Big Tech to Founder of Foodom with Reneta Jenik | Ep #10

June 14, 2022

  Reneta Jenik built a successful career in big tech working for companies like Intel and Sandisk before the entrepreneur bug bit her and she set out to build her own startup. Reneta is now the founder of Foodom, where she pairs families with personal chefs to bring healthier eating and a greener world. Reneta’s […]

Volunteer your way into a second act
Now Trending:

The Second Act Success Career Blog features articles to help inspire you as you navigate your career journey. Plus, you'll find show notes from podcast guests who have shared second act success stories. My hope is that these quick reads will offer advice and comfort knowing you are not alone on your path towards second act success. xo - Shannon


Let's Connect!

Must Read Career Advice
Is Your Side Hustle Ready for full time?


Reneta Jenik

Reneta Jenik, Founder of Foodom

Reneta Jenik built a successful career in big tech working for companies like Intel and Sandisk before the entrepreneur bug bit her and she set out to build her own startup. Reneta is now the founder of Foodom, where she pairs families with personal chefs to bring healthier eating and a greener world. Reneta’s mission is to give families more together time, fresher meal options, and less food waste. She shares the steps she took to form Foodom as a female founder, and why she is her happiest she’s ever been. Listen to our interview with Reneta Jenik on the Second Act Success Podcast.

CONNECT with Reneta Jenik:

Twitter – @renetajenik

Instagram – @myfoodom

Foodom – Myfoodom.com

Join the waitlist to ask Foodom to service your area – SIGN UP


01:36 – Growing up

02:17 – Landing a job in technology

02:54 – Learning about entrepreneurship from her roles 

03:54 – First thought that maybe she could start her own business

04:41 – Struggling with feeding her family nutritious foods, looking for a personal chef.

06:26 – Money spent on food waste

07:08 – Her dad was the cook of the house growing up, so she never learned to cook. 

08:41 – Her children eat the food the personal chef cooks

09:26 – The idea for Foodom is born

10:25 – What is Foodom?

12:00 – She wants to free parents from the guilt around cooking for the family

13:02 – Her husband owns his own business as well. 

14:23 – Leaving her job and starting Foodom

15:32 – Joining a co-working space and finding people to lean on during entrepreneurship 

16:32 – Bootstrapping the business at first

17:38 – The pros of joining a program to help you learn faster. 

19:08 – Helping others and networking

20:39 – The role of a woman founder

21:53 – Networking

22:42 – Saving money before leaving her job and the beginning of the business

24:56 – Deciding the name for Foodom

25:21 – Growing Foodom and how it works

28:32 – Areas that Foodom services

30:18 – Five Fast Qs of the Week

32:51 – Connect with Reneta

Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 -Episode #10 - From Big Tech to Founder of Foodom
Guest: Reneta Jenik
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Shannon: Have you ever been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug? Today's guest was leading a fantastic career in big tech before she was bitten by the bug and sought out to create her own food empire. She is now changing the world one meal at a time.

Are you at a crossroads in your career or in life? Well, don't worry because life's next chapter is waiting. This is the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host Shannon Russell.

I'm a television producer, turned boy mom, turned business owner, podcaster, and career coach. If you are looking to start a new career or begin a fresh chapter in life, then get ready to be inspired with stories of women who have done just that. We will share advice and offer steps you can take to help figure out what your true calling in life really is. It is time to shine. So let's turn the page and get started. Welcome to Second Act Success.[00:01:00]

Reneta Jenik was born in Ukraine, moved to Israel and ventured into the tech world in Silicon Valley, working for giants like Intel and SanDisk. Now she is the founder of Foodom. A personal chef meal service that is making the world healthier and happier. This is Reneta Jenik, and her Second Act Success story.

Hello, Reneta. Thank you so much for being here today.

[00:01:29] Reneta: so excited to be here with you.

[00:01:30] Shannon: Let's start from the beginning. Tell me about your journey from where you started to where you are now?

