Blendtopia: How it all began.
Every brand has a story. A starting point from the time its Founder had that first ‘ah ha’ moment. Maybe it was a little voice inside their head leading them down a certain path, or maybe it was a bigger, life-changing event that hit them like a ton of bricks. One thing’s for sure, every story is different and every story is worth telling!
The story starts here.
My story began five years ago in northern, VA just outside Washington D.C. where we had been living for several years as transplants from the Bay area. The kids were very young and life was b-u-s-y.
The phone rang one morning and I learned that my dear friend had been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon and liver cancer. She had hundreds of tumors and it was inoperable. I went into ‘action mode’ and organized meal deliveries for the next 6 months. I didn’t want her to even think about cooking during the next six months of chemotherapy and I knew if she and her family were being fed, that would be one less thing she’d have to worry about.
Chemo started, the meals started, but I realized very quickly that although the meals were great for her family, they weren’t great for her. She was sick and nothing was appealing to her. A friend began making her pre-portioned, organic green smoothies and VOILA, it worked. It wasn’t much but it was something and it was nourishing her body which is exactly what she needed!
Cut to… that ‘AH HA‘ moment.
That’s the exact moment it happened. I saw her sitting on the sofa drinking a big, green smoothie and thought… WOW, NOW THAT’S A BIG IDEA.
Whole, organic, pre-portioned, ready-to-blend smoothies. Yes, that’s it! My mind started whirling. I gave it some real thought and realized if I was going to do this, I had to do it right. I wanted them to be SMOOTHIES WITH PURPOSE. Functional smoothies that could potentially replace a meal, powered by high-density nutrition (enter the superfoods).
The next two years were a blur. I began studying raw food nutrition and herbalism extensively. I studied Ayurvedic and ancient Chinese medicine and became a Certified Raw Food Nutritionist and Holistic Wellness Coach. Finally I had the knowledge and the confidence to put the ‘science behind my smoothie blends’.
We moved back to my hometown of Nashville, TN in 2014 and within 6 months I had launched Blendtopia. It wasn’t called Blendtopia at the time… it was called Roots True Foods but it was a start!
It was SO exciting to be part of a wellness movement that was happening in ‘real time’ while experimenting with superfoods well before the buzz-worthy term went mainstream.
That brings us to today.
Wow, so much has happened since that ah ha moment back in 2013. The ups, the downs, the highs, the lows, the times I wanted to throw in the towel but a little voice inside my head said just KEEP GOING, you can’t give up now!
We’re now Blendtopia. We have amazing Brand Ambassadors representing us and we have a total rockstar team helping us to build the brand. We’re a national brand at Whole Foods and we’re rocking out many other major retailers across the U.S. including Wegmans, Earth Fare, Roche Bros, Raley’s, etc. It certainly takes time, energy and resources to keep things going but if the passion is there, you can truly move mountains!
Back to my friend with cancer, Julie.
Honestly, it’s a miracle. She’s officially in remission but it’s been a very long journey for her. She went from several hundred tumors to TWO. One tumor became operable and was removed in July of this year and the other was blasted with radiation and is gone.
Julie loves her Blendtopia smoothies but even more so, she loves that she was the inspiration behind them. Together with Julie, we’re looking to make a difference. Our story began with a mission and we plan to continue to be a mission-driven company.
How We Plan to Make a Difference
By giving back and supporting those who are really making a difference. We recently lost a friend to Stage 4 breast cancer but her story is remarkable. Extraordinary really. Chelsea was just 34 years old but in a matter of 10 months she managed to start a foundation and write a book.
Her book is called ‘The Yellow House on the Left: What Dying Young Is Teaching Me About Living‘ – you can find it on Amazon and ALL profits go to Chelsea’s foundation. It’s such an incredibly inspiring read.
Chelsea’s foundation is called The Foye Belle Foundation, also known as THE BLUE BAG MOVEMENT. It’s such a BIG IDEA! I spent countless hours at chemo with Julie back in 2013 and she and I both agree that Chelsea really pinpointed exactly what cancer patients need more than anything. LOVE, HOPE and a little bit of HAPPINESS.
Also on our radar are companies like Savor Health who focus on clean eating and meal planning, specifically for cancer patients. They even provide a meal delivery service to make things a little easier for those patients in need.
So that’s my story, at least to date anyway. The story is still being written so I’ll keep you up-to-date via social media and/or blog posts. The story of a brand’s beginning almost always starts from a place of passion and a founder’s energy is the driving force behind it. That’s what makes each brand unique.