Years ago a client told me about a healthy chocolate chip cookie. The second this client left my office I was tracking down these “Holistic Chocolate Chip” creations. I was so bowled over when I first tasted this kookie that I wrote a love letter to it (I know). Over the years, I developed a friendship with Juli, the owner of Kookie Karma. I could tell over the phone and via email she was a good egg (bad analogy). At the same time, clients and readers were falling in love with Kookie Karma kale “krackers”, their kookies and really everything they produced. At the office, we joked about the delays we experienced receiving some of our orders. We always chalked it up to the care it took to produce such amazing small-batch products and also, let’s face it, that the company was based in California. In retrospect, there may have been more to it.
A short time ago, I realized I hadn’t been in touch with Juli in a while, and reached out. She responded and explained she had made the tough decision to close Kookie Karma. She attached a link that I’ll share with you. I found her words so relatable whether you’re a business owner or a mom,  if you’ve even been blindsided by a new passion or had to say a difficult goodbye. Here is Juli’s story:
Dear Kookie Karma,
On a beautiful Saturday at the Santa Monica farmer’s market, where the fruit and veggies were bountiful, people were friendly, hippies were frolicking, the air was salty and fog was blowing in, I picked up a cookbook.
A book, for a self-proclaimed “chef”, looked extremely enticing. Every recipe was full of bright plant foods, beautiful salads, and pizza topped with flowers(?!), gorgeous meals with the simplest ingredients. As I read the book I realized that each recipe was made with ONLY raw fruits and vegetables. No dairy. No animal meat. No sugar. No butter. No eggs. Not only did I buy the book, but I also decided to try this raw food ONLY lifestyle for one week.
I headed straight for my kitchen and I followed recipe after recipe. I can’t even begin to explain the way I felt. I didn’t cheat one time {note: I even brought my own salad dressings to happy hour with my girlfriends and they were definitely annoyed with me at this point}. Meals were in Tupperware containers and were ready to grab out of the fridge. Nothing went in my mouth that came from a package, not even chewing gum. I ate REAL, non-cooked, energy filled, sprouted, fresh, organic food for seven whole days.
The results: Endless energy. Smooth skin. 5 lbs. dropped {not a goal, just a side effect}. My Eczema cleared {all gone and doctors had told me it would never go away and just gave me steroid creams}. I felt light and airy. Slept like a baby. I was happy and energetic. No brain fog. No headaches. NO PMS!!
I had been working in an attorney’s office and had a bad case of the office blues and those seven days of eating a 100% raw diet motivated me to leave my job and return to school to study nutrition. A year later Kookie Karma was born. Using my cooking experience and nutrition knowledge, I created my own “packaged snacks” to sell to stores. My “kookies” contained no dairy, no sugar, no gluten and no soy.
I didn’t see another product like this on the market and I figured if I felt this good eating this way, so would everybody else. I lived and breathed my business. Sweat. Tears. Hours of baking. Deliveries. Web design. Package design. Sales. Marketing. Email after email. You name it.
I landed Whole Foods Market as one of my first customers, which then led to me building my own commercial kitchen. It was a dream come true. Despite the long hours, I could still make my own hours which allowed me to have fun on the side. A 24 year old’s dream!
Sales went up, Kookie Karma was named a “hot item” by In Style magazine in 2006 and I was named one of the Top 20 Entrepreneurs in their 20s by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Then… I fell in love. I was not only distracted by a man but suddenly I wanted different things in my life. In fact, it wasn’t long before we were starting a family. Thinking everything would be fine and I could make it work, my employees could handle it, I could bring my son to work. You know, all those thoughts you have before your big wake-up call {the day the baby arrives}.
I remember being on the phone with the bank, computer on my lap and my newborn baby at my side, and they informed me that due to the declining economy, my line of credit was being revoked.
A year later, I was in the same boat but with a 1 year old running around and another newborn on my lap. I was checking email just hours after the birth of my second son and back in the office a week later.
My passion for health food wasn’t fading but my drive to be an entrepreneur was. I didn’t want to wear all the hats; juggle cash flow, stay on top of the bookkeeping or answer the never-ending phone calls. My interest, my head and my HEART were someplace else. Kookie Karma had became nothing but stress for me.
Over the next few years, Kookie Karma grew a little but I had stopped taking a salary and I needed investors. I didn’t have the time or energy to search for them, my focus was elsewhere. I tried to sell, but the business needed funding to keep going another month.
Eventually, it died.
A slow painful death at that.
Kookie Karma has been a huge part of me. It’s the only real career I’ve known. It has defined and shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve learned more from running my own business than any business school could teach me, I’ve met the coolest people and had the same, wonderful staff for over seven years. I have received the BEST thank you letters from people who have enjoyed my products. In fact, it was often those messages that kept me in the business longer than I should have been. 
But I realized that my past had to die before my new life could really start. I couldn’t handle being a CEO and a mom. That realization was HUGE. My kids are my passion now. Forget trying to expose the WORLD to health food, it’s a challenge just trying to expose my sons to it!
I am still blogging at PUREmamas and consulting. Someday I’ll start another business, but for now I’m just wearing the mommy hat and it is by far the hardest yet most fulfilling one yet. I’ve definitely gone through feelings of guilt and failure and disbelief. I never thought I’d be saying goodbye to Kookie Karma.
I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything was the way it should have been. And it is how it should be. I made a choice. A big huge choice and grew from it. Pain, stress and hardship make our souls richer.
Goodbye 20′s.
Goodbye Kookie Karma.
I loved this letter and thought you all would too.
Questions for you. Does this leave you sad that Juli had to choose or do you see it as her embracing “her new life” as she said? Do you think you can be equally passionate about motherhood and a business or career? Work lives and personal lives? Does Juli’s story about going “raw” make you want to experiment with your own diet, to dive into something different?
My favorite quote:
“ I realized that my past had to die before my new life could really start.”
Two pieces of news. First, I emailed with Juli yesterday and she’s completely content with her decision though she wishes she could have sold the business (somehow I feel that was meant to be). And second, we have a new feature called Thin and Thifty with one item on sale at the Foodtrainers’ store each week. Too bad it can’t be Kookie Karma.


Sign up for Foodtrainers' Monday Morsels Newsletter and receive Foodtrainers' "Top 10 Secret Weapons" to take your nutrition from basic health to unbelievable.

Success! Thank you for subscribing to Foodtrainers' Monday Morsels.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This