Being of service: When we volunteer or serve others less fortunate or taking care of the planet in some way…something that is outside of yourself, bigger than yourself…this expands our heart/love and gets us out of our own “stuff”
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Grace Ventura.
Grace brings a wealth of wisdom and business experience as a Holistic Health and Life Coach, Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Dancer, Artist and Entrepreneur for over 40 years. She has supported thousands of clients in healthy living through awareness of the Body/Mind connection as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. And finally, as a Mom of 6 amazing adults…ages 25–36, who were raised with the same holistic lifestyle that we all still happily thrive with today!
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Grace Ventura was born with a passion for wellness, a desire to help others heal and live healthy lives, and has decades of experience as a licensed massage therapist, yoga instructor and wellness coach.
When Grace was fighting a cold in the winter 2014, she was craving soup but too sick to cook something from scratch. She made it to the grocery store, but couldn’t find a vegetable soup that would fulfill her craving, and not fill her with preservatives, excess sodium or sugar. With that realization came the idea to create Beyond Broth.
Grace knew she wanted her broths to offer an everyday wellness boost AND help address people’s health concerns: everything from tummy troubles and lack of energy to illnesses. Working with two of her daughters, Anjaneya and Galadriel, both of whom are licensed massage therapists and herbalists, the qualified trio experimented with different vegetable and herb combinations until they found the perfect intersection of flavor and wellness with three flavors: Immune, Yummy Tummy and Vitality. All are vegan and nutrient-dense, and each variety provides a different wellness benefit:
My mission was to develop products that nourish you anytime, anywhere. Just add hot water and be nourished!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
In the beginning of my journey…I had a dream. I wanted to get in my van and travel cross country from New Hampshire and sell my vegan broths…to share and spread nourishing yummy health and wellness….kind of like spreading packets of love. That was and always has been my personal mission…to share light with the world where there is so much darkness, despair, depression…a loss of hope. Yes, it may sound grandiose but really it’s simply my hearts to desire to bring goodness and remind humanity of their own….through self care coaching, massage therapy, my family…. or whatever I have done.
Well, back to my story☺ I had a dream but it wasn’t quite time for such a journey as I didn’t have the broth yet. And I got to discover what it would take to actually produce it. And so I did.
2 years later, I launched Beyond Broth in Boulder Co. I created a website, launched on Amazon and would walk into stores and sell the broths. It was quite easy….the product hadn’t existed…and there was a need.
The first to market store was Alfalfas, then Lucky’s and about 20 other stores between the Rocky Mtn. region, Northern California and the East Coast. Things were rolling along quite well. So I decided it was time for that road trip.
So I packed my van with as much broth as I could fit, my kitchen, clothes, etc…and away I went for a 1 month trip around Colorado and New Mexico.
Have you guessed why I called it my Broth and Bathe Tour? I visited many hotsprings, hiked, met amazing folks, slept in my cozy van and did demos in all of the stores I had gotten into and opened many more accounts. It was so thrilling to be out in the world, on my own, exploring the magnificent Rocky Mountain region, camp and spread my packets of goodness! It truly was a magical journey and one of the most powerful highlights of my Beyond Broth adventure to date. Its what truly inspires me….to be with nature, supporting the people and planet. To take the time to respect, care for and remember my gratitude for what is most important in life.
The forests, mountains, rivers, desert and especially Hotsprings continue to be a source of my regeneration and deep self care.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
All along I have really been learning about how to communicate with our partners and employees as a Woman run biz. My background as a solopreneur and Mom has had offered me many opportunities…but not dealing with corporate environment where the stress levels are quite high. You know the quote ”the customer is always right”….well I have found more times than not, that just doesn’t apply when dealing with large corporations.
Instead I have learned that it is always best to communicate from a place of no blame, compassion and honesty while holding myself and others accountable but not being accusatory or making wrong….this gives others the space to also do the same and not get defensive. It’s not like anyone intentionally screws up…including myself. Being kind and compassionate while being responsible yields much better results rather than making wrong.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Wow there have truly been so many! It has touched me deeply how supported I have been since starting my journey. The first person to offer her support and guidance was Nancy Hirshberg, sister of Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stoneyfield Yogurt. I remember meeting Nancy in our hometown of Wolfeboro, NH at the cross-country ski trailhead. I shared my vegan broth idea with her and off we went into a long conversation of what it would take to create them. As a wellness professional in the service industry, I truly did not have a clue of the process. She ended up introducing me to Gary after I had moved to Boulder and launched the broths. At this point, Gary is one of my greatest supporters as an investor and on the Board of Directors. His masterful guidance from years of experience in the Natural Food Industry has afforded us the opportunity to explode the brand…as we are now diligently working on as Grace’s Goodness Organics.
