What inspired you to start your business? Where did you start and where are you now?
My work is my passion; I’ve been cooking, baking, and enjoying food for as long as I can remember. I always knew that I would end up on the food business, I just didn’t know how. When my daughter asked me to volunteer some goodies for her school bake sale, I had no idea that she wanted to send my homemade granola. What I knew even less was that my granola would be such a tremendous hit and my return to the workforce.
What do you see for your future?
I’m expanding my line of wholesome, delicious snacks—look for a sneak peak at the Summer Fancy Food Show! I am also working on getting Viki’s Granola in every major retailer nationwide.
How large is your business? How many employees do you have?
My current facility is around 8,500 sq. ft. … a huge departure from our humble beginnings in a 2,500 sq. ft. bakery. We currently have 11 fantastic employees.
Tell us a success story about funding your business.
Funding my business is a labor of love: I am a female-owned business and using my own capital to fund my passion.
What do you see as challenges for you and your business? What are some opportunities?
Cereal is one of the hardest markets to penetrate; store shelves are lined with cereals and granolas. Convincing stores and distributors why my granola is different and worth putting on a shelf that has little or no real estate space was and is my biggest challenge. Luckily Viki’s Granola is able to check the boxes on what consumers are looking for in their food: Non-GMO Verified, Gluten-Free, Kosher and most importantly, Delicious!!! Opportunities are everywhere. You just need to have the drive to keep going and not take no for an answer.
Tell us a story about a success in your business, and a mistake you overcame?
The biggest mistake was launching my granola with only one flavor. Consumers want variety and retailers expect it. I had to come up with two flavors: Blueberry Almond and Maple Cranberry. My biggest success was landing my first chain of supermarkets.
What’s on your phone’s home screen?
My wallpaper pictures one of my fondest moments with my girls when they were little: with three girls who are only a few years apart, “adventures” where never too far away. As I was cooking one day, my mommy-radar went on high alert—my house was all too quiet. Well, my littles decided to take out their paints and turn their bodies into canvases. It’s an adorable picture!
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
Every day is a new challenge, a new opportunity to do better.
What about your business matters most deeply to you? How does it engage your values?
The people I work with are incredibly important to me. We are a big family and everyone plays an important role. I value their hard work and opinions.
What would you say is your “entrepreneurial superpower?”
My unwavering ability to take keep trying, not letting the word “no” stop me.
Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now?
I have always admired Julia Child.
Julia Child followed her dream. She didn’t let her age or gender stop her from entering a thoroughly male-dominated industry.
What’s the best and the worst thing about being an entrepreneur, as a woman?
I am source of constant pride for my family and an inspiration to my girls. I hope to show them and all women that you should not let people put restrictions on your dreams; it’s never too late to start doing what makes you happy.