Elana Turchon is the owner of SweetE Organic and a member of the WorldWideWomen BuyFromWomen™ women-owned business directory.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your career path so far.
A: After serving large corporations for many years, I was inspired and compelled to be of service to our awesome community. My profession over two decades included corporate retail buying, business analytics and product development for very successful Bay Area companies. Having a store is a natural extension, with added benefits – our clients!
Q: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
A: I was volunteering in my daughter’s classroom and upon serving treats to the students, 5 kids said they couldn’t eat them due to food sensitivities - nut, dairy and gluten. I felt heartbroken for these children that couldn’t participate. I needed to learn more about the rise in food allergies. I read everything I could find on the topic, and was determined to make a difference. SweetE was born to be an all-inclusive environment filled with delicious treats, including product for special diets (vegan, vegetarian, paleo and kosher). To do it right, I made sure that all of the ingredients in the products we carry are non gmo and organic. I source candy, chocolate and treats from vendors that use fair trade and/or sustainable practices and give back to organizations meaningful to them - that is very important to us. For this reason, our clients have deemed our sweets “candy with a conscience”! At the end of the day, it’s candy you can feel good about. At SweetE, everyone can be a kid in a candy store!
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: SweetE specializes in clean candy, local craft chocolate and dietary sensitive sweets. SweetE stands for quality -- we carry exceptional chocolate and candy. This means no artificial colors or flavors. We want to showcase that organic candy can be fun and delicious! My mission was to create an inclusive environment, to have “something for everyone”. At SweetE, kids enjoy satisfying treats and their parents feel good about it! But we’re not just about kids. Our clients enjoy local, handmade confections including craft chocolate bars, truffles and sea salt caramels which are among the best of the Bay Area. We support our community – most of SweetE’s confections are made by local, prestigious chocolatiers.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur?
A: There aren't enough hours in the day! There is no doubt I focus on my passion - product knowledge in order to serve our clients the best. Bay Area residents are well versed in the latest food and health trends, and rely on us to be ahead of the game and stock the best product. My passion is to continually grow my knowledge base, and in this case, it regards health and healing, craft chocolate making and fair trade practices.
Q: Where have you found the support you've needed to start, grow, and scale?
A: The support of my family has fueled my fire.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with other entrepreneurial women in the world?
A: If you think you can, you're right! Entrepreneurship requires perseverance, but it is one of the most gratifying adventures you'll ever embark on.
Q: What do you like most about WorldWideWomen?
A: WorldWideWomen inspires girls, connects women, and motivates us to keep it up!