The following article is part of a series of interviews featuring the 2020 Household Essentials cohort, conducted by the Target Takeoff (TT) Household Essentials program managers.
TT: When meeting someone new, how do you explain your company?
Amanda: I started working to valorize food waste 6 years ago when I founded Ambrosia, Veles’ parent company. Ambrosia is a closed-loop manufacturing company that uses food waste to recreate more sustainable versions of common products and ingredients. Our first product to market is Veles, which of course is an all-purpose household cleaner entirely derived from food waste (with a little bit of essential oils and a plant-based fragrance stabilizer added in to make it smell nice).
Jenna: …then I inevitably jump in and gush about how amazing the product works, how great it smells, and how it represents an impactful and scalable solution to mitigate one of the biggest contributors to climate change. According to Project Drawdown, the global leader in quantifying climate change strategies, reducing food waste is the single greatest – number ONE – solution to reverse global warming.
Veles is part of broader strategy and product roadmap that treats food waste as an invaluable resource. There are many more products – both within the Veles brand and beyond – that are in the pipeline to be created with our technology, which would move the needle in a really meaningful way.
TT: What makes you most excited about working with Target Accelerators?
Jenna: I am really excited to gain insight into how a major retailer operates and makes strategic decisions about the types of products they will carry. It’s also an incredible opportunity to learn from leaders across a variety of functions. So often at early stage startups we learn by doing; having the chance to ask questions and get feedback from the very people who could help bring your business to the next level is invaluable.
Amanda: We also hope to inspire decision-makers at Target to think even more deeply about the impacts of the products and the brands they’re selling.
TT: How are you functioning today that is different than how you were functioning 6 months ago?
Jenna: Our team went from working together at our manufacturing facility in New Jersey to the confines of our Brooklyn apartments. So my commute got a lot shorter, and I now work almost exclusively in sweatpants.
TT: What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are navigating this current environment?
Amanda: The only way out is through.
Jenna: So hang in there. 🙂