Late July founder Nicole Bernard Dawes was 30 years old and pregnant when she founded the Boston-based snack company back in 2003. 15 years later, she is now a mother of 2 and is running a snack company with over $100 million in annual revenue.
Her chances of slowing down are slim-her products fall within a high growth category in food and beverage. The majority of consumers snack throughout the day and snacking now accounts for half of all eating occasions. Compared to market giants, Late July is considered a smaller player in the snack category. This is to Dawes’ advantage. Smaller, health-driven snack companies are growing at a faster rate.
Dawes is the daughter of Steve Bernard, the founder of Cape Cod Potato Chips. As a result, family is at the root of her company. She notes: “Late July grew out of my desire to make delicious and healthy snacks that the whole family will enjoy.” Dawes is investing in the development of 2 people not on her payroll, her sons Stephen and Benji.
Over the years she has taught them the operations of the Late July company based on their personal interests.
Dawes adds that both children have learned about each department within the company, but are most interested in packaging design and new product development. Their perspectives are always welcomed.
Over the past 15 years, her flexibility in working from home has been key to achieving work-life balance. She has also confirmed that the right technology has been paramount to providing the company flexibility.
For parents entrepreneurs looking to include their children in the family business, Dawes recommends staying open and communicating with them. Also, it’s acceptable for business conversations to happen at the dinner table.
Lastly, Dawes recommends finding their children’s interest within the business and encouraging it.