With the rising demand for wholesome options to family staples and lack of merchandise that fulfill, North Texas entrepreneur, Lauren Schwalb created Ohla! Meals to give attention to diet with out sacrificing taste.
In January 2020, Lauren Schwalb and her husband and co-founder Stephen selected to kickstart the 12 months with wholesome habits. After finishing the Whole30 program and feeling the advantages of a gluten-free food regimen, Schwalb started to learn meals labels and search for merchandise that have been made with entire components, however nonetheless maintained taste.
The Whole30 is a 30-day fad food regimen that emphasizes entire meals and the elimination of sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy.
Though different choices for these pantry staples have been obtainable, Schwalb discovered that they both didn’t style good or weren’t purposeful. So, the spouse and mom of two turned to the kitchen to make her personal wholesome different to tortillas- ones that have been grain-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Over the course of the subsequent few months, Schwalb could possibly be discovered experimenting with totally different gluten-free flours and options in her free time whereas balancing motherhood and a profession in industrial actual property.
With the assistance of her husband and two of the hardest style testers she is aware of, her daughters, in addition to meals scientists, Schwalb developed wholesome options that fulfill.
Finally, Ohla! Meals was born.
Launching throughout a pandemic
” It was a very fascinating time to begin a meals enterprise,” Schwalb informed Dallas Innovates. ” I feel if you happen to would have requested me if I actually assume that is going to show right into a enterprise, I feel the reply was sure. I assumed that from day one.”
In a time of uncertainty within the meals business, as eating places and companies closed their doorways each quickly and completely, Schwalb struggled to seek out suppliers. However she continued to work on her product and saved religion in her means to develop her enterprise.
Previous to quarantine, Schwalb was away from house recurrently as her job required journey, limiting the period of time she needed to work on her merchandise. When isolation got here into impact, she used the open time to proceed engaged on Ohla! and getting ready it to be launched.
Within the Fall of 2020, Schwalb launched Ohla! on the Dallas Farmers Market to judge whether or not or not her startup was a good suggestion. Ohla! Meals was shortly a hit, promoting out on its first day.
Now, Schwalb is wanting ahead to seeing Ohla!’s success in a market transitioning to cater towards more healthy and extra aware life.
“The world is type of catching up with what we’re placing into our our bodies and I feel popping out of COVID persons are going to care loads about bodily and psychological wellness and taking note of what you’re consuming and placing into your physique,” Schwalb says. ” So, I feel it’s solely simply going to proceed to development in that course. It’s tremendous thrilling.”
From kitchen to desk
In lower than a 12 months after the corporate’s launch on the Dallas Farmers Market, Ohla! Meals introduced its debut at Central Markets throughout Texas with two merchandise: Almond Flour Tortillas and the first-to-market almond flour chip, The Ch!pOhla! Taking together with her the genuine conversations and experiences she had with the Dallas public, Schwalb is proud to see Ohla! on the cabinets as a part of a Texas to desk program.
Central Market is an American connoisseur grocery retailer chain based mostly in San Antonio, Texas. The corporate makes a speciality of recent produce and highlighting native suppliers and merchandise.
With the independently funded firm solely launching two weeks in the past, gross sales information just isn’t but obtainable however Schwalb has large objectives for Ohla! She hopes to accomplice with extra retailers and get Ohla! into as many shopper fingers as doable.
Though the Ohla! founder herself doesn’t undergo from gluten intolerance or celiac illness; Schwalb has been capable of work together with folks unable to eat gluten and plans to proceed creating extra merchandise that may measure as much as any product with gluten.
” However I feel, introducing new merchandise that will fill a void for that particular market is one thing I’m actually captivated with,” she says. ” It’s actually thrilling to listen to the testimonials I get from people who find themselves like ‘gosh, I can’t eat a daily flour tortilla and I don’t really feel like I’m lacking out’, I assume I made a product and it’s so near the actual deal, it’s superior.”
As a mom of two with an organization taking off, Schwalb doesn’t discover the stability between motherhood and enterprise to be troublesome. Her ardour challenge turned startup has opened up alternatives to incorporate her women, whereas instilling high quality values in them.
“I feel it’s actually vital as a working mother with two daughters to instill that dedication to one thing and in addition that pleasure,” Schwalb says. ” So, for me, it’s not laborious to seek out the stability as a result of I’m capable of convey not solely my two daughters however my husband into this.”
“I can have each and that’s what’s so exciting- as a result of we’re female-founded and run and in addition a real household enterprise.”
Rising up in a family the place the household cooks collectively, Schwalb knew she needed her daughters to be part of this firm. Within the early days of Ohla!, Schwalb’s daughters even helped with manufacturing together with their very own tortilla rollers and press with matching aprons.
In moments when Schwalb finds herself dealing with challenges or obstacles that include juggling the tasks of working an organization and a family, she is aware of it’s time to reconnect with the “why” of what she is doing with Ohla! Her “why” is to succeed in extra folks exterior of her core household and pal group.
” Meals has all the time been part of my life,” she says. ” I do assume that meals brings folks collectively and neighborhood across the desk and it’s such a cool factor when you are able to do that and be on the opposite facet of it.”
With the latest launch of Ohla! Tortillas and first to market almond flour-based chip, Schwalb is within the works of her subsequent product to hit the cabinets. She plans on taking her “Ch!pOhla!” to the subsequent degree, releasing two new flavors by the top of this 12 months,
Schwalb, who was raised in an Italian family, additionally has doable plans on breaking in to the Italian meals sector, hoping to launch a pizza crust or pasta anybody can get pleasure from.
You should purchase Ohla! Meals merchandise here or at your nearest Central Market retailer.