We've Got Our Tenant Spotlight On Onesto!
Who are you?
What is your business?
Is there a story behind your business?
When I had kids over 12 years ago, I was discouraged at the level of overly-processed, preservative-filled snacks on the grocery store shelves. I began to really notice all the junk that was in our food.
In order to set good examples for my children, I stopped buying snacks with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce or didn’t recognize. I quickly realized that I missed crackers with our local cheeses!
So, in 2013 I started experimenting with my own recipes and the seeds of Onesto were firmly planted!
I believe that food made fresh, by hand, with the best possible ingredients not only tastes better, it makes us feel better too. Onesto products are made entirely with non-GMO ingredients, always.
It is my mission to only create food that I would want to share with my children, that’s a promise.
What problem(s) are you/your business trying to help solve?
We’re trying to make it easier for people to find honest, healthy but still delicious food. Just because people want to eat more mindfully, it doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice flavor, taste or texture. Finding food that is both healthy AND delicious shouldn’t be hard. At Onesto, our mission is to make amazing food, as mindfully and responsibly as we can. We care about the food we eat and the food we create. We also care about our planet.
How is your company changing the world?
We are showing people that eating a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you are eating cardboard, or you are sacrificing taste and texture. When people find out our crackers and cookies are vegan and gluten-free, they cannot believe it.
We are also very proud of our eco-minded practices. Our packaging is made with 100% wind energy, printed on recycled cardboard, is 100% recyclable, is FSC certified and made with 100% soy dyes instead of harsh chemicals.
Our bakery is a repurposed kombucha distillery and is run on solar power. All of our ingredients are non-GMO.
Why do you like being a part of the bigger CI Works puzzle?
The camaraderie at CI Works is so motivating and heart-warming! From the moment I moved in, everyone here has been so supportive and helpful. I love the mission that Mark and Bob have for the campus. They are so invested in each one of their tenants in a way that I haven’t seen in other office settings. There is definitely something special about CI Works and I am honored to be a small part of it.
Being a part of a community that is thinking about the big picture and its impact on the community/environment/future generations is inspiring and motivating. I am so proud to tell people where our new office is!
What do you hope your company’s next milestone will be?
This summer, we will be launching new, brighter and more colorful packaging and in the next couple of months, we’re launching a new product : Gluten-Free, Vegan and Non-GMO Cookies. We cannot wait for these to hit the markets!
What’s cool about your team?
We have the most wonderful, caring and talented bakers working each day to bake Onesto. They are a rare group of people that put so much heart and love into each one of our bakes. We are also so lucky to work with the sales team that we do. They are smart, hard-working people that really care about our mission. They are crucial in helping us tell our story and we are so grateful for them!
Are there any causes you are passionate about?
My 10-year-old daughter started an organization last year called Helping Time. Each month, she and a group of about 20 classmates picks a local cause and we help them out. To date, we have done the following:
Donated much needed supplies to the Merrimack Valley MSPCA
Created 37 care packages loaded with supplies and treats for our troops overseas (https://www.operationshoebox.com/how-you-can-help/care-packages/)
Hand-crafted cards for children with life threatening/terminal diagnoses in hospitals (http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/)
Created beautiful wooden art work for adults with special needs living in group homes in Newburyport (https://www.turningpointinc.org/)
Put together 12 backpacks full of new clothing, shoes, stuffed animals and activities for children taken from their unsafe homes and placed into Foster Care (https://fosteringcareinc.com/)
Cooked and served dinner at The Newburyport Salvation Army for their Thursday Night Dinners for the Community (https://transitionnewburyport.org/local-food/food-pantries-and-meal-programs/)
Hand-decorated 23 backpacks stuffed with books, blankets, stuffed animals and pjs for kids with brain cancer at Dana Farber in Boston
Donated clothing and the created one-of-a-kind art work for a Georgetown family that lost their house in a fire
What is your biggest fear? Just thinking about my kids and their safety, I can’t go “there”.
I also don’t like heights.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I'm very proud of the safe, nurturing and empowering environment that my husband, Jesse and I create for our two kids. Being a parent is the hardest thing that I will ever do, so when I see my two kids flourishing, I feel like we must be doing something right! My husband and I work very hard at being the best parents we can be. Sometimes, we royally screw up, but there are times when it feels like we're on the right track, or at least close to it.
What is something most people don’t know about you/your brand?
That our first “bakery” was actually in our church’s kitchen. I was outgrowing our home kitchen and needed more space. I noticed one Sunday that no one was using the space, so I approached our church! After getting the town’s and state’s permission, we bought commercial equipment and moved in! After only about 4 months we outgrew that space and moved to a facility in Vermont.
What advice do you have for other small businesses?
Embrace the suck. Sometimes, it’s going to be SO hard. You may feel like giving up. It’s during those times that you dig in and fight your hardest. This is when I learn the most about me, my passion and my commitment. It’s very easy to get caught up in the compliments and the “wins”, but it’s the times that I am forced to re-adjust, re-think and re-calibrate that I appreciate the most.
Know who you are and what your product, brand, or service is about. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. It is impossible to please everyone. If you have a deep understanding of YOU, you won’t be tempted to shift and change just to please others. It’s okay to say, “no thank you, this doesn’t feel right” and walk away from an opportunity. There is a lot of power in saying “no” for the right reasons!