I'm super excited to introduce you to Mary Waldner of Mary's Gone Crackers. For those of you with Celiac Disease or following a gluten-free diet, you’ve probably seen these delicious crackers on a shelf near you. Inspired by her own struggles with Celiac Disease, Mary saw a need for nutritious, gluten-free options that tasted good.
After many years of illness and being sick (since she was a child), Mary was diagnosed at 43 with Celiac Disease. And yes, she was thrilled with finally receiving a diagnosis. In this episode, she opened up about her experience with healing as well as her 27-year career as a practicing psychotherapist before her homemade crackers took on a life of their own.
Mary talked about the process of starting Mary’s Gone crackers, including her many failed attempts at getting the cracker dough just right. Then, she shares what it was like to satisfy the public’s overwhelming demand for her product and the sometimes harsh realities of building, running and, later, exiting a business. For the uninitiated among us or the non-entrepreneurs, it's not all glitter and rainbows all of the time.
Mary offers a unique perspective when sharing her stories and insights as both a healer and a food company entrepreneur. It was such a joy having her as a guest. Tune into our conversation using the links below.
Selected link love + resources from the episode:
Food Inc. (documentary)
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All of this wisdom is from Mary Waldner herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:7:00] I was making crackers all the time and giving them to people and just watching this thing happen. I was thinking, ‘This is not a normal reaction to a cracker.’
[00:10:24] (On the healing power of groups of women) I called this random psychic, and she said,
‘I see you healing with a group of women.’ I said, ‘Well, I don't have a group of women.’ (She found one.)
[00:18:54] (On taking seed money from friends) Failure was not an option. That was our mantra. Failure was not an option. We figured out many times, if the crackers didn't succeed, how long would it take to pay back all the money that we had raised. That was always in our thoughts.
[00:19:57] (On the sometimes harsh realities of running a business) It was so clear the Universe wants these crackers. This is bigger than just some whimsical idea here. There are so many things that just lined up, and miracles happened all the time, in the midst of hell.
[00:25:47] I think of food often as the interface between us and the planet.
[00:44:27] (On starting Mary’s Gone Crackers) It's joyous that I listened to my deep self, took a risk, and did it.
[00:45:00] (On starting Mary’s Gone Crackers) It came from a deeper place of knowing what was needed and doing it no matter what. It was not necessarily feeling good or joyful, but my knowing that this is my truth, and I'm going to live that.
[00:46:20] I think that we forget that there's something about being alive that's about service. Whatever you're serving, whether it's your community, the planet, God, or your inner voice, we're not guaranteed glitter.
[00:58:25] I've put myself on a mandatory year off because I was ready to start another project. I realized that it was time for me to go. I knew that they were never going to make the products that I wanted to make and that I'd been waiting around for them to make. They were never going to do that.
[01:08:01] The planet needs you to be joyful.
[01:09:05] It's not about what you do. It's about who you are. That's what playing is about. That it. It's not about achieving anything other than joy.
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