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 and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, gang! Spiffy here, your trusty interplanetary journalist back again on Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making the world a more equitable place! Today, I’m excited to chat with Lindsey Brannon, the co-founder of Rainbow Produce. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Lindsey! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing?
Lindsey: Happy to be with you, Spiffy! At Rainbow, we are addressing nutrition, inclusion, and sustainability.
Spiffy: What motivated you to tackle those challenges?
Lindsey: I have been challenged by obesity my entire life. Living in cities like NYC can be daunting, with many convenient eating spots and on-demand platforms that don't always have nutritious options. I wanted to create a platform that would allow all people to make healthier decisions and to learn about food, nutrition, and sustainability.
Spiffy: How are you and your team at Rainbow Produce working towards a more equitable world?
Lindsey: An important part of Rainbow's mission is to make healthy eating more inclusive and equitable. On our food cart, we intentionally have our menus in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. One example is that we believe access to nutritious food should be available to all and not limited to a specific population.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone by Rainbow Produce. What impact does that make?
Lindsey: Rainbow recently celebrated its one-month anniversary in our Zevv electric-powered cart at the base of the Vessel in Hudson Yards. This means we completed a full month of selling nutritious food in a sustainable way. Most food carts in NYC are gas-powered and do not use sustainable packaging. Rainbow is leading the way with zero emissions and compostable packaging.
Spiffy: Congrats to you all! Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from failure?
Lindsey: At the beginning of my career, I worked in J.P. Morgan's Private Bank as an analyst. I was not selected to stay on as an associate. I was disappointed, but I took that failure and turned it into an opportunity. I networked internally at J.P. Morgan and moved from the Private Bank to the Investment Bank, which is considered somewhat atypical. I am grateful I took that step back, because it gave me the opportunity to exercise my quantitative skills, originate capital markets deals, and expand my career horizon.
Spiffy: Thank you for sharing that! What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Lindsey: I recently learned how to use Instagram’s Reels and TikTok from our Rainbow Produce team. Social media can be a powerful way to communicate information about nutrition and food with bright images and music. We are excited about our TikTok channel’s content, including our videos breaking down the benefits of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods.
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Lindsey: We at Rainbow have an exciting opportunity to continue pushing boundaries for the future of food, wellness, and technology. My co-founder and I are leveraging our unique backgrounds in finance, agriculture, technology, and public policy to lead Rainbow Produce into the wellness tech arena.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Lindsey—it’s been an honor!
Lindsey Brannon is the co-founder of Rainbow Produce, a NYC-based wellness tech startup making healthy eating more convenient, inclusive, and sustainable. Lindsey is a mission-driven leader with 14 years of experience, including nine years of investment banking and five years of startup positions in finance, technology, and agriculture. (Nominated by the Ladderworks team. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 18, 2022.)