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Sponsored by: TD Bank
April 25, 2022

SBA Winner: Bare Life

Bare Life
Top Executive: Ali Lazowski, CEO & Founder
Headquarters: West Hartford
More Information

Category Winner: Microenterprise of the Year

Q&A speaks with Ali Lazowski of Bare Life, which launched four years ago. The company manufactures a hot cocoa mix that just requires hot water. The mix is dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based and organic.

How did you get into this business? What motivated you?

I was diagnosed with both cancer and Lyme disease within a short time. My doctors told me to stop eating dairy, gluten and refined sugars, which left me with few options. So, I decided to create my own foods, and that’s how Bare Life was born.

Describe your target customer.

Our target customer is someone looking for better food options, whether because of health or lifestyle reasons, or just because they want to enhance their body’s performance.

Looking into the future five years, where do you see your business?

Our mission is to re-imagine our foods by creating crave-worthy foods that are easy to enjoy, plant-based and free from dairy, gluten and refined sugars. Hot chocolate is just the beginning for us.

What strengths have you discovered about yourself and your employees during this past year?

I was wearing every hat, and now it’s time to delegate more so we can grow. Delegation is a muscle I’m working on strengthening. I’ve been so proud of how my team has risen to the occasion and flourished in new leadership positions.

Can you tell us a little bit about the culture of your business?

I try to create a supportive culture where everyone feels free to express their opinions and provide feedback. Not only does that help us grow, it also helps empower our team members.

What has been your biggest accomplishment?

Building our great team, mentors and community around Bare Life. Nothing we do, like appearing on QVC, being in all Whole Foods in New England and learning to work with my health challenges, happens without that great team and community around us.