Reading time: 3 minutes
In the last mom boss chat, we learned about Earth’s Farmacy Tara and Arianne. For this one, I am so excited for you to meet Moka Sullivan. I met Moka and her husband Steve earlier this summer at their Stoka Nutrition’s factory, where they produce their keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, low carb and all-natural products. These include the Vanilla Almond Bar which was in August’s Polkadots Box.
Moka wears several hats…full-time employee, mom of five, wife, and entrepreneur to name a few. Those are some pretty big hats to wear, right?! But what I admire the most are her work ethic, business practice, and genuine friendliness.
How did Stoka Nutrition started?
When I first started I didn’t have any specific related background, in fact my background is in transportation…nothing to do with bars and food. It started when we had our now 3 year old child. We wanted a good clean snack for ourselves, since we noticed that if our kids have low sugar, everybody is going to have a better day. My husband Steve is a really good cook, so he started to make quick snacks we could have with us all the time. He made these bars and the kids loved them. We started taking them to work, and people were saying “Hey, these are pretty good, maybe you should start selling them”.
What happened next?
We started out with just two flavors, and we didn’t know anything about making bars, selling…nothing! But my husband and I are pretty good at “if we don’t know something, find someone who does and can help you along the way”. We were able to get to know and partner with really neat people along this journey who helped us figure out what we were doing. The Keto community, for example, is where we started, and they were very welcoming.
What makes your product special?
I think the fact that we have always wanted to make something that we would like and eat ourselves…and the crunchiness. I remember going to Keto conferences and people were kind of suspicious, kind of “How what is this, you are trying to trick me..” and then after they tried our bars, they would say “Oh wait, this is really good!”. We are just genuine in what we do. We are still small, and not matter what size we will grow to, we will care about our people, and customers. We want them to like these bars, because we like them, and want to share them with others.
What motivates you?
I think it’s really cool that the kids are watching us, and they realize that hard work can really pay off. I have people who are watching me. This is very important to me, not because they have to start their own business but because they recognize that they can put their full effort into something and think “Hey if she can do it, I can do it, let’s give it a shot”.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
We are growing pretty fast… sometimes it would be nice to go with a slower growth, to catch up with what we are learning. Not that I would slow down our growth, but it was so much, so quickly. I would say, just enjoy the growth as it comes, and each step with it. Not everything has to be so fast.
One secret that you’d like to share with other mom bosses?
I don’t know if this is a secret, but it can definitely help. I think it is just asking, and always trying to learn more. If you want to be successful, don’t think that you got it. There are always so many great people to learn from. I think it is a really cool part when people can help you as well, and you have this mutual relationship.