What’s the inspiration behind Real Made Overnight Oats?
Everyone wants a tasty, convenient, nutritious breakfast—but it’s really hard to check all three of those boxes. The list of what people eat in the morning is eye-opening. Some folks will take a spoonful of peanut butter and call that “breakfast.” We’ve even seen people suck down a pouch of baby food because it's nutritious and convenient (and they don't even have kids). We realized that if we could make restaurant-quality breakfasts for only $2 a serving, we could help people live better lives.
Why breakfast food?
Our vision for the company is to be Real Made Foods—oats and breakfast are just the start. There’s so much opportunity to create convenient meal solutions that are restaurant quality and that take just one step to prepare.
How did you meet your co-founder? How do you work together?
We started as an incubator brand at a large consumer packaged goods company. Barry Nalebuff and I were partnered through the CEO and we ended up being a perfect "work marriage." It turned out that Barry's experience as the co-founder of Honest Tea combined with my appetite for risk and experience as a food executive was the perfect recipe for a successful partnership.
What’s been the #1 top challenge you’ve faced while launching your company?
We had to change our name and universal product code (UPC) when we became a standalone business in June 2019. I had been through many UPC changes in my lifetime at big food companies, so I knew that it would be tough and costly. However, doing this in a pandemic is entirely different. It took perseverance and many sleepless nights, but I’m proud to say we have weathered the storm. We are closing out the soft transition in eCommerce within the next 3–4 months.
What does your morning routine look like?
My mornings are crazy! I have two boys who are 5 and 7 years old, so it's usually a morning hustle to get out the door to school. This means making sure my kids have a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack ready to go. There’s also my husband, the big boy to feed, as I used to joke. Fortunately, he's figured out how to make overnight oats. He’s just as proud of himself as I am.
Why did you feel it was so important to become a certified Women’s Business Enterprise?
Being certified was—and is—important. Less than 3% of institutional funds went to women-owned businesses in 2020, yet far more than 3% of businesses are women-owned. Being a female founder comes with a disadvantage. We need to be confident, have a voice at the table, speak with conviction, put emotion to the side, and never let anyone make us feel inferior. In many ways, we are just starting the journey to establish equality in the sector. It’s a movement I’m passionate about and want to be a part of.
What is your superpower?
Multitasking. (I'd better not say what else I’ve been doing while answering these questions!) Barry would say my superpower is persuading people to help us out, even though they don’t work for us. I don’t think it’s any sort of mind control—when you have a mission that connects with people, they want to join in.
"When you have a mission that connects with people, they want to join in."
What’s your kryptonite?
I have trouble delegating because I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
Do you have any other hobbies/things you like to do in your spare time?
Working out is both a hobby and a key part of my everyday life. It provides great stress relief, as well as time to myself to think and focus. I was a competitive athlete in college, so exercising is just part of my DNA.
I love to go to the beach with my family, explore the great outdoors, go to sporting events, and spend time gardening and growing our own herbs and vegetables in the summer. I’m also a foodie, so I always enjoy exploring new restaurants and finding new products that help me live a healthier life.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago, what would it be?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to kick yourself for any mistake that you make, but you have to remember that nobody is perfect and that mistakes happen. It's OK to make mistakes or fail, but fail fast, learn from it, and move forward.
It's OK to make mistakes or fail, but fail fast, learn from it and move forward.