35_Tori Stuart

Nourish Your Company

It’s smart food: granola cereals and nutrition bars that meet the special needs of women. In just 18 months, these products have packed the shelves in 1,200 retail outlets.


Tori Stuart
President, Zôe Foods
Newton, Massachusetts


What is the big idea?
Foods designed for women. Do women really need their own food? We do. Zôe Foods fulfills these needs through carefully selecting ingredients rather than spraying on vitamins to make a fortified frosted flake or “supped” up candy bar masquerading as a nutrition bar. Zôe Foods was the first company to introduce foods targeting women with a unique combination of whole food ingredients that provide specific health benefits (i.e. functional foods). Zôe Foods granola cereals and nutrition bars help promote hormonal balance, heart health, digestion, and good nutrition. Zôe Foods is the first to provide functional benefits from whole foods.

What was your creative spark?
My mom–was suffering from menopausal hot flashes, and was advised not to take hormone replacement therapy (the most prescribed remedy) due to her breast cancer risk. She was making a flaxseed and soy granola cereal to alleviate her hot flashes. With no products like hers in stores, and 30 million women like my mom–what an exciting business opportunity to meet these women’s needs, and one that I am personally passionate about. Emails from enthusiastic customers continue to ignite my passion that Zôe Foods is on the right track.

Why is the idea so compelling?
Natural and functional foods are some of the fastest growing categories in the food industry–twice the industry average. Zôe Foods is on the cutting edge with foods designed for women that are both natural and functional. 76% of U.S. shoppers report buying foods that deliver enhanced health or nutritional benefits. Zôe Foods products are part of a niche category. Huge growth potential is due to increased demand for healthy products by 76M aging baby boomers, roughly one out of every three Americans. The challenge–competing with the big boys. How? Offering unique, authentic products that meet consumer needs.

How or why did the idea spread?
Grassroots marketing and word-of-mouth is spreading the news that Zôe Foods nourishes your body and spirit. My mom was the inspiration for the company–this resonates with other mothers and daughters. Our products are helping women feel better and they are sharing the news with their friends, mothers, and sisters. The great taste is spurring kids, men, and vegetarians to become customers. Within eighteen months, Zôe Foods has annualized revenues of $1.1 million, national distribution, and over 1,200 retail accounts. The company is growing fast as we continue to make a difference in people’s lives, health, and well-being.