Meal delivery services can be huge time-savers for busy working mamas or anyone who wants to eat like Beyoncé with her vegan eats delivery service. There are literally dozens of meal subscriptions out there to help save time in the kitchen and help you eat healthier. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Sakara Life co-founders Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle about how they turned their plant-based way of life into a national brand.
Meet the Healthy Food Pros: Danielle Duboise & Whitney Tingle
Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle were born and raised in Sedona, AZ, and both eventually moved to New York City. Tingle worked on Wall Street, putting in intense 80-hour work weeks. Duboise was a yo-yo dieter whose last diet landed her in the hospital. They both knew they had to change how they ate to change their lifestyles. Instead of going to medical school as planned, Duboise went to nutrition school, and the friends started cooking organic, plant-based meals for each other. In 2012, friends were asking for their delicious eats, so the duo began to deliver their fresh food via bicycle around the city. Since launching Sakara Life, Tingle and Duboise’s company now has a team of 80 employees and delivers to 48 states, with fans including Victoria’s Secret Angels Lily Aldridge and Karolína Kurková, Chrissy Teigen, and Kate Hudson.
Brit + Co: What’s your morning routine?
Danielle Duboise: I like to snuggle with my mini Aussie, Zen, and my husband. Then, I set my intentions for the day, and always drink a big glass of water with our Beauty concentrates. It contains silica, also known as the beauty mineral, and rose, which is anti-inflammatory.
Whitney Tingle: Before emails, I like to start my day focusing on body and wellness. I go to Le Petite Studio (a lovely Pilates studio that’s in our office building!) or I listen to a meditation by Ally Bogard. And Sakara breakfast! We’ve made over lots of our favorite naughty foods — scones, waffles, granola — and transformed them so they’re flooded with nutrients, superfoods, and clean ingredients to help you feel amazing. Food is information, and we want to help give your body the information it needs to be your best self.
B+C: What inspired you to start your company?
DD & WT: We didn’t set out to create a company or a business. Eating this way saved our lives, and so we made it our mission to give people the tools to transform their own lives and become their best, brightest selves.
B+C: How do you challenge yourself as entrepreneurs?
DD: As a founder of the company, you often feel compelled to weigh in and give your team your answer — but it’s important to empower your team to arrive at their own answers, and let them shine or make mistakes. It can be very discouraging to have a boss who always has the answer. That said, it’s still a challenge because you care so much about every outcome.
WT: I lean into what’s hard. That’s where the growth comes from. I take on projects that I don’t know how to do and figure them out. Everything from legal to accounting to publishing our first cookbook (out in 2019) — it’s a challenge, but everything is figure-out-able if you give it time and energy.
B+C: Tell us about how your family and friends help support your business.
WT: Our friends and family (of our employees too!) like to come and support in any way they can. They come to our events, they come see us in the office — and there have even been times in the early days when they have hopped into the kitchen to help us cook! They give us confidence and remind us we’re on the right path. They believe in us and what we are doing, and that is inspiring.
DD: We were lucky enough to have believers around us, cheering us along the entire way.
B+C: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
DD: A Kabbalah teacher told me to always get better, not bitter. Be proactive, not reactive.
WT: The best piece of advice I ever received was to always be in service to others. If you make your business about you, you can give up or fail yourself, but if you do it for others, there is no giving up. We founded Sakara on the mission to help as many people feel amazing in their bodies through the power of food as medicine. It is that mission and the hundreds of testimonials we receive from clients every day that keep us motivated when times get tough. Having a real impact on people’s lives and the future of the world is also the most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur.
B+C: What do you love about your job?
WT: The nutrition we offer and information we provide to clients is life-changing. It is the future of health and wellness. I love that my job is to help awaken people to this powerful information and change their lives in a positive way. We’re able to help people in their most needed moments and help them feel better than they ever expected. It is so fulfilling and makes me excited to come to work every day.
DD: We also love working with our incredible team — we all spend so much time together and we feel so lucky to be surrounded by such an incredible, inspired, and intelligent group of people.
B+C: Name two female heroes who you think should get a shoutout.
DD: Our mamas.
WT: Yes! And our head chefs, Tyler and Faye. In the past it was almost unheard of for women to be head chefs or run a kitchen. These two run a real operation — 12,000 square feet of kitchen space! — sending out thousands of meals every day to people all across the country. They work long hours on their feet, but do everything with so much love, which shows in each and every meal we deliver.
B+C: If you could tell aspiring creative women anything, what would it be?
DD: Find a way to serve others. Don’t make it about your art or your success. Make it about your mission to create and give for others.
WT: Trust in yourself. You have much more knowledge and answers than you realize!
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column!
(Photos via Sakara Life)