Just out of the University of Southern California and with her whole life in front of her, Brill was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Though she beat the disease, being sick made her take a closer look at how she treated her body as well as made her cherish the things in life she truly adored.
Listen to a lot of entrepreneurs talk and you get the feeling that the choice to start their own business was a life or death decision, but for Loren Brill that really was pretty much the case.
Along with those close to her, food was the defining factor in both these passions so she poured her time and energy into all-things culinary. She took a master class in cooking at the New School and channeled her knowledge into gigs writing about clean living and healthy eating for Huffington Post.
As much as eating right was important to her health and well-being, Brill knew life was too short not to enjoy it by eating the sweets she craved so much. That’s when she decided to start Sweet Loren’s, which makes non-GMO, gluten free, plant-based, dairy free, and nut-free cookie dough products.
Using her culinary background and what she learned at a business program at Columbia University as well as $15,000 of her own money, she tinkered with the recipes and her business model until both were just right. In 2011, she brought her finished product to Whole Foods. They of course loved it and stocked it in their NYC stores.
Now Sweet Loren’s refrigerated cookie dough products can be found in over 10,000 supermarkets nationwide as well as on their website. In 2019, the company came in at 114 on Inc. magazine’s annual 500 list, a prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
Along the way to the top (they’re #1 natural cookie dough brand in the US) you might have seen Brill on the front page of USA Today or in Marie Claire, which named her the top woman entrepreneur in 2012.
As you can imagine she’s pretty busy, but she found some time to tell us about how Sweet Loren’s came to be, her business practices and how she finds balance between work and play.
Cancer at 22 is a pretty big motivator. Maybe the biggest. But while it was the tipping point for Brill to follow her dream, that dream didn’t materialize out of thin air. Nor did the key traits of an entrepreneur: determination and leadership. These were always alive and well inside of Brill, just waiting for a chance to flourish.
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[Loren is wearing the Triple F.A.T. Goose Ellaria in White]