Tell us about your business.I started Sweet Loren's out of a personal need. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 22. Already a foodie and yoga instructor--I began to look at desserts differently. I stopped eating highly refined and processed ingredients. But how could I satisfy my serious sweet tooth? I could not find conventional baked goods that were delicious and made from ingredients that I wanted in my body. In my mother's kitchen in Harlem, NYC, with my younger sister as my official taste-tester, I started to make my own desserts. One year later, fully recovered and even more inspired by health, I began to craft the idea of Sweet Loren's: a delicious and fun dessert company that was trustworthy and made from only the best ingredients that nature has to offer. After winning a baking contest in 2010, I quit my job managing a restaurant, and started Sweet Loren's full-time. Whole Foods Market was our first customer, and soon, Sweet Loren's ready-to-bake desserts was born.
What makes your business stand out?Sweet Loren's are the only ready-to-bake desserts on the market completely made from non-GMO, whole food ingredients. We strive to offer desserts you can feel good about eating: delicious; satisfying; beautiful branding; convenient packaging; portion-control; and no fuss, mess, or clean-up. We know how busy people are today-and yet-how important it is to make fresh food at home for yourself, family & friends. We want people to be able to indulge their sweet tooth, while treating themselves right with desserts that are a more wholesome version of what they are used to. We believe the food is love, and that our bodies are only as strong as what we feed them. We are locally produced in NJ and can be found at Whole Foods Market, FreshDirect, Central Market, and Goldman Sachs. Our brand promise: we will always give a % of our sales back to cancer research.
What's the best business advice you've received?At a book signing I went to for NBC's Hoda Kotb in 2011, she gave me the best advice I could get: "You Don't Scare Me." This short but powerful statement has become my daily mantra. Fear, or being scared, only holds us back from what could be possible. When you are doing something that has never been done before, by definition, you'll be navigating in unchartered waters. Taking risks are the only way to create a life that could be more than what you already know-one that's truly successful & inspiring. Every business has their challenges, but you have to be brave enough to look them in the face and say "You Don't Scare Me". I have learned that in life, you really have nothing to lose--only experience, wisdom, and growth to gain. As I started to face challenges in business, and then personal life, the same advice has always applied.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
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JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
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Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
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