[00:01:36] Reneta: I was born in Ukraine and my family immigrated from Ukraine to Israel. I actually started in a high school technology type of education. So I studied computer science and electronics and physics. I, uh, pursued psychology, did my first degree in social science. Volunteered as part of my studies in two different mental hospitals and decided that that wasn't the right path for me. So I switched to [00:02:00] business and then I did my MBA, with finance and entrepreneurship. , and worked in telecommunication companies in Israel. I started as a treasurer in one of them. And I managed a Collection Department then I switched up to that to marketing and to the business world. And after a few years of journey, I landed at SanDisk. I worked as a marketing manager. Later on, I moved to the U.S. With SanDisk. Then I switched to Intel and at Intel I managed product marketing managing a bunch of engineers, and then in my last last role in tech, was managing AI machine learning technology. I was a Director in the Product Group for most of the PCs in the world, which was amazing. It was my dream job with an incredible team, high-pay, so much fun.

[00:02:47] Shannon: A lot of different roles in big tech. Must've been really exciting and interesting for you.

[00:02:53] Reneta: I'm an entrepreneur, even when I was in big companies I was there in the startup [00:03:00] type of business, which is bringing AI to laptops. It was new where we're trying to figure out what are the use cases, how we help all the PC OEMs adopt more of the AI hardware so it was super fun because it's a huge market. I was there from the very beginning when the market was tiny and I was there as the market grew through elasticity of like price and supply demand, we grew the market. And I saw how you take a business from idea to billions of dollars. So all this learning, I'm now applying to a different commodity, food.

[00:03:38] Shannon: Who would've thought, right? You're back there at your desk and you're in the big office and working on AI, and then you get a bug to start your own startup to create your own business. How did the bug, the startup bug entrepreneur bug really get you?

[00:03:54] Reneta: I started thinking, what if I can take all this experience that I have, and I can build something, but the way [00:04:00] I think will be helpful and can help grow, you know, something new. That was, I think the seeds that were planted of like maybe, maybe it's time for me to do something on my own. I did work in a startup in my early twenties, an amazing company that was like Amazon in Israel. There were a few multimedia companies that sold stuff online. And I worked for the biggest one c alled Mitos.

[00:04:24] Shannon: You got to see the startup, aspects of all the different pieces of a business and trying to get it to succeed. That's that's a good education right there.

[00:04:32] Reneta: Absolutely. Throughout my career in corporate, I found myself in startups, in big organizations with a lot of support and funding. So the seed was in there. One day I wasn't as struggling with nutrition from my family. I was looking for healthy meals for my family because we got tired of eating the same food every day. And we ended up eating a lot out and a lot of food was thrown away because we didn't have time to cook. Eventually I decided that I'll just find a [00:05:00] personal chef that will come and cook for us. My husband thought that that was crazy because we're not rich. We're just normal people. I told him, let me take care of this. And I was lucky to find a young chef that came to our home for a hundred to $150 per week and just changed our life. I would walk home and pinch myself. Because I just did not believe that this happening. She left us to go to India for a month and a half. And our household collapsed. So, I decided that, I want to have a lot of chefs that are going to be available to also my friends that were starting to ask me to get her contact information. So we will never get stuck again, like this.

[00:05:38] Shannon: What were you finding? Were you finding that everyone was getting healthier, more in shape?

[00:05:43] Reneta: just coming home to a clean kitchen and smelling good, like walk in at 7:00 PM and food is done. Before that, I would have to start figuring things out, start chopping stuff. And then you talk to your kids and family through your shoulder [00:06:00] because your face is in the sink, and then scrubbing dishes afterwards. I would finish my evening at like 11:00 PM or 12 crashed on the sofa. And now here I come home, done, everything is done. It's just blew my mind. and Healthy food is very important to me. All I wanted was just, just simple food that I know all the ingredients, and that was huge for myself and for my family.

Before Foodom, I would spend around $800 per week on food because we were very inefficient and throw away hundreds of dollars. Now we're spending about $400. And zero food waste. We're not throwing away anything. When the chef does the groceries, they have no impulse buying and they buy only what they want. And then I go to the grocery store. It's double. So just by that, I reduced my expenses by half. I don't waste food and multiply me by a million people and boom, [00:07:00] the food waste in the U S is down by 10%.

