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This Intrepid Entrepreneur is Revolutionizing the Frozen Food Industry

Business

Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori is completely changing our perception of frozen foods with her variety of prepared frozen smoothies and parfaits. Drori founded Daily Harvest two years ago, when she was nine months pregnant, and has since taken the grocery delivery service by storm. Drori sat down with our Founder Iman Oubou to talk about how she has managed to start a business that has gained the attention of the likes of Gwenyth Paltrow and Serena Williams, all while simultaneously starting a family.


Cold Brew + Almond Energizer Smoothie

In case you’re not familiar, here’s how Daily Harvest works: You visit the website and choose what you would like to stock up on. DH’s menu now includes pre-fixed smoothies, parfaits, overnight oats, soups and sundaes.

Blackberry + Majik Chia Parfait

Then, you enter your email, zip code and select your plan: options include weekly packages offering six cups, 12 cups or 24 cups or a monthly package of 24 cups. You then build your box by selecting your preferred ingredients, which, according to Drori, are all 100% plant-based, whole (not sliced!) fruits and vegetables. After filling up your “box,” you select your delivery day – which is a minimum of five days, and viola! You are signed up for an auto-renewed subscription of your selected meals. On the delivery day, you open your door to the frozen packaged deliciousness that arrive on dry ice.

Drori explains to Iman exactly why she’s here to debunk the way Americans think about frozen foods and how their nutritional value is superior to the hot pockets and TV dinners that we often associate the frozen food aisles with. “What’s interesting is when you think of frozen food, we think of dinosaur chicken nuggets,” Drori says. “When you ask someone what’s in their freezer, they usually say vodka and ice cream. Let’s take a blueberry for example; it’s picked green, before it’s ready, they never have time to fully ripen, and they degrade in nutrient content by the time they go from the vine to your belly. We pick all of our fruits and vegetables at their nutritional peak.” In contrast, a blueberry that’s picked and not frozen has 50% less vitamin C than its frozen counterpart, according to Drori.

As far as competitors? Drori doesn’t really have any at the moment. She credits and shows gratitude to companies like Blue Apron and Plated that came before her in the grocery delivery space, but it’s her complicated way of delivering her nutritional goods on dry ice that really sets her apart from any other company.

According to Drori, “delivering things is not easy and that’s why it took me a year to get it up and running. I’d say that our number competitive edge comes down to our brand. We tried to do something in a different way, and it doesn’t really look like other things that you’ve seen in the frozen aisle. That’s why we don’t have any competitors right now.”

While Drori’s business model itself is impressive, her scrappy, no-nonsense persona is just as inspiring. Drori spoke to Iman about her experience preparing and hand-delivering her customers’ orders during the early stages of the business, to breastfeeding her way through investment meetings with venture capitalists. “I’ve nursed in front of VCs. My thing is: if it makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably not a good fit,” Drori claims. But it’s things like her fearless way of breastfeeding during meetings and going into work while nine months pregnant that has led her to finding out what works best for her fruitful business. “You go into these more traditional venture capitalists and you’re nine months pregnant and talking about your whole female team. It’s about finding the right fit, because we’ve had many awkward conversations and really wonderful ones where people were would say, ‘wow, you’re really doing this, we’re excited!’”

Drori also tells Iman how her mind is constantly racing with a whirlwind of thoughts. Even the busiest businesswomen, however, needs to find their moment of tranquility every day. For this founder, her peace of mind comes from the hour-a-day that she dedicates to being a mom. “I make sure – hell or high water, that I am home at 5:30 p.m. and [my employees] should not contact me from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., since that’s when I put my kids to bed. One hour in the evening to decompress for a headspace moment,” she reveals. Though the day picks right back up from 7 p.m. to midnight, that hour is Drori’s time to be a mom and maintain a balance in her hectic life.

To learn more about Drori’s day-to-day life at Daily Harvest, her tips for fellow entrepreneurs and to hear the crazy things she’s been asked as a female in a male-dominated industry, check out the full video here.

Career

Male Managers Afraid To Mentor Women In Wake Of #MeToo Movement

Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.


In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.

What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.

Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.

Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.

While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.

According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.

In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.


Source-Alex Brandon, AP

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.

Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.

The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.