She's Empowered Spotlight: Sylvie Charles, Founder of Just Date Syrup
"I stay motivated because I truly believe in the power of this product to change a person's health for the better. Replacing refined sugar with Just Date Syrup is enormously impactful on long term health, and that in itself keeps me motivated to keep bringing it to the people!"
We're so excited to introduce you to our friend Sylvie Charles, founder of Just Date Syrup! We've had so much fun collaborating with Sylvie on our new limited-edition flavor.
Also - don't miss her recipe for Cardamom Lover's Cookies, made with our Coconut Cardamom nut butter!
Tell us a little about you!
I'm a doctor, entrepreneur, and mom, and those three pieces of me drive the course of my life! I love living a healthy-ish lifestyle and my favorite activities are cooking, dancing, teaching my daughter about the world, and adventuring outdoors with my husband, daughter, and dog. I live in Pacifica, California and I'm addicted to the beach, sunshine, fog, and trees out here.
What do you do for work? Tell us about your professional journey
I'm passionate about impacting the course of chronic illness through food. I started my journey as a doctor, and struggled with the short course of a thirty minute visit with my patients. I wanted to do more, get in my patients' kitchens, and be able to affect the course of their health through the food they ate. I started to think about dates, and how my mom had used them to sweeten our Indian chutneys growing up. I wondered if I could harness the amazing nutritional power of dates, and turn them into a sweetener you could use every day. It worked! My patients loved the flavor, and I loved the nutrition. I decided to launch Just Date Syrup, an organic sweetener made from one perfect ingredient: dates!
How do you stay motivated?
Life has gotten so busy as a mother of an almost two year old, but she also provides me with the strength and motivation to be a great example for her. Internally, I stay motivated because I truly believe in the power of this product to change a person's health for the better. Replacing refined sugar with Just Date Syrup is enormously impactful on long term health, and that in itself keeps me motivated to keep bringing it to the people!
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in starting a business?
Don't skip the business plan. Know your finances and have a great accountant right from the start. Most importantly, talk to EVERYONE!! It's so useful to hear from as many entrepreneurs as possible about what went right and wrong for them as you launch your brand.
What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?
From the start, we've used 2% of every sale to support sugar education in our Northern California community. This year, we launched one of my favorite initiatives. We're doing sugar reduction cooking classes with Bay Area kids, teaching them how to incorporate natural sweeteners into recipes that usually call for sugar. They loved it and were so engaged in the conversation, even kids as young as six! That same six year old said our cookies were the best he'd ever had :).
Who is one person who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by people who manage to stay motivated daily and bring concentration and focus into every aspect of their lives! Alli Ball, a food consultant in the Bay Area, has taught me so much about staying focused and centered in the practice of building a business.
How do you work to stay centered and practice self-care in your busy day-to-day reality?
I'm newly implementing a rule where I am not allowed to work in the evenings unless it's an absolute emergency! I had let myself fall into a routine of working until 11pm every night. Now, I cook dinner, spend time with my family, and read books, and ultimately I'm feeling less tired and much more productive during the day. It isn't always possible, but I'm trying to make working in the evenings the exception and not the rule.
What do you like to do for fun, when you aren't working?
I love teaching language to my daughter, playing on the beach with my daughter and dog, and cuddling with my husband after a long day with a glass of wine and delicious food. Cooking a meal that takes hours is my ultimate indulgence. I also love love love to dance!
What are some of your favorite recipes with Ground Up?
I LOVE making cookies with Ground Up, especially the coconut cardamom. Coconut and cardamom are flavors I like to add to chocolate chip cookies anyway, and I love that through a combination of almond butter, our date syrup, and olive oil, I usually don't need to add butter or eggs! It's wild but it WORKS. Check out the recipe HERE!