Vote Ali Lazowski
Founder and CEO
City/Town where Organization Located
City/Town of Residence - this is for media placement
Company/organization description (<500 characters)
Our story began in a doctor’s office. Many doctor's offices in fact. After experiencing constant exhaustion, migraines, joint aches and extreme pain when eating, our founder, Ali, needed answers. Following years of searching, she finally discovered that she lives with several chronic illnesses and thyroid cancer and that eating allergen friendly foods made a huge difference in how she felt. Unfortunately, the few foods she found that worked for her lifestyle didn’t taste good and most importantly didn’t fit all of her dietary needs. So she decided to create foods that changed that! And that’s how Bare Life was born. Now everyone can enjoy Bare Life’s first treat, our delicious - 5 ingredient- allergen friendly coconut hot cocoa mix – that’s organic, dairy free, gluten free, kosher, non-gmo, plant based, vegan and paleo.
Tell us about the entrepreneurial milestones you accomplished in 2019 (<500 characters) e.g., patents received, growth rate, and successful MVP, trial, or exit, etc…
It's been an exciting year for us! We are now patent pending for our hot cocoa. We completed our third production run and every run has doubled in size thanks to the wonderful support we’ve received. We re-designed our hot cocoa packaging to now be in single serving packets and stand up pouches that are more lightweight, eco-friendly and yet still recyclable to help us grow and meet customer demand. I was also honored to be named as one of CT Magazine's top 40 under 40. We also just launched on Amazon in their exclusive grocery section. We expanded to 13 locations carrying our hot cocoa including our first one out of state. We excitingly were in a Christmas market scene for the Lifetime movie, Rediscovering Christmas, which was filmed in Old Wethersfield. We also had a wonderful intern from UConn work with us this past summer and I hired my first full-time employee.
What type of entrepreneur are you? Scaling Company: regional, national, or global business focus and greater than $1,000,000 in revenue in 2019; Scalable Venture: regional, national, or global business focus and less than $1,000,000 in revenue in 2019; Main Street: local business focus;Social Good: social enterprise or nonprofit focus
Student entrepreneur: Are you a student and younger than 25 as of December 31, 2019? YES or NO
What CT entrepreneur ecosystem resources (spaces, programs, events, schools, etc.) have helped you succeed? (<500 characters)
I’ve been so grateful for CT’s supportive community and ecosystem. I moved back here to launch my business, as I was born here and most of my family still lives here. But in reality, I didn’t even know how truly uniquely supportive the community here was. Many people have helped guide and advise me, but to name a few: reSET’s impact accelerator has been an incredible resource in helping us launch. The SBDC and their advisors have also been a wonderful resource. And also, my high school, Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT and middle school, Renbrook School in West Hartford, CT were both foundational in teaching me about everything, including entrepreneurship and hard work. My amazingly generous teachers from those schools even placed some of the first orders when I launched Bare Life.
What people are saying about Ali Lazowski...
Founder Ali Lazowski and Bare Life were recently awarded the Best Allergen Friendly Cocoa Mix in the NorthEast region of the United States by Lux Life magazine’s Food and Drink Awards. Lazowski created a hot cocoa mix that's gluten free, dairy free, organic, non-GMO, kosher, paleo, and vegan. The Bare Life website also offers allergen friendly recipes. In store-locations include: ShopRite in Canton, The Crown Market in West Hartford, New Morning Market, in Woodbury, Essential Health in West Hartford, Omar Coffee in Newington, CT Farm Fresh Express in East Haddam, and Liquid Nirvana in Avon and Glastonbury. Since launching the company in 2017, Lazowski has been featured on CT Live on NBC Connecticut, Better Connecticut on WSFB, and FOX61. She was recognized as one of the 40 under Forty in 2018 by the Hartford Business Journal and Connecticut Magazine. The company sources its ingredients from fair-trade friendly companies, ensuring all their products come from sustainable businesses that offer fair market or living wages to their employees. Bernard L. Kavaler
Ali Lazowski is the founder and CEO of Bare Life, a crave-worthy, allergen friendly, West Hartford-based startup company, inspired by her journey with chronic illness. Ali's story began in a doctor's office. Many doctors' offices in fact. After experiencing constant exhaustion, migraines, joint aches and extreme pain when eating, Ali discovered that she lives with several chronic illnesses including IBS, Hashimoto's disease, Lyme disease and Thyroid Cancer. She also discovered that eating allergen-friendly foods made a huge difference in how she felt. Unfortunately, the few foods she found that worked for her lifestyle did not taste good and did not fit all of her dietary needs. So she decided to create foods that changed that! And that's how Bare Life was born. Now everyone can enjoy Bare Life's first treat: a delicious, 5 ingredient, allergen friendly Coconut Hot Cocoa Mix that's Organic, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kosher Pareve, Non-GMO, Plant Based, Vegan, Paleo, Soy Free and Corn Free. Cynthia Lahm
Ali Lazowski is the founder and CEO of Bare Life, a crave-worthy, allergen friendly West Hartford-based startup company inspired by her journey with chronic illness. When she was a junior in college, after experiencing extreme exhaustion, pain and migraines and after endless trips to countless doctors, Ali discovered that she lives with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Hashimoto's Disease, Thyroid Cancer, Lyme Disease and its co-infections. With this discovery, Ali had to change the way she ate and doctors recommended switching to an allergen and irritant free diet. Ali found that there were very few foods she could eat that were gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free and that tasted good. She wanted to change that, not just for her, but for everyone else in similar situations dealing with chronic illnesses and food allergies. So, she created Bare Life's first product, an allergen friendly Coconut Hot Cocoa Mix that is organic, kosher pareve, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo, vegan, soy free, plant based, corn free and non-gmo. Ali turned her journey with chronic illness into a delicious treat that everyone can enjoy! Isabelle Albin
Ali has inspired me with her perseverance and determination to overcome chronic illnesses, Lyme disease, and cancer - she was freaking bedridden! And she used her struggles, instead of being defeated by them to create a company, Bare Life and a product that is helping thousands of people enjoy hot chocolate again. I mean that may seem like a small thing, but when you haven't been able to have hot chocolate for years, like me, and you feel isolated and excluded from normal things that she has been able to help with is incredible and makes her very deserving of this award. Additionally, she regularly speaks to student groups and donates her time at reSET. Shana Windsor