We were inspired to start Sakara Life when…

DD: Like so many women, I’ve struggled with body image issues, roller coaster dieting and weight fluctuation for much of my life. I discovered a passion for nutrition while I was a pre-med student, so I decided to switch gears and focus on food instead. I was able to apply my knowledge of biology to creating healthy, complete, and balanced plant-based meals that are also out-of-this-world delicious, with gourmet, high-quality ingredients. My mantra is that food should make you feel sexy!

WT: I left Sedona, AZ (where Danielle and I met when we were in the seventh grade!) for NYC to work on Wall Street. Sedona is a very spiritual, wellness-oriented place, but the stress of my job and keeping up with the nonstop pace of life in New York made it difficult to take care of myself like I always had. As a result, I gained 15 pounds and developed cystic acne. After visiting every dermatologist in the city and trying everything from Accutane to acupuncture to heal my skin, I figured there had to be a better way. So Danielle and I teamed up to create a meal plan that provided the benefits of long-lasting weight loss, clearer skin and more. And when it worked so well for us, we had to share it.

How our brand has evolved since 2012…

DD&WT: Since launching in 2012, Sakara has grown by leaps and bounds — our coveted organic meal delivery program, which we used to prepare by hand and deliver to clients ourselves on our bicycles, is now available nationwide. Our team has grown from just the two of us to 80+ people and we now operate two commercial kitchens, one in Brooklyn and another in Los Angeles. We recently debuted a subscription option to make it even easier for our clients to live the Sakara life full-time. We also launched the S-Life Mag, a digital publication where we feature all kinds of inspiring content, from the scientific to the spiritual to the sexual, and our brand new Clean Boutique, where we sell some truly amazing snacks and pantry products.

A typical day at Sakara Life consists of…

DD: Every day is different! Some days we’re in the office bright and early, others we’re running around the city for meetings and events and still others we’re at the kitchen tasting meals-in-the-making. Over the past few years, we have transitioned from executing all the operations of the business on a day-to-day level to steering the ship that is Sakara — there’s never a dull moment! Whitney and I joke that if we didn’t have Sakara, I would never find time in my day to eat and Whitney would eat pastrami sandwiches and muffins to get her through her busy day — gratitude every day for our food!

Lessons we learned while making deliveries on our bicycles in NYC…

WT: There is no task too big or small. That attitude is one of the reasons we’re still here. There were times when it was so hard we wanted to quit, but we had to go through that because Sakara was bigger than us — it was about our clients and our mission to help as many people as possible feel good in their bodies. We started out by getting our hands dirty and doing everything ourselves, and because of that, we now know every aspect of this company inside and out. There is not one job at Sakara now that we have not done ourselves. While we’re fortunate now to have a team of experts in everything from marketing to logistics, those insights into the business that we gained at the very beginning continue to prove invaluable. And despite the inevitable ups and downs of running a business, those emails we get from clients about how Sakara has changed their lives makes every struggle completely worth it. We’re on a mission that’s so much bigger than just the two of us, and it’s important.

We identify new markets by…

DD: We started out catering to clients in the New York area, because that’s where we knew the largest demand for this type of service existed. At the very beginning we were an invite-only service that only delivered food to celebrities, models, and CEOs, but we quickly realized everyone deserved to eat this way. From there, we focused on where our target consumer — female, successful, overachievers who know how important it is to take care of their bodies — was located. Expanding to the West Coast, and specifically the Los Angeles area, made a lot of sense because the demand had been so high for years, and the West Coast lifestyle is so in line with the Sakara Life. Now we are nationwide, but we are organically seeing which markets have been needing and asking for this change the most: Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and parts of Texas.

Blueberry Green Tea Cocktail
Blueberry Green Tea Cocktail

How we maintain quality meals and services as we grow…

WTIt’s all about the quality of the meals in our organic meal delivery program, so it’s been a non-negotiable for us as we grow. Our core mission is feeding people the best food on Earth in order for them to actualize bodies they feel great in, and no matter how big we get, that will always be our top priority. As our capacity has grown, so has our kitchen staff, and our ingredient sourcing process is always evolving to make sure we’re providing the best-quality food possible for our clients.

We launched the Clean Boutique because…

DD: It’s always been a dream of ours to reinvent the grocery shopping experience! And clients ask us about snacking all the time — it’s definitely a hot topic! So we were beyond excited to roll out our Clean Boutique. The Clean Boutique is a collection of clean, functional, delicious snacks that work for you to deliver specific results (functional foods), made from powerful, pure ingredients that you can trust no matter where you are. No more excuses to hit up that vending machine or bodega at 3:00 PM.

Ways we are using technology to improve the business…

WT: We’re always working to improve the user experience on our website, and particularly the mobile experience. We want the ordering process to be intuitive and easy on all devices. We also use social media as an essential brand-building tool, as well as a way to connect with and support our community – both present and future!

The most important thing when hiring is…

DD: We look for smart, eager, passionate, people who connect to the core of what Sakara is. People who understand how food changes your life and are obsessed with spreading that power. We’re all entrepreneurs here, and we all play an important role in running this business. Everyone we hire will forever change the course of the company. That’s why we have to be so picky.

Thai Quinoa Bowl
Thai Quinoa Bowl

Skills that didn’t always come naturally as an entrepreneur…

WT: Success is something you have to be prepared for! When Gwyneth Paltrow named us the #1 healthy food delivery in NYC on Goop, in 2013, it was both one of the most important highlights and biggest challenges of our entire career. We received hundreds of orders all at once and had to quickly start hiring new chefs and client service employees to meet the need. Most of them didn’t show up, so we ended up having to call in our friends and boyfriends to put on aprons and get in the kitchen with us. We worked almost the entire night, but we got it done. It was hard, but it pushed us to grow, become bigger and service more amazing people, and for that we are so thankful! We don’t have traditional business backgrounds, but this has actually helped us over the years because it’s allowed us to look at every situation creatively rather than trying to apply a system we had been taught. Creativity is the magic ingredient as a founder.

Ways we balance work and our health…

DD: My husband and I have a weekend ritual I cherish called Sacred Sundays. It’s when we take a whole day to just be together, with no technological devices allowed. It’s a great way to disconnect from the daily stresses of work and reconnect to each other. That helps keep me balanced!

WT: For one thing, eating Sakara food every day! These meals keep me feeling nourished, energized and ready for whatever the day throws at me. I also try to sweat a few times a week and I love to do a deep, restorative stretch before bed.