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Meet Lucy Blehar of Breakfastkween in Echo Park and Silverlake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Blehar.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lucy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
This little operation started in Chicago when my college roommate and I ran out of almond butter. We had a lot of nuts and seeds in our pantry and began mixing and blending them to concoct different types of nut butters. It soon became our obsession and a fun activity to take our minds off our insane college schedules. We came up with a name (at that time was “What The Nut”) and sold our first jar to a coworker of mine. After I left Chicago, I had a brief stint in NYC where I started making a few jars for an app that promoted at-home chefs, but not much came of it and I was still focused on my other career path. Then, a few years after moving to LA, I began working at a yoga studio in Silverlake. One night I was working with my retail manager and mentioned that I make my own nut butters. She told that the studio hosts a community day every year around the holidays and encouraged me to have a booth. At the time I had no brand name, no label, no website, and not even any real recipes, but decided it would be fun to give it a shot. I had a few weeks to whip up a bunch of jars, and decided on two flavors – vanilla cashew almond & cinnamon pecan. The night before the fair I sketched up my own logo, printed a bunch, glued them on top of the jars, and wrote little tags that said “breakfast kween.” By the end of the fair I was totally sold out, and people were asking what my website was, where my store was located, and how they can order more. And I think that was it! I realized I had a little business and that people really wanted my product. It’s been so much fun growing breakfastkween, and the community that supports me is full of love. I now have eight flavors including almond joy, peanut cookie, coffee, chai, and a few other wild cards. You can find me doing pop-ups around town for now, but who knows? I may expand into selling at local businesses and get a spot at farmer’s markets too!

Has it been a smooth road?
I guess it’s been smooth sailing for me so far! The cool thing about breakfastkween is that I didn’t really have an intention to start a business. I came to LA to grow my acting career, and breakfastkween sort of popped up out of the blue. It grew from its own demand – which I think is the greatest blessing to have if you’re a business owner. You want demand for your product to be higher than the amount you can churn out (I think? I’m still learning!). It’s grown very organically and my retention is great. I hope people can tell it’s made with a lot of joy and fun-heartedness. Maybe that’s why they like it so much! If I did have to name the biggest struggle, it would be knowing what the hell to do with your own business in the first place. I taught myself the whole numbers game behind it and I’m sure that’s all still pretty messy from a professional’s standpoint. That and the time and equipment it takes to complete mass orders. Before almost every pop-up I do I’m up all night getting my shit together. I only have one food processor at the moment, and with eight flavors, that’s a lot of maintenance and womanpower for just one gal!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I make handcrafted nut butters in a range of unique flavors and with healthy (and vegan!) ingredients. What I want people to understand most from my product is that it’s made with a lot of heart and thoughtfulness. I read a while ago that the mood you’re experiencing and the energy you’re offering while you prepare your meals is literally absorbed into the food itself, which means the people ingesting it absorb that energy too. Even if I’m pressed for time and feeling the stress, I’ll try to remind myself to craft my nut butters with patience, attention, and an overall sense of fun. That’s what I’m most proud of. Food is meant to be enjoyed and to nourish you! I think I do a good job of communicating that through my product. I love all the small-batch, locally made, artisan products you can find in LA. I’m not trying to compete with those products, or take the nut butter industry by storm (yet), but I do think I offer unique flavors. It’s really fun to watch people try them and see their faces light up, and the sounds of pleasure and surprise they make.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do think LA is a great place to start a business. It’s still a growing city, both literally and identity-wise. People define it a million different ways, and for me it still changes daily. I think that perspective is very exciting and advantageous for an entrepreneur. This city was built on entrepreneurs – all the performers, artists, restauranteurs, nannies, dog-walkers, bloggers – they work for themselves, and they are welcomed. It’s definitely competitive, and the hardest thing about starting any business is making yourself stand out, making your uniqueness apparent – especially at just a short glance because of withering attention-spans and the social media habit of quickly sharing something and then forgetting about it. But that can be a benefit too! Everyone is online, and if you can get a sold group of people to really love your business, they can influence others in a snap. The best thing about LA is that people are open to trying something new, and will most of the time embrace it, share it, and keep coming back.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. David charles Evans

    September 11, 2018 at 19:15

    Clearly this nutty, fun-loving queen has something special to offer – food for fun and food for thought.

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