Name: Chloe Epstein
Location: New York, NY
Education: B.A. from Tufts University and JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Job title: Co-Founder of The Soft Serve Fruit Co.
What she does: Do you know what Jake Gyllenhaal’s favorite sweet is? Chloe Epstein does, and it’s because the health conscious Hollywood heartthrob is a regular at her food allergen-free soft serve shop. Recognizing the demand for healthy yet delicious desserts, Chloe started Soft Serve Fruit Co. in 2010, and ever since, business has been booming. Attracting celebs and non-celebs alike, Chloe’s shop is making its mark on New York’s ultra competitive health and food scenes.
How she got her gig: A former lawyer, Chloe wanted to create sweet treats that everyone could enjoy guilt free. Chloe’s obsession with health and sweets –two things that are usually mutually exclusive – inspired the creation of The Soft Serve Fruit Co. “I had many ‘sweet’ related ideas in the past but none felt right because they were missing the healthful component,” says Chloe. “We distinguished ourselves by creating something dairy free, gluten free, fat free, and allergen free in a time when food sensitivities are so prevalent. I guess this job is a result of a combination of aggressively looking for it and it all falling into place at the right time.”
The new-age Mister Softee: Running a growing business is never easy. Chloe typically focuses on the marketing, PR and product development aspects of the company. She’s succeeded in opening two thriving locations as well as a pop up shop in the Hamptons during the summertime. She helps host offsite events and even launched a Soft Serve Fruit Food cart so she could meet her company’s ever-growing customer demand.
Guilt-free goodies: While the Soft Serve Co. is absolutely delicious, it’s also making strides in being uniquely health conscious. “Hearing from a severely allergic child that this is the ONLY food, other than his liquid drinks, that he can eat without getting sick has been very rewarding,” says Chloe.
Age is just a number: Some may say the secret to success is starting while you’re young, but Chloe knows that the opposite can be true. “Starting a business later in life allows you to benefit from the success and experiences of many different life relationships,” says Chloe. “Everyone is so willing to offer advice and insight, it’s fabulous.”
Day in the life: Flexibility is what makes this mom-preneur so successful. “Most mornings I get the kids to their different schools, workout, have a few meetings or calls, either at home, in office or at the stores, take a kid to an activity, work a little more at home, embark on dinner and bedtime for kids, often attend a work related event or work at home until sleep prevails,” says Chloe. Phew – did you get that?
De-stress: Didn’t you know that stressed spelled backwards is desserts? Besides indulging in some of her own soft serve and other sweets, Chloe alleviates stress with a little help from her family. “When I think about my kids, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face and put everything in perspective,” says Chloe.
Stick to your values: It can be tempting to make compromises on many things, including cost, quality, or giving in to trendy ideas that deviate from your philosophy. Chloe has learned that if you want to be trusted, you’ve got to make decisions that keep your core values in mind.
This job’s for you if: you have great instincts and confidence with a dose of humility and open mindedness. “There is always something to learn,” says Chloe.
What’s your story?: “There should be a story associated with everything you serve. It makes the entire package more personal, honest and irresistible. You need to love, trust and feel good about every aspect of the entire experience,” says Chloe. “Every morsel counts.”