Deciphering nutrition labels is hard, and cooking wholesome meals from scratch even harder. Who, in today’s fast-paced world, always has time to make the healthier choice? Many of us rely on packaged meals for fuel, but unfortunately, most of those pre-made meals aren’t so good for us.
Enter Vigilant Foods, a brand that’s leading a food revolution. Founder Doug Siegel’s gluten free, organic, oat-based superfood cereals aren’t just good for you – they’re incredibly easy to eat and ready in a snap.
Vigilant Eats has made superfoods super convenient. Just remove the lid and the enclosed folding spoon, add cold water and stir. Voila! A filling and nutritious on-the-go meal. We talked with Doug to learn more about his background in nutrition and how he started Vigilant Eats.
Q: How did the idea for Vigilant Eats come to be?
I originally started making our organic, oat-based cereal for friends and myself. I ate it every day! My original flavor was the goji-cacao. Besides the high antioxidant load, the sweetness of the goji berries and the crunchy texture of the cacao nibs was winning combo. Tossing it in with oats made sense to me. I created a mix of powders (hemp flour, oat flour, coconut sugar, yacon powder) that act like a milk when cold water is added. Some may say it was genius, but I was simply too lazy to cook it. At the time this idea was born, I was attending school, where I was formalizing my nutrition training. I know how difficult it is to convince others to improve their eating and lifestyle habits. Vigilant Eats was born of the desire to make changing our habits easier. Being vigilant about health does not have to be a chore when products can taste as good as our Superfood Cereal.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of running the business?
The biggest challenge is securing and ensuring quality ingredients and production. As a creative person, building a business is a hard road. Getting ahead of ourselves with sales seems like a great problem to have until production comes to a halt due to logistical or quality issues. Building a team of employees, distributors, and brokers is great when production and cash flow is good. The fixed costs don’t change when there is a glitch. I wish I could spend my time working directly with the public and with health coaches but I am too busy putting out fires. Putting a great team together is heard enough when there is money to do so. We are not yet capitalized. So I would say, the biggest challenge is wearing too many hats.
Q: And biggest reward?
When retailers and fans validate our mission, it gives me the strength to keep it alive and push toward having the luxury of working more closely with people seeking better health alternatives and education.
Q: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or your business?
The land mines of production disasters, legal snafus, bad partnerships and unmotivated employees is more than compensated for by the strong and kind customers and employees who have built this company with their belief in health, real food, and collaborative effort. Hope and action is alive and well. Oh, and we still operate out of my home. My fiancée couldn’t be happier.