[00:07:03] Shannon: And the money savings and healthy eating.

Were you a big cook growing up?

[00:07:08] Reneta: That's a very good question. my family immigrated from Ukraine to Israel. Many years ago, My mom passed away a few years shortly after we moved to Israel and my dad, stayed alone with two young girls and he took over the cooking. He was the king of the kitchen and he left me to handle the business stuff because he didn't speak a good Hebrew didn't read and write. So I took care of the bills and all the official things. And, the kitchen was this kingdom. And as I grew up, I, it's more fun for me to do the business side in particular finances then to cook. I'm not a good cook. I had my five dishes that know how to prepare Eventually my daughter said that she has PTSD for my chicken and broccoli and just became vegetarian.

[00:07:54] Shannon: That is not good Your dad still cook now? Is he still a [00:08:00] master of the kitchen?

[00:08:01] Reneta: My dad is actually he's 91 he's a Holocaust survivor. So he's, uh, yeah, he went through many, many things in his life and independence was very, very important to him until about a year and a half ago, He fell in the hallway and broke his hip and basically lost his independence. But until then he let himself go buy the groceries and cooked all the way to 90. When I told them about my business, he was laughing so hard. He's like, I'm not surprised you're doing this.

[00:08:30] Shannon: he must be so proud of you though. This is your way to get food into your life now you're the king of this one or the queen of this wonderful business.

Do you have little kids? It's hard to get them to eat healthy.

[00:08:41] Reneta: So the kids eat everything, what we did, we allowed them to participate. Each one chose a dish that everybody can share. So they feel they own it. And then when the chef cooks, they also, if the kids are around, they would ask, you know, what are you doing? And they will try. So they feel like they're part of the process and they're included.[00:09:00] We have nuggets, right. But they're healthy nuggets. They're still delicious. They're just healty.

[00:09:04] Shannon: Right. They're not what you buy in the frozen food section. So you have this idea, you have your chef, your chef leaves for India, and you're back at square one having to go back to your old lifestyle. What was next?

[00:09:18] Reneta: She came back after like the month and a half world torture. It was complete chaos and craziness that just made us think about this more. After she came back and I remember walking in the Intel parking lot with a controller from my group, he was saying, ah, you know, oh my gosh, I need to figure out dinner today. And I'm like, oh, I have a chef cooking in my kitchen. I was like, what? After like a bit of conversation, he's like we should have a start-up about this. I think you're onto something here. The thought was to do it where the chefs cook their own home and then deliver the food. But then I saw the regulations around it and decided that it's not something that, I think can scale and be good for the [00:10:00] chefs. And my goal is to make it, a good business for the chefs and also help everyone, the chefs and the customers. So I chose a path that will be free of limitations for both sides. And that's the name Foodom as well? Food freedom, I believe in freedom.

[00:10:15] Shannon: Oh, I didn't realize that that's what it stood for. That's that's brilliant.

[00:10:19] Reneta: How many times did you find yourself asking it? 6:00 PM. The dreaded question what's for dinner?

[00:10:24] Shannon: so many times.

[00:10:25] Reneta: So what we're doing, we're basically connecting local vetted chefs and busy parents. So the chefs could meal prep one or two times a week in the family's kitchen and starting at a hundred dollars per week. Our mission is to create many new jobs for local chefs. And turn this question into something that, you know, will bring smiles to your face. You think what's for dinner, it will be like smile and happiness and peacefulness and to do it in every household. And then there are other rinks around that which bring, brings health and [00:11:00] longevity. I think I did dream about having a private chef right. You think it's not affordable, so I'm making it affordable

[00:11:07] Shannon: You are, and it is that experience too, because a meal prep kit that gets delivered, you still have to do the work this is like a luxury, like you said earlier, I'm not rich, but I got a personal chef to make it a happier place for you at the end of a long day. So it is about that service that's affordable.

