Kaitlin Mogentale, founder and CEO of Pulp Pantry, was a model student and, despite a healthy admiration for her more mischievous peers, was a high-achiever who studied and earned good grades at school while voluntarily taking on whatever extra-curricular activities she could. Attending a Women in Science event sparked her passion for the subject and sent her down the path of searching the world for its problems and solutions.
The first major problem she identified came while interning with The Garden School Foundation, an L.A. non-profit that provides schools with gardening and cooking classes. Through her work for the organization, she became aware of just how many people are living their lives with a dire lack of access to healthy, nutritional food.
The second big problem became clear, one day, when she watched her friend juice a carrot. They were about to throw the solid, vegetable leftovers away, and Kaitlin was immediately struck by just how much quality food is constantly being wasted as discarded pulp.
She saw a way that the two problems could be united, solving each other in the process, and Pulp Pantry was born: a food manufacturer with the aim to cultivate nutritious and sustainable food options for future generations.
Kaitlin came from a loving, stable family and, to this day, she’s filled with gratitude for the upbringing they gave her. It’s, perhaps, this gratitude that makes her sense of social responsibility so strong and what drives her to find ways to improve the world, two problems at a time. In this episode of the Gravity Podcast, Kaitlin joins us to discuss the inspirations and motivations behind her successful, ethical venture.
What Brett asks:
- [01:26] Start at the beginning: tell me where you came from?
- [05:55] How was your family life, growing up?
- [13:20] Why do you have so much gratitude for your upbringing?
- [17:50] What was it about science that inspired you?
- [21:00] Where did your sense of social responsibility come from?
- [27:50] After you developed an interest in science, what happened next?
- [34:35] Did you ever wonder what your path in life was?
- [42:00] What were the steps between your studies and launching your business?
- [48:40] Tell the listeners about your company, Pulp Pantry.
Lessons for intentional living:
- Kaitlin’s desire to acknowledge her privilege, and to find ways to repay the world for the gratitude she feels, is truly inspiring. We’re all grateful for something in our lives. This is something we should all be able to learn from. Trying to pay things forward by creating an ethically-driven and socially conscious business has done great things for Kaitlin. She’s now a successful entrepreneur with a real sense of purpose, but better than that, she’s doing something positive for all of us thanks to her company’s mission. I think it’s a perfect example of the way that putting positivity out into the world can attract positivity back towards us. It’s win-win.
- I found it interesting that Kaitlin made the point that, perhaps, she was a little bit too well-behaved when compared to her more “mischievous” peers. The healthiest option seems to be to find a strong balance between doing as we’re told and knowing when the rules should be bent. Going too far in either direction can lead to serious problems, so as with most things in life, moderation is key.
- There’s a beautiful metaphor in Pulp Pantry’s business model: solving a problem with another problem. Kaitlin identified the two issues she saw with food being wasted and people not receiving adequate nutrition. She realized that both of those problems could almost cancel each other out. It turned them both from negatives into positives. Always look for the silver lining because any problem could really be a blessing in disguise.