Meet Isabel Boerdam, Founder of Green Food Lab, a food consultancy and communications agency that helps people adopt a healthy plant-based lifestyle by using the right words and images.
At an age when most children are figuring out their food choices, Isabel Boerdam decided she wanted to become a vegetarian. She was nine back then and has been a vegetarian ever since. In 2013, she launched her food blog, De Hippe Vegetariër, which is now the largest vegetarian platform in the Netherlands. She started out as a freelancer working with her own clients until, in 2018, she launched the National Week without Meat. The successful launch of the first edition won her the award of a ‘Gamechanger’ in the Food100 and ‘Communications Talent of the year.’ This made her realize that it could turn into something bigger and better.
3 years hence, today, she has a team of 15 ladies in her company, Green Food Lab, that specializes in telling and selling the story of green food. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Isabel was surrounded with a passion for pure food, health, sports, and gastronomy. Her parents supported her decision to become a vegetarian and have always empowered her to speak her mind. They wanted her to choose her own path, and now she is proud to be a green and sustainable entrepreneur.
Elaborating on the concept and origin of her company, she says, “Green Food Lab is a Food Consultancy & Communications Agency, known for its platform De Hippe Vegetariër and the National Week without Meat campaign. We believe that if we affect people with the right words and images through the right channels and at the right time, we can successfully accelerate the route to more plant-based food. We make communication surprisingly effective to achieve our mission. From content to campaigns, from recipe development to editorial tour, and from PR to positioning. This expertise and passion make us a unique partner in this fast-growing world of (more) plant-based nutrition. Thanks to our entrepreneurial spirit, strong network, various (own) channels, and our fresh, creative, efficient, and distinctive way, our stories are the most powerful, look the best, and are the most visible. It is no accident that we call ourselves experts in telling and selling the story of green food. Good for business. Good for the world.”
Initially, Boerdam was a one-woman army, taking care of all the aspects of her job. She didn’t have time and hands to follow up on all the possibilities. Now that she does, she needs to deal with the challenges of a growing business. This includes handling cash flow, hiring the right people whilst empowering the team that can take on some of her responsibilities. The journey from being an executor to a manager has been a real rollercoaster, but Isabel’s faith in her mission is what has kept her going. She wakes up every day inspired and energized to help more people embrace a plant-based lifestyle. Thanks to the Green Food Lab, many people have discovered how easy it is to make changes to their food patterns and add delicious plant-based food to them. Even the food companies who work with them have realized that plant-based is not hype but a sustainable development that needs their full attention and also pays off business-wise.
Starting your business is no walk in the park, and Isabel advises that you should never take no for an answer. You need to believe in yourself even if you don’t have an idea where to begin. A positive mindset goes a long way. Leaving an inspiring message for her readers, she says, “Dream big. And just start by taking one step at a time. As an individual, you can do so much more than you can imagine. All you need is optimism and perseverance. There is always a way, just keep walking.”