How Sprinkles Cupcakes grew in a healthy eaters market | Business Casual
A great founder can go into it can start a business with a thesis that is totally wrong and turn the business, pivot the business entirely turn it around and find success from it. My thesis that people were actually still going to eat cupcakes in spite of the fact that they said they were really healthy and drinking green juice actually turned out to be correct. I actually, because it became such a like a beautiful and special brand, I actually converted people who wouldn't normally eat a cupcake. And so I grew the market beyond what I even thought it would be at. Have you ever had sprinkles, Norah? I mean, I used to eat it at least once a week.
Right. Back in the way, you know. They're so big. Where did you go? There's one on the Upper East Side. They had one like 66th Street that had a vending machine.
You can, like 18. It was like a sprinkle ATM. That's. Yes, that's. Right. Yes. Yep. I used to go to the one at Brookfield Place in Delaware. It's not there anymore, but it was. Oh, my gosh, no, it's not anymore.
Right there on the second floor. I know exactly what it was. Yeah, it's. It's something else.
They're building something else there now. But it was just my pit stop, almost like like I said, once a week on my way home, bringing it to the trading floor where I worked. It's sweet, but the frosting. Yeah.
I mean, I'm a minimalist when it comes to frosting. I would basically need, like, two cupcake bases for every one cupcake topping frost situation so I could spread the frosting around. Oh, gotcha. OK. Yeah.
So I'd buy multiple sprinkles. Yeah, but I love it. I love what I love the fact that, like, all these things in our world, our lives, that we think about and interact with every day, it's like someone started that someone had to do that, right? We all have ideas to create a restaurant.
And how many people want open a restaurant or start a business, start a bakery, but like the people like Candace, they just take action. They do it. Exactly. And she said, don't just do it. Act pretty quickly. You don't have to get it perfect. Just get a product out there, which I think we've learned a bunch from entrepreneurs on this podcast, is it doesn't have to be perfect. Just put out a minimum viable product, test the waters, get customer feedback, and Candace's proof.
That's truth all around. All right, let's get to it. Candice Nelson is the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, which she launched in 2005 as at the time the world's first cupcake only bakery. And Candace parlayed sprinkles success into becoming a television personality, serving as a judge on Cupcake Wars and Sugar Rush.
And in 2017, Candace co-founded Sana, a fast growing chain of Michelin Bib Gourmand, awarded neo Neapolitan pizzerias leading the third wave of pizzerias in the U.S. She also launched a VC firm that focuses on sparking consumer obsession. She joins us to discuss her secret sauce for creating cult favorites. We'll get to our conversation with Candace after this quick break. This episode of Business Casual is sponsored by Grayscale, the world's largest crypto asset manager. And provider of crypto investment funds.
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So happy to hear you are cupcake lovers as I am of course. I mean who who isn't at the end of the day? Everyone. Everyone loves cupcakes. But you were my general thesis. Yeah, I started the company. Yes, it was smart. And you were working in investment banking before you started sprinkles, which I think investment banking is kind of the opposite of cupcakes.
But I got to say, I started my career in investment banking, and there was a sprinkles a couple blocks away. And for every special occasion, we would get sprinkles cupcakes for the team so it can make anybody happy. Even sad. Investment bankers well, that's really meaningful, actually, because I was an investment banking, I think long before you were an investment banking. And any time there was one of our coworkers had a birthday, we got a cake from the local bakery.
And then there was this mad scramble to find a, you know, a knife to cut the cake. Yeah. Yeah. Where were there going to be plates and napkins? And it was this whole disaster. And then inevitably someone didn't like the flavor of the cake.
And I thought to myself, there's got to be a better solution here. There's got to be a better way. Yes. You've you. Think, ding, ding. You found the cake problems and you addressed them with cupcakes.