[00:11:24] Reneta: I think about this, you don't have any people, outsource services, some outsource their housecleaning, some outsource the gardening. It's hard to do everything on our own. And when You're busy and you're working so you come home, you have two hours, what do you do this two hours? Do you have to take care of yourself and, you know, communicate with your family, looking in their eyes, or do you save on outsourcing and do things yourself? I'm a big believer in outsourcing. I can outsource cooking, and then I can go on a walk, before or after dinner with my [00:12:00] husband and my kids.

one of the things that Actually I wanted to bring up is the guilt that many mothers have around feeding their family. I had this guilt for a long time, not being such a good person in our cooking wise. By having a chef, what it did, it freed me from the guilt because I am still providing food for my family. I just don't need to treat myself. And then after the chef cooks, I can still do my salad and feel good. And the sprinkle some flour in my face. And I'm like, Ooh,

[00:12:27] Shannon: No one has to know it was the chef.

[00:12:34] Reneta: The chef sneaks out the back door. Figuring things out. The important thing is just to be happy and free yourself from the guilt and, you know, to the next generation. Do we want to give them happiness or guilt?

[00:12:46] Shannon: Happiness for sure. and then Making the food and having the kids say they don't want to eat it. It's always a cycle with us moms, about the guilt over food. So you're, you're giving us a whole nother option and I'm so excited for it.

Take me to the beginning how did you [00:13:00] decide yes i'm going to start this company

[00:13:02] Reneta: it's not easy and my husband has his own business too. He has an auto shop in Palo Alto. We used to live in the bay area and within Intel relocated us to the Folsom area, which is near Sacramento, sits about two hours away from the bay area. So he sold this job there and opened a new one in our area completely from scratch. So he started first and, , he did phenomenally well this is when we started with the chef because he was working hard and I don't cook. So we had to figure out a solution. And then I saw how he built his business and it gave me a lot of inspiration and strength.

[00:13:40] Shannon: Just to know that he went through it, he saw that he could succeed.

[00:13:43] Reneta: That's what I learned from him. How do you create the business? How do you market your business? He's a phenomenal marketeer and his customer support is top-notch, eh, the business, the name of his business is True Care because he truly cares and he walks the talk and [00:14:00] he teaches me all of this things all the time, learning from cars and I'm applying getting food.

[00:14:06] Shannon: That's so nice that you both have your own, your own businesses, that you're following your own paths and you're learning from each other. So when you're starting, you have to get your LLC, you have to make your logo. You have to make your website. There's so many little pieces. So if you're still working in corporate where you're trying to do this at the same time?

[00:14:23] Reneta: First of all, I disclosed that I'm researching about this space and I got permission from legal and HR. And then my manager, of course, and then a, I asked for a leave of absense because they wanted to test just to have like a few customers book and see how it goes. So I got approval for that. And then I hit, and wall because I don't write code. So it took me a few good months to figure out how to test it with no code. And I built like this little Frankenstein solution with Weebly website, PayPal invoices, and another platform that had all the recipes and created the shopping list. It took me like four hours to process [00:15:00] one order. So every time I would get an order, I would be yes. And then crying. Now, now I need four hours to process.

[00:15:06] Shannon: Oh,

[00:15:07] Reneta: So Yeah. about after a hundred orders like that, I decided That's it. Now I'm automating the whole process because it was just impossible to keep on doing it manually. At that time, my boss already asked me to either come back or he needed my recommendation to hire. So I decided not to. that was at the end of 2019.

[00:15:28] Shannon: Were you a hundred percent in, or that must've been hard?

[00:15:32] Reneta: I, was a hundred percent in and what I did, actually, that was really helpful whenever you do something on your own, it's very lonely and working in corporate, having like a team and like somebody people around you, if you do this transition right, it will change the trajectory of things. So I actually joined a coworking space called The Atrium in Sacramento with a good friend of mine, Shira Lane. And I met there, Deborah and Sharon, other great friends and amazing, supportive community of [00:16:00] creators and artists, but I'm coming from a, you know, Intel technology analytical data. They surrounded me with love and support I left home. I went there and I, I had people, I had the team, I have crew, you know, to work with each one was working on their own businesses. But until today A Debra is a dear friend and advisor and helps me. Very like good friends with stayed friends since then so that was like the very first, first, you know, step outside of corporates into an incredible, you know, coworking place and community.

