1. How would you describe yourself? I’m a health-conscious chocoholic. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and wanted to create something that was healthy yet incredibly delicious. I’m a hard worker and extremely persistent.
2. What inspired you? Undercover Snacks was inspired by my daughters who were diagnosed in 2016 with Celiac Disease. There were limited gluten-free options and they were mainly imitations of the good stuff. Today Undercover is sold in over 4,000 stores, on QVC, Amazon and our website.
3. What did you want to be growing up? I always wanted to start my own business! When I first graduated from college, I didn’t have the resources and didn’t know where to start. Finally, when I was nearly 50, I took the leap.
4. Who is your role model? Gale Becker, the founder of Caulipower Pizza. She is close to my age, has children with Celiac and grew her business into a billion-dollar company.
5. Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? Be a calculated risk taker…enough to grow, but not to go under. Leverage what you know, your connections and the people closest to you. My husband worked on the finance side of the food space and understood the chocolate business. He introduced me to people and had access to a lot of information.
6. What is your recipe for success? I work as hard as I can and then accept that some things are out of my control. I know we will make mistakes but try to learn from them and move forward. I pay attention to what is happening in the world and the food industry, try to react quickly and pivot when there are opportunities. Large companies can’t do that as effectively as small ones.
7. Favorite childhood memory? I ran our East Brunswick High School store with my best friend in the 80’s. We thought about what to sell and controlled what went on sale…like a big game. Of course, family vacations...having different adventures, going away.
8. Why Short Hills? We wanted a great downtown, schools, community, and a train to NYC. I was involved in the school PTO for many years. We have three daughters; Arielle, 22, and 19-year-old twins, Elana and Jenna.
9. Inspirational quote or favorite saying? "An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down." I built a factory, a complete manufacturing line…didn’t know anything about the food business.
10. What advice do you have on how to “Live your best life”? Get going! If you have an idea, don't wait until it's perfect. You may be surprised where you end up. It doesn’t matter how old you are!