Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jenny Goldfarb, Founder of Unreal Deli, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

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

Unreal Deli makes the world's finest premium plant-based deli meat, backed by over 100 years of New York deli tradition, as seen on Shark Tank and in the best sandwiches. Flexitarians, the veg-curious, those trying out Meatless Mondays and Veganuary who want to minimize or lessen your consumption of animal products without sacrificing your favorite flavors - we're here to make your deli dreams come true!

Tell us about yourself

I was raised in the traditional deli in NYC, where my great-grandfather Morris started a successful deli business after immigrating from Romania in 1907. After growing up on the Standard American Diet (SAD) in my early 30s, I learned about the plight of animals on factory farms, which led me to adopt a plant-based diet. Having over a hundred years of family deli history, it left me with a deeply nostalgic craving for those flavors I grew up with but could no longer enjoy after giving up animal products. I created Unreal Corn'd Beef, after much trial and error in my tiny home kitchen while pregnant with my third child, as an answer to those cravings. My "Aha Moment" was when my in-laws thought I was a crazy hippie for turning our family vegan...but they still thought my corned beef was better than the real thing! The big picture always motivates me to hold onto this dream of becoming the leading supplier of a plant-based deli in the country and the world. It still fuels me to this day to be able to see the good that's just around the corner.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Landing on the permanent menus of some of the most famous old-school delis like Sarge's in NYC and Canter's in LA, who haven't changed their menus in a hundred years and are the epitome of deli excellence, is huge to me! Times they are a-changing, and they are deli-cious!

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

The hard times still happen. In the beginning, I had to learn how to take my recipe from a home kitchen to a commercial kitchen - this literally took months of figuring out how to make up for the differences in the air that flows around an oven. Things you never would otherwise think about could hold a business up for months!

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

  1. Stay Lean - don't grow faster than you need to. The leaner you are, the more flexible you can be as you grow.
  2. Focus on the Customer - care about the customer experience more than anything. Get feedback and keep making it better.
  3. Be Sensitive - if you use your sensitivity to feel what's broken in the world and create a business idea to fix it, you're already 10 steps ahead of the game. That sensitivity translates both into what your business brings to the world and how you treat the people around you.

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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