SDH 176: Become Relentless and Trust Your Dream with Rachel Drori
As you go through the work day do you find yourself falling victim to those cupcakes in the break room? The lure of the overpriced vending machine? And the ease and quickness of popping a few power bars in your bag in the morning as nourishment for the rest of the day?
Rachel Drori is here to change that with her deliverable and organic soups and smoothies from Daily Harvest. Made for people who want to eat healthy but live a busy life on the go, her products come frozen and pre-packaged in single serve cups and bowls with whole ingredients like avocados, dates, and kale, among others. All consumers have to do is add a liquid or broth of their choice and get to cooking or blending! With recipes cooked up by herself, a nutritionist, and a Michellin star chef, she aims to build a transparent brand that consumers know they can trust, and deliver products that truly provide them with the nutrients that they need to perform their best.
The concept for Daily Harvest started when she worked at Guilt Group, and juggled multiple roles between customer acquistion, loyalty, and branding. With hardley anytime for herself, she fell into the trap of grabbing junk food for a quick energy source. Starting to feel fatigued and constantly undernourished, she started pre-packing her own smoothies. She began seeing how having nutritionally-rounded and filling smoothies helped her function better throughout her day, and how preparing her smoothie packs cost her very little time in the morning. Then once her husband started stealing her packs, she saw they were not only convienient and helping her, but others as well.
So she started to test the market with her smoothie packs and set a consumer metric for herself. Once she was able to get 5x more customers outside of the people she knew, she would seriously invest in her business idea and quit her job.
After she hit that mark, she gained faith and confidence that her business had legs and she launched Daily Harvest's beta website, and got a commercial kitchen in NYC's Long Island City. For eight months, she funded herself and was the company's only employee. She hatched the recipes herself, bought them, packaged them, and drove around NYC delivering orders to consumers. Not to mention she was pregnant at the time!
On her delivery runs, she used that one-on-one time with customers to conduct more market and product research. She gained valuable information and feedback, and was able to solve a merchandising issue with one of her smoothies, Carrot Chia. Originally called, Wake-n-Cake, the smoothie wasn't selling despite it's great flavor and health benefits. Puzzled as to why, she talked to customers and conducted a blind taste test, and found that customers loved it. Taking what she learned, she was able to know that it was simply the name and how the smoothie was portrayed.
As her business continued to grow and her money started dwindling, she started looking towards external funding. She was met with a lot of no's because venture capitalists couldn't grasp the weight of the smoothie market, and the benefits of organic smoothies. But, as luck would have it, she was able to land one institutional investor, as well as some angel investors from her target audience, and Daily Harvest was able to enter into a new chapter.
Take a breather, and have a listen to how she developed a tough skin and fought for her dream in today's episode!
In this episode you will...
Gain confidence in your business idea to withstand the critics
Learn to take the negative feedback you get from venture capitalists in a constructive manner
Understand the best way to alter or preserve your products to match the likes and dislikes of your market
Find out how to develop a core mission and concept for your business
Distinguish between methods of developing customer acquisition and loyalty
Become relentless in starting and managing your business
"It's hard to have people poking holes in what your passion is...when you believe in it...So you've gotta have some mental fortitude, but also really believe in what you're trying to build." -Rachel Drori
"The way that I built Daily Harvest and my true belief is that ...I would like to be this hugely customer centric business with its roots in hospitality...if I keep that at the core of what we're trying to build, it allows me to keep the customer first." -Rachel Drori
"As a start-up, things happen and you don't have the resources to be able to flex your guns...and make this right. Sometimes the customer suffers and I believe it's all about transparency and having a relationship with the customer where they know that you're being genuine." -Rachel Drori
"Where I've grown the most is being relentless. It's not my natural personality, but when you have something that you're trying to build...there's no....hierarchy holding you back from it, you really do have to be relentless in everything, and knowing that what you're creating is worthwhile and being able to motivate and entire team behind what that is." -Rachel Drori