Female Founder Series: Sweet Loren's
Female Founder Series: Sweet Loren's
When Loren was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma after graduating from college, her outlook on life and health completely changed. She understood how important it is to nourish her body with clean, high-quality ingredients. This perspective has influenced the way Loren and her team sources ingredients for their irresistible cookies (Kylie Jenner's a fan, NBD!).
Loren shares how many tries it takes to get one Sweet Loren's cookie recipe right, the five pieces of advice she'd tell her younger self and the one song that always puts her in a good mood!
Hi Loren! What inspired you to start Sweet Loren’s?
I started Sweet Loren’s out of a personal need: I have a huge sweet tooth, and couldn’t find anything to satisfy it with that was delicious, but also made from clean ingredients. So, I started to make my own recipes because there is nothing better than a warm cookie! Friends and neighbours started to order my all-natural cookie dough, and that’s when I saw that people around the country were starving for better-tasting, better-for-you ways to satisfy their sweet tooth. Sweet Loren’s was born. Our mission is to change the way America bakes, and set the gold standard for delicious, clean ingredient baking.
How would you describe the brand in 3 words?
Delicious. Modern. Happy.
Talk to us about the ingredients you use. Why did you choose these ingredients and where do you source them from?
It takes me hundreds of tries before a recipe is complete. I create all the recipes in my apartment, and try out many types of ingredients and brands before deciding on the best one to test for taste, texture, color, and nutritional value. I source as whole, real ingredients as possible so that each ingredient is delicious tasting, easy to understand and contains nutrients. To make as many people as possible happy, we don’t use gluten, dairy, eggs, GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, refined flours, artificial colors or flavors, or any preservatives or chemicals. Taste is our Number 1 priority, but we are also highly committed to sourcing clean ingredients you feel good about eating. We source ingredients from all around the world, including special European dark chocolate chunks.
You were diagnosed with cancer at such a young age. How has that experience shaped your outlook on life and health?
I overcame cancer at a young age (I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma right after graduating college), and had to undergo treatment immediately. Thankfully, I was totally cured, but I was forever changed. I became so grateful for my health that I only wanted to put the best ingredients in it, and make sure I was enjoying each day to the fullest, which included eating deliciously satisfying foods. My outlook on life and health has changed because I know and feel how precious life is - I am so lucky to be here and I want to make sure that I don’t have regrets in life. I live in the moment, with intention, and very consciously. I think anything is possible, and that we each get to write our own stories. I think because I learned at a young age that I am very strong, and know how to survive, there are very few things that scare me now. That strength and positive outlook is a gift. The obstacles I have overcome in the past have made me stronger and hungrier to build a meaningful life where I can have a big positive effect on the food industry, and make my dream life come true.
What has been the most challenging aspect of running your business?
The most challenging aspect is that there are so many aspects! It’s not just about having the best recipes or product out there. It’s about how you do everything: build the strongest team to grow the business; be the best at sales; be a great marketer; be a great leader and visionary; how to fund the business smartly; how to set up logistics the most efficiently; and the list goes on…I am learning as I go, and that is the challenging part, to constantly be a student when I would like to be an expert by now. ;)
Where do you hope to see your company in 5 years?
I see Sweet Loren’s being a universally loved brand name that is easily found in all supermarkets, and has set the gold standard in delicious, clean ingredient baking.
How do you find balance as a first-time entrepreneur?
I wouldn’t say finding balance, especially at the beginning, is easy and it is different for every person. At the very beginning of Sweet Loren’s, I was working 7 days a week, completely overwhelmed. Hiring an experienced, smart team member made a huge difference so that now I get to focus on the things I want to in the business. These days, I find balance by making sure I am in touch with my goals and how I am feeling. If I am able to tap into my intuition, it tells me when I am excited to work and complete projects, and when I need time alone, or with friends/family/date night. Self-care is a huge priority to me - I meditate and workout daily, and I make sure to eat delicious, fresh foods so that I feel great. If I feel great, I have so much to give to others and the business. I am very focused on building the most efficient systems for the company, and working digitally from around the country (or world). That way, it’s not about hours worked, but excellent efficiency from anywhere. I really do believe balance is so important for each of us to have a full life, and that there is always room to work hard and play hard.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would say more than one thing:
1) Make sure to enjoy this ride and journey the whole time, it is a gift.
2) Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars - go BIG.
3) Make sure to surround yourself with the smartest, most experienced people that believe in you and can help.
4) Have patience as this is a marathon.
5) Stay positive, there is always a solution.
What’s one piece of advice you would share with aspiring entrepreneurs?
I know for sure that anything is possible, and that you can build your dream life, but you have to know what that means for you. So, I encourage soul searching and trying many things to get clear on what your dreams are, so that you can go after them. Life is a gift, and you should enjoy every day of this ride. Don’t let fear hold you back. Jump in! You deserve your dream life.
What's your go-to workout?
Heated yoga flow with great music.
One drink you could have for the rest of your life:
Hot water with lemon might be my favorite drink of all time. It is just so healing and refreshing.
One song that always puts you in a good mood:
ODESZA’s Summer’s Gone, or other beachy/poolside music that just make me want to dance.
One place you’re dying to visit:
Thailand! Bali! India! Japan! Any place in Asia as I have yet to go.
One thing you’re grateful for today:
My health, always. So grateful. And how happy Sweet Loren’s makes people. I truly get teary-eyed by the awesome emails, reviews and calls we get from fans.
Keep an eye out for the next instalment of my Female Founders Series!