So what inspired you to make that that shift from investment banking? It was in San Francisco. It was in the midst of the dot com bubble boom burst, all of that. How did you make that shift to cupcakes? Well, I was always one of those people that did sort of the right thing and followed the pragmatic path and, you know, got the grade. And so, you know, I had done well through school and I was recruited into this investment bank back in the, you know, dot com boom in the late nineties. And it was really sort of I don't know it, as you said before, sad investment bankers that I found that to be true. It was not feeding my soul in any way.
But it was definitely, you know, a great prestigious job to have. And then at the time, as so many people did, I went and jumped ship and worked at it a dot com for a little while. Everyone was kind of jumping ship kind of the way people are right now in web three to go like make their millions and find their fortune and then of course, the dot com bust happened and everybody was out of work, including myself. And it was really the first time in my life that I had a moment to think about what I actually wanted to do. And although so many of my peers were going on to get their MBA, which was definitely the next logical step for me, I thought, I don't want to do that. It just was like, I don't want to do that.
I want to do something that feeds my soul. And I had always grown up baking I love to bake. And of course, being in San Francisco, such an incredible food city.
And and one of the perks of being a SAT investment banker is all those great, you know, those like dining expense, expense account, you know, dining situations, the closing dinners, the client dinners, and it really sort of brought back this love and appreciation for food that I had. So instead of going to get my MBA, I went to get my cupcake MBA, so to speak. I went to pastry school and sort of the rest is history.
The rest is history. But I wanna hear more about your history and your family history. Perhaps was there anyone in your family who had gone off and just started on business like that or had been involved in food even, and anything in the background that gave you the confidence to do this? Because that's a big jump. But we talked to a lot of people who make the jump, and it's always fascinating to hear what the inciting incident is or or what that spark is. But what was it for you? Well, I definitely had someone in my history, my family history, who had worked in food. My great grandmother was actually a restaurateur during the Depression years.
She was a single mom. She was way ahead of her time. She she ran a couple of successful restaurants. And I always I grew up hearing stories of her and how amazing what an amazing cook she was.
And she was known for her. You know, she was of French ancestry. She was known for her French desserts and all of this. But I didn't meet her personally. I certainly grew up in a family that appreciated food. My mom was a great cook.
And, you know, every sort of vacation, family vacation we went on was just a thinly veiled excuse to like go find, you know, the most delicious treat in town. So I grew up with that appreciation. But no, I mean, my my mom was essentially, you know, a stay at home mom. And my dad was a lawyer. So talk about, you know, doing what you're supposed to do. I didn't really have a model for entrepreneurship.
And even though I was working with entrepreneurs as an investment banker, I mean, I was an analyst working on deals where, you know, technology founders were taking their companies public or were merging into larger companies. That was a type of entrepreneurship that felt very inaccessible to me because these people were like engineers and tech savants. And, you know, I was just like a well-rounded liberal arts student.
So. But with a sweet tooth. Yeah, exactly. So but in terms of finding that that strength in that confidence I think that's sort of the million dollar question, right? Because ultimately, entrepreneurship is really about action. It's about taking that leap and there might be, you know, a great idea sort of simmering inside you. But it doesn't mean anything unless you actually, you know, take the steps towards making it, turning it into reality. And I found that out.
Actually, I'll fast forward a few years. I first opened the doors to sprinkles and I was very proud of myself because, you know, nobody said my idea was going to work. In fact, everybody said it was a terrible idea to open this temple to carbs in the middle of, you know, very health conscious Los Angeles and particularly at the height of the low carb craze. And sure enough, we had lines from day one, which was spectacularly exciting to me. Scary, too, because there were other problems there.
But so many people came in and said this was my idea. They didn't take action. Exactly.
And I remember feeling sort of deflated by that, like, oh, I thought I was so original. And then in hindsight, I realized it was really that important. That's what that's what separates sort of the dreamers from the doers. Right.
