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Founder Feature: Janie Hoffman

Little seeds with lots of magic. That’s how Janie Hoffman, founder of Mamma Chia, feels about the not-so-secret ingredient in her line of functional nutrition beverages.

“I discovered this amazing little seed was providing a powerful vitality boost and was instrumental in addressing some challenging health issues related to decades-long autoimmune disorders,” Janie said of the introduction of chia to her diet.

Chia was so effective for Janie that she knew she had to get chia to the public. She wasn’t sure that she was going to launch a business, but she did want to make sure that there was more organic chia in the world.

When she first contacted an organic chia farmer, he asked how many metric tons she wanted to order. Realizing that she’d need to invest in 2200 pounds of chia, Janie determined she needed to get serious about the homemade chia items she’d been crafting.

Feedback from friends and family suggested that the chia beverage she’d been making was a winner. To be sure, Janie hired a marketing consultant to get some hard numbers on what to offer in Mamma Chia’s launch.

Starting with a presence in 50 stores in 2010, Mamma Chia exploded into thousands of retailers by the end of 2011. 

“Retailers were reaching out to us!” recalled Janie. “We knew we were on to something, but we wanted to be mindful.”

Some excellent hires and investment led to the kind of growth Janie felt good about. From the initial offerings of beverages, Mamma Chia has expanded with squeeze packets and unadorned seeds, with more products on the horizon.

Sharing organic chia with the world is a goal that Janie has more than accomplished. She also created an aspirational mission that is personal as well as professional: doing good every step of the way and being dedicated to uplifting both the soul of humanity and the soul of the planet. Part of achieving that mission has been becoming a Certified B Company, as well as a Certified Women-Owned Business.

So really? A lot of magic has come from that tiny seed!

Katelyn Murphy-McCarthy

Katelyn is a writer and editor specializing in creative nonfiction. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and loves hearing and sharing the stories of women who are making a difference.
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