BOULDER — Former Boulderite Sarah Bird drinks a sipping broth every day not because she works for Grace’s Goodness Organics but because she loves the simplicity, taste and nutrition the organic drink offers.
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Bird, who enjoys cooking and sharing what she makes with friends and family, doesn’t use Grace’s Goodness Broth as a seasoning in her recipes but prefers to drink it straight up as a solo venture.
“It’s a moment to pause and catch my breath. It’s less of a shared experience and more of a quiet moment,” said Bird, chief executive officer of Grace’s Goodness Organics in Boulder and a San Francisco Bay area resident. “It’s just a delicious, efficient way to get your nourishment in your diet. … You know you’re doing something good for yourself.”
Bird joined Grace’s Goodness Organics in fall 2019, bringing with her an extensive background in natural products and marketing, including her roles as CEO of Bhakti Chai, the top selling chai in the natural market, and chief marketing officer of Annie’s, Inc., an organic food company now owned by General Mills.
Grace’s Goodness sells a certified organic, plant-based sipping broth full of nourishment that’s an alternative to coffee or tea for a late morning or afternoon pick-me-up, Bird said.
The health benefits are many, such as helping with immunity, providing a good source of vitamins C and A, serving as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and helping with weight management. The selections include Better Belly focused on gut health, Immune to improve immunity, and Vitality for an energy boost, plus a variety pack with all three flavors.
“All you need is a cup of hot water and a mug, and you got this nourishing broth,” Bird said. “It’s an alternative way to proactively stay well, to be well.”
The ingredients are organic and plant-based and include vegetables, wellness herbs, nutritional yeast and MCT (medium chain triglyceride) powder, a derivative of coconut oil that adds a mouth feel. The ingredient label is clean with few ingredients, low sodium content and no sugar, soy or chemicals.
“It’s just simple, really good ingredients that align with what consumers expect in a product,” Bird said.
Grace Ventura founded what was originally called Grace’s Good Food LLC, with a product line called Beyond Broth in 2016 with the goal of helping people be nourished anywhere anytime. With Bird’s help, the company did a brand refresh in January, changing the name to Grace’s Goodness Organics to allow the brand to extend categories beyond broth. The company also contemporized the packaging and improved the recipes, while staying true to Ventura’s founding principles of simple organic ingredients and convenient wellness.
“(Bird) has really afforded us the opportunity with all of her years of experience and passion and knowhow to really scale the business,” Ventura said, adding that Bird has expertise in and understanding of the industry and the product. “She loves the brand and is such an avid supporter of good wellness brands out there, national brands that are trying to make a difference in the world and make a difference in people’s lives. She has such dedication and an incredible work ethic, I feel like she’s a rock. She really understands how to run a business and is someone who could roll up her sleeves to do whatever it takes.”
Ventura originally sold her broths through retail outlets across the nation with Colorado her largest market, including locally at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and King Soopers. Bird saw that the broths are well suited for ecommerce, since the packets can easily be delivered directly to consumers. Adding online sales through the business’s website, as well as Amazon, also was optimal during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers turned to the internet to make their purchases.
“Grace is all about helping people manage their wellness,” said Bird, who likes to work for mission-driven companies. “The company checked off a lot of boxes for me in terms of its mission and the quality of what we offer and what we’re focused on. … It’s a small company still, but how fun it will be to get on the ground floor and help scale this business.”
In fact, Bird loves building brands and helping businesses grow, she said.
“I enjoy understanding what consumers need and want and then translating that product into something that delivers on that and delights them,” Bird said, adding that part of brand building is building a relationship with the customer so that they have a connection with the product and what it’s about. “I make sure every consumer interaction with the product is wonderful. That’s what marketing is.”
Bird looks at the strengths and attributes of a brand and how it benefits the consumer, then structures a business and marketing strategy around that brand, plus develops its story, said Mark Osborne, vice president of operations for Little Secrets LLC in Boulder and a former coworker with Bird at Annie’s and Bhakti.
“She’s extremely detail-oriented. … You didn’t leave a meeting not knowing the next step,” Osborne said. “She is very button-down. There aren’t loose strings with Sarah. … She has the ability to get everybody on board.”
Osborne has tremendous respect for the work Bird does and would walk on coals for her, he said.
“I find her to be delightful to work with. I really enjoy her whole business acumen, how she presents herself and treats other people,” Osborne said.
Bird served as CEO of Bhakti from summer 2016 to fall 2019 (when she lived in Boulder) to help scale the business. She served as CMO of Annie’s from 1999 to 2014 — during this time, she helped expand the brand from mac and cheese to products in 11 categories before its General Mills acquisition in 2014.
“It was a joy to work on the brand to see it evolve into a powerhouse brand,” Bird said.
Bird also worked as chief sales and marketing officer at Three Twins Organic Ice Cream from 2015 to 2016 and as chief commercial officer at Ecologic, a sustainable packaging company, from 2014 to 2015.
“That’s what I’m doing at Grace’s Good Food is helping Grace, the founder, scale the business,” Bird said. “I love the organic space, the quality in terms of the ingredients, the supply chain and the fact it’s good for the earth.”