Interview: Lori Lefcourt, Cofounder of Unicreamer Vegan Coffee Creamer
Lori Lefcourt is the cofounder of Unicreamer, a vegan coffee creamer that is kind to your body, animal welfare, and the Earth. Unicreamer contains five grams of pea protein and one gram of coconut oil per serving, making it a supercharged alternative to standard coffee creamer with the power to keep you full and focused with more energy to devote to the things you care about most. Unicreamer is a socially and environmentally conscious company that is making history through innovation and dedication to meaningful causes. We are proud to call Lori part of the Like a Boss Girls family!
Name: Lori Lefcourt
Job Title: Cofounder (My business partner is my sister, Elise!)
Currently based in: Chicago, IL
Originally from: St. Louis, MO
A woman in history you admire & why:
Princess Diana. She used her fame and power towards so many humanitarian efforts.
A (current) woman you admire & why:
Lisa Vanderpump. She is an extremely hardworking self-starter who is constantly growing and owns several restaurants and businesses globally. I admire that she uses her stardom and financial resources to lead global animal welfare initiatives. She recently opened her own dog rescue in Los Angeles.
Quote/piece of advice that you live by:
Fail forward. Execution is everything.
What inspired you to start your current venture?
The story behind Unicreamer began several years ago, when my sister Elise and I were both living busy lives and traveling a lot for work. It can be difficult to eat healthy when you’re always on the go, so I started looking into protein supplements that I could have in the morning to curb food cravings and give me more energy throughout the day. Both my sister and I are passionate animal rights activists, so we did not want to consume animal-based protein supplements, and most of the protein bars and shakes we found contained too much sugar and were too heavy to consume between meals.
My solution was to start adding a tablespoon of pea protein to my coffee every morning as a substitution for coffee creamer. It was super chunky and messy, but it helped to reduce my food cravings and increased my energy throughout the day. Soon, my sister Elise got on board, and we started to discuss how a protein-based, vegan coffee creamer should be a THING. That’s how Unicreamer was born!
Now that we’ve created Unicreamer, protein-based, vegan coffee creamer is a thing! Going forward, my main source of inspiration is our company’s commitment to making a positive impact on animal welfare and the environment. I am also so proud to have cofounded and built a business that will hopefully one day become part of my family’s legacy.
What is your company doing to make history today?
We have created a vegan coffee creamer that is kind to your body, animal welfare, and the Earth. Unicreamer contains five grams of pea protein and one gram of coconut oil per serving, making it a supercharged alternative to standard coffee creamer with the power to keep you full and focused with more energy to devote to the things you care about most. We are also making history by leading the animal welfare movement and building an environmentally and socially conscious company.
What is one thing you and/or your company have accomplished that you are most proud of?
We exceeded our sales goals in the first week! In addition, we were able to raise money to create jobs for women in Honduras with the help of our coffee partners.
What is one project you are currently working on that you are most excited about?
We are working to build our partnerships with animal welfare charities. We would love to leverage our success as a vegan coffee creamer company to help save as many animals as possible (who in turn, save people!)
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
Our biggest challenge is getting noticed. Even though protein-based, vegan coffee creamer is a unique product, we are still fighting for a place in a very crowded market.
Also, as we know, building a company with two female founders has its challenges as well, because women-owned businesses are less likely to get funding, investors, etc.
What is a trend in your industry that you foresee becoming popular in the future?
There’s a trend for clean label ingredients. The new mainstream mentality is that less is more. I believe that over the next few decades, we will continue to move away from processed foods. Hopefully, we will also distance ourselves from accepting the horrendous, barbaric practice of factory farming.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced at this job?
My sister Elise and I put everything into building our dream business. We have literally invested everything – financially, mentally and physically – to make it happen.
When we first started Unicreamer, I had just broken up with my boyfriend, so I moved out of my cushy apartment on Upper West Side and into an apartment with two roommates right above a bar directly across from Penn Station, which is quite possibly the loudest location in NYC. I decided that I was willing to sacrifice my lifestyle and funds in order to put my dream into action.
Initially, Elise was funding most of the business, but she unexpectedly lost her medical sales job when her company got acquired. I remember lying in bed sometimes, thinking, “How the hell am I going to pull this off? Is this all worth it? Am I good enough to do this?” It took a lot of mental strength to get myself in the right headspace to push the negative thoughts out of my head and be productive during the day.
My sister and I always try to remember to practice gratitude. We remind ourselves of how lucky we are to even have the opportunity to pursue something like this. On top of that, we have the gift of being surrounded by amazing family and friends who genuinely want us to succeed.
What were you doing before your current role?
I moved to NYC without a job, but for some reason, I had a massive intuition that I would “make it” once I got there. A few months after moving to New York, I landed a job on Wall Street and stayed with the company for about six years.
When I finally left, I almost got sued by my boss who I had always seen as a mentor. This made a challenging situation even more difficult. I went through some major life experiences during my time with that company, especially because I was working in a predominantly male field.
After leaving my job on Wall Street, I caught the entrepreneurial bug after seeing several of my girlfriends build their own successful companies.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders & change-makers?
You don’t have to be the smartest person, but there’s a lot to be said for persistence and working really, really, really damn hard.
Are there any great resources you have discovered that you would like to share?
I get inspired by reading books like “You Are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. I also listen to podcasts every day. There are lots of business-related podcasts that are great for inspiration, like The Tim Ferris Show. Lastly, I recommend joining groups and/or masterminds with likeminded people who will provide a support system and lift you up when you need it most.
Fun fact about yourself:
I was the third-fastest girl at my high school!
Is your company is currently hiring or looking for partnerships? If so, where can readers go to find more information?
We are always looking to align with companies that are a good fit for our brand. We are also accepting applications for summer interns. We’d especially like to find an intern with digital media skills. You can reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.