What a year.
When I started Buttermilk a little over a year ago, I had no idea what was in store. It started as a side project while I continued my full-time job as a Software Manager but soon overtook all my free time (and then some). By March of this year, I decided to quit my job and pursue Buttermilk full-time. I really think that my simple cravings for homemade food are a widespread feeling that's harder to address for immigrant communities. Through all of the tests, customer feedback surveys and phone calls, product launches, and growing pains, Buttermilk has turned into a real business providing delicious, homemade food to people all over the country. We've grown from 6 products to 14, added exciting features like picking your delivery date and modifying your recipe, and have welcomed 4 more curators to the Buttermilk family!
As a solo first-time founder building a food company from scratch, I can tell you that it's been anything but easy. We were lucky to be accepted early on into Y Combinator, one of the best accelerators in the country. This allowed us to grow with some of the best minds and mentors around us, providing not only advice but also companionship during some extra tough times. We questioned our mission and values again and again, constantly looking to improve what we're creating and bringing to the world. The best lesson we learned from YC was their motto -- "Make something people want". Nothing simpler but truer than that!
Since leaving YC, we've been through a roller coaster. From fundraising (only 2.2% of VC money goes to female-led start-ups), to building out a team (we're hiring!), to tracking KPIs like a hawk, there's so much we've learned and still so much to do. The thing I'm most thankful for is the investors, mentors, and colleagues who've taken the time to really understand our vision and connect with our product. Without them, there's no way we would've made it this far.
Where 2018 was our year to set the foundation, 2019 will be the year we build on it. We listen to each customer's feedback seriously and are aiming to bring a product to life that will provide what each person needs and wants when it comes to their food cravings. Our mission is to bring 'ethnic cuisine' out of the single grocery store aisle and give each person the authentic food they crave. We're going to continue doing so with some exciting new learnings in technology, nutrition and operations. Along the way I can't wait to connect with more movers and shakers looking to improve the world in their own way, either with us or on their own. You're only as strong as your community, and I learned that more this year than ever.
Thank you for support so far, and for being with us since the beginning. We've barely started and I can't wait to see how far we go with you.
To connect, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.