Hey humans! I’m Spiffy, the interplanetary journalist. I hope everyone had a wonderful Pride. I’m back to bring you another interview with the CEO of Clara Foods, Arturo Elizondo.
SPIFFY: Hello Arturo! Happy pride. Could you tell me what Clara Foods does?
Arturo: Welcome, Spiffy! Happy Pride to you too. I founded Clara Foods to make animal-free animal proteins – starting with the world’s first animal-free egg white. We use yeast fermentation to brew proteins that have the taste & nutrition of animal proteins without killing animals or the planet.
SPIFFY: Sounds delicious! What motivated you to start making animal-free animal proteins?
Arturo: My goal in life is to leave the world a little better than I found it. I want to leave this earth knowing that because I lived fewer animals will be condemned to lives in factory farms, more people will have access to healthy food and that our planet has a fighting chance against climate change. I’m beyond grateful that the work we’re doing at Clara Foods WILL do just that.
SPIFFY: How does better food make the world a more equitable place?
Arturo: Food is political. Food is cultural. Food has consequences. With every food, regardless of our intention, we are taking a stand. Three times a day, we make a choice – to live or not live our values, nourish or not nourish our bodies, kill or not kill, and to protect or not protect our planet. I am proud to say that when you buy our products, you are choosing to not kill and to do your part for the planet. Our products use less land, water, and emit fewer greenhouse gases than the alternatives.
SPIFFY: Have you hit any milestones recently?
Arturo: We invested several million dollars into our overseas manufacturing site to ramp up production by next year. That will increase our capacity by 9x thereby increasing our impact by 9x.
SPIFFY: Have you learned from any failures recently?
Arturo: Of course, I fail every day. In big and small ways both personally and professionally. In a startup, it’s a never-ending roller coaster of incredibly high highs and very low lows. My biggest learning has been to take each day at a time. Put the blinders on and keep marching ahead.
SPIFFY: I love roller coasters, even in life. :) What’s something unexpected that you’ve learned from someone?
Arturo: I learned from my little brothers to be more compassionate with myself. I expect a lot from myself and have incredibly high standards. I am very hard on myself. They taught me that we all need to take a step back and realize how far we’ve come and to celebrate that. I can make more progress by being kinder to myself. Hopefully, you’re kind to yourself too, Spiffy.
SPIFFY: I try my best, but we can always use a reminder. Thanks for talking to me today!
Arturo: I’m proud of you, Spiffy. Keep up the great work!
Arturo is the CEO & Co-founder of Clara Foods. Prior to founding Clara Foods, Arturo served under Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Credit Suisse. Arturo holds a degree in Government and Comparative Politics from Harvard University. He hails from Laredo, Texas, and was recognized as the National Hispanic Institute’s Person of the Year, listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and GreenBiz’ 30 Under 30 sustainability leaders. (Nominated by: Grocery Outpost)
Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse stories with the mission to inspire kids and youth around the world to become entrepreneurs with empathy. In partnership with Nasdaq, we've featured Spiffy's interviews of LGBT founders to help young readers observe Pride Month with a renewed commitment to building a more equitable world for all.
This interview was featured on the Nasdaq blog as well: Read it here!