We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Chew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, how does your business help the community?
I created The Superfood Cookie, which is a high protein, clean label cookie for women because I saw there weren’t any products in the category that specifically were made for us. In addition, if everyone ate more plant-based or flexitarian, we would dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 70% from food production. Also, it is healthier for you and is linked to reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and lower blood pressure. We donate 5% of our revenue to our partner organization called Oasis for Girls, a local San Francisco based nonprofit that provides after-programming and internships for young girls ages 14-18 that come from marginalized and low-income communities.
Our mission is the core to our business from our partnership with Oasis for Girls to our dedication to searching for more ways to continue to make our business more sustainable (packaging, ingredients, etc).
We unapologetically target women as our consumer and are building a fun, inclusive platform that encourages everyone to dream and eat more plant-based. Protein cookies are just the beginning – we envision launching other products within the plant-based dessert category.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started my brand in June of 2018 when I went plant-based at the urging of my stepmom for health and environmental issues. I had no background in CPG and came from the solar/energy storage industry. However, my passion for the environment has been consistent throughout my career and if everyone ate more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, then food related emissions would drop by 70%. This passion of mine has given me a “why” and keeps me going every day. We are bootstrapped, and for the longest time, I was a one woman team. I’ve made every mistake possible, and these mistakes have been my greatest learning experiences. We’ve face challenges from manufacturing issues to fulfillment, and particularly sourcing ingredients during COVID.
Out of our competitors, we are the only brand that has all of the following attributes: woman & AAPI-owned, refined sugar-free, vegan, free of sugar alcohols, gluten-free, as well as a clean ingredient label. We set out to bake a better protein cookie that uses primarily CA-sourced ingredients, appeals to the female consumer, uses more sustainable packaging AND tastes great.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The great thing about San Francisco is that it’s a small city where every neighborhood is unique.
I would start our afternoon at the Marina Green, where you can get your steps in for the day and enjoy views of the golden gate bridge. We would then walk over to Chestnut street and do some light shopping and then eventually make our way to Union Street for dinner at Wildseed.
Wildseed is 100% plant-based and is a great place to have dinner and enjoy a cocktail. My favorite dishes are the Mexican Corn Cakes, Neatball Masala, & Campanelle. Non-vegan friends will enjoy it too!
If you’re looking for a day trip outside of the city, I recommend Samuel P Taylor Park over Muir Woods – it’s far less crowded! The park is 1 hour outside of SF and is a great place to picnic and enjoy being around the redwoods.
If you’re looking to hang with the locals, I’ll recommend the Ferry Building Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. You’ll find the freshest produce and vegetables as well as local vendors and afterwards you can go into the Ferry Building for ice cream or coffee.
I also recommend Cha-ya vegetarian Japanese restaurant in the mission district – they have endless options of vegan/ vegetarian dishes that your head will spin!
Finally, it’s always worth going to Japantown to grab lunch or spend the day at the Pearl Spa & Sauna, where you can get a full body scrub, which leaves your skin feeling so soft. There’s so much to do in San Francisco and it’s definitely worth a visit!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom deserves so much credit in the story of building my business. From working trade shows with long hours to providing free accounting services, she’s been my biggest cheerleader. She’s turned all of her friends into fans and tells everyone she meets about my product. When I pitched a large retailer earlier this year, she practiced with me for a full day so I could be prepared. My mom is my biggest fan and I am forever grateful!