Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Groden, founder, and CEO of Evergreen, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I make nutritious and delicious frozen waffles with just a handful of real ingredients. Our customers are parents looking for better options for their kids, adults striving to live a healthier lifestyle, athletes searching for a better way to fuel, and everyone in between.

Tell us about yourself

As a working mom, I needed a quick and easy breakfast for my daughter. Frozen waffles seemed like the obvious choice, but the options on the market were full of ingredients I couldn't pronounce. I started playing with recipes in my home kitchen and, before I knew it, Evergreen was born. Our waffles are made with 100% whole grain flour and flavored only with real fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices. There are absolutely no preservatives, refined sugars, dairy, dyes, or artificial or "natural" flavors.

When I receive a message or a photo or a video from a family who loves our waffles, I feel just as motivated as I did on day 1. As long as Evergreen keeps making lives healthier, easier, and more nutritious, we'll keep making waffles.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'm so proud that I've been able to build my business at the same time as I've built my family. I started Evergreen when my oldest daughter was three months old. I had our second daughter during Evergreen's second year. It hasn't always been a walk in the park, but I hope I'm building something that will make my daughters proud and inspire them to chase their own dreams.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It can be lonely, especially as a solo founder! I've found it extremely helpful to surround myself with amazing third-party service providers. Not only are they experts in their respective fields, but they've become trusted advisors, sounding boards, and friends.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do it! There are always reasons not to start something. If you have an idea that's gnawing at you, ask yourself, "what do I have to lose?" But...
  2. Do it on your own terms. When I started Evergreen, I had a career that I loved and a 3-month old baby. At that stage in my life, I wasn't willing to jump into the deep end, so I dropped down to part-time at my day job and worked on Evergreen 2 days a week. I didn't pursue Evergreen full-time until I was confident our waffles were gaining traction.
  3. Be humble. As a solo founder, it's so important to recognize what you don't know and surround yourself with people who complement your experiences, strengths, and passions. Hire employees or third-party service providers who can teach you something or who can take the least favorite parts of your business off your hands.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.