Jenna Tanenbaum is the founder of Green Blender, a smoothie delivery service based in New York City. She believes that healthy should be easy and fun. Green Blender sends out all the pre-portion ingredients in Super Foods to make healthy wholesome smoothies at home. When she’s not blending up the latest smoothie recipe for Green Blender she is running through prospect partner training for her next race.
Tell us a little bit about you and Green Blender.
My name is Jenna and I’m the founder of Green Blender a smoothie delivery service. We send all the pre-portion ingredients in Super Foods to make amazing smoothies at home. I really believe that creating a healthy habit is really important to creating a sustainable healthy life.
How did you actually get started on having a smoothie box service?
I am very health minded and my boyfriend is not so much. I’m really just into experimenting with different work out exercise things. I really enjoyed experimenting with different foods and diets. I got a blender and I started making a bunch of smoothies in the morning before I went to work and giving Amir, my boyfriend, my leftovers.
He would then just chug down the smoothie and he started feeling like he had more energy just by simply drinking the smoothie every morning, incorporating fruits and vegetables in his daily diet. Then he started making healthier choices and having more energy and craving healthier foods. We realized, changing a little part of your day or your environment can have a big, long lasting effect.
As we started experimenting more with smoothies we quickly realized that it was really tough to find a wide variety of ingredients, it was expensive and it was wasteful. We started sharing these ingredients with our friends and realizing that people really enjoy connecting with the food that there eating and they’ll do it if it’s right in front of them but sometimes it’s a little overwhelming to go to the store and frankly expensive to go to the store and buy everything full price and by the pound.
How do you get the idea of the box service and actually doing it and getting into people’s hands?
Amir and I are big subscribers of the Lean Start up. We both grew our professional careers in tech and the whole idea is to test it first and before you build out a whole complex production. We basically put up a website and drove traffic to it with what our offering was going to be to see if people were interested in doing it.
I think as entrepreneurs, I think a lot of times people go into this pitfall of needing to have a finished product and have every little tiny detail worked out without actually putting it into the wild and seeing the response. We were able to tweak the product offering before we even have a product because we were able to see what people wanted.
What has been your all time most proud moment so far?
I think when we were in Vogue.
Can you share a flop or disappointment you had with your business?
Early on we were working on with a co-packer in The Bronx and the packing times were from 2 AM to 11 AM twice a week. We probably did that for 6-8 weeks and it was just a low point because of the hours. it was just the major grind of just getting up going to bed at 6PM and waking up at 1 AM and getting yourself over to the Bronx, working all night and into the morning than kind of having to actually run your business after that. I think keeping those weird hours really took a toll on me. It made me realize the importance of a schedule and sleep because when you’re sleep deprived or you’re in a weird sleep schedule everything becomes a big deal. You react in such a strange way because you have this lack of sleep. I think that was a low point for us and we realize that we had to get out of there and bring the production into our own hands in normal working hours.
How did you grow your team?
We grew our team just going back to the Lean Start up mentality. We really focused on creating a lean team. People are very valuable on the team and they do a lot and it grew from Amir and I doing everything, from packing the boxes to doing all the marketing to writing all the copy. When we grew big enough and realized some part of the business is taking up way too much of our time that could be better spent something else like growing the business. We brought people in to do that. We did it step by step we didn’t just go out. And that’s our whole mentality and philosophy even today. Just work on things slowly and make sure that everyone adding a lot of value to the team and that were constantly working on the business instead of in the business.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were starting out?
I think just getting something into the hands of your potential customers as soon as possible. At the beginning we did wait a little bit too long before we pulled the trigger to actually send people boxes. You will learn so much more with one day of your customers using your product than a month of you just mulling around over this idea. Getting your product into the hands of your customers and getting feedback immediately so you can change and iterate is key.
What has been a successful marketing technique for Green Blender?
Our most successful advocates are our customers. We created a strong friend referral program and word-of-mouth program was really key for us. Allowing people to gift smoothie boxes to their friends after a certain amount of time being in our product really helped us grow some really valuable customers.
What do you think is the benefit was to building the friend referral program?
At first it was about a necessity because we were at that point a team of two trying to get this business off the ground. We had very limited resources in ways of marketing. We wanted to empower the customers we did manage to get to help be marketers for us. Equipping them with a free gift really help them become evangelist for Green Blender because they can easily give one to one of their friends so they could try it out.
What is your biggest piece of advice is for someone who is just starting out?
Just get your products out into the hands of your customers and even if it’s not perfect don’t worry about it, don’t just do it, just get it out there as fast as you possibly can.
Do you have a company or business owner that you looked up to?
I looked up to my co-founder Amir.
What makes Green Blender so unique?
What makes Green Blender so unique is that we really want to help people create a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime.
Where do you see you and Green Blender in 5 years?
We really see ourselves as a health company first and foremost in any way we can further people’s relationship with their health in a sustainable way that’s not a diet. It’s about creating healthy habits and it’s about connecting with whole amazing foods that are not processed. Our mission is simply to make the world a healthier place simply. Anything that helps us along in that mission is where we’re going to be spending a lot of our time.
How do you stay balanced?
It’s really tough to stay balanced but I do it in ways that I can incorporate into my busy lifestyle. I meditate everyday on my way to work and I really incorporate working out and making that a point. I actually schedule workout sessions onto my calendar so that I make sure that I do them.
Share one thing you want our customers to know about you that you think they don’t know.
One thing that people don’t know is just that I am constantly working towards improving my health and I don’t always eat healthy.
Jenna Tanenbaum is the founder of GreenBlender, a smoothie delivery service based in New York City. She believes that being healthy should be fun and easy. GreenBlender sends out all the pre-portioned ingredients and superfoods to make healthy, wholesome smoothies at home. When she’s not blending up the latest
smoothie recipe for GreenBlender, she is running through Prospect Park training for her next race.
Enter the podcast giveaway! This months giveaway is HUGE. Granola from Blissful Eats, A Love Drop from Love Grown Foods, a smoothie box from Green Blender, one bag of Otto’s Cassava Flour and bagels from Sweet Note Bakery by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!