How does a passion for family and healthy, gluten-free food translate into a profitable, scalable business? Enter: Gail Becker, CEO of CAULIPOWER. Earlier this month, Gail joined us at #BlogHer19 Food for a Fireside Chat with our CEO, Samantha Skey. During the talk, they discussed the impact of starting with a personal problem and using the tools available to produce a sustainable, profitable business that serves also a purpose.
Studies show that more often than not, women are inspired by personal experience to create a business. At a young age, Gail’s two sons were diagnosed with celiac disease, and Gail was displeased with the amount of “junk” found in the majority of gluten-free foods on the market. After a full day of work at her corporate job, Gail took 90 minutes to make a cauliflower pizza crust. After the lengthy experience, she vowed never to do this again and began her unsuccessful search for pizza crust that would suit her sons’ needs.
Shortly thereafter, Gail Becker quit her comfortable, salaried career and started CAULIPOWER.
“I took every last cent and put it in the business,” she shared. Gail took a major risk to make a difference and help people, “I wanted to teach my kids that it’s never too late to bet on yourself.”
Gail took the “blessed” money from her father’s passing, funding from family and friends, and maxed out her credit cards to start CAULIPOWER. She offered this advice on funding your businesses:
“My advice would be wait as long as you can before taking at least VC (Venture Capital) money because you want to build the business to as big as you can before you start taking on that kind of responsibility.”
However, she warned against raising too much money in a society where marketing may be a more cost-effective option:
“People tend to raise too much money… There’s a lot of other ways to build businesses than the traditional ways of dumping a lot of money into certain parts of a business… if you can create that buzz. CAULIPOWER really was an earns brand.”
Gail stresses she spent most of CAULIPOWER’s efforts on public relations, marketing, and word of mouth. She urged our audience to have a story behind their product, as people are more likely to purchase items because they like to know where they come from. It’s important to build a relationship with fans and people will root for the “little guy”, the entrepreneur.
When asked what she believes made her brand successful, she offered these three reasons:
Timing: CAULIPOWER had a first to market advantage.
Social Media: They approached social media differently than their competitors. They created a brand voice and do not take themselves too seriously.
Product: Gail and her team spent eight months perfecting their product before they launched.
Just like any female entrepreneur, Gail Becker had and still has self doubts, “I would cry in my car every day saying, what did you do? I still sleep with one eye open. ” However, she viewed the “uncomfortableness” as an asset. “It’s when you start to get too comfortable and too confident that you know you don’t fight as hard. Every day is a fight. But it’s such a great fight because it’s your fight. It’s your battle to win.”
CAULIPOWER is now the #1 “Better For You” pizza in America and the #8 frozen pizza brand in the country. Did we mention they have a female CEO, female COO, and female CFO? We’d also like to congratulate Gail, who will serve as a keynote speaker at the 2019 PRWeek Hall of Femme on June 5! Who run the world? Girls. What do girls love to eat? PIZZA!