Home / Spiffy's Blog / Larissa Russell: Disintermediating The Grocery Supply Chain
Larissa Russell: Disintermediating The Grocery Supply Chain

Larissa Russell: Disintermediating The Grocery Supply Chain

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Larissa Russell, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Pod Foods. Let’s learn what’s happening at Pod Foods and how Larissa is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Larissa! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Pod Foods?

Larissa: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! We are disintermediating the grocery supply chain, and aligning incentives across the industry, so that food can reach the shelf more efficiently with less waste, and clean label producers can have access to their customers in retail, at prices that make sense for consumers.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Larissa: My cofounder and I had a cookie business and ran into the challenges of working with incumbent wholesale distributors when trying to scale. Hundreds of thousands of consumer packaged goods brands are innovating in food but most of them don't reach the shelf due to misaligned incentives surrounding distribution.

Spiffy: What is the impact of your work?

Larissa: Local food producers, emerging brands that are scaling their business, grocery stores that are optimizing assortment, and consumers that are seeking affordable access to good food.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Larissa—it’s been an honor!

Larissa Russell is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Pod Foods. Prior to this, Larissa and her co-founder, Fiona Lee, co-founded and ran an emerging cookie company. While scaling the business in retail, they experienced the challenges of distribution. Since then, they have built a national, asset-light alternative to multi-billion dollar incumbents. Fiona and Larissa were awarded Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2020, and Pod Foods was named one of the top ten most innovative companies by Fast Company in 2022. (Nominated by Unshackled Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on September 29, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Shikha Tandon. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.