For Ree Dolnick, the Founder of Jeca Energy Cookies and Bars, healthy eating and helping others make good choices is at the heart of everything she does. Here she explains the central role championing a healthy lifestyle plays in the Jeca Brand and her plans to take her message mainstream.
Q: Now, Jeca is still pretty new, but you're having lots of amazing conversations and getting lots of great response so far. How have you so far got around finding people to work with you on Jeca and partners to help spread the message, that care as you do?
A: I think a lot of it is by word of mouth. Someone will try the cookies or bars and say, "Oh, you know, a friend of mine is also interested in [healthy eating]/working on this food project." Or they’ll say,"Have you considered selling at such and such place? I shop there for all my health foods and I would love to see your product there." Those kinds of personal connections are what's propelling us currently, and we love the organic way that’s allowed us to grow. It’s put us is a good place where we can start reaching out to larger and more distant partners to broaden our reach..
Q: Many health brands in the U.S. confine themselves to a very small niche, limiting their potential growth. What do you think is the secret to tapping into the mainstream market? You've got a product which people might consider to have a niche audience and your plan is to bring it out more to a wider audience because the benefits frankly are there for everyone. How do you do that? How do you educate a wider audience about eating the right types of foods, which are just as affordable and just as yummy?
A: Well, I think you're right in that our products might appear to fit into a niche or appeal to only a small group of people. They definitely are unique. But if you dig a little deeper I think you’ll find that more people are becoming more aware of what theyconsume and how important it is to make good choices. I really think anyone would choose the healthy option if it didn’t mean compromising on taste or pleasure or price.
, Which is why we would like to emphasize that while we can promise you our product is good and healthy, it's also very tasty. We want to show people you don’t have to choose between health and flavor, and in fact, these products are so flavorful and delicious that they’re more than just a snack. It's sort of a snack cuisine or a cookie cuisine that we’re introducing to the market.. By pushing the envelope of what a snack can be, I think we can reach people who don't want health to be their only criteria..
Q: On the note of pushing the envelope, so to speak, what other companies inspire you the most?Perhaps they're outside the food market, other brands which you respect, and they touch you and speak to you in a way that you think they're making a difference, and they're genuinely engaging with their audience.
A:, Oh that's an easy one! This company is food-related in name only but I think Apple is really amazing. hey have taken some really complicated technology and created a product that is very sophisticated in terms of programming, letting the technical aspects run in the background so that the user interface is very accessible and simple to use.
They've transformed how our society works. I would love to be able to effect a similar model of change,, maybe not on that scale, but to transform the way people snack and make decisions about food in general would be so great.