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Meet Meredith Cochran of The Osso Good Co. in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meredith Cochran.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Meredith. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I suppose my love for food started at a very young age. The first words out of my mouth when my parents woke me up in the morning was, “what are we having for dinner?”. And I may or may not have used every wish for ice cream (thank god for a lawn full of dandelions). Fast forward to my very first job at 14, which was you guessed it…the grocery store! Once I turned 18, I began waitressing and continued waitressing through college for some money and of course, great food! Fast forward again to my twenties when I was working in the cardiology department of a local Milwaukee hospital. I was the one in the operating room helping to implant your pacemaker, ICD, or stents. From a young age, I always knew I wanted to help people. While I loved my job, I knew deep down that I wanted to help people before they ended up in the hospital. A part of me also despised hospitals for screaming, “Let me fix you” but not offering nourishing, healing foods for patients when they need it the most. You know what I mean?

So I began thinking that maybe there was a better way. I was accepted into one of the top schools in the country for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbology in San Francisco. It was here that I learned about preventive medicine and ultimately, bone broth. Without a single high-quality source of bone broth available, we began simmering our own and our small apartment kitchen became our testing ground. We roasted our grass fed bones and pastured meat until it was golden brown. We chopped fresh and organic carrots, celery, and onions. We tossed it all into a huge stockpot topped with garlic, thyme, and shiitakes. Finishing it all with just enough water to barely cover them. After simmering it all night and day, we seriously could not wait to have that first sip. And oh boy did we ruin that first batch! It was disgusting. Making a delicious bone broth became a daily obsession, tinkering with the recipe until we created a flavor we craved.

Before we could blink, The Osso Good Company was born and we were delivering ridiculously good bone broths direct to your doorstep. Maybe I’m the only one, but I can’t help but wonder what our ancestors used when pharmaceuticals weren’t available? Back then, food was their medicine and delicious broths and slowly simmered foods played a huge part. Food was and is that powerful when applied correctly. Somewhere between chicken feet and stock pots, I found my “why”. When it comes to healing foods, bone broth is the best medicine. Rich in vitamins and minerals, bone broth reboots your system, jump-starts your digestive health, and slims you down too. There is absolutely nothing “new” about bone broth. This prehistoric food was an important staple of our ancestors’ diets because it contained nutrients not found in lean cuts of meat. Because we can’t simply bite into a bone and digest it, we must slowly simmer them over long periods of time in order to draw out the liquid that nourishes our bodies. Full of minerals, protein, essential amino acids, gelatin and collagen, bone broth isn’t just a superfood, it’s a powerhouse.

Although, how could I expect anything less from an ingredient revered by an ancient South American proverb as having the ability to resurrect the dead?! We discovered that we weren’t the only ones who were looking for a homemade bone broth, without the hassle. After squeezing every inch of space out of our shared kitchen space, we were busting at the seams and selling out every week with only our online, direct to consumer business. Although that’s a good problem to have, we knew we needed to expand our production to meet the demand of our business and also expand into other channels such as retail and wholesale. We are thrilled to announce that after many grueling hours and teamwork, we are still producing ALL of Osso Good’s bone broths and paleo soups in our own dedicated kitchen. This allows us to completely control the sourcing, traditional cooking methods in small batches, and high quality you’ve grown to love over the years.

Recently, we opened the very first Osso Good Co. Cafe in West Hollywood where you can buy collagen smoothies or bone broths and paleo soups hot by the cup. We also debuted the very first bone broth waffle (yes, you read that right) that is 100% craveable AND paleo. Now that our kitchen is USDA and BRC certified, we are also launching into grocery stores across the nation. This allows you the convenience of grabbing a pouch of bone broth or paleo soup at your favorite store. You can also find us on Amazon to enjoy the prime member benefits. If you would have asked me ten years ago where I’d be today, there is not a single ounce of my body that could have guessed it right. And yet, there’s not a single ounce of my body that doesn’t love where I am. I’ve been able to combine my love of food and medicine into one. I don’t use my wishes for ice cream anymore, but I do still wake up with the thought, “what am I having for dinner?”. I suppose some things never change.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This reminds me of the quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” I suppose I think first to the beginning. The very beginning. When Jazz and I were working and going to school full time while starting this business. We would be up at dawn and crashing at midnight just to do it all over again. Every cent that we earned went right back into the business. While this time was incredibly challenging, I can’t help but to think back on it with a smile on my face. It was exciting to watch visitors on our website. It was even more exciting to read a positive review. To this day, I still remember our very first purchase and how I used to write every customer a hand-written note.

As we continued to grow, we knew we needed to bring in extra hands. Training everyone in their role brought new challenges. While we have always aligned on our overall vision and mission, it was the details that were sometimes argued over. What color do you want to use for this? What is the best process for that? I have learned the hard way that hiring is one of the most important aspects of business to get right. I am fortunate to have a team that’s knowledgeable, thoughtful, motivated, and my extended “family”. Simmering ridiculously good bone broths and soups comes with its own challenges. Not to mention, we decided to build out our own facility. Becoming USDA and BRC inspected was no easy task and it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to have the well-oiled machine we have today. Then again, it wasn’t easy tossing an entire pot of bone broth down the drain or an entire fridge-full of pouches from power outages, faulty equipment, or the like.

Most recently, the challenge of opening our first ever retail store while being evacuated from home during the Southern California wildfires was tough. Without any idea whether “home” still existed and spending every waking hour at the store to get it up and running on time sounds like a scene from a movie. On the regular, I experience sleepless nights and new obstacles to overcome. I suppose it’s what I signed up for. As I think back, overcoming these obstacles is what gives me the most joy. Building a business from scratch that’s doubling in size year over year requires you to constantly evolve your role to be who the company needs at that stage in growth. Today’s problems will be different than tomorrow’s and so forth. I can’t wait for tomorrow, but I’m doing my best to enjoy today. 🙂

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