Women in Business: Veronique Beittel of Green Slice
Veronique Beittel started Green Slice in Vermont in 2017. Green Slice is a delicious vegetarian meat alternative powered by organic vegetables, grains, herbs and egg whites. Veronique is 100% owner and relies on a boot-strapped, organic growth approach. She lives in Richmond, Vermont with her husband Matthew, daughter Francisca, and best friend/rescue dog Toby.
1.) What’s your business’ origin story? How did it all start?
On a ski trip to Vermont, my husband and I “lost our hearts” to the Green Mountains and relocated here in 2010. While living in Vermont, I started to see not just the greenery but the very elixir of life that the plant world has given us. This changed the way I think about food, and made me abandon the idea that you have to eat meat every day.
Years later, when my toddler Francisca started to eat solid foods, I didn’t want to feed my daughter processed meat, a staple of most kid’s diet. Unable to find any hot dog or lunch meat alternative my daughter and I enjoyed, I set out to create Green Slice, great tasting organic meat-free, dairy-free, and soy-free foods that make a plant-based diet more appealing and accessible to everyone. Francisca helped her mommy every step of the way from naming the products, picking the designs, tasting recipes, and her favorite part – starring in a local TV commercial!
2.) What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
There are so many! I’ll focus on two: Being able to teach my daughter that if you want something (we wanted great tasting veggie dogs & vegetarian deli slices) and set your mind to it (bootstrapped entrepreneurial strategy), you can do anything (we now can eat great tasting organic & soy free veggie dogs and vegetarian deli slices). My daughter helped me every step of the way from naming the products, picking the designs, tasting recipes, and her favorite part – starring in a local TV commercial! Another rewarding part, which I didn’t expect, was the amount of gratitude I received from the community for solving their dietary and nutritional needs with Green Slice, just like it solved mine.
3.) What are some of the challenges?
The strategy I set forth as 100% owner of Green Slice is to rely on a booth-strapped, organic growth (no investors) approach. This direction was chosen because family & product quality comes first. Without investors I can spend the day with my family guilt free whenever needed, and I don’t have to adhere to strict profit margins which might require me to cut corners when it comes to premium and organic ingredients. On the flip side, due to a lack of funding we are unable to grow and promote Green Slice as fast as we would like which opens the door to competition a lot more.
4.) Name one company or business owner that you really admire and why:
Debra Townsend, founder and owner of Douglas Sweets. She started a little shortbread company in her kitchen in Bolton, Vermont when she was 60 years old. Debra quickly outgrew her kitchen and moved Douglas Sweets to Vermont Artisan Village where she and her business partner – daughter Hannah, 25, have a retail and wholesale bakeshop. Having witnessed this dynamic bootstrapped mother-daughter duo firsthand, inspired me to start my own journey.
5.) What advice do you have for other women out there that might be thinking of starting their own endeavor?
Be You! Don’t focus too much on the competition, they will always have more money and more reach than you do, and besides, quality beats quantity. Don’t travel this road alone, there are plenty of other woman entrepreneurs eager to support and guide you in your endeavor. Keep your personal and business finances separated as much as possible to avoid high stress situations at home. Learn how to do a lot more with a whole lot less. Become a jack of all trades.