Episode 165
July 4, 2023

Michelin Dreams and Gourmet Themes

with Julie Nguyen, Co-Founder and CEO of Methodology

About this episode

Today, Lee is joined by the CEO and Co-Founder of Methodology, Julie Nguyen, who shares her journey of building a sustainable gourmet meal prep service. Tune in as Julie breaks down her career journey and explains how her personal health struggles inspired the genesis of Methodology. You’ll also find out why she decided against the venture capital route, focusing instead on product quality over scale, and gain some insight into her greatest challenges thus far. Finally, Julie emphasizes the benefits of planning, and making your business your mule (not the other way around)!

This episode is sponsored by

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 In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

•   [01:02] Introducing Julie and Methodology: the sustainable gourmet meal prep service.

•   [02:55] Julie’s background and career journey, from dropping out of law school to working at JP Morgan to becoming passionate about health while working at Lumosity.

•   [18:03] The genesis and product development of Methodology, inspired by her own journey.

•   [26:16] Methodology’s focus on product quality over scale; why they decided against the venture capital route.

•   [28:34] Julie's dream for Methodology to be the first cloud kitchen to earn a Michelin star.

•   [32:22] The challenges of running the business profitably and navigating the pandemic.

•   [37:24] Why planning and being prepared for potential downturns is crucial and some of the lessons Julie learned along the way.

•   [41:55] Her goals for the business and why she’s currently based in Paris.

•   [46:37] Julie’s final words of advice: make your business your mule, not the other way around!

 To Find Out More:

Julie Nguyen on LinkedIn

Julie Nguyen on Instagram

Methodology (Promo Code: Stairway to CEO)

Methodology on Instagram

Lumosity

Find Your Dream Job

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Stairway to CEO

Stairway to CEO on Instagram

Awesome CX

 Quotes:

“It happened very organically. I think that if I had done market research and seen actual food delivery PNLs, I would've probably never started this business because I would've realized there's very little room for error.” [0:20:14]

“For us, it's always flavor first [because] we hate diet food. None of us want to eat it.” [0:21:44]

“I don't want people to feel like they're making compromises when they eat our food.” [0:24:09] 

“In the early years, we thought we were going to go the venture path, but then we realized that the venture business model is out of alignment with how we want to build the business, meaning quality first, even if that means it has to grow more slowly.” [0:26:29]

“When I look at our customer base, they're literally NBA players, owners of NBA teams, founders [who you’ve] heard of. They can afford to use anything in the world and they use Methodology.” [0:28:18]

“I want Methodology to be the first cloud kitchen to get a Michelin star.” [0:28:45]

“Our business is laser-focused on quality at the highest level in the world. Our goal is to create an at-home eating experience that is the most luxurious but also the most healthy of anything else in the world.” [0:29:35]

“I stared death in the face many times during the pandemic. But also, of course, in the early days of the business, it was the same. But it was just scarier during the pandemic because on top of the business being hard, overall life was hard.” [0:36:23] 

“My dream is to settle down in Europe and marry a European. That’s the priority and that's what's going to happen!” [0:44:35] 

“The business is a mule to us and not the other way around. Once we started running the business like that, everything transformed. The business was more successful. I was healthier and happier.” [0:47:40]

Read the transcript

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