Julie Nguyen thinks food should be beautiful and comforting – and not a chore to dread. That’s why she co-founded Methodology, a meal prep service designed specifically with sustainable ingredients and sustainable packaging.

Raised by immigrant parents from Vietnam, Julie was expected to go to college and do anything but work in the food industry. She studied economics at Stanford but was dogged by health problems in her 20s that she later determined to be related to her diet.

“I was just shocked by all of this,” she says. “I changed my diet. My health completely turned around. I got off all my prescription drugs. I just became this happy, healthy, vibrant person sleeping well and feeling good. And it was just by changing my diet and doing nothing else.”

Still, it was a burden to prep healthier meals each week.

“It was 6 hours every Sunday after already working a 60- to 80-hour workweek,” she says. “So I had been doing that for years, and I just thought there has to be a better way.”

Julie considers junk food the real competition of Methodology.

“I want people eating Methodology instead of eating food loaded with sugar and excess fat and refined carbohydrates,” she says. “The junk food industry, the snack industry – they’re very good at making food fun. So I have to be as good as they are if I’m going to get people to make the decision to eat Methodology.”

It’s a mission that doesn’t yet have the full support of her parents, she says.

“My mom still isn’t supportive,” Julie says. “She still wishes I worked at a Google or a Facebook or went back to a bank again and had a more stable, normal job that didn’t put doesn’t put so much pressure and stress on me because yeah, it’s a demanding job.”

Julie credits her circle of friends for their support and understanding. Some friends have even invested in the business.

“I just think there’s almost no way I can live my dream life unless I were willing to be okay with people not understanding me,” she says.

Those people have also been there for her when seemingly impossible challenges arise.

“I’m just kind of used to this idea that problems will constantly pop up,” she says. “We will not initially know the answer to these problems, but we will eventually figure it out. And that’s what being a co-founder is like. There’s no playbook for it.”

In Part 1, Julie talks about:

* Gratitude to her co-founder for allowing her the freedom to work remotely from around the world for a year.
* How her family’s history in Vietnam affected her career path.
* How health problems led her to make changes in her diet.
* Why she considers junk food makers her real competition.
* The different levels of support from friends vs. her family.

Join Ramon Vela and Julie Nguyen as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.

For more on Methodology, visit: https://www.gomethodology.com/ 

This episode is brought to you by Sendlane.

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