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Tatiana Boncompagni is a journalist and writer turned entrepreneur, having beforehand labored for the Wall Avenue Journal in Brussels and in New York earlier than changing into a freelancer for the New York Occasions and the Monetary Occasions, amongst different publications. And he or she has additionally written three novels.
It was at this level her profession, about two years in the past, when she says she had “a kind of lightbulb moments—or epiphanies, as we used to name them—and realized that I had gotten away from my unique goal or purpose for changing into a journalist, which was to have a constructive impression on the world.” So she made a pivot into wellness and have become a private coach and holistic well being coach. And extra just lately, she launched a wellness-oriented meals enterprise—simply in time for the COVID-19 disaster to radically shake up the way in which individuals store, prepare dinner, and eat.
Fortune spoke with Boncompagni about her New York–based mostly chef-prepared meals enterprise, Eat Sunny, for a brand new sequence, The Coronavirus Economic system. We requested her about how the outbreak has affected her enterprise and her ideas on the longer term, and the way she has been dealing with this information, each emotionally and financially.
Tatiana Boncompagni is an writer turned entrepreneur.Tatiana Boncompagni
The next interview has been evenly edited and condensed for readability.
Fortune: What impressed the launch of Eat Sunny?
Boncompagni: I began a enterprise promoting diet and health e-books. One in every of my clients requested me why I couldn’t simply make the meals within the plan and put it of their fridge, and that’s when the seeds of Eat Sunny began to take maintain. I noticed an actual house within the market that I consider the Weight Watchers and Jenny Craigs are going to lose—clients who care about their well being and well-being however don’t wish to be marketed to for weight reduction. We offer satisfying, fiber-and- antioxidant-rich meals which are additionally portioned for optimum well being, however we’re by no means going to let you know that you want to drop some weight. I need my clients to take extra pleasure from their meals and on the similar time assist their wellness targets by making maintaining a healthy diet simple.
One in every of our price propositions from the beginning has been immunity boosting, as a result of once I suppose “well being” I don’t suppose “food plan,” however all of the vitamins we all know will help you stop continual situations, fend off infectious illness and actually [help you] feel and look your greatest.
For a lot of shoppers, grocery procuring has modified dramatically over the previous few months. Some shoppers could be turning to different companies, like subscription and supply packages, to refill on meals and meals for the week. How has demand for Eat Sunny fared for the reason that onset of the pandemic?
Nicely, we really simply launched. The week we had been scheduled to do our desk sides was the identical week everybody began working from house. All of our occasions had been canceled. I virtually determined to press the pause button, however then I spotted a couple of issues.
One, my companions are within the catering enterprise, and all their occasions had been canceled. They might use work delivering to houses to maintain their kitchen workers employed. I wished to do what I might to maintain individuals employed. Two, we began delivering, in partnership with a charity, meals to frontline well being care employees. My mission is to bolster individuals’s well being, and who might presumably use our assist greater than our frontline medical employees?
And final, sure, I did anticipate that this horrible, nightmare state of affairs would possibly imply higher demand for the product that I’d already realized was my life’s calling to supply. It frightened me that lots of people had been stockpiling extremely processed meals that may solely diminish their physique’s skill to battle off COVID. If there was a time when my meals had been extra related and wanted, I can’t think about it.
“I noticed an actual house within the market that I consider the Weight Watchers and Jenny Craigs are going to lose—clients who care about their well being and well-being however don’t wish to be marketed to for weight reduction.”
There have been some considerations in regards to the security of meals supply—not solely of stopping the transmission of COVID-19 by way of meals packaging but in addition defending workers who’re offering a vital service. What sort of precautions has what you are promoting arrange, and have any of these modified in the course of the pandemic?
Nice query. We’ve got completed fairly a bit to ensure our kitchen and supply/provide chain are as protected as potential.
Right here’s what we’re doing: Hourly cleansing across the clock of all surfaces together with door handles, press counter tops, and cooking gear, utilizing all antibacterial, hospital-approved cleansing merchandise. [We] created a sanitizing station for our workers to make the most of previous to coming into our important kitchen space in addition to exiting. [We] carried out additional workers coaching and steering to evaluate NYC Division of Well being tips in each Spanish and English, free supply and “contact free” service to your constructing or door to assist “flatten the curve,” and we positioned a hiring freeze to make sure much less danger.
We meet the best sanitary requirements, and all the general public well being standards ruled by the FDA Meals Code. Our facility is closed to the general public, and we’ve got additionally tightened our worker hygiene practices and elevated procedures for cleansing and sanitizing, particularly throughout preparation, distribution, and supply. We’re continuously monitoring updates from well being organizations such because the CDC and WHO to make sure we shield you on the highest degree.
Wanting towards the following few weeks and months, how do you anticipate shoppers will proceed to buy meals? Do you anticipate extra curiosity in delivered meals, at the same time as restrictions raise in some areas? And does Eat Sunny plan to increase on this financial local weather?
We’re already increasing. We’ve had a lot demand that we are actually servicing Lengthy Island and the Hamptons in addition to Connecticut—along with Manhattan, Brooklyn, and elements of New Jersey. In two to 3 weeks we hope to have the ability to be transport, and that can enable us to achieve the Midwest and the entire Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. I anticipate it will assist us double our enterprise.
I do suppose individuals shall be consuming house extra usually, even when lockdown restrictions are eased, at the very least for the quick time period—say, the following six to 9 months or finish of 2020. And hopefully there shall be a vaccine or a method of containing the virus, and we are going to return to regular as an financial system and society, however what we provide will all the time be related.
COVID-19 or not, persons are busy and time-pressed, however they wish to really feel good, and they should eat. We will help them obtain their targets, really feel good, and in addition get pleasure from their meals. If want be, and if COVID is extra like a dimmer than an off/on swap, we shall be there for you and produce our scrumptious, immunity-boosting meals to the doorstep.
On a private be aware, how have you ever been faring amid all this?
Me? Oh, effectively, I’ve three youngsters: 15, 13, and 9, and am a single mum or dad, in order that has added one other hurdle. As if being an entrepreneur wasn’t laborious sufficient? Add launching in a pandemic and managing three youngsters who’ve all struggled with homeschooling/distant studying in their very own methods. I believe someday I’ll look again right now and suppose, “Wow, how did you do this?” However that’s additionally why I created Eat Sunny, to assist all of the individuals on the market, the mothers and dads and the people who find themselves working till 10:30 p.m. at night time (like I’m), with comforting, wholesome meals. I do know I’m hardly alone in how I really feel or how laborious I work.
What’s serving to can be doing what I can to take care of a constructive outlook throughout this time. Which means getting common exercises and maintaining a healthy diet, not consuming an excessive amount of and getting sufficient sleep. For self-care, I attempt to take an extended tub, do an intense yoga as soon as per week, watch stand-up, and raise weights, as massive as I can get my fingers on. Lifting heavy is my pleasure; it makes me really feel highly effective and joyful and optimistic. Train is an effective antidote to all of the stress of launching a enterprise, even one as well-positioned as mine, in the course of a pandemic.
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