The first thing that I decided I bootstrapped and invested in writing the code, took me a long time to find the right person to work with. Now, this person is our CTO. We were working together for a few years and he gave me a quote I told him what I want to do. And he's like, oh yeah, eight thousand dollars. I ended up investing 75,000 because it just much more complex than that. Obviously we invested since then much, much more on the software side, but[00:17:00] it was really funny. We laugh about this. Say today, $8,000.

[00:17:05] Shannon: I, that would be amazing,

[00:17:06] Reneta: yeah. He's, He's an incredible developer and passionate person sharp and he give us a heart and soul to what he does. And we have other team members that joined us as we go. Some, one of them is a chef that started as cooking on the platform and now joined us. And she's incredible, incredible person. So we have other people that joined us in some of us are working together this far, like over two years now.

[00:17:32] Shannon: Wow.

[00:17:33] Reneta: it's really exciting, but in the beginning, I was alone and figuring out my way. So I think that was very helpful to have this community. Another thing that was really helpful is joined accelerators. I joined and the Fourth Wave Accelerator in Sacramento area. It's a female accelerator. I've met other female founders. Several of my, you know, very close at their friends are from there they helped me. I said, okay, I need [00:18:00] to fundraise. How do I do that? How do you fundraise? Oh my gosh, That's a whole beast by itself. I raised so far almost $400,000. And step-by-step getting, thank you. Thank you.

[00:18:15] Shannon: If you didn't have that community to even ask those questions, you'd be just spending so much time Googling and researching and trying to figure it out on your own and what a waste. Yeah. So having people to turn to, wow,

[00:18:28] Reneta: I strongly suggested to just join any program that works well. You know, I I've been to a few and every time I finished one, I'm looking for the next one because it just helps me as I go until I have like a more robust team. Early on, I was alone and I was just by myself. Now I have a team, I'll have a management team. I joined an amazing accelerator called a Growth Factory from Sacramento area too, which helped me get from founder to CEO. And I learned over there also how to fundraise properly, just from seeing other founders successful, what [00:19:00] works for them.

[00:19:01] Shannon: Now if you are in these groups, you can share what you've learned, you know,

[00:19:05] Reneta: Oh yeah.

[00:19:05] Shannon: the next person. That's so gratifying too I bet.

[00:19:08] Reneta: I'm happy to help anyone, anyone that has a dream and idea that passion. I have things that I've just learned along the way that I can answer, like with confidence. Yes. Do it. No, don't do it. what I learned, it's very, very interesting women when they're fundraising and they're selling in general because fundraising is a one big sales event and you keep on selling, you know, all your life as a founder. So what I learned is that humble and modest. It doesn't work in sales. I learned to be in corporate, always under commit and over deliver. I got this feedback also from investors and founders, investors discount, whatever you say by 20%, approximately. If you start at 70%, they're going to look at you at 50% and now you'll have other founders they come with 150% because they're cocky and arrogant. Guess who gets the money. The confident one at [00:20:00] 150. Even when I heard that I did not understand what am I doing wrong? So I had a few male friends fix my words, you need a mirror to know what you're doing wrong. So that was incredible. That was, was On Deck Friends. I also used Lunch Club to meet more entrepreneurs one of them invested in Foodom.

[00:20:19] Shannon: Oh, wow.

[00:20:20] Reneta: I'm still like learning how to come across confident and feel comfortable being confident.

