Rym Selmi grew up in France, eating the delicious Tunisian cuisine of her parents' homeland. But a stint as an investment banker – doing work she didn't love and wasn't temperamentally suited for – also came with a side helping of sugar addiction.
Seeking to reclaim her life and her health, Selmi took a break and began exploring different diets.
Interestingly, the first thing she cut wasn't sugar, but dairy. And she quickly became enamored of the creativity required when creating substitutes for those familiar foods – including cheese.
After discovering the joys of dairy-free living, Selmi reasoned, “Hey, why not try full vegan?” And in a story we've all heard many times before, that shift solved a lot of her health problems, from exhaustion to poor sleep hygiene to hair loss.
Once a vegan, Selmi began seeing other justifications for the lifestyle: environmental and ethical, chiefly.
And despite not loving investment banking, Selmi's exposure to that world positioned her well to create something new in the market that would hopefully make veganism just a little bit easier and more attractive for people.
And those strengths, combined with her love of sweets and culinary expertise, led Selmi to create Miiro.
Miiro produces chocolate products and baking ingredients that are both vegan and keto friendly, with very little sugar and a proprietary blend of sweeteners that don't spike glucose and don't deliver a gross aftertaste. (I got a short tutorial on sugar alcohols, monkfruit, allulose, and chicory root fiber.)
We talked about her journey, and the challenges she's overcome (and still working on) to create a successful brand.
And we spoke about the food market in general. I learned terms like “mass premium” to describe a luxury product that still could fit into many people's budgets on a regular basis.
Coming from the hard-nosed, “show me the money” world of investment banking, Selmi was able to avoid many of the “mistakes of the passionate and the converted” – including the assumption that because you love your product and the world “needs” it, you'll be able to get it funded and people will actually buy it.
If you're interested in how a vegan idea becomes a vegan company, you'll get a lot of useful info from our conversation.
You CAN Change Other People!
Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.
What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.
Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.
Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by clicking the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.
The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.
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