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Overview

Date Established 08/2018
Founder Christina Dorr Drake, Russell Drake, Elena (Dorr) Zienda
Headquarters Brooklyn, NY and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Industries
Beverage
Website https://willaskitchen.com/
Press Contact Christina Dorr Drake
Social

Products

About

A wholly different kind of plant based milk. Women-owned. Organic. No funny business.

The only oat milk to use the whole entire oat, which makes Willa's:

-Richer and deliciously smooth

- Just 1 g of oat sugar per cup

- The oat milk with the most protein and prebiotic fiber of any oat milk

- Zero waste and better for the planet
(other oat milks discard the 20-30% healthiest parts of the oat into landfills)

You would be hard pressed to find a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant based milk than Willa’s.

Founding Story

As sisters, Christina and Elena, set out to create an oat milk that measured up to their Grandmother Willa's recipe, they kept uncovering more concerning practices in the plant based milk category and realized they needed to carve their own path.

After being disappointed by the oat milks with their overly sweet taste, ingredients lists that are more chemistry than kitchen and lacking any real sustainable production processes, they decided it was time to revisit their Grandma Willa’s homemade, wholesome Oat Milk.

Christina and Elena were especially shocked to discover that other oat milks prioritize sweetness above all else, by stripping away 30% of the oat and processing the remaining starch heavily to make it into oat sugar.

Willa’s proprietary ‘Whole Oat’ process makes deliciously rich and smooth, and keeps all the protein and fiber intact. Plus, it’s a zero waste process, making it a better choice for the planet! Food waste is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

It’s an oat milk you can be proud to drink and serve at your table.

So if you think you know Oat Milk then try Willa’s as its amazing taste will make you think again.

Bios

Christina Dorr Drake

CEO and Co-Founder

see bio

Prior to starting Willa's, Christina spent over 16 years in marketing strategy, most recently as Strategy Director at Anomaly, leading the Panera account. At this time, Panera was removing all artificial and preservatives from its menu, and Christina was shocked to see that the plant based milks in her fridge had ingredients that fast food restaurants were removing from their menu items. 

While Christina worked at Anomaly, Anomaly won Ad Age's Agency of the Year and Panera garnered a Marketer of the Year Award for its Clean Food Campaign. 

While preparing to launch Willa's in 2020, Christina was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at the age of 36 with no family history or risk factors. Thankfully, she was able to continue to work full time and fundraise through chemo therapy, immunotherapies, radiation and lumpectomy surgery.

Christina was fortunate in that she had the best possible response to cancer treatment and is now cancer free and it is very unlikely to return. She ate a clean, primarily plant based diet throughout treatment (including Willa's of course) and exercised daily because it made her feel the best and helped her combat the effects of chemo. She's filled with gratitude that she had such a positive response to treatment and aims to support other cancer warriors and be an advocate for young women getting mammograms. 

Russell Drake

Chief Growth Officer, Co-Founder

see bio

Prior to starting Willa's, Russell was a Master Trainer in Sales and Leadership at Dale Carnegie and was one of ten trainers to help support Indeed.com in its growth from 500 employees to over 10,000 globally.

Russell became especially interested in sustainable food when he spent extensive time traveling throughout Asia and became aware of deforestation and animal poaching practices. 

Elena (Dorr) Zienda

Chief Product Officer, Co-Founder

see bio

Elena spent 11 years in operations management as a chemical engineer in food and beverages. She's spent her career identifying new ways of making food and beverages healthier and most sustainably in the most efficient way possible. She has a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an Executive MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business.

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