As a long-time vegetarian, Miyoko Schinner knew that eating a plant-based vegan diet was better for the environment, but she was finding it nearly impossible to give up one food item: cheese. So, over the years, she began tinkering with creating vegan cheeses made out of cashews and in 2012 ended up literally writing the book on how to make vegan cheeses. A couple of years later, after encouragement from others in the industry, she ended up launching a vegan cheese company: Miyoko’s Creamery. At first, she imagined the company would remain small, but the market had other ideas with the demand for delicious vegan cheese outpacing her ability to make it. Fast forward five years and Miyoko’s cheese is sold in more than 12,000 stores nationwide and the company is on track to hit over $100 million in sales in the coming years. On this episode, I sat down with Schinner to talk playing to your strengths, the challenges that come with tons of demand for your product, and what to do when you realize your own leadership is getting in the way of your company’s success.
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