And so finding that confidence to take that leap is such an important step for me. I literally just kind of looked around and I thought I kind of got sick of my circumstances I was sick of like doing what I was supposed to do and not feeling fulfilled. And I just felt like the regret I would have from not pursuing something was going to be greater than, you know, if I just carried on my way and failed. You said there was a line on the first day. How did you get people's attention? How did you draw people in before they they knew what your cupcakes tasted like? There was a period of time where I was looking for a location for the first sprinkles, and it took longer than I anticipated.
So during that time, I was working out my recipes. I was really sort of crafting the branding and nailing down all the little details as best I could. Although I had no idea what was in store for me. And so I was baking and making custom cupcakes out of my kitchen. And I started with just, you know, friends who basically felt sorry for me and were like, Candace's left her high paying job and she's making cupcakes.
Like, why don't we use her for our friend's baby shower? That would be really nice of us. And then it spread to, you know, friends of their friends. And then all of a sudden I was, you know, receiving these calls from people that I couldn't track how they'd gotten my number. And that was a really important moment where I realized I might be on to something.
You know, it was sort of that first moment when I realized I had traction beyond just my friend group that was feeling very sorry for me. So you went to you went to pastry school, Candace was the goal did you have the goal in mind to open up this cupcake only shop? Because this this wasn't you know, for people who are a little younger, they grew up in a world full of cupcakes. Everywhere you go, every corner is not a cupcake store. But when you were doing this, that wasn't the norm.
There weren't cupcake only bakeries. So was this always the goal in mind when you left your job, pastry school, open the store, or was this just a total flight of fancy an experiment? Let's see where this road takes me. It really was at the time, a flight of fancy. It really was this idea of I want to work with my I want to do the opposite of being a sad investment banker. I want to work with my hands I want to be creative and really lean into that other side of my brain that I hadn't exercised in so long and that initially led me to creating this custom cake business because I thought, what is the most fanciful, fanciful creation I could possibly make? Well, it's, you know, layered, tiered special occasion cakes where, you know, I work on these fondant, flat gum paste flowers and I, you know, work on fillings in frosting and buttercream decoration and so I, I, I did a custom cake business more in line with like a wedding cake than anything to do with a simple cupcake and sure enough, sure, I was exercising the creative part of my brain, but the business side of my brain came knocking and was like, nobody's buying these things.
Very often, right? A special occasion cake by its nature. And so what can I do that marries this sort of elegance, artfulness this level of craftsmanship with a business that, you know, I could sell something to people every day, and that is what led me to the cupcake. And you're right, thank you for reminding me that everyone pretty much who's listening is like, what is the big deal with a cupcake? Because there's cupcakes on every corner.
But let me take you back to 2003 when cupcakes literally were only to be found in a supermarket in a plastic clamshell, they were made with God knows what, but for sure the frosting was made with shortening really garish colors. The decorations were essentially plastic picks, which still like, befuddles me how decoration for a child would be that like sharp plastic objects. But it really was like kids faire. You'd find it and it was child's lunchbox. There was nothing elegant about a cupcake, and there were certainly no bakeries devoted to cupcakes. And when we were and I say we because my husband ultimately partnered with me to start the business, but when we were looking for packaging, this will tell you there were no there was no off the shelf cupcake packaging besides four plastic clamshells so when we first opened, we actually used cake boxes because we didn't have you know, we didn't have the funds to do sort of the the big, you know, minimum run to do something custom.
So we used standard cake boxes, turned them inside out so they would feel somehow unique so they were craft on the outside. And then when you open them up, they had that shock of pink inside that really set off the cupcakes. But our cupcakes were sliding around in there. I mean, we'd be like careful as people were leaving. We be careful, those cupcakes.
And it wasn't. And then literally fast forward two years later, there's a whole like menu of options you have if you're opening a cupcake bakery to have these little inserts that keep your cupcakes in place. But at the time, there was no such thing so candies.
