Julianna Carella of Auntie Dolores makes medicine taste amazing

With an on-fire expansion plan as cannabis is legalized in more and more states, Auntie Dolores is the tastiest medical marijuana biz around. It's a leading edibles brand in California, selling in over 20% of its collectives, and reaching over...

logoWhat inspired you to start your business?

In 2008 when Auntie Dolores got its start, there were no healthy gourmet edibles on the shelves in dispensaries. We decided to fill that void by creating innovative delicious products that patients can enjoy every day. We saw the cannabis industry beginning to blossom around us and the need for this specific niche. At first we began small, in just a couple shops, and the demand for the product is really what drove our growth. We’re just supplying the demand that is there.

Where do you want it to go?

We would love to see Auntie Dolores become an international brand. By the time cannabis is made legal nationally, Auntie Dolores will be a household name. Just like we have nationally recognized brands of any other legal product, Auntie Dolores will among those for cannabis edibles. Being on the forefront of an emerging industry also comes with a lot of responsibility. We want to package and label our products in the safest way possible to set a good example for the future of the entire industry. So it’s important to us that we help shape the perception of the industry in a positive way.

How can we help your business?

With the growth comes a need to divide into divisions of labor, so we’re always looking for different skill sets as we grow. We are currently looking for an operations manager with extensive food production experience to help us get to the next stage. Soon, as we expand across state lines, we’ll need to set up new teams in these states as well.

How about your breakfast today?

I had raw milk kefir and blueberries, as I like to start my day with superfoods and probioitcs.

pilatesWhat’s your workout?

Vinyasa yoga or pilates are my go-to workout options. Yoga is great for balancing the mind and body, often needed for overworked business owners!

What’s on your phone home screen?

A picture of Blondie and David Bowie from the 70’s. When some of my employees see this picture, they ask, “Who’s that?” I tell them I’m sorry they missed some of the best music in history.

What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

I love being an entrepreneur particularly because of the industry I am in. It allows us to help shape the industry with our company philosophy and thought leadership. Being a trail blazer in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry, and creating products that exceed the expectations of our customers, is more gratifying than any other job I have had. The opportunity to be creative and innovative, as well as help people and animals, has created a unique career that I am ever grateful for.

with productWhy do you do and why does it matter to you? 

Product development and implementation is my strong suit. It matters because we need our cannabis edibles to be healthy and delicious. The most interesting part about our company is the product development and the opportunities for innovation. The result is delicious and consistent products that many people with varying dietary restrictions can enjoy.

What’s your “entrepreneurial superpower?”

My entrepreneurial superpower is recognizing food trends and incorporating them into our edibles. I draw on years of experience with health food and cutting-edge science, and incorporate these things into our menu.  I am always looking for new product ideas that are unique, yet wholesome and comforting.

Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now?

Sue Simon-Taylor, who is a medical marijuana activist and entrepreneur—amazing woman!  I mostly admire her because she is clearly driven by compassion.

Why Sue?

She is dedicated to educating seniors about the health benefits of cannabis. She is a long-time activist and a fantastic motivation for any woman in the industry.

What’s the best and the worst thing about being an entrepreneur while also being female?

The best thing is being my own boss, and the worst thing is being my own boss!  Being female only has advantages when we are supported by our male counterparts.…It’s important we bring these kinds of players to our teams and help shape the industry by the people we promote. Women have a particular advantage in our industry because there is a need for innovation and creativity that women are naturally inclined to.

Do you think male entrepreneurs are “different” from female entrepreneurs?

I think the biggest differences here may lie in what types of businesses females and males may naturally excel at. Being entrepreneurial is more an indication of personality type than anything.  Female entrepreneurs are naturally very creative and can multitask well. Being an adept multitasker is one of the natural inclinations of women and one of the necessities of entrepreneurship.

What the best advice you ever got, and from whom?

“The best ideas and innovations fill voids.”  This is something I read in an article written by a successful tech startup entrepreneur. It was not direct advice, yet it resonated with me and has stuck with me for years.

How can people contact you or keep up with your news?

Through our website at Auntie Dolores and via twitter at @auntiedolores

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