[00:20:28] Shannon: Do you feel it's more of a women men thing as far as coming confident, aggressive to meetings like that or do more women come like you said, humble and,

[00:20:39] Reneta: yeah. Just call and get aggressive. It's also like women are considered aggressive, but when men do it, they considered confident. So I don't like the word aggressive. What I hear that works best is a coachable confidence, which means that you're confident and you're still open and you're listening. It's a two way communication. I see that women are lacking in that. And we [00:21:00] see also that less women are funded. I believe that this is one of the problems, not the only one. There are other issues that I had, lack of network. I did not have a network for fundraising so building this network the fastest I can build it. That's how fast they can move ahead. What I'm doing now is my network of investors is open to all of my founder friends, and I'm introducing and they're introducing me So we're helping each other. I did my first step up. No problem on pulling anyone who wants and then others are helping me pull, pull me to the next step. And next step. I believe in a first of all, giving and giving more than what you get and then all the rest, you know, lines up.

[00:21:38] Shannon: So do you accredit a lot of this to the coworking space, to your networking, your accelerator programs? I feel like you met so many people through that and therefore those people can recommend investors and recommend other people who can help. It really is, comes back to the network.

[00:21:53] Reneta: It comes back to the networking and the strongest networking is with other founders. That's the best learning [00:22:00] I had because they know it's someone that's, you know, one step ahead of me, two steps. I'm lining up my help, you know, one step ahead just to learn all of this things. Also I added advisors to our advisory board, so they invest and they become also advisors. So if I need help, now they're invested in the company.

[00:22:19] Shannon: So you've got people who are just right there, who did it already are still willing to help. They're not too big, so they can be your mentors for that next step. And like you said, if they're invested in Foodom, that's all the better.

[00:22:30] Reneta: As I progress, you know, the doors open to like the bigger, investor mentors, board members. So I can tell you in a year about that.

[00:22:41] Shannon: Yeah.

[00:22:42] Reneta: Another thing just to mention is that I saved enough. And to be able to leave without a salary for two years and smart because pandemic hit just when I launched our platform. So my plans changed a little bit. It's always important to save enough, have a cushion, make sure you have enough. The other thing is [00:23:00] really stepping out of the house and joining a community. It's not necessarily the coworking space, like the community. That could be an accelerator or a Tech Stars or in my case, it was an office space, but it was more than that. It was the community that gave me the emotional support that I needed to unplug from corporate. I like to work from a co-working space or an office space, just not to be at home because my kids and they're older now, they're teenagers. They like to talk and they don't understand when I'm on calls and when they need money, they need it now. It's just easier for me to just disconnect myself and be in an office and I'm still available for them, but it's a little bit less chaos.

[00:23:41] Shannon: You can concentrate. You have a lot that you're working on.

[00:23:44] Reneta: Yeah, exactly. So I, what was lovely about this community is that there were different types of roles in there and people that had their own businesses, like there was a marketing person he and an intern helped me build our first, first, first [00:24:00] brand guidelines. It didn't have investors back then and I had nothing. So That's helped me, you know, get going. I booked on Fiverr someone to help me build the logo for $30. I started as an LLC and then when I was ready to fundraise, I switched to C Corp. So I did it gradually. What I learned in life is that when I want to do something big, I break it into small pieces and they take care of one thing at a time.

[00:24:26] Shannon: That's brilliant.

[00:24:27] Reneta: Sleep at night and not to be too terrified and keep on going.

[00:24:31] Shannon: Knowing you're slowly. working on the idea of this company, and then you decide to leave, but you had money saved. That really is so smart because you can choose where to spend it. You can take the time to research, meet people, network plan things out. Instead of just saying, I don't know how long I can go without a job. I need to jump in when I might not be ready.

[00:24:53] Reneta: Yeah.

[00:24:54] Shannon: How did you come up with the name for Foodom?

[00:24:56] Reneta: I put together some words and then suddenly the freedom and the food, you know, [00:25:00] got connected. I think my husband is the one that saw the connection between the two. And then we use the butterfly. The M on the spoon is basically a butterfly, which is freedom. It was immediately boom. That's the one

[00:25:13] Shannon: Talk to me about the launch of Foodom? Making this go live and starting to get your customers and start to market and brand the business.