We started getting into the packaging and the branding and trying to sort of differentiate from what you had seen traditionally in grocery stores. But not only is sprinkles just delicious cupcakes, but it's a recognizable brand where you've had partnerships with the likes of Williams-Sonoma and Tito's shoes. What were some of the most important lessons you learned in trying to create this memorable, memorable brands that goes beyond just the taste of the product itself? Well, I will never forget the day that I saw a Sprinkles shopping bag in the wild like outside of the Beverly Hills area, because our first stores opened in Beverly Hills, and there were shopping bags, you know, all over Beverly Hills when we first opened. But I was actually in an airport, and I saw someone hand carrying the Sprinkles bag and it was going through security and they were taking the cupcakes lovingly out of the box and putting them through, you know, the x ray machine and the TSA guy was like, hey, you brought some cupcakes for me? And there was like a whole conversation. And I was sort of like this fly on the wall watching this happen. And it was like an out of body experience because it really was the first moment when I realized that this little tree that I had created was more than the sum of its parts.
Right? It really was like a true brand that gave people a feeling. And that's really, you know, what a brand is. It's like what people think about your company is how they feel about your company. And and so that was incredibly special for me. I think, you know, with Brand, there's, there's so much to dig into, but ultimately it's about what you stand for.
And for me, you know, since I was reinventing the cupcake, I also wanted to sort of dig into every single part of it. So just in terms of speaking of like a brand identity first, you know, the cupcake itself was sort of an artisanal I was I was elevating it from this kid, you know, supermarket kids lunchbox fare into this artisanal treat. And so the cupcake itself had to look that way. So, for example, the frosting has a very unique sprinkled swirl to it, and that is created by hand with an offset spatula. As opposed to sort of the more conveyor belt style like piping bag. Look, I also looked to sort of ground and unify all of my cupcakes with a single dark brown chocolate brown wrapper, which a lot of which was confusing to a lot of people when we first open because they were like Do you have anything but chocolate cupcakes? And it's like, no, no, this is this is the look.
And then, of course, the stores themselves had to sort of speak to their artist, like the artisanship of the cupcake and the quality, the cupcakes. You walk in and you you felt like this was a special place, like you were walking into like an upscale boutique more than to like an old school bakery. People weren't used to walking into bakeries that felt like that. And even, you know, extending to the display so when you walk into the store, like the display was custom created by us where the cupcake sat in an angle. So you saw the most beautiful part of the cupcake, which is the frosting as opposed to the side like old school bakeries. You'd come in, they're all a display and you'd see their side and they were all kind of squished around.
But our cupcakes sat in these deep cut holes. They were always perfectly spaced. So we really, really thought long and hard about the brand identity. But ultimately, at the end of the day, as I said, brand is about like what you stand for and for me, it was really about joy and community and unity and, you know, not much different than today. But like we live in this very fractured world and and certainly on the heels of 911, which is kind of when this all started percolating for me, I wanted to do something you know, more meaningful than just crunching numbers. And I knew I couldn't, you know, you I only had a certain skill set.
And I remember a lot of people you know, post-9-11, they were like, well, I'm going to go work for the CIA or whatever. You know, I'm going to go be a translator. I didn't have those skills at my disposal, but I thought, what can I do? And so my my sort of calling was to bring this sweet treat into the world that everybody could love, everybody could partake in.
And that sort of like brought people a little a little bit of joy. If Americans don't binge on sweet treats, the terrorists will have won that. That's. Thank you. Right. Thank you. That's right. That's right. That was that was my message to the.
That was the third. So you. Take them down with my cupcakes. One sprinkle at a time.
So you you open this flagship store in Beverly Hills. Did you have the concept perfected out of the gate? The look the feel, the brand, the the flavor of the cupcakes, the recipes was an iterative process. And then how quickly were you scaling in? Did you franchise it out? I want to know about the empire, because now they're sprinkles. I know you left about ten years ago, we should say. You sold, you sold, sold it off. But when you were there for those first seven years, you were growing pretty quickly, weren't you? Oh, we were we were growing really quickly.
