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Meet Melissa Golubski of Nod Foods in Westside

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Golubski.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Melissa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in Olympia, Washington and spent the majority of my childhood playing outside, everything from climbing trees, riding horses or playing soccer and tennis. My deep love and respect for nature comes from growing up in the Pacific Northwest and being surrounded by forests and water. On the flip side, I was also fortunate to travel the world with two parents that worked for the airlines. I loved learning about different cultures and exploring new places and that hasn’t changed.

By the time I got to high school, we had moved to Colorado and then I stayed to attend University of Colorado to study engineering. By my senior year, I found a love for biomedical engineering and that is what brought me to Los Angeles, the Master’s program at USC. After I graduated, the next nine years were spent working at two different medical device companies, switching from engineering to marketing product manager and going back to night school to get my MBA. Also during that time, I met my husband, got married and had two children.

Eventually, I started to play with the idea of starting my own company and over time, I came up with the idea for Nod Foods. I’ve been dairy-free for 7+ years and saw a real need for a powdered creamer that was dairy-free, chemical-free and tasted great. There were so many times I wanted a good creamer; on the airplane, at the airport, in the hotel room, to keep at my office desk and for all of my outdoor adventures. I had tried all of the natural powdered creamers on the market but they all contain coconut milk powder which I very much dislike in my coffee. So, I set out to make my own using oats, which is my preferred dairy-free milk of choice. And that’s where I am today!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s never a smooth road and definitely wasn’t easy. Looking back now, I really struggled at my corporate jobs in a lot of ways. I had a lot of internal pain and lack of confidence and always felt like I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Several years ago, I knew I needed to heal and grow but didn’t know how or where to begin. It’s been a long journey but within the past two years, I’ve made tremendous growth and feel like a completely different person now.

Starting my own business really forced me to confront these fears and blocks head on and I’ve had no choice but to keep growing. I know that the more I heal my past, the more I move forward with my business. At this point, I’ve learned to trust the process and trust myself and know that at the end, it will always work out. Every ‘bad’ thing that has happened in my life taught me something that I needed to get to where I am today so I’m always grateful in the end.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My company is called Nod Foods and I have an amazing co-founder, Danielle Kermode-Friedlander. We are the first company to make powdered oat creamer! It tastes great and is only made with natural ingredients so its dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and made with organic ingredients. It’s currently sold in individual packets which makes it super easy to take with you on all of your adventures.

As a company, we are most proud of where we are today. We were just getting started when COVID put a temporary halt on things but we are now in a couple of independent stores throughout the US. We also have so many new exciting things coming up in the next couple of months so follow along for all the delicious updates.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I loved to move and spend time outside. Sports were a big part of my life and as a kid, I competed in soccer, tennis, gymnastics, swimming and archery. When I was 14, I was nationally ranked in tennis and continued to play through high school but I also found new interests. At one point in high school, my mom flew me out here to Los Angeles every weekend for about two months to take a kid’s stunt class. I ended up winning the stunt competition but never pursued it further even though it’s still a passion of mine.

As a child, I remember having a ton of friends however as I got older I had a hard time relating to my peers which made middle school and high school really tough. I just didn’t care about fashion, music videos or breaking the rules, whatever kids were into in the 90s. But, it was these struggles and lessons I needed to learn that have shaped the person I am today and I’m grateful for that.

What’s your favorite memory from childhood?
There are so many memories I really cherish as a child but I think the strongest ones are all the times I spent outside in the forest and near the ocean. Whenever we went down to the coast where my mom grew up my cousins, brother and I would spend what felt like hours just walking on the sand bars and exploring the tide pools and finding seashells during low tide. Unlike the coastline down here, when its low tide in parts of Washington the water recedes so far you can barely see the water on the horizon (at least to a child) exposing tons of exciting things to explore.

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Image Credit:

Deanna Lloyd

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