why you should eat clean whole foods, read labels, and cut out processed foods. I think competition in this category has made consumers more savvy.
We’re always on the forefront of what is next for the industry, and I think that’s what differentiates us from everyone else. Although there are other meal companies out there, we are always a step ahead in the evolution of our business.
And, we’re all about our members. We don’t exist without them.
You launched a partnership with Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero’s TB12 Sports in 2020. How did that partnership happen, and how has it changed The Good Kitchen?
We had a member of The Good Kitchen that was a TB12 client in their Foxboro facility. She brought one of our meals into her body coach, and the next thing we know, we’re on the phone talking about a co-branded meal plan!
It hasn’t really changed The Good Kitchen per se; we’re still doing what we’ve always done. We’ve also gotten a lot of recognition from the partnership, which has been great for our top line.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced while launching your company?
Probably the learning curve of scaling a business. When you start something as a passion project, you have no idea what you’re really doing. You just do it. That can feel a lot like walking through a car wash without a car, and into the arena of Wipeout. It’s a lot, and you have to roll with things you’d never expect.
What’s your experience been like as a female founder? Any advice for women looking to start their own company?
I have had all the typical experiences as a female founder that one might assume based on being asked this question.
I love being a female founder, although I deal with things my male counterparts do not have to deal with. I’ve seen my male counterparts get more funding and support than I have over the years. I’ve had challenges with vendors and partners that seem to treat me differently because I am a female.
And, I have been fortunate to have amazing people step in to support my mission and vision. I think the most important piece of advice for women in entrepreneurship is: own that shit. Be a woman, don’t feel like you have to act like a man to be taken seriously.
Be yourself. Celebrate your woman-ness. And, if someone doesn’t like it—move on. Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, regardless of what your brain may be telling you—do not compromise.
And, NEVER COMPROMISE your vision.
What’s your team culture like?
We work hard and play hard. We’ve been intentional about building a culture of trust and performance. We’re a small team, and we have each others’ backs. We don’t have a tolerance for assholery. We are all very passionate about The Good Kitchen mission, since we’re all about health, food, and animals.
Have you learned anything new or surprising about yourself through this process?
I am resilient and competitive. I used to have a really hard time admitting when I was wrong. Starting a business from the ground up is humbling.
Besides eating well, what else are you passionate about?
My three rescue pups! Sadie B—she’s a 16 year old puggle and my ride-or-die. Ruby, she came from a program New Leash on Life where they pair unadoptable dogs with inmates to train them for adoption. She is definitely a middle child. We’re not sure what mix she is; something like a boston terrier beagle.
Last but not least, Phoebe, our most recent addition. She’s an 8 month old white Pittie. We thought she was a mutt, but after a DNA test found out she’s 100% American Pitbull Terrier.
What is your superpower?
Having a vision and then heading straight for it. I am relentless when it comes to accomplishing a mission.
What’s your kryptonite?
Stagnation. It literally shuts me down.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have recently gotten into Gravel Cycling. My husband has loved cycling for many years. I wasn’t super excited about it until he got me out on a gravel bike during the pandemic.
I grew up riding dirt bikes in the woods with my Dad, so it’s a bit nostalgic for me, and much quieter. It’s such a mental reset for me, and has led me to do some longer endurance type races/events. I love the community—the friends we’ve made have become an extended family.
Are there any apps or gadgets that you can’t live without?
I always ride with GPS and Strava. I am a nerd—and did I mention I am competitive? I always want to see when I have gotten a personal record. Even if my time is terrible in a ride, run or workout, I always want to see the results.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago, what would it be?
Trust your gut. It’s ALWAYS right.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Stop being nice. Always be kind. There is a difference.