We had so many requests for franchises and we were so focused on keeping that quality because the difference between a great and memorable cupcake and like a not so memorable, OK, like forgettable cupcake is not that much. Right. Sure. Once you get the like the recipe down. But then it was all about the experience of walking in the store. It was all about making sure those cupcakes were as freshly baked as they could be. It was all about, you know, making sure you didn't overbaked it by one minute because that made a difference.
There were so many little nuances that went into it. So in spite of all of these requests to wholesale our product or franchise the business, we didn't. We said no to all of that.
And we rolled it out store by store, very, very time and labor intensive. I mean, at one point, you know, I was nine months pregnant we were opening the Dallas store and I was you know, we were living there for that for a few months to like train our staff and get everybody up to speed. And infuse the company with like what was really important to us, our company culture. But no, I mean, scaling is never pretty and as much as you think you're ready the day you open your doors, there are always going to be things that you have to change on the fly and that you never expect. And I think the key is just being open to changing the plan on the fly and being nimble and and and and not getting too stuck on your vision to the point where it gets in the way, you know, being open to the fact that maybe your original thesis wasn't quite on the mark.
And that's why I feel like, you know, it's, it's so much about this entrepreneurial or this innovative mindset is like it's so important because a great founder can go into it can start a business with a thesis that is totally wrong and turn the business pivot the business entirely, turn it around and find success from it. My thesis that people were actually still going to eat cupcakes in spite of the fact that they said they were really healthy and drinking green juice actually turned out to be correct. I actually because it became such a like a beautiful and special brand, I actually converted people who wouldn't normally eat a cupcake.
So I grew the market beyond what I even thought it would be. Mm hmm. And you said that you didn't even have a model for entrepreneurship when you first started Sprinkles, but you learned to scale it. You learned to adjust as needed to the market, and you now have been able to apply those learnings to Ciena, which you co-founded in 2017.
So this is a chain of Michelin, a gourmand awarded Neo Neapolitan pizzeria that's about. Is that. Possible? Yes. So you've described Pitt Sonna as leading this third wave of pizzerias in the U.S. Scott and I are so curious what does the third wave of pizzerias mean? Wave. Yeah.
How does the wave guys catch the wave? So the first wave were companies like Pizza Hut, right? The second wave were sort of these companies like Blaze Pizza and the third wave. What was that, Sharkey's? Yes. Right. Yeah. So the third wave is really again bringing this idea of sort of elevating something that people already love and kind of like continuing on with this love of pizza that everyone in this country has, but elevating the craftsmanship of it and making it even easier to love. And what does that mean? How did you elevate it? Oh, well, we elevated it through our technique and our ingredients and our experience. Again, always about the experience. But I partnered with a chef that hails from the motherland of Pizza.
His name is Daniella, and he was born and raised in Naples, Italy. And found his way to the United States with $200 in his pocket and his aunty's sour dough starter, which is still, to this day, the base of all of our pizza crust. And so he uses this process that is very rooted in traditional technique and bread baking and uses this sort of fermentation process over a period of a couple of days. And to make this incredible crust that is rooted in Neapolitan but is not true Neapolitan because it's crisper. So one thing, one thing I know about Americans, we like a hand-held food and I've devoted my life to handhold foods, I guess by this point. But enables in Italy, you know, the Neapolitan pizza is kind of soupy in the middle.
They eat it with a fork and knife. And so what Daniela has done, which is so genius, is he's married sort of this old school technique with sort of what Americans loved and brought the two together and and and is using like Southern California produce on top of his pizza. He has reinvented a lot of he's sort of a pizza maverick.
So, for example, he has become known for putting traditional pasta dishes, converting those into pizzas. So he was the first one to come up with the cacio a Pepe pizza, which you'll see on a lot of menus across the country now. And I just had that.
I just had that. Really. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So so and so he's he's a true innovator which of course, is that in his pizza is what drew me to him. But yeah, so we are really taking something that people love and making it easier to love with great ingredients like artisanal technique and beautiful, beautiful ingredients. So is that really the difference here? The third wave, as I'm understanding it, it's taking that artisanal experience that every city, frankly has.
