Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lia Ballentine, founder of Yumday, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Hi! I'm Lia Ballentine, and I'm the founder of Yumday – a purpose-driven snack box subscription company that features and prioritizes women- and BIPOC-led food brands. My customers are conscious consumers who want to shop their values, and Yumday helps them do that uniquely and deliciously. We help our snackers joyfully discover wholesome snacks (and drinks) from diverse makers and mission-driven companies, many of which are independent producers who handcraft their specialty food products in small batches.
Yumday offers a variety of snack box subscription options so that customers can snack a little or snack a lot. In addition to joining our monthly and quarterly snack subscriptions, customers can also order curated snack boxes with handpicked snack selections based on founder values and even diet. (People love giving our curated snack boxes as gifts!) The snack products we feature in our collections often change as we continue to create new partnerships with emerging brands. Our subscription plan gives customers an excellent opportunity to enjoy new snacks and learn about up-and-coming food brands regularly.
Tell us about yourself
I love snacks, and I love supporting women- and minority-led businesses
and Yumday reflects my passion for food and my desire for equity and inclusion in all spaces.
In 2020, when my snacking hit an all-time high, I was in search of new snacks to fill my pantry. As someone who makes an effort to shop consciously and as a woman of color, I also knew that I wanted to find snack brands founded by people from underrepresented communities. I was having difficulty finding the snacks I wanted on the grocery store shelves around me, so I decided to take on the challenge of researching and sourcing these products myself. It was important for me to know about the ingredients and learn more about the people and missions behind the snacks.
Through this research process and direct outreach to brands, I connected with so many women and BIPOC food founders who were creating wholesome and innovative snacks that I had never heard of or seen before. And over time, through conversations with friends and family, I realized that so many of them were interested in trying these new snacks as well. Then it hit me! I could be the person to help conscious consumers -- who love snacks -- find their new favorite treats from new, diverse brands.
And that's how Yumday's snack boxes and snack subscriptions were born.
I have the honor to work with amazing brands every day, and it's a thrill to help people discover their new favorite snack makers through our delightful and delicious boxes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
For me, it's a simple fact that I'm still going and growing! Yumday just finished its first year in business, and it has been an exciting ride. There have been challenges along the way, but I'm proud of always showing up for myself, our brands, and our customers every day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The "to do" list never ends, and as a business owner, you're wearing ALL of the hats. But you can always ask for help. Also, it's important to pay attention to how you're feeling and remember to give yourself grace.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your "why." Understand your purpose for the business you are building, and let that passion drive you.
- Have a plan. Take the time to research your market and your customers, jump into the numbers, and set priorities and goals. In other words, do your homework. :)
- Go for it! Get started, be flexible, and believe in yourself.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.