The Good Good With Whitney & Danielle
"One of the secrets of success is to consistently pursue your goals. Even when you think you've achieved them, keep going. But juggling a full schedule and your dreams is impossible without the proper fuel. Brain food. Body food. Overall nutrient-dense, well-being food, that doesn't scrimp on taste (or count calories!). Which is where Sakara, a ready-to-eat wellness delivery program, comes into the picture.
Focus in on Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise in a Brooklyn kitchen in 2013. That's when they dropped everything to give their all to Sakara and the idea of a nutrient-based lifestyle program. Their first deliveries were made via bicycle and the two quickly attracted clientele like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Dunham, and a group of Victoria Secret models like Lily Aldridge and Erin Heatherton-- all of whom we would equally classify as #goals. These are women who work hard for what they have, and make their food work for them, which is what Sakara is all about.
We chatted with the founders about going for it, feeling sexy, and that tricky little b word we spend so much time thinking about: body."
You've created such an amazing service for busy individuals. What do you feel sets Sakara apart from other food delivery services?
Whitney: We are not just a food delivery system - we are a nutritionally designed lifestyle program that heals the body on a cellular level. We like to say we’re like a personal chef and nutritionist, rolled into one sexy package. But beyond the quality of food and nutritional integrity of the program, we really, truly aren’t just food. We are a lifestyle. Yes, we’re delivering you breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but we’re also reminding you to slow down and smell, feel, taste, and thoroughly CHEW your food. We’re teaching you about the health benefits of goji berries, asking you to pair your meal with a powerful mantra for the rest of your day, and reminding you to love yourself.
Danielle: We also refuse to sacrifice taste or gourmet quality for health – because we know you don’t have to. We work with chefs from top restaurants around the world, like Le Bernadin and Jean Georges, to come up with unique, inspired meals that are outrageously delicious in addition to being good for you. Our philosophy is that food should make you feel sexy—eating clean should be fun!
How did you master the logistics of delivery?
W: It’s not easy! But it was a really important part of the business for us. We wanted to make this way of eating as easy as possible, so we had to deliver everything straight to our clients’ doors, ready to eat. We’re constantly working to improve our delivery process to make Sakara the best possible experience for our clients. After mastering meal delivery in New York & LA, our next challenge was figuring out how to ship our meals nationwide – which is coming soon!
What do you wish you had known in the beginning?
W: That when kale and salt combine they can create quite a sulfur stink bomb! That sulfur is so good for your body (it aids in detoxing), but most people are not fans of that smell. We love stinky kale though!
D: That’s a tough one because everything we’ve been through has been such an amazing learning lesson, I can’t imagine not experiencing it. I guess just to reassure myself constantly not to be afraid. To take the leap, hire on the expensive people, move into the big space, etc. Put it out there, connect to a bigger mission, make space for success, and work your butt off to get there.
Your business has rapidly expanded across the US. How do you keep up with all the different locations and employees?
D: Communication is key! Every week we have a meeting at our New York City headquarters, and both our Brooklyn-based kitchen team and our LA office call in and participate. It’s a great opportunity to check in and make sure we’re all on the same page and headed in the right direction.
W: We also make a point of spending in person time at all locations, with all employees. As we grow, it’s important that everyone is connected to the mission of Sakara – that’s what fuels this beautiful fire!
What advice would you give busy females who are struggling with finding the time to eat healthy?
D: Well, this is the whole reason we started Sakara—to make it easy for busy women (and men!) who want to be healthier but can’t find the time. It’s so important to make your health a priority and take care of yourself, not only for your waist line, but also for your relationships, career, etc. We talk a lot about optimizing your day by outsourcing things to experts, so that you can focus on the things you excel in and the things you love to do. Whether it’s laundry, cleaning, workout plans, or meal delivery, let people take care of you, so that you can take care of everything else, and still feel great.
W: Aside from a Sakara meal delivery program, which makes it super easy to eat healthy all day long, it’s really important to keep your pantry stocked with healthy foods – because that’s what you’re going to reach for. We’ve struggled a lot in finding high quality, fresh whole food pantry items and snacks, which is why we’ve created our own! All of the deliciousness will be launched very soon in our Clean Boutique!
We love your mantra of "food should make you feel sexy"! What are your go-to meals or personal favorites?
D: Foods that are messy, juicy, flavorful, and I can eat with my hands. Anything from our Indian Spices Samosas to our new Cardamom & Chocolate Cookies.
W: Our Youth & Beauty Salad is one of my favorite meals in the world. But, I also feel pretty sexy eating some French fries in my dress and heels.
What has been your proudest moment with the business?
W: I’ll never forget the first time a client told me her Sakara story. It was at our first S-Life event and this beautiful, commanding, vibrant woman was explaining to me how she had been diagnosed with Lupus years ago and had been seeing countless doctors and taking countless medications ever since and nothing was working. Her life had spiraled completely out of control until she stumbled upon Sakara (this was back in the early stages of Sakara, so we like to think the universe brought her to us). After 2 months of Sakara she was completely off her meds, full of energy, kicking butt at the job she almost lost, head over heels in love, and finally feeling like herself again. She’s still a client today. We get stories from clients like this everyday and Danielle and I spend some together reading them each day to help ground us and bring us back to why we’re doing this.
D: It’s hard to say! Moving into our own beautiful space in Soho…becoming bicoastal…growing our business to support over 60 brilliant employees who believe in Sakara.
What is next for Sakara?
D: We just launched our meal delivery program in Miami, which has been on our list for so long! Now, we’re gearing up to unveil our revamped Clean Boutique, which has everything to help our clients live clean, have fun, and feel sexy while doing it (everything from dark chocolate to vegetable chips to our rose water cocktail mixer). Stay tuned, because there’s more super-exciting news coming soon!