You know, whether L.A. I mean, I'm in LA now, stella barra kind of thing or New York Moreno, you know, Neapolitan style. You know, every city, most big cities have like a Neapolitan really good pizza place, but they're just in that city. You're you're. Exactly. Taking that and making a nationwide franchising of the way you've done with sprinkles or maybe not franchise. Are you doing a franchise model with this now? We're not doing a franchise model.
Not that we would say no to that forever, but for the time being, again, we're switching it's it's so new. I mean, it's not new because with two years of COVID, but it's kind of like you kind of have to take away those two years of Kobe because nobody was growing a restaurant everybody was just trying to stay afloat. So, yeah, I think right now it is about keeping that quality and just protecting protecting the product and the experience. But maybe there's a point in time where franchising does make sense. It sounds like the pizza, anything almost didn't happen because you had said in an interview in Hollywood Reporter that before tasting Danielle's pizza, you and your husband, who is also your business partner, were thinking about moving away from the food business entirely.
Why was that? And then what ultimately drew you back in? Was it the pizza? Silly us, silly us. Now, you know, it's it's funny because it's like a sickness. I mean, we just we love it. We can't stay away from it.
It was foolish words to say that we would not go back into the food world. We just were burnt out. I mean, it's you know, it's the food business is particularly in restaurants, and retail, where you're stopping.
And at a certain point, you know, at sprinkles, we were over so many time zones that there was never a moment during the day where somebody was not working in our bakery. Right. So it became a ton, literally a 24 hour a day job and fielding those phone calls from, you know, Phenix when you know, the oven wasn't working or whatever. And so just to be in it so intensely for such a long period of time, we just needed a break and so I think that's understandable that I was like, never again. And then sure enough, I meet Danielle at a party and I have one bite of his pizza, and he tells me his story and he says he's always wanted to have his own restaurant. And I'm like, could it? I mean, I couldn't stuff the words in fast enough and I found myself saying we should do that together.
But it was a good decision to me. Yeah. And, you know, it's thinking about the two different concepts you have cupcakes and pizza and you are hyper focusing on one food product and each concept's right. But, you know, cupcakes, you essentially pioneer that vertical of the of the restaurant shop or, you know, bakery what you want to call it.
Whereas Peet's has been around for thousands of years going back to Italy or maybe even, I don't know, at least 150 years. I think so. And cupcakes, because you were so successful, sprinkles. There were so many competitors popping up and it became sort of a fad right I mean, I maybe even today they're not as popular as they were when you were when you first opened. And there's been cronuts coming along. There's always a new right.
A new pastry fad comes along and but pizza is always been here and always will be here. Was that a consideration for you thinking, you know what, let's let's let's maybe try a food item that is certainly going to last for the ages here. Do it a little differently. Was there any was there any any thinking around, like the idea of food fads? So it's interesting that you say that because one of our thesis pieces in starting piece on a Charles and I would drive around Los Angeles, which, you know, if you live in L.A., you spend a lot of time driving around L.A.
and a lot of people don't open their eyes. Right. A lot of people are like just kind of tuned out or zoning out. But Charles and I are always looking around. And that's what we did when we first, you know, were scouting for locations with sprinkles and that's what we did when we were thinking about pizza on a one thing we noticed, you know, pizza restaurants seem to go out of business. It's amazing.
We would all just open your eyes next time you drive around, whatever your town is, and look how old most pizza restaurants are and they're not going anywhere. They are here to stay. And we were like, well, even if we fall flat on our face with this one, I think we'll still at least survive so now that we were setting the bar so high for us, what's with that line of reasoning? But yeah, I think there's definitely something to to creating and making food that people need to eat every day, right? I mean, Sprinkles was definitely a luxury. And certainly, you know, when we opened at the time, people were amazed at the price tag because those cupcakes we talked about that were at the supermarket, they were like $0.50 so when we opened our doors and we were charging $3, that was a big deal. People couldn't believe it.
