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 Lisa Roberts Hurd, the co-founder and CEO of Lisa’s 1973. Let’s learn what’s happening at Lisa 1973 and how Lisa is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Lisa, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Lisa’s 1973?
Lisa: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Lisa's 1973 is a food company that believes food that’s good for you should always be delicious. We are creating food that will help the health and well-being of future generations. We are moms and want every child to know that food made with real ingredients can give them superpowers.
Spiffy: Delicious, nutritious, and with superpowers! Very cool. What motivated you to tackle this challenge?
Lisa: I became very sick with autoimmune conditions, and I realized my studies as a culinary archaeologist taught me how to use food as medicine. When I did my research, I discovered I was not alone: 64% of Americans suffer with at least one food-related chronic illness. Sharing my personal experience, I had a responsibility to bring real food back into our food system to help make the world a better place today, for my son’s generation, and the planet that future generations will inherit.
Spiffy: I’m sorry to hear you were sick and amazing you’re using that experience in a positive way. How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Lisa: As a female, LGBTQ, and mom-founded company, we know first hand that people have the most positive impact on society when they are free to be themselves and have the opportunity to thrive. Therefore, we are passionate about creating products and a community that supports better health and well-being for all.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience/community?
Lisa: Lisa’s 1973 believes in a human-centric approach to better health and well-being, and that starts in our local community. We launched Cooking Around the World with our local elementary school, introducing students to different cultures and traditions through food. We also donate a portion of our sales to Healing Meals, a local non-profit organization that provides nourishing meals to families in need who are facing a health crisis.
Spiffy: That is wonderful. Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from it?
Lisa: Everyone told us when we started our company not to bring our product to market because using fresh ingredients would be too competitive and too expensive. A year later, we are expanding all along the east coast of the United States.
Spiffy: Great job persevering and congratulations! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Lisa: Start where you are, and you'll go far. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Be kind. Keep your mind open to new ideas, perspectives, and people. Thank you notes are powerful. Mistakes and delays are often blessings in disguise. The world is waiting for you to share the dream and inspiration in your heart.
Spiffy: Wise words of advice. Thanks for speaking with me today, Lisa—it’s been an honor!
Lisa Roberts Hurd is the co-founder and CEO of Lisa’s 1973. She is also an instructor at Stanford University’s BeWell Program. Lisa is a graduate of Oxford University, Tufts University, and The French Culinary Institute. She is a 5-star chef with Yelp and featured in The Huffington Post, Cherry Bombe, and The Purist, among many others. (Nominated by Kayla DiPilato of StartOut. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 30, 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 Lindsey Brannon. 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.