Jenny Goldfarb

Founder of Unreal Deli

Jenny Goldfarb, aka Mrs. Goldfarb, is the founder of Unreal Deli. She grew up on the Standard American Diet (SAD), and in her early 30s, learned about the plight of animals on factory farms, which led her to adopt a plant-based diet. After much trial and error she became a whiz in the plant-based kitchen and realized the thing she missed most after becoming vegan was premium NY-style deli meat. She sought to recreate a corned beef made from beets, chickpeas, tomatoes and high protein wheat. The recipe became such a hit that it encouraged her to produce her Corn’d Beef Reubens for Delis, Whole Foods, even Shark Tank, where she took on Mark Cuban as primary investor. The company then developed Unreal Roasted Turk’y followed by Unreal Steak Slices (coming soon). With no experience in the food sector, let alone launching a company, she gave birth to this rapidly expanding business in her tiny kitchen while pregnant with her 3rd child. The Unreal Deli product line can now be found in thousands of restaurant and grocery locations with more to come.

Where did the idea for The Unreal Deli come from?

I couldn’t find high quality NY style deli meat in the vegan world and wanted it for my own pallet. Then folks started telling me it was so good I could make a business of it…

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Rise at 6ish and hang with my kids (3 girls inc a 1 year old!). At 8 I hit hard, typically working off my to do list to email, have calls, and meetings all up until lunch time. That’s when I take a 25 minute walk with my dog. This is super important processing time. No phones, no nothing. 25 minutes all mine. Then back at my desk for all my favorite creative work – dreaming up new ideas, writing crazy sales emails, imagining the potential and putting some building blocks down to manifest. I also like to work half days on Sundays. Gets the whole week teed up. It’s like extra credit. I thank the Israeli workweek for this one.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Researching, note taking, sharing typically with my R&D chef, my main advisor – my dad, then going into serious coordination mode.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The curtailing of using animals as food.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Being one of the good guys. Literally wanting to make this world more compassionate and healthy, vibrant, having all the best feelings about what I do. It’s contagious.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Go with compassion.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Animals aren’t food.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Have alacrity – cheerful speediness.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Doing it with love. Loving my meats. Loving the animals and the earth. It’s part of everything and people feel it.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Bringing someone in as an advisor who didn’t have our best interest in mind. Had a very direct and somewhat uncomfortable discussion expressing my feelings. The situation could have cost $12,000 and the person agreed to go away for $1.00.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The way you can connect with the biggest executive in the biggest company is go to the “executive team” page of their website and try the 3 permutations to email them, ie: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I gave a bonus to my assistant yesterday for $100 because she got us back $275 on a freezer that’s delivery got delayed. Taking care of your people are the best spends!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Shopify – it’s such a beast.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Stories of Rabbi Carlebach – it’ll teach you how to be brimming with empathy and peace, then you can succeed at business.

What is your favorite quote?

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” Paul McCartney. I like to add what does have glass walls – Youtube – and you know who’s watching? More and more people every day.

Key Learnings:

  • If you want to start a game-changing business, look for what’s broken in the world, hold empathy and then get creative.
  • Be proactive, try to understand all parts of your business and then you can scale, grow, bring people on to take over different departments.
  • Show excitement and love for what you do and the people you work with, even if you have to fake it – that excitement and love is the greatest currency in the world.