Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Young, Co-Founder of Planted Meals, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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

Planted Meals provides ready-to-heat, ready-to-eat plant-based meals to the Greater Vancouver area in BC, Canada. We aim to help customers lower their carbon footprint by offering plant-based meals that are affordable, convenient, and above all, delicious! Our customers are those looking for easy, no-fuss meals at their fingertips and enjoy good food, vegan or not.

Our homestyle meals cover a wide range of cuisines and feature a number of comfort classics like Lasagna and Mac + Cheese. We also offer breakfast, snacks, and desserts to round out your day. Our chocolate chip cookies are to die for! We pride ourselves in providing food that tastes great to customers of all diets, where you won't even miss the meat.

Sustainability is a core value for our business, where we see how animal agriculture has a huge negative impact on the environment. We also make sure to use compostable packaging, redirect waste into as many recycling streams as possible, and also reduce food waste by re-incorporating ingredient off-cuts from one dish into other dishes.

Tell us about yourself

My background is in marketing and graphic design, and I spent many years as an in-house designer for a variety of organizations. However, I had a huge interest in vegan cooking, and my friend Corbin, an investment banker and serial entrepreneur saw the need for affordable vegan meals. Along with another entrepreneur friend Michael, we formed Planted Meals.

Having been vegan for many years, one of my greatest joys was cooking for friends and family. I loved preparing feasts to show people that vegan food was just as delicious as non-vegan. Climate change is a big issue for me, and I feel like going vegan is such an easy way to make a big difference. I love knowing that we provide our customers with so much value: convenient, healthy, and sustainable meals.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It’s been an amazing feeling to see people buying food based on my recipes and food direction. Wild, actually! The first time we hit the 1000 meal count mark, that was the moment I realized, “Okay, maybe we’re onto something!”

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

Managing people has been a larger piece of the business than I anticipated. I had to dig deep for skills I didn’t know I had and learn and nurture new ones. I know our team is the key to our success, so it’s imperative that we develop a culture that supports and nurtures our team members.

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

Perfection is the enemy of good - don’t wait until your product or service is 100% perfect to launch. You need to get a good version of your product out to friends and family, ask for lots of feedback, and improve over the next few iterations. It took us a while to nail down our recipes and menu direction, but we probably never would have started if I had waited for the “perfect recipe.”

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I know it can be terrifying and scary to put yourself out there, and getting over imposter syndrome is really hard, but you just have to take that first step, and it’ll all keep flowing from there.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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