Husband-wife duo search for affordable kids’ nutrition

courtneygordon_e45c8064_crop

The Exception Magazine recently connected with Co-Founders / CoCEOS / Husband & Wife duo Courtney Nichols Gould / Gordon Gould. The two founded their company in their personal quest to find healthy and affordable nutrition for kids

Essentials

Company Name

SmartyPants Vitamins

Founding team

Courtney Nichols Gould / Gordon Gould

Office location

Marina Del Ray, CA

Employee count

44

 

The Exception Interview

How would you describe your company and its product to someone who has never heard of it?

Founded in 2010, SmartyPants is all about simplifying health without sacrificing quality or deliciousness. We believe that you shouldn’t have to be wealthy to afford the best ingredients from a source you trust. Created by a group of concerned parents and leaders in health and wellness who knew everyone deserved premium nutrients at a fair price and in a tasty format they would stick with, SmartyPants never uses any synthetic colors or artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. All SmartyPants products are non-GMO and third party lab tested. For every bottle of SmartyPants sold, the company makes a 1•for•1 matching nutrient grant to a child in need through its partnership with Vitamin Angels, having made over 2.7 million matches to date.

How did you come up with the idea for your company? How did you validate the concept early on?

For our first product, it was easy. We were solving a problem we had ourselves (finding nutrients hard to get in the diet in premium forms in a format kids would take consistently and still be affordable without any junk or too much of something they don’t need) and confirmed the same was true for most of our friends. In addition, our formulator who has a leading healthcare practice in Los Angeles confirmed it was the core problem he heard from his patients.

What does your ideal customer look like?

Out goal at SmartyPants is to create good health for the real world. All of it!

Where would you like to see your company in 5 years?

Our goal is to be the leading and most trusted vitamin brand known for premium quality and delicious solutions to nutrition problems faced by all ages in the US and around the world.

What broader trends are driving interest in the food tech sector?

An ever increasing interest in healthy lifestyle is driving growth in all related areas.

What excites you personally about working in food tech?

Health is the most important tool we have for a happy life- I consider it an honor to able to work in a field and on building a company that endeavors to bring more health to more people every day.

Do you believe your city/state supports its food tech startups?

I think California is the birthplace of health trends for a reason. We feel very fortunate to have built our company in a place where access to healthy food and being outside is something we have come to rely on. It allows us to attract great talent, to avoid burnout and build sustainably even while we build very very quickly.

What other companies or founders do you follow for inspiration or advice?

I am inspired by Yvon Chouinard for how he approaches building both a culture at his company and building his life, we started our business with a matching one for one nutrient grant already in place thanks to Blake Mycoskie, I am inspired by Tim Ferris’ curiosity about the world and how to be more effective in his daily life, I am inspired by all the female leaders who have been successful despite the odds in building fast growing businesses- i know it isn’t easy.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with the next generation of food tech CEOs?

My best piece of advice is to make sure you are building something in a way that allows you to enjoy the process enough to offset the invariable constant slings and arrows you endure as an entrepreneur. You will not get those days back and the outcome is uncertain. It will only get harder, not easier, as you get more successful, the stakes higher, the pressure greater- so make sure you care a great deal about what you are doing and that you do it with people who inspire you, make you laugh, and make you want to be better. Its the only thing that makes it worth it- and you want it to be worth it whether you crash and burn or have a huge exit.