…Frequent date nights and girl’s nights with your favorite people. Essential for sanity, positive wellbeing and belly laughs. And sometimes you get to miss homework time with the kids : )
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chloe Epstein, Co-Founder and President of Chloe’s. When Chloe Epstein became pregnant with her first child she realized the need for a frozen treat that satisfied her sweet tooth without all the artificial ingredients, colors, and flavorings. After leaving her job as a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, she founded Chloe’s and began creating frozen treats using just fruit, water, and cane sugar.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
My backstory is far from traditional. I took many different paths to get to Chloe’s. I graduated from Tufts University in 1996, worked at Miramax Films before going to Law School, and upon graduation from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, I went straight to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office where I practiced as an Assistant District Attorney. The consistent piece throughout my life (and career changes) was my unwavering addiction to sweets. My husband appropriately proposed in a candy store, and I consistently satiated my sweet tooth with frozen yogurt convincing myself it was the “healthy” way to indulge. I was fully addicted. When I started to think about getting pregnant and having children, I conceded that I had to kick the Fro Yo habit. I couldn’t feel good about feeding my future children and myself artificial junk and so I was inspired to come up with a deliciously clean alternative.
My husband’s and my closest friend, Michael Sloan, had kept his freezer stocked with over-ripened bananas from his triathlon days and we started experimenting with them in every appliance in the kitchen. When we graduated to the industrial soft serve machines, we realized we could get the desired consistency and taste using only fruit, water and cane sugar. That’s it! We opened our first store in 2010 serving a delicious, clean alternative to the artificial ingredients of Fro-Yo and the dairy of ice cream. We soon translated our fruit forward recipe into Ice Pops, which we sold first into food service and then into supermarkets. Our pops are the focus of our business and are now available in over 13,000 markets across the country in 14 varieties; including a line of dairy free dark chocolate dipped pops and a selection of Nickelodeon kids pops.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
Daily workout — in whatever forms that feels right for you. Could be yoga or stretching or running 10 miles but the practice of setting aside time for yourself to move keeps you sane along with all the other obvious benefits.
Frequent date nights and girl’s nights with your favorite people. Essential for sanity, positive wellbeing and belly laughs. And sometimes you get to miss homework time with the kids : )
Chloe’s Treat:) Works every time
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
In the early days, we took our mix (fruit, water and cane sugar) and put it in a pop mold and decided to see what would happen. We brought a few pop samples to a TV show taping and left the extra pops in our freestanding freezer in our store. Within a day, a NYC based camp came into the shop and ordered 5,000 pops. We were in the pop business! I’d say it was an interesting turn of events for us.
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?
Our stint with a food truck turned out to be a real mistake, which we could have done without despite lessons learned. We wanted to feed the demand for Chloe’s in the Hamptons in Long Island and were looking for something that would entail less of an investment of our money, time, and resources than a seasonal pop-up, which we had done in the past. The truck turned into quite the opposite and demanded so much from us in every way. It was a real distraction for the business. The truck was popular and gorgeous and people still ask for it today, but we learned with a small start-up company, you need to stay focused and avoid tempting distractions that can quickly become all consuming.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
We are making better-for-you snacks and treats more accessible to more people. We are enabling people to make better snacking choices and feel great about the foods they are feeding their families. We are working hard to get our pops in more schools, camps and kids programs across the country. The constant feedback we get from consumers who appreciate the alternative to the ice cream truck or a school’s sugary offering is very real and inspires us to keep it up.
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?
Chobani is our brand hero because their mission, “Better Food for More People” inspires us! Chobani disrupted the $8B+ yogurt category with a better for you option. They have built an incredible community and trust with their consumers that we have aspired to achieve since day one. Being a part of the Chobani Food Incubator was truly invaluable for us. From the basic learnings, to the meaningful contacts, to the everyday keen insights, we are forever grateful for the experience and the lasting relationships we made as a part of the program.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to see us all demanding better food options. There are so many brands working tirelessly to make eating clean more enjoyable and more accessible. If we all take advantage of the mindful, delicious options, together, we can eliminate the other garbage.
What are your “3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
I don’t think there is anything anyone can tell you to prepare you for what lies ahead when starting a business. Just be committed and courageous.
If you could take one well known person to brunch, who would it be?
My admiration tends to skew toward Momprenuers who are pursuing their passions while juggling Momhood such as Sarah Blakley and Eva Chen who seem to genuinely love what they do and still prioritize family. However, there are countless women I come across daily, from friends to colleagues, whose work inspires and motivates me!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!