NewsMaking It In San Diego


San Diego entrepreneur launches Kroma Wellness during pandemic

Founder pivots funding strategy and hits it big
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Posted at 9:18 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 00:18:19-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Any entrepreneur will tell you the road to success is fraught with potholes, and the pandemic only made it more challenging for most.

Lisa Odenweller is the woman behind Kroma Wellness. She describes it as powder-based functional nutrition from 150 superfoods ranging from maca, turmeric, ginger, collagen, spirulina, and others.

She has 19 products from a breakfast porridge, broths, elixirs, lattes, and crowd favorite OMG cookie butter.

Odenweller has been in the wellness space for 14 years, believing food is medicine. She even previously built the Beaming Cafe brand, calling it her greatest teacher.

"I learned a lot of hard lessons... mistakes I won't make again. I'll make all kinds of new ones, but I think thru those experiences is when you really get to dig deep."

After leaving Beaming, Odenweller stayed true to herself and her mission to make superfoods available to everyone. She started creating Kroma Wellness with her daughter Lexi three years ago.

They got in the kitchen and began creating the foods and beverages. Just as they were ready to begin finding funding the pandemic shut everything down. They had to pivot.

They began putting out beta-tests to friends who also shared with their friends. The feedback was good but Odenweller says 50 investors took a pass because they wanted proof of concept.

Finally, when Odenweller was close to moving in with her parents because she had cleaned out her 401K and was down to the wire — she got her first check.

It was from former Twitter CEO Dick Costello. That gave her the lifeline she needed.

She continued to give out samples and spread the word.

Last spring she woke up in tears unsure how to launch Kroma, when she looked at her email. Gwyneth Paltrow emailed wanting to invest. That, plus another female investor who introduced Odenweller to a group of female investors, was what she needed.

Kroma launched in late July of 2021. Now it's attracted articles in Vogue, Forbes, and Fortune Magazine. Her OMG Cookie Butter won a foodie award from USA Today.

Now Odenweller's daughter Lexi describes Kroma as a rocket ship.

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