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My First Three Months at a Food Startup

My First Three Months at a Food Startup

Bella Sparhawk

Business Development Manager 


           In the past three months working at Blake’s Seed Based, I have had the opportunity to learn many aspects of the business, manage my own schedule and tasks, and be a part of an awesome team. Going from a large company with 176,000 employees to a small team of three, I get to take on many different challenges and learn something new every day. I feel like I’m making a difference within the company, rather than being another cog in the wheel.


       I graduated in 2017 from Washington and Lee University with a major in Business and a minor in Photography. Previously, I’ve had jobs ranging from a lab intern, wildlife photographer, yoga teacher and sales manager, and I always felt like I had to pick between my creative and analytical sides. It’s amazing to work at a startup and blend my interests in business, art, innovation and health.


      I am the Business Development Manager at Blake’s Seed Based. I mainly focus on growing online sales by obtaining new wholesale accounts, such as offices, gyms, coffee shops, and hotels. I strategize which channels to focus on, prospect leads, work through the sales process, and close accounts. I also work on creative projects. I get to grow my strengths in the areas I am interested in and passionate about, while being exposed to new areas of business operations.

          My first three months have flown by. I have learned to be responsible for my own time and create my own schedule. I have increased my confidence, contributed my own ideas, and become a better communicator. Just in the past three months I have:

      • Attended Expo’s (Good Food, GCCMA Expo, Sweets & Snacks, Nourished Festival) and rocked the parrot suit!

      • Demoed at Google, Pandora, Trunk Club, Core Power, Fitness Formula Clubs, and coworking spaces like 1871

      • Pitched the product to hundreds of customers 

      • Designed our branded boxes, informational postcards, documents and POS materials

      • Learned an incredible amount about the allergen community the resources available (I have a peanut allergy)

      • Worked on our instagram strategy, including creating content, stories, highlight reels, posts and captions

      • Sampled in parrot outfits on the CTA train

      • Developed our wholesale strategy and integrated Salesforce

      • Worked on brand development and partnerships

      • Written weekly blog posts, and assisted with emails for mailchimp

      • Worked with our intern to teach him the sales process, set goals for him and helped manage him

         I am grateful to work for a company that aligns with my passions and beliefs. Looking forward, I am excited to work on our social program, Bar for a Box, and other aspects of the business as we grow and move into bigger markets.I feel lucky to be able to be myself at work; to express my opinions, to wear what I want, make jokes, and even bring my dog. Huge thanks to Blake and Adam for being great leaders, always taking the time to explain new concepts and to help support me. I believe in the company very strongly and am so excited for how I can continue to use my skills and passions to strengthen the team, while strengthening my own skills.

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