I also would be negligent not to mention many others who have gone above and beyond to support my industry education and guidance in creating Beyond Broth including Eric Schnell, The Naturally Boulder Community, Steve Wangler of Good Crisp, Elliot Begoun, of TIG, Paul McClean from Alfalfas and Jeff Schmidgall of Bubbas Foods…and so many more. In my experience, the Natural Products Industry is one of the most all-inclusive industry’s I have come across. I am grateful and feel so blessed everyday.
Today, the incredible support continues with first and foremost our CEO, Sarah Bird….truly an angel with an incredible background in the Natural Food Industry for 30 years….but that is not the end of the story. Sarah is teaching me so much through her integrity, heart, direction, compassion, patience and communication skills. She is a guiding light who is helping GG grow, as she calls…the little engine that could☺
Our Board members…Gary Hirshberg, Elliot Begoun and Corrine Schindelar….truly an incredible team with so much wisdom, expertise and heart….all angels!
Behind the scenes, in operations, creative direction, social media, e-commerce, the warehouse/shipping team…so many that truly believe in the brand and our mission.
In addition, our partnership with Natural Grocers….I specifically want to call out Paul the GM at my hometown Boulder NG store; Whole Foods Market, Kroger and all of our Indy and Infra partners.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
As a Health/Wellness Coach, LMT and Yoga Teacher for over 35 years…I have supported my clients in Self Care…from a Wholistic point of view….truly learning to love their bodies through the way they consume everything from food, environment, people, communications, energy, etc…it all affects our insides.
The physiological, structural, psychological, environmental and psychic stresses we experience play a huge part in how we feel on a daily basis. There is a plethora of ways to take care of oneself…
There are so many diets, techniques, protocols, therapies, etc to utilize that it can be overwhelming and quite costly. As a practioner I absolutely understand this. And after years of supporting my thousands of people, I felt if there was 1 thing I could offer in addition to living with the values of love, kindness, compassion and truth towards oneself, others and our planet …I would say be in nature daily and feed your body simple, organic, plant-based food. Something that would be nourishing and yummy goodness….that felt like a hug from the insides while supporting wellness….and Beyond Broth was born.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
I feel that not only feeding our body, mind and spirits with good nutrition and values, the following are also essential:
1. Connect with Nature/ All of the elements …Daily.
A. Earth: There is a great term “Earthing” …take your shoes of and walk on the earth for 10 minutes. To me this is not only a way to connect to the planet, which we are intrinsically part of…. but to honor, respect and care for ourselves and the planet.
B. Air: Consciously remembering to breathe…especially when stressed.
C. Fire: Making fires or simply lighting a candle. Fire brings light and warmth
D. Water: Water is purifying, cleansing, relaxing…plus makes up 90% of our body. Be sure to drink enough daily! And of course, hot baths are so nourishing.
2. A Daily Gratitude practice: Being grateful for our lives moves mountains! You know when you felt stuck or triggered…. sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, take 10 deep breaths….and consider what you are grateful for.
3.Being of service: When we volunteer or serve others less fortunate or taking care of the planet in some way…something that is outside of yourself, bigger than yourself…this expands our heart/love and gets us out of our own “stuff”
4. Creativity: Accessing our imagination and wonder through music, art, dance, nature, etc. inspires innocence, play and freedom.
5. Quiet Time/Meditation: Experiencing a place of quiet, solitude and peace…. non-doing or being. This practice offers the best way to realize we don’t need to do something to understand our value as a whole and sacred being born as a divine human ….no one less or greater than every living thing on this planet…. connected to all life
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Hugging! Everyone should get at least 6 hugs/day
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
Its funny, they told me and I still went on. I just didn’t know how I would do it and relied on the amazing guidance and support and faith in what I was doing…it worked!
But for the interest of what I was told, here are a few:
- You will need a LOT of dollars
- You will need amazing partners…and a back up plan in case those partners don’t work out
- You need to not only have amazing packaging at a fair price…but of course an amazing product!
- You may go through several co-packers before you get the right partners.
- Don’t be attached to my formulas being the be all end all…give the consumer what they want while sticking to my values of quality and integrity
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Environmental Changes: Basically, if we do not have a planet to live on because of pollution, chemical toxicity, loss of top soil to grow food, clean water to drink, clean air to breathe…we will have nothing.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Instagram, LI, FB
Thank you for these fantastic insights!