[00:25:21] Reneta: There wasn't one launch. It's an ongoing. I created a list of customers about 20 of them. And then I looked for chefs and I looked for recipes and when everything was ready, I uploaded the chefs and told the customers, Hey, you know, come on over it's very, very tiny end of 2019. And then in March of 2020, once we were ready, we already have customers. We switched to the new platform and invited the current customers and the current chefs, and then worked on bringing more chefs and more customers. I had to figure out how to operate in a pandemic environment in a safe way. So we decided to keep on going, [00:26:00] although I did get some ideas of maybe going back to corporate, putting this on pause and I'm like,

[00:26:05] Shannon: Well, I'm sure the pandemic was great to get people who want the food at home. You know, they can't go to restaurants, but then with Foodom, that chef is cooking in your kitchen.

[00:26:15] Reneta: Exactly. They come to your home. And my goal, first of all, was to make sure that everybody's safe. So the chefs are safe and the customers are safe and then we figured it out. And, , I created, uh, along with my friends, help Debra, we created Jeff Meiomi and we created a video where we're explaining how this works on the platform in a safe way for both sides. And we created a page for a safety for during the pandemic, and the pandemic is going to stay with us, you know, for a long time we're adjusted. There are two big trends during the pandemic. First of all, people are at home. stuck at home, cooking at home more than ever before. And then the chefs don't don't want to go back to restaurants because they got the unemployment payments. Suddenly there became like a big variety [00:27:00] of chefs available out there. That's looking to do something different and what we offered them is do what they love. Just cook. We'll take care of everything else and just go to someone's home and do your stuff. Food freedom. It's a freedom to make money from creating food. It's like art and they love that they make good money. The customers are happy so we freed them from this burden. Without the guilt, eh, driving through a drive-through or, ordering delivery of any kind. So that was a great opportunity. And we started to grow. So we were in alpha during that time until about June of last year. And then when the vaccine became more available, where we started to see much more demand coming in and started to double like every quarter. Now we're on that trajectory. Keep on growing fast. My goal is to grow fast.

[00:27:50] Shannon: So where are you at now, then?

[00:27:52] Reneta: We want to make sure that we don't have too many chefs, that we won't have enough customers for them. So it's like the chicken and the egg, so we're first figuring [00:28:00] out all the playbooks and what works in our specific use case, because this is something new that No, one succeeded so far in building it in scale. I'm the first one that's figured it out. And I'm now preparing the machine and I'm not being tempted to run into some rabbit holes that might, you know, be interesting. I'm going to the mainstream huge markets, let's build it. Right. And then bring the funding so we can crank the machine and get this entire market. hyper-focused and nothing will get me off that.

[00:28:29] Shannon: No, you're going to get there. Tell me where you're located.

[00:28:32] Reneta: We're servicing most of the areas in California. So we're in LA, the Bay Area, and the greater Sacramento area.

[00:28:40] Shannon: I want

[00:28:40] Reneta: And I,

[00:28:40] Shannon: to the east coast.

[00:28:42] Reneta: yes, that's next. That's definitely after the seed round, we'll get to the east coast for sure. And I have a lot of people signing up to our waitlist from the east coast. and from Austin as well. We have also, people signed up to our wait list from other countries have from Europe, Israel, and Australia. I think I have a [00:29:00] few

[00:29:00] Shannon: if you came to Manhattan, it would be amazing. There's just certain other cities that you can see have the potential, but it's when you're ready to go there.

[00:29:09] Reneta: Absolutely. Yeah. The playbook needs to be prepared and we need to be staffed in the right way to be successful.

[00:29:16] Shannon: Could you have ever started this without all of your years of experience at Intel and SanDisk and every everything else you did prior to.

[00:29:24] Reneta: yes. I was scaredy cat and it took me all these years to kick myself in the butt, do it, but you see a lot of people out of Stanford or other universities and they just go and start and you have a lot of amazing support and help from investors and advisors. Everything is possible.

[00:29:43] Shannon: So you built up your confidence over the years, that's okay too. You built up your confidence, you learn so many skills and you're that much more prepared to run your own company.