That's what people talked about. Like when they, like, came in the store. Why are these cupcakes so expensive? It was a talking point. So really like having to put some education behind why that is.
And I think that's what we're doing with pizza, too, to your point. Yes, certainly pizza is nothing new, but the way that we're doing it, which is sort of this this neon Neapolitan style, like bringing this tradition, great tradition from Italy and marrying it with sort of this modern sensibility is, in my mind, something new and and yeah, there are even has to be education around the way we do pizza sometimes. And we are seeing a lot of proliferation.
I mean, just take the cutaway Pepe, for example, like that didn't exist before Daniel started making his version. And so but this time we're we're on to it. This time you know, we're ready because any time anything is really successful, there are bound to be people who are jumping right on board and so velocity, you know, speed is key. And so we are really in, in growth mode right now with beats on it. So bias for action and speed, you got a good idea. Go out and do it. That's great.
And, you know, don't let we're of course, like perfectionists, all of that. But don't let perfect be the enemy of done right. And I think with sprinkles, we really took our time and almost to a fault because you know, often we find ourselves moving into a market where we weren't the first movers anymore.
Even though we were the ultimate first movers, we'd come into a market you know, where somebody else had done something very similar to us and and customers would come in and say, oh, you guys are just like the place down the street. And it drove us bonkers. Right? Because we're like, no, no, no. They're like us. But it doesn't matter because, you know, if you're not the first experience that someone's had, they they don't necessarily know you were the first ones. Yeah. So I think speed is is definitely key.
So, Candace, you said that you're always sort of looking around looking for trends looking at what people have an appetite for. And now you can apply this to see and to which is a venture fund that you launched. It's a consumer focused venture fund helping out other companies who are trying to grow. What was the impetus behind this and what is your your mission with Santa? Well, I love to start companies. I'm addicted to starting companies, but I there's only so many hours in the day. And so I think with the new ventures it's been really a great way for me to feel like I'm part of something without having to always be so operationally involved.
And my mission really is to support female founders, underrepresented founders. And because they just it's harder for them. I'm sorry, but it just is it's harder for them to fight and to get capital.
It's harder for them to get people's attention. And, you know, like I they don't necessarily have the mentorship that that sort of the old school network or boys network does. So we we need all the help we can get and so I'm happy to be, you know, now in sort of a more mentorship role and supporting, you know, with my experience, but also with my checkbook.
What companies are you looking at? What companies are you most interested in investing in? I really like the early childhood space. I feel like it's a very underinvested space in general. And you know, there's people are really waking up to the fact that mothers and are really the backbone of our economy and we need to start treating them as such. And so I really like that space. And then, of course, obviously food you know, I, I have amassed a bit of knowledge in that industry, but I really like sort of the more like functional wellness space. I'm invested in a female founded company called Chromo Wellness that has created this incredible reset that is also very palatable.
You know, we've all done those resets or those cleanses where we're just like dying to get to the end of the thing because we can't like spoon one more, you know, like soup full bland spoon of soup in our mouth. But this is actually like it's incredibly delicious and it's sort of turning this diet culture on its head with the idea that you can feel nourished and feel good and be like infusing your body with superfood ingredients and also just like looking good at the end of it all. There's a balance.
I love I love your focus on underserved founders. I think that's super important. And we do talk to guests, you know, who are focused on that. And the more people who are using that as part of their mission, the better.
So we appreciate that. Candice. Thank you. Well, it's time for another fun little segment. Now it's time for Quiz This Casual, The Business Casual Quiz, and we'll see if. OK, these answers, these answers are more prescriptive.
We need to have actual we need to have like the correct answer here because those are the ones where anything goes. But now thunder, buckle down, OK? There are no consequences if you get them wrong. Don't worry, Candace. No, no, no. I see the fear on your face. I will take over the pizza on a chain if you if you OK. Oh, well. Would be a blessing for. Yeah, exactly.
