Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meghala Divakaran, Founder & CEO of Vegan Superfoods, located in San Jose, CA, USA.

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

Vegan Superfoods is a cottage food enterprise offering plant-based, gluten-free, nut-free energy bars and cookies that are specially formulated for fitness and wellness enthusiasts. Our products are wholesome, small batch produced, made with organic ingredients, and do not include anything artificial or heavily processed. For sugar, we use raw, unrefined products, including blackstrap molasses, date sugar, and maple syrup. Our packaging is certified compostable, and by buying from us, you support worthy non-profits in the field of child education. 10% of all proceeds are donated.

Tell us about yourself

It all started with a run in 2019 at a classic mid-life crisis moment as I began to question everything. I had all the strappings of a "successful" life, yet…I felt inadequate and terribly confused about exactly how my life was making a difference. At that moment, I decided to do something that seemed almost impossible - I decided to run a half marathon. I hadn't run or even walked 13 miles before, and yet it happened on a glorious day in June 2019 at the San Francisco Marathon. Running gave me a sense of purpose - in pushing my fitness level and in terms of raising funds for important causes that completely transform lives. It brought me pure joy. It also made me discover the satisfaction of relating to people without judgment - after a few miles of running, all you see is another human being testing limits of physical and mental endurance, experiencing adrenaline highs that make you feel like you can conquer this world! I was smitten!

I also learned that as a vegetarian runner, I had to put in the effort to find protein sources to fuel my runs. The readily available items either had eggs or dairy or very high quantities of processed sugar, additives, and unpronounceable ingredients. And almost all the plant-based protein bars had nuts which I found difficult to digest. It was then that I decided to start making my own workout snacks. I started reading about plant-based protein and unearthed a whole new world of flour, seeds, tubers, roots, and unprocessed sugar. I found out that the legumes and lentils I grew up with in India - chickpeas, moong lentils, finger millets - are naturally high in protein, great sources of fiber, and are also gluten-free! As I learned more, my recipes grew, my confidence grew, and my friends started asking for my homemade snacks to take on their runs. Nothing made me happier than sharing my snacks with fellow runners! I had found my passion and my purpose!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Educating people about the value of plant-based food, especially for athletic performance. Through my social media channels, folks are learning about nutrition, fitness, and wellness, which is my main goal.

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

Patience! For someone who is a first-time business owner, the ability to stay calm and not get affected by slow days or nasty customers is a skill that doesn't come naturally. Growth takes time and a plan. It's not always overnight, and growing slowly is not a bad thing. In fact, it helps you understand your customers better and deliver a better product/service.

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

  1. In the tumultuous job market, the time now is absolutely ripe to start your own business, especially with the cottage food laws allowing you to test the market with minimal investment and risk.
  2. Social media marketing is here to stay, and the more you embrace it and learn how to be more effective, the more you will see growth.
  3. Believe in your product/service wholeheartedly and take on a growth mindset. Ask for feedback from customers and be genuine/transparent about implementing that feedback in your business.

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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