SOMETHING NAVY: HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR YOUR BUSINESS? WHAT WAS THE JOURNEY LIKE?
Rachel Drori: I was hustling at work and like many, I didn’t have enough time to plan, prep and cook three healthy meals every single day. At 3 p.m., I’d grab whatever was available for convenience sake—usually a bar, or stale birthday cake—instead of nourishing my body with the good, clean food I knew I should be eating. I was determined to find a way to make real, clean and delicious food—built on fruits and vegetables—accessible and realistic for today’s insanely busy world. So, I began meal prepping on Sundays so I could have the food I actually wanted to eat throughout the week. And while this solved the problem, it was time consuming—and I wanted my Sundays back! With that, Daily Harvest was born.
In the early days, I was packing up ingredients in a commercial kitchen in Long Island City and delivering smoothies from my car. I was also pregnant at the time so would pay my nephews $20 each to help me haul the boxes! After launching nationally in 2016, Daily Harvest quickly took off and became one of the fastest-growing e-commerce brands in the U.S. Today, we’ve expanded to more than 65 Harvest Bowls, Oat Bowls, Chia Bowls, Soups, Smoothies, Lattes, and Bites.
SN: WHAT WERE SOME OF THE ROADBLOCKS AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
RD: One of our biggest roadblocks was building out our logistics and supply chain. We are meticulous about the ingredients we use and work directly with farms to ensure every fruit, vegetable, leaf and legume is as good as nature can grow it. We harvest our produce at peak ripeness, allowing fruits and vegetables to reach their full nutritional and flavor potential by ripening on the vine. Then, we freeze ingredients on the farm within 24 hours of harvest to lock in nutrients and taste.
All of this was very tricky in the beginning before we had scale. But our team worked to establish strong relationships with our farmers, and build the infrastructure for supply alongside them. We made a ton of mistakes, but learned quickly and kept our heads high. If we wanted to do something bold and different, do things the way we thought they should be done, and challenge the status quo, we had to get dirty