Earn Entrepreneurship

From the Farmers Market to Whole Foods With Starr Edwards

Haley Paskalides  |  April 15, 2024

Starr Edwards shares how she organically grew Bitchin’ Sauce and their focus on being a company that is kind to working parents.

We’re always so impressed when we hear about female founders who can turn a product they start making in their homes into a multi-million dollar business. So, how did they do it? Did they always dream of starting something bigger or did it take time for them to realize that their humble idea could really scale? And do the skills it takes to run a small business translate to running one with many employees, where the day-to-day tasks are wildly different? Starr Edwards is one of those founders. In 2010, she was looking for creative ways to provide for her young family, and with just $200 and a used Vitamix, she started selling her dips, with a clever name – Bitchin’ Sauce.

After starting with small sales at the San Diego Farmers Market, today the company is a $50 million dollar business, and their vegan almond dip is sold everywhere from Costco to Whole Foods.

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“Scaling was so organic and so slow because I didn’t understand the full potential of the opportunity,” Edwards says. “So it was like, okay, now we’ll do two Vitamixes. Now we’ll do four Vitamixes. And then, a couple of years later we splurged and got actual manufacturing equipment that could make us go so much faster.”

Bitchin’ Sauce was eventually discovered by Whole Foods as part of their local forager program, in which employees hit the ground and search for the coolest new items at farmer’s markets. “And it was like a dream to be able to go into Whole Foods,” Edwards says. “They were so wonderful as mentors to help us get to the next level. So originally they only gave us four stores in San Diego. And then we started self-delivering and doing demos at all of the Whole Foods in Southern California.

Eventually, Colorado came calling and after some trial and error with exploding sauces (literally) in the Mile High City, Bitchin’ Sauce started shipping nationwide. Today, they are a $50 million business, and their vegan almond dip is sold everywhere from Costco and Target to Whole Foods.

Now, the brand has over 50 employees and offers a unique perk – free childcare. Edwards knows firsthand the push and pull between being a business owner and a working mom (she has 5 kids!) and she wanted to cultivate a space where her employees can have both. “My soul would crumble at the thought of sending my kids to a daycare somewhere else and having to go and do this work, but not be around them,” Edwards says. “It’s a different way of thinking about work and home life and raising children. We honestly just wanted to help inspire people to be able to have families.”


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