Why I Gambled It All On A Vegetable
And a shot at the other American Dream.
Remember, You’re always one decision away from a totally different life. At least that’s what Instagram told me in May of 2016. So I listened.
My “totally different life” began when I left the stability and sensibleness of a corporate career, deciding instead to follow in the entrepreneurial footsteps of my immigrant father whom I’d like to believe is cheering me on from above. He arrived to this country with nothing, but left with everything, including an adult life filled with the “other” American dream: the chance to ‘do what you love.’
Losing someone close forces you to acknowledge life’s brevity and serves as a relentless reminder that, in the time you have left, you better do something worthwhile…or at least have one hell of a time trying.
And so I jumped all in with half a parachute, a crazy idea, and the fierce belief that it is always better in life to say ‘oops’ rather than ‘what if.’ With a lot of help and a bit of hope, I landed feet-first as a newly-minted entrepreneur and a “do-er of what I love.” Turns out, the most challenging journeys really do lead to the most spectacular destinations.
The inspiration for that leap unknowingly occurred years ago when my two young sons were both diagnosed with Celiac, an autoimmune disease affecting the body’s ability to digest gluten. Over the years, I bought all of the gluten-free breads, cereals and pizzas their growing bodies could desire. Then, I began to read the backs of those packages.
More sugar and calories, and less nutrients than the same gluten-full alternatives. I looked for options, but found few. So I did what any other frustrated mother would do, I searched. Ultimately, I found that cauliflower made a more nutritious base for foods though grew frustrated with the time it took to make. So, I came up with my own solution: CAULIPOWER.
Taking a cue from the internet, CAULIPOWER is launching with cauliflower-crust pizzas, making it available to anyone who isn’t willing to sacrifice taste for nutrition or, quite simply, doesn’t have hours to spend in the kitchen.
Additionally, as part of its core mission, CAULIPOWER proudly supports OneSun and the fight against childhood obesity by contributing to the creation of vegetable gardens at underserved schools throughout the country. These gardens become real-life learning laboratories for students to understand what it means to be healthy, and ultimately, the value of good eating habits outside and under the sun.
It is important to me to give back, because while CAULIPOWER was a radically new beginning for me, it was also a somewhat familiar one.
When my dad first came to this country, he found a job sweeping the floor of a New York bakery, which he was able to sleep on at night. As fate would have it, Becker means ‘baker’ in German. He ended up starting his own food-related business, selling items like tomato sauce to hotels and restaurants around San Francisco. I would join him on many of those sales visits.
I remember one small Italian restaurant, in particular, called Vinny’s. While my dad was working, I’d save us a booth and look up at the cloud-painted ceiling complete with a wooden lattice filled with dozens of plastic, hanging grapes. When he was done, we’d always share a pizza and a laugh. He later told me those were the happiest days of his life.
Now clearly, I could have never imagined back then that I would one day be creating cauliflower-crust pizzas for people to share, but actually having the chance to do what I love is not that different than the comforting feeling I used to get underneath that plastic grape-filled sky.
To lovers of cauliflower-based food without the hassle, I hope CAULIPOWER allows you to find more time and nourishment in your life.
To dad, well, this one’s for you…