The Inspiration Series continues with today’s interview of an inspiring female entrepreneur in the natural foods space, Elizabeth Stein of Purely Elizabeth. I’m not only in love with her granolas, but I’m also truly inspired by the fact that she started Purely from her own kitchen. Now you can find her granola, cereals, and mixes gracing the shelves of Whole Foods and other big (and small!) stores.
Name: Elizabeth Stein
Mission: to create the most delicious food products using innovative, nutrient-dense ingredients.
Where did it all start? Technically I made my first PE prototype in the house I grew up in. I baked a bunch of gluten free, nutrient rich muffins to give away at a local triathlon expo where I was exhibiting for my health counseling practice. The idea was to give people free food samples in order to get them to sign up for my services. Instead, people just wanted to know where they could buy the muffins. A year later I went back to the same triathlon expo (still for my health counseling practice) but decided to sell some Purely Elizabeth muffin mixes on the side. A few days later, I got some major press and had about $10,000 of online orders in three hours. Purely Elizabeth was born. It was an exhilarating start!
How did you turn your love for food into a full time career? I am extremely lucky to have had two phases of a food career. After working in the handbag industry I quickly realized that I wanted to do something that I was passionate and excited about. This led me to attend the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I graduated from the program and began teaching cooking classes and working with clients one and one helping them improve their health and happiness. It felt like a dream job! To then be able to do that on a grandeur scale with Purely Elizabeth and influence the way people eat everyday feels like a total dream.
What does breakfast, lunch, dinner look like for you? Breakfast is the hardest decision since we have so many breakfast options. I alternate between smoothie/acai bowls with granola, oatmeal, nut butter and fruit, overnight muesli and right now I’m totally obsessed with our Granola + Puffs Cereal. Lunch is something simple – often I do a green juice and veggie sushi. Dinner is more complex – I love to come home from work and cook. Always lots of greens. Right now I’ve been doing lots of spiralizing!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned running a natural food company? There’s been so many along the way. I think the one that I constantly remind myself is that this business is a rollercoaster. There are lots of ups and then lots of downs (sometimes all in one day). I try to stay as even keeled as possible for my self and the rest of our team.
What’s your favorite product of yours? Oh god, that is the hardest question. Maybe our Granola + Puffs Cereal (today!).
Tell us about your cookbook?! Eating purely is a collection of over 100 gluten free, mostly plant based recipes. The recipes are centered on my five eating purely principles and many of them I have been making since nutrition counseling. Creating the recipes and doing all the photography was quite a labor of love!
One food you can’t live without? Avocado.
What’s your fitness routine like? Right now I’m doing a combination of running, hiking and BBG. I’m usually not someone who follows programs but it’s been an awesome workout and feeling great from it.
What do you do when you’re not cooking? Hmm. If I’m not working, cooking or working out, I’m probably at the airport☺