This is the third installment of an interview series with the 2021 Target Takeoff Food & Beverage cohort. Participating founders are sharing, in their own words, details about their innovative companies. All interviews have been conducted by the Target Takeoff Program Management Team.

Meet DEUX.

CEO, Sabeena Ladha

TT: How would you describe your company in one sentence?  

Sabeena: Nostalgic snacks enhanced with vitamins, collagen, & protein — vegan & gluten free too, duh.

TT: What inspired you to start your company? What makes your product unique in the marketplace? 

Sabeena: I was taking fistfuls of supplements during the pandemic – stomach issues, paired with pills stuck in my throat, and just taking 10 horse pills a day took a toll! So I flipped my favorite nostalgic dessert – and took everything your body needs to stay healthy and put it into something *actually* delicious.
The biggest differentiator for us are 1. Taste and 2. Functionality. A lot of other products are healthy, but taste like cardboard. Not only have we heard from consumers “this doesn’t even taste good-for-you!” but we also added in functional ingredients like elderberry and aloe vera, that actually contribute to your health nutritionally. We’re pulling consumers back into a stale category they left behind years ago – and bringing the joy & nostalgia that comes with it.

TT: How did you decide it was the right time to join an Accelerator? What are you most looking forward to getting out of the Target Takeoff experience? 

Sabeena: We are at an inflection point with DEUX, and I want to be able to take the momentum we’ve had and quadruple it. We are conquering DTC and retail will take us to the next level — and I want to be able to do it well. Retail is the wild wild west, so learning everything we can about the process, watch-outs, and how to succeed, while in the Accelerator, is critical for us.
I know that Target really invests in the Takeoff experience and I’m looking forward to the mentorship and expertise that comes with one of the most cutting edge retailers of all time. Target marries the knowledge of old-world retail with new-world branding & innovation. That’s rare!

TT: How do you stay motivated through the ups and downs of growing a business? 

Sabeena: Learning stoicism has been really important to my mental health journey. The highs have been extremely high and lows have been very low, but the key is to remain even-keeled through it all. Of course I do love to get excited when a celebrity posts and if I’m having a bad day, going for a run to let it out, but generally adopting this mentality has kept me going. When it comes to motivation, going back to your core & purpose really helps. I think about my dad and how tough it was when he immigrated to the US – he HAD to be an entrepreneur because he had no other options. I GET to be an entrepreneur. His memory will always keep me going.

TT: After this program, how do you see your company growing?

Sabeena: Conquering retail! DEUX is primarily DTC (80/20) and to scale and become a household name, we really want to be where “she” is. We believe in connecting closely with our community in-store, in field marketing, and of course digitally, which means when she is going for her Target run, we want to be there to satisfy a need. A year from now I hope the team continues to grow and push boundaries both in snacks and making wellness more accessible and approachable. I also see us continuing to innovate both within and outside of cookie dough to keep the category & brand fun and exciting for consumers and retailers.

To learn more about DEUX and to try their tasty dough, check them out at eatdeux.com