Meet Plant-Based Functional Foods Founders: Sabeena and Scout
Founders - Deux (they make a feel-good cookie dough)
Welcome to Incubateme’s Profiles newsletter, where we highlight profiles of founders, coaches, or advisors/speakers. Creator: Lauren Fishbane.
Sabeena Ladha and Scout Brisson
Tell us about yourself, your company, and how you got it started.
Scout and Sabeena met at a venture capital firm in LA and kind of always knew we'd start a company together. Separately, Sabeena had a background in big food CPG at PepsiCo and Scout is a plant-based baker (outside of her day job) and fought through an eating disorder in college. We were both craving comfort and health, which are often at odds, when Covid hit we concepted the idea of DEUX - a delicious way & functional way to get added vitamins & supplements. We took the silicon valley approach of testing PMF and launched in <4 months (see more about that below!) and have seen tremendous growth and reception thus far.
How did you acquire your first batch of customers?
It's actually a super scrappy / fun story. We took a page out of fashion's book and launched "drops" on Instagram before our branding and website were complete. We seeded our product with a few super kind & generous influencers, and would drop a limited quantity of jars on Instagram at a set time. People would then have to DM us their address and Venmo us to place an order. It sounds kind of insane but it not only created buzz but showed we had product / market fit pretty early on, without branding, without a website, and without a "final" product.
Did your business pivot in the pandemic? Or, how did your business start during this time?
Our business started during the pandemic. The idea actually stemmed from a mutual interest of ours - hedonistic health. Scout and I are obsessed with wellness (both mind & body) and really get pleasure from it. Starting a healthy but delicious food company that is e-commerce forward (which most are not) during Covid is scary, but also makes a lot of sense. People are shopping more online, especially for food & beverage, they are looking for comfort, but they are also looking for health.
What is your plan for the future? What trends do you foresee for your industry?
Our platform of "hedonistic health" will continue as we launch additional products. Our plan is to make a splash in retail grocery (we're currently in Erewhon stores in LA) and continue to launch nostalgic, delicious products but with our enhanced, healthy spin. A key trend we see, primarily with younger consumers, is that diet culture is out and holistic health is in. We're strong proponents of body positivity and overall wellness instead of counting calories, and consumers are shifting that way. With consumers as the champions of this, companies will be forced to shift in the next several years.
Any other lessons/advice you’d like to share with other fellow entrepreneurs?
The highs are high and the lows are super low. On the surface everything looks easier and better than it might actually be - so do NOT compare yourself. Trying to be even-keeled throughout the journey and having a co-founder to cry / get excited / celebrate / sulk with has been incredible for our mental health. Highly recommend also choosing a co-founder wisely. :)
Any requests for help from our community?
We'd love to chat with any experts in retail grocery or DTC fulfillment. Also experts on influencer / celebrity marketing and investing, which has been working well for us that we want to double down on.
Want to learn more?
Check out their website https://www.eatdeux.com/
Follow along on Instagram (@eatdeux).
Like what you read? Share with others.
Stay in touch.
Email us at email@example.com
Connect with us on Instagram (@joinincubateme) and Twitter (@incubateme).