Serena Williams and Gwyneth Paltrow Invested In This Female-Run Startup

Serena Williams And Gwyneth Paltrow

Invested In This Female-Run Startup

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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.

Kate Chia

Editorial Intern

An NYU graduate, Kate has a passion for all things writing-related, with particular interest in creative nonfiction, psychology, and health. She had an article published in the NYT about her astereotypical Asian parents. Outside of work, she enjoys indie folk music, thriller movies, and promoting gender equality.

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