This CU Boulder Startup Could Mean The END Of Vending Machines
Dating back to elementary school, most of us have associated “snacks” with vending machines filled with unhealthy chips, cookies, and candy. Although delicious, these short-term energy boosters lead to inevitable crashes and reduced productivity. Many organizations have tried to solve for healthy snacking but haven’t been able to do it sustainably. Thanks to one of the healthiest states in the US, we now have a solution.
Founded by three CU students, Noble Roots delivers healthy, ready-to-consume snacks directly to office buildings. Based out of Denver, Colorado, the company sources many of its products from local manufacturers and is able to accommodate dietary restrictions and taste preferences. Today, Noble Roots serves businesses in Denver and Boulder and is looking to expand across the Front Range.
Food Subscription Service With A Local Twist
Noble Roots delivers healthy snacks to corporate offices on a weekly or biweekly basis. When completing a request, companies provide a variety of information including the number of people in the office, how often they want to receive snacks, whether or not refrigeration is available, and any dietary restrictions. Snacks include sweet, spicy, and salty foods, ranging from beef jerky to hummus. Noble Roots’ pantry also includes snacks from many brands local to the Denver and Boulder metro areas. The company can also fulfill one-time orders for large meetings and even customize snack boxes for organizations with fewer than 10 employees. There are no membership fees and subscriptions can be canceled at any time.
One of the most noteworthy aspects about the Colorado startup is the social mission tied to its operations. For every purchase made with Noble Roots, the company will donate a portion of its proceeds to provide nutrition education to families in need across the state. Outside of delivering snacks, the organization also partners with local farmers and other food startups to encourage businesses to buy and give locally.
Refined Focus, Renewed Momentum
Originally, Noble Roots was designed to be a catering business with a social impact. With nearly 200,000 residents in Denver lacking access to healthy food, the startup sought to both educate people and subsidize healthy eating in food deserts. For every full price catered meal purchased by a Denver business, the Noble Roots team planned to cater one subsidized meal to a food desert community.
Since then, the startup has honed in on delivering healthy snacks to offices rather than full meals. However, the leadership team still remains committed to creating broader impact throughout the city. Today, Noble Roots’ leaders include Sarah Safranski, Rebekah Sosa, and Erin Stenzel, three University of Colorado designers who are passionate about serving lower-income communities with little access to healthy eating. Recently, Noble Roots participated in Catalyze CU, an accelerator venture program for CU Boulder students, and pitched their startup to a room of over 250 community leaders.
How Can You Make A Social Impact?
This Untold College Spotlight provides an inspiring example of how to create lasting social impact through a profitable venture. The Noble Roots team has built a sustainable business model around serving businesses throughout Denver and Boulder that can be tied to a powerful social mission. The startup has figured out how to serve its clients and community well under the broader vision of healthy eating.
More than ever, organizations are choosing social entrepreneurship as a way to both build a for-profit business and create a positive impact in the world. How can you do the same? If there is a specific mission, people group, or cause that you care about, consider how your venture can support or engage with surrounding communities. By doing so, you will find additional motivation to drive your business forward and others will find inspiration in what you are doing! And if you are a Front Range-based business in Colorado, give Noble Roots a try!