[00:29:53] Reneta: Yeah, absolutely. And that's why I feel confident to just keep on going. I have enough skills. I have skills. I have, I have enough [00:30:00] funding also on my own that I can pour in more. And I have the confidence that it took me time to build that throughout the years. Each person is a specific scenario and situation for where they are and it's the perfect place for them.

[00:30:12] Shannon: Very true. So what's your goal for Foodom? What is your ultimate goal in the next five years

[00:30:18] Reneta: I want to build a unicorn and I want to make the world one big blue zone where people will live happy, healthy, fulfilled, and with flowing abundance to everyone. Now, will we take me five? years to do it or a little bit more? It doesn't matter because this is what I'm going to make.

[00:30:37] Shannon: Alright. It's time for our Five Fast Qs of the Week. Here we go!

Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you.

[00:30:46] Reneta: I learned that my thoughts and beliefs create my reality. And now I'm working on evolving it to decode, you know, my belief system to, to get to the next level. But, uh, that was a big realization that I [00:31:00] was surprised that everything I wanted, I got it. Like everything.

[00:31:03] Shannon: Would you recommend taking a leap into a big life change to your best friend?

[00:31:08] Reneta: Absolutely. Yes, I actually did it. And a few of them already did the lip, so yes. When I was in corporate, I had a good friend, many years ahead of me that she leaped from corporate to design interior design, and she's phenomenal, very talented. And actually she inspired me and I saw her do that's what we were talking back then. And I told her, yeah, go for it. You know, your art is there. You're ready do it but now when people ask me, I, I can say, you know I can talk from my own personal experience and dancers. Yes. So, um, I had a few people recently asking me and I told them, yes, can we quit your job? Yes. Do it. And they did it. I hope they're fine. They're fine.

[00:31:48] Shannon: I know you're like, keep me posted on how that went.

What is one piece of advice that you would give someone trying to start a second?[00:32:00]

[00:32:00] Reneta: The first thing is start. And the second thing is to keep on going very important, to be consistent, keep on learning and adapting and good things will start happening,

[00:32:12] Shannon: What does the next chapter look like for you?

[00:32:15] Reneta: I'm now in my next chapter. So it looks like a unicorn, maybe even a dragon, which is like $12 billion evaluation company. So the process of building that, and like I told you, my vision is to make the world one big blue zone and to help people live happy and healthy, bring wellness to everyone and abundance, and also improve the situation of our planet in terms of sustainability. So our kids can stay on this planet for a longer time before we're ready to jump to another one.

[00:32:51] Shannon: Where can our audience connect with you?

[00:32:54] Reneta: Definitely on our platform on myfoodom.com and also you can reach out to me [00:33:00] on Twitter @RenetaJenik. Follow me and my DM is open. So I'm happy to chat

[00:33:06] Shannon: your story, is so inspiring. I'm so glad we had a chance to chat.

[00:33:11] Reneta: Thank you so much, so much fun chatting with you and your questions are opening my mind. I'm glowing now. Thank you, you made my

[00:33:20] Shannon: You can learn more about Renata's mission and her company at my food. m.com. That's M Y F O O D O m.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at, at Renetta genic.com. R E N E T a J E N I K.

Thanks again for listening. And don't forget to subscribe to the podcast and tell your friends. We want everyone to get in on the second act success movement. I'll see you next time.

Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes [00:34:00] from this episode, recommend to guests with a great story, and learn more about us. Visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. So you don't miss a single episode. And if you are enjoying our time together, please leave a review in Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I am Shannon Russell, and this is Second Act Success.



Your review would mean the world to us! REVIEW THE PODCAST


If you would like to share your story with our listeners or recommend a guest for the show, please fill out our Guest Application Form at https://bit.ly/SecondActSuccessGuest or email info@secondactsuccess.co.


Share the podcast with friends to help spread the inspiration! secondactsuccess.co/podcast


To learn more about the show visit http://www.secondactsuccess.co, and please subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode.


Connect with our host Shannon Russell and the Second Act Success Team:

Facebook | Instagram | Website 


More about this Episode:

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Youtube | Facebook or Instagram


Previous Episode:

Episode 9: Homeless to Artist, Author, Activist with Gregory Andrus