Balancing motherhood and maintaining the right daily dose of nutrition was the perfect combination to inspire Rachel Drori to start Daily Harvest. The natural born entrepreneur began using ingredients in her kitchen to build a healthy smoothie delivery business. Of course, the balancing act comes with its ups and downs; read our interview with Drori below to see what she has learned along her journey of starting Daily Harvest, and what daily life is like as an entrepremomer.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes! It's in my blood. Both my mother and father are entrepreneurs so it’s all I've known. I started out at world class companies like Four Seasons and American Express and then moved to a more "startup" hustle at Gilt Groupe before starting Daily Harvest. My experiences at these companies gave me the foundation to start my own company.
How did you come up with the idea for Daily Harvest?
As a New Yorker and working mom, I founded Daily Harvest after realizing the difficulty in finding time to shop, chop, prep, and create nutrient-dense and delicious foods. I layered on the pricey must-have superfood of the moment -- there were bunches of wilted kale sitting unused in my refrigerator -- and knew there had to be an easier way to get my daily dose of nutrition. I began bagging up ingredients on Sunday nights for instant smoothies during the week. It was a game-changer for getting out the door in the morning and feeling energized throughout the day. I knew others would appreciate the convenience of a 30-second whole food smoothie without compromising on whole unrefined nutrition.
Were there any particular challenges you faced as a woman starting your own business?
Not a challenge per se, but… I was eight months pregnant with my first child, making smoothie packs and delivering boxes all over New York City by myself while I was proving the concept of Daily Harvest. My second child was born mid-raise on our Series A. I can say with certainty that this was an experience unique to being a woman.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Doing something I love keeps me motivated. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to build something that makes people’s lives easier and healthier. Seeing a box of Daily Harvest being delivered to someone’s building or seeing people on the street enjoying Daily Harvest always gives me such a charge!
"I know how important it is to trust your instincts, pound the table when you believe, and always voice your opinion when you know you need to be heard....no matter the consequence."
What is the most memorable thing someone has said to you about your business, positive or negative?
Even though I came upon this piece of advice on a friends Instagram feed, I think it fits in this bucket: My friend presented a graph showing “The Relative Joy of Entrepreneurship," the graph shows that while building a business there are many ups and downs along the way, but if you normalize those bumps and aspire for an upward slope, you are on a great path.
What is your morning routine like?
Being a business owner, every day is different -- there really is no such thing as a routine. I try to spend early mornings with my kiddos because once the work day gets started there is no telling when it might end. I then get dressed, give everyone a big kiss, and usually walk to work while fielding my first call of the day. I use my walking commute as a way to transition from home to work life and find the fresh air helps clear my head.
Where do you see Daily Harvest in the next 2 years?
Two years from now I hope Daily Harvest realizes the ultimate vision I have for the company: to deliver convenient eating solutions without any compromise on wellness and nutrition by re-imagining frozen food. We have such loyal members and I want to continue making their lives easier and healthier with innovative solutions that meet their lifestyle needs. We've recently gotten one step closer to this by launching our new Activated Bowls which are the only "activate at home" overnight oats and chia puddings using whole, real unrefined ingredients that you can make in your sleep!
What is something you have learned along your journey that you would like to share?
Something extremely valuable I have learned throughout my career is to trust my instincts. Early on in my career, there were times my ideas fell forfeit to someone more senior, assuming they knew more than I did. Now, after starting my own company, I know how important it is to trust your instincts, pound the table when you believe, and always voice your opinion when you know you need to be heard....no matter the consequence.
Daily Harvest has over 10 smoothie options, which smoothie is your go-to?
I love all of the smoothies, but my absolute favorites are the Cacao + Avocado and Blueberry + Hemp. They're decadent enough to satiate my sweet tooth but filled with all of the right ingredients I need to fuel my day.
You are leaving your home with your Daily Harvest cup in hand, name four other essentials you need to take on your day.
My BKR 1 liter water bottle filled to the brim with a twist of lemon, my extra phone battery, some Mongo Kiss lip balm, and my nursing scarf.
What are three hidden gems in New York?
There are so many! Dickenson’s in Chelsea Market is my absolute favorite for grass-fed from the farm meats. Hu Kitchen is my neighborhood go-to for unrefined, grain-free prepared food. Snow Days' coconut milk "snow cream" is a guilty pleasure (but really not so guilty).
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH is proof that we are stronger when we support one another, work together, and celebrate the community that is female. Women inspire other women.
Who's your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
My mother grew her own business and raised two kids at the same time. Whenever things get hard at work or I worry about my boys during the day, I think back to my childhood and remember that I never felt deprived of love when my mom was traveling for work or missed dinner for a meeting. She taught me that the quality of time spent together is more important than quantity, this is something it helps to remember on those days when I'm feeling spread thin. I use this philosophy at both work and at home as there just aren't enough hours in the day to truly have it all.
Photographer: Carmen Chan