Get Yourself Started: One Example How to Get from M&A to Frozen Waffles

Get Yourself Started: One Example How to Get from M&A to Frozen Waffles

Do you have a side business that you are passionate about? If you ever had thoughts about devoting your complete attention to it and abandoning your 9-to-5 job, one story can inspire you to do just that.

From Harvard Law School to Waffles

Emily Groden’s career after Harvard Law School was as typical as anyone’s who entered the world of law. She started working soon after leaving school for a Chicago law firm, Kirkland & Ellis. There Emily’s job was to manage mergers and acquisitions. She enjoyed her work and changing her career didn’t even cross her mind.

As Emily was forever interested in healthy eating, she is always on the lookout to find healthy snacks and less processed food options. Healthy eating usually goes hand in hand with exercising and this is also true for Emily. She completed the Ironman race and also qualified for the Boston Marathon. Finding healthy snacks to nibble on post-workout was one of her personal missions.

The Documentary That Started It All

Luck would have it that Emily came across Netflix’s documentary TV show “Chef’s Table.” The concept of this show is that each episode focuses on one chef and the restaurant. Emily’s interest in food was piqued also back at university where she had courses about food regulations. But she focused on her main goal – to work for a law firm.

However, just one episode, about Alinea restaurant, was enough to make Emilyn decide to reinvent her career. She wasn’t idle; she contacted the restaurant’s owner and got offered the position of general counsel.

Emily decided to switch industries and got appointed as the general counsel for Alinea’s parent company and Tock, a reservations-system company. Her main tasks included negotiating deals with partners, and managing intellectual property portfolios.

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Evergreen: From Idea to Business

Then, after listening to a podcast dedicated to the topic of frozen foods, Emily started thinking about waffles. There weren’t healthy waffle options, and as she was a working mum, she didn’t want her child to eat only sugary treats.

Emily then started playing around with waffle recipes and then suddenly thought – why not create a frozen waffle business? After tweaking the recipe for a year, she decided she was passionate about this enough to try out this side business as her full-time job.

And that is the story of how the Evergreen waffles were born.

Constant Learning is the Key

And there you have it. From a simple wish to provide a healthy breakfast option for her child, Emily is now the founder of her own company. 

Even though she hired a baker and a sales team, she still manages a lot of the business herself. From food photography to negotiating contracts, Emily found her passion and is pursuing it full speed ahead. 

What is her advice to young entrepreneurs? “Never stop being a student.”

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