NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Two new members of the Forbes 30 Under 30 are trying to help New Yorkers get healthier with an organic, plant-based meal delivery service. But it didn't start out that way. Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle first came out with Sakara Life not as a business but as a solution to their own needs.
Tingle was working crazy hours on Wall Street, networking and drinking in the evenings, and just trying to keep up with the city lifestyle. It was very different from Sedona, Arizona, where she and Duboise grew up.
Duboise was a yo-yo dieter, constantly trying to find the diet that would give her the body that she wanted. But they were all extreme plans that left her feeling worse than when she started because she couldn't stick to them. Both women realized that they needed a change, including more fresh foods, greens, and vegetables.
In 2012, they decided to share their new healthy lifestyle with the world, and launched Sakara Life by throwing a dinner party. Tingle says they invited all of their friends, sold tickets, raised about $700, and thought they were rich. They used that money to buy a domain name, print marketing cards, and build a website so they could put their brand out there.
In the early days, Sakara Life was just Duboise and Tingle, cooking vegetable- and nutrient-rich meals in Brooklyn and delivering them to New Yorkers on their bicycles.
When Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about them in 2013 on her blog Goop, things started to change.
Last year, they did their first fund raiser, bringing in $4.8 million. They've expanded their staff to 80 people and built a 10,000-square-foot kitchen in Brooklyn. And they've taken on a serious celebrity following, including Victoria's Secret Angels Lily Aldridge, Alyssa Miller, and Erin Heatherton, plus actress Lena Dunham.
This month, besides being named to the Forbes list--a dream come true for the duo--they also went national, delivering ready-made Sakara meals around the country. Duboise says they're sold out on a regular basis, another a-ha moment for the brand.
Sakara Life's meal plan comes in 3-day and 5-day options, starting at $69 a day. Too rich for your taste? They also have an online boutique that sells things like beauty water, granola, and probiotic chocolates. And there's S-Life, an online magazine full of healthy recipes and ideas to help you feel hydrated and satiated using a key ingredient: greens.
Both women say their program includes a lot of greens, but swear that's what's going to change your body and your life, and give you energy. They also include lots of colors and believe you should eat the rainbow.
Other pillars of their program:
- Fat is your friend.
- The secret is in the sauce.
- Eat your water.
- Stop counting calories.
Duboise and Tingle believe that food should be sexy, fun, and easy, and should include not only nutrients, but water, healthy fats and good flavors.
As for the name? Sakara is a Sanskrit word that means "with form" or "the manifestation of thoughts to things," bringing dreams to life.