Susan Hougui Of GeeFreeFoods Makes a Gluten-Free Diet Delicious Susan Hougui Of GeeFreeFoods Makes a Gluten-Free Diet Delicious With autoimmune illnesses and food sensitivities on the rise, GeeFree founder Susan Hougui set out to make great tasting gluten free food consumers can create right at home. Creating a line of delicious frozen foods items such as puff pastry, franks in a blanket, spanakopita, and chicken potpie, Hougui was first inspired to create her own unique pastry brand after a trip overseas. After experimenting with gluten free pastry abroad, she knew that the United States needed such a product, and became a woman on a mission to perfect a truly delicious puff pastry. Partnering up with chef Steven Leyva, Susan’s GeeFree is now sold in approximately 800 grocery and health food stores, totally taking the frozen food world by storm. However, thanks to a recent infusion of capital from a food-conscious investor, Hougui believes that number will only triple by the year’s end. Susan Hougui “I was introduced to Billy Procida, founder of Procida Funding & Advisors, a year ago,” says Hougui. “Even though his company invests primarily in real estate, he believed in Geefree knowing that there is a growing concern regarding the foods we eat. He became a partner, and committed an infusion of one million dollars into the company for sales, marketing, distribution, and an e-commerce website.” As GeeFree is ready to add more wheat-less products (hello sandwich pockets!) to their expanding line, Susan sees her brand becoming a household name in the gluten free industry in the next five years. And thanks to the newfound private equity, the brand is definitely on the right track, as GeeFree is even running a television ad, making it the first gluten free company to ever do so. “We are currently running a commercial on broadcast television,” says Hougui. “This is the first time a gluten free company has ever run a television ad!” But despite the success of her GeeFree business, Susan has faced some challenges along the way that have only made her stronger. Battling and surviving cancer for example, has given her unwavering gratitude for all her successes in life, encouraging her to move forward with purpose. “Everything I do is never static, as everything is changing and is always possible,” says Hougui. “I have gratitude for what I have, and what I’ve accomplished, and that always gives me a sense of peace, no matter what happens in life.” Being a woman in a male dominated company is another hurdle Hougui faces daily, but she views it more as a constant reminder of what women have achieved, and the never-ending necessity to continue to push forward. “I see this more as a constant reminder how far women have come in the workforce and how far we have to go.” With gluten free food sales on the rise, it’s safe to say that we’ll be probably seeing more of GeeFree foods in the future. For more info on the company, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @GeeFreeFoods, or simply visit the company website here! The Quick Ten What app do you most use? The Google app on my phone What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Feed my cats! Name a business mogul you admire. Arianna Huffington What do you wish you invented? Penicillin What is your spirit animal? Seal or an otter! What is your life motto? Gratitude Name your favorite workday snack! A piece of cheese What’s something that’s always in your bag? Dental floss What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to? Iceland Desert Island. Three things, go! Fire starter, fishing gear, and another person of course Courtney Leiva Courtney Leiva is a lifestyle and beauty writer who has contributed to Refinery29, Women's Health, NewBeauty, Byrdie and Self.com. When she's not writing, she's usually found experimenting with new gluten-free recipes that pop in her head. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @misscourtneysays!