I just want pizza. I'm so hungry. OK, so that was. An endless supply stream of pizza. So that is one of the main purpose, I would say. All right, today's quiz is all about cult favorite restaurants, cult favorite restaurants, some of which you've created.
Here we go. Kuma numero uno. And you do have Nora here to work with, OK? Nora could be a sounding board advice. Teammates work. Together. OK, we go. Which of the following bakeries is famous for their chocolate chip pancake flavor baked by Melissa Magnolia Bakery, Georgetown Cupcake or Milk Bar.
We famous for their what flavor? Chocolate chip pancake flavor do I say that properly. Chuck? Yeah, but of what? OK, of cupcake. Sorry. OK, give me the answers again. Which of the following bakery? OK, which of the following bakeries is famous for their choice? Which of the following bakeries is famous for their chocolate chip pancake flavor of cupcake ok. Baked by Melissa Magnolia Bakery Georgetown Cupcake or Milk Bar? I think it's baked by Melissa. That would mean how does.
I know it's not I know it's not milk bar. Where do you triangle the competitors? I know it's I don't think it's any of the others so I think by default it's baked by Melissa. I don't but I don't know about this flavor. I know about it.
I met Melissa before she started right when she started coming to their party, kind of serving them out. And I'll check out my it's baked by Melissa and there ooh tiny little cupcakes that was her thing. You have to differentiate, right? Candace came with the cupcake and then she said, let me shrink them down yes. Little pop able size.
So yeah. I can eat the whole box in the sitting. OK, nice job. Here we go. Q To which famous NYC pizzeria does Harry Styles frequent L.A.
history or Rubirosa Prince Street Pizza or Joe's Pizza? Oh, what were the first two? Landers three. I'm doing them in French, I guess. Or maybe it's Italian, I guess. Linda Street, I guess Italian. Linda Street. In this.
I think that's French. Rubirosa Prince Street Pizza or Joe's Pizza. And this is where he's been spotted eating. So, you know, maybe he's in all of these. I don't know the answer to this, but I'm going to guess Prince Street Pizza. Prince.
I don't know the answer. So we're going with it. Prince Rubirosa Rubirosa in Soho where I've eaten. It's very good. OK, good. Pink sauce, pizza. Yeah, I guess he's got it. He's got to be a little bit more. She-She yeah, no one spotted being spotted at rubirosa, but harry styles gets.
You heard it here. First scotch, then ask our guest final question. Daily meal named which of the following restaurants the best burrito in America. Tito's tacos, allen b's, loup a's, number two or burritos. La Palma I don't know any of these.
Any idea? Candies. These are tough. You give me the choices again. The only one I know is Tito's.
Well, maybe I should go with the other one. You know Tito's taco. I'm going to go with that. That's a hint. Soup is very does go.
With Tito's, because I'm going with my gut. Because God is where this all ends up. It is Tito's taco. People.
People two out of three ain't bad. Bad. And I think we have. Some amazing. Which we'll put most. See. That's the problem. I want it now. I don't want to. Well, we'll deliver.
Well, yes, John. Jonathan Gold disagreed. He did not agree with this, but but yes, Daily Mail named it top.
Wow, America. Nice job. Is that in L.A.? I should go there. Tito Tito's. Yes. Yeah, it's right in there. Yes. A friend of mine owns it. It's great. Got to get. Going.
And we got to go. OK, but another handheld food. Yes, next. Next on the up the list for you there to take over.
Cupcakes, pizza, burritos. Oh, my. No, I is you know, you know me. I'm not getting back into the food industry. Famous last for. Well, this convo has been delicious, Candace.
We're super hungry and we're super satisfied at the same time. So thanks for joining us on Business Casual. Thanks for having me. If you like what you saw and you like what you heard, you can listen to the entire episode of this podcast, business casual, anywhere you get your podcasts. And please go ahead and subscribe to the Morning Brew YouTube channel.
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