Since her start as a seven-year-old selling “imported” Kool-Aid at a premium to neighbors in Taipei, Jenny Eu has had a knack for food business. Although her beverage preferences have evolved from sugary punch to healthy, plant-based drinks, Jenny’s passion for food has been relentless as her skills and experience have evolved. Her Three Trees Nutmilk line is made with only almonds and simple, high-quality ingredients. It was Jenny’s desire to produce “a true nutmilk” that has garnered an ever-increasing fan base including the likes of Blue Bottle Coffee, who started offering Three Trees’ almond milk in their cafes after it beat out a crowd of other non-dairy alternatives in a blind taste test.
Last year, Three Trees Nutmilk was just a small production team working from a commercial kitchen, but Jenny wanted to scale up, and fast. By enrolling in the Food Craft Institute’s Business Intensive, the precursor to the organization’s yearlong Quarterly Business Modules, she was able to connect with business owners who had experienced the challenges she was facing. “Every instructor I’ve had at FCI has been wonderful. They’re very knowledgeable, engaging, and interested in helping you,” she says. Among her instructors was Minh Tsai, tofu master at Oakland’s Hodo Soy Beanery. “Having himself gone through building a company, his instruction is not only insightful, it’s very practical and inspirational.”
Just one year later, with Blue Bottle, Bi-Rite, and Berkeley Bowl among her top accounts, Jenny already has other start-ups asking to share her notes. With a lot of hard work, long hours, and a little help from Minh Tsai and FCI, Jenny was able to turn her tiny start-up into a sweet success. Her best advice is simple. “Plan. But be prepared for everything to take twice as long. And be twice as hard. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The food community is full of great people, and everyone goes through some similar challenges.” Read Jenny’s complete interview here.