Jessica Gury is a French mom who lives in San Francisco with her family. She's also the CEO and co-founder of Teuko.com, a free online community for lunchbox packers. Previously, Jessica was leading SAP projects for major companies in Europe, with CGI and Accenture. Traveling and discovering new cultures, food, people and traditions are her passions.
Daria: How did you come up with the idea?
Jessica: I'm co-founder and CEO of Teuko, the online community for lunchbox packers. I'm also a French mom living in San Francisco. Before being on the mission to empower busy families against the lunchbox blues, I was a SAP consultant and team leader for Accenture and CGI in Paris, France. It was such an opportunity to work on international projects and to travel to Panama, to Senegal, or to India where I could meet with great people and taste super yummy food!
And who knew I would come up with the idea of Teuko? I've always been a food lover, but with a master in electronics, and then working for services companies, nobody would have guessed it was my destiny! Immigrating from France to the USA seven years ago was also such a big surprise in my life!
At that time, I only had my daughter. She was 2 yo. A year later came her little brother. I was a full-time stay-at-home mom. Then, preschool started for my daughter. Everything was going smoothly for our little family until... well, imagine to picture this scene... One evening, I was in my kitchen preparing my daughter's lunchbox for the following day. She came to me, with a super red angry face, and out of nowhere, she, normally so cute and calm, shouted at me "I always have the same food! I don't want the same food! Please give me something else!" That was the moment I told myself "Oh my, there's a problem here!"
And.. for any problem there is a solution! So I searched for lunchbox ideas and for lunchbox tips, here and there, in my cookbooks, in magazines, on social feeds... Resources abound but I needed a solution to be efficient, to get lunchbox ideas, organizational tools and motivation, all in one place! So I started coding Teuko. Few months later, I met my co-founder, Alexandra, and together, we've been growing our lunchbox community and making lunch packing social, simple and fun!
Daria: What are your business plans and challenges?
Jessica: The plan is to make Teuko the "Strava for lunchbox packers"(*). When you don't have school cafeteria and you have to prepare lunch daily for your kids, it's like having a new sport... in your kitchen! By tracking what you pack, you make each of your packed lunches count. And what's wonderful is that Teuko is (real) food oriented, and, by being together, whether we are in the USA, in Canada, in Australia, in Japan, in Germany, in India... food brings us together, we're not alone anymore, we're now stronger together against the lunchbox blues! So far, I've been bootstrapping and self-funding Teuko and the next challenge will be to get the interest of business partners to keep on making Teuko big for a better, easier, and healthier impact in our lives... one lunchbox at a time!
(*Strava is an online community for running and cycling athletes)
Daria: What values come first in your brand?
Jessica: I wanted Teuko to be a positive experience and a safe place where we can all stay true to who we are. As a matter-of-fact, diversity in food creates awesome culinary experience. Our world is so big, the food, everywhere in the world, looks and tastes so different! So, our lunch boxes, for sure, will be filled in many different ways and will look different! Teuko, it's about fighting against the lunchbox grind Together. And, at the same time, it's about Enjoying our Uniqueness, and being Kind and Open-minded! #TEUKO ! :)
Daria: What is hot in Health & Wellness right now and where do you see it heading?
Jessica: I believe that lifestyle choices, combining food, social, environmental and physical choices, are the hottest factors in Health and Wellness, and that the power of technology will help in improving the quality of life for each one of us, letting the possibility to help each one of us being happy in different unique ways. As for the values of Teuko, I think that simplifying our approach with food, knowing food better, especially the power of real food, that will help us fuel better our bodies and, most importantly, that will help us enjoy eating and, at the same time, feeling well in our bodies and in our minds. Sharing kindness and the discoveries we make into the world, taking care of our environment (it can start by reducing plastic waste for instance)... I think that that's what's hot and that it's also the future in Health & Wellness.
Daria: What advice would you give to someone starting a company in the wellness space?
Jessica: When you start a business, it's hard. When it's in the wellness space, it's even harder. Especially to monetize or to raise funds. So go with your passion! Believe in yourself, trust your intuition, there is a reason why you're doing it. And don't forget to take care of yourself! Your company in the wellness space will be a total success if, despite the hard work, you, the founder of your company, feel healthy and well.
About the author:
Daria Tsvenger is a co-founder of Supergirls Club - women-focused health & wellness community. She is also a yoga teacher and the ultimate powerhouse of creativity. She can be found on instagram @dariatsvenger