Business 05 August 2017
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.
4 Min Read
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.