What inspired you to pursue your career and/or start your company?
It was at my oldest son’s baseball game when the other moms were discussing what on earth they were going to do for dinner that night - it was already 7:30pm and bedtime was creeping up fast. I realized that my career as a recipe developer, blogger, and cookbook author had all been leading to this moment - I could help my friends! I started sending recipes to the other moms, who then shared with their friends, and soon it just made sense to turn it into something greater and more accessible, a mobile app.
What was the process of starting your company or your career in your industry?
I started my career at Starbucks doing marketing in Seattle but after having kids, I wanted to do something that had more flexibility. I have always been very passionate about cooking and entertaining and at the time, I was running a blog on the side. As the blog gained recognition, exciting opportunities began to come my way. I was hired as the style editor of a local magazine and appointed as a regular guest on local television, which led to writing a cookbook and then developing Weeknight Society.
Where do you envision your career heading in the next five years and what is your ultimate dream for your company?
I truly believe that a family dinner is the most important part of the day. It doesn't matter who your family is - biological, adopted, friends who are like family, neighbors who spend more time at your house than theirs, girlfriends, or boyfriends. Sharing a dinner with family builds bonds, strengthens community, and makes everyone stronger. I also really believe that a good dinner shouldn't take very long to cook.
I am also a firm believer that we should not “downgrade” our palate by serving our families “kid-friendly food” such as chicken nuggets. I have found that if you prepare healthy meals with your kids, using fresh seasonal ingredients they will be excited to eat those meals.
I feel strongly about attempting to do my part in changing the way families eat. After about a year, we decided to change our business model and make the app free and accessible to all. The response has been tremendous and so exciting to see how quickly our user base is now growing.
How we buy groceries and menu plan has changed so much over the last year, I’m excited to be a part of the transition to simplifying an overwhelming task. In five years, I hope to still be encouraging families to eat a healthy – and delicious – dinner together through a variety of media outlets.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your career?
Self-doubt. Starting your business comes with all sorts of hurdles and roadblocks. For me, it was my own self-criticism that was the toughest to overcome.
What would surprise people to know about you?
I graduated college with a degree in Italian Renaissance Art History. I even studied in Rome for a while– it’s where my love of food and cooking really blossomed.
What is your top piece of advice for those who wish to follow in your footsteps?
Be prepared for failure. Creating a path for yourself is a lot of work and there are a lot more “nos” than there are “yeses.” However, the rewarding feeling when you get a “yes” is unbelievable.
What’s the biggest sacrifice you had to make to achieve your dreams?
Starting your own business is not the most financially stable decision.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I created a job that was my hobby. I love to cook, to decorate, and to explore. I’m so lucky that I get to enjoy it all, both personally and professionally.
What’s your ultimate dream?
When I started in the media industry, I dreamed of being on the Food Network one day. I still love the idea of sharing my love of cooking simple dinners and family entertaining, with the world. As the media industry continues to change I’m excited to see what’s next!
After one of her son’s particularly long baseball games, Alexandra sought to fnd a better solution for healthy, weeknight cooking. Using her experience as a recipe developer, blogger and cookbook author she launched Weeknight Society, an app aimed to provide delicious but manageable half hour [...]