Willa's

Organic Oat Milks using the entire whole oat

Company overview

Date Established:
2018
Description:
Organic Oat Milks using the entire whole oat
Founder:
Founders:
Christina Dorr Drake
,
Russell Drake
,
Elena (Dorr) Zienda
Headquarters:
Brooklyn, NY and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Industry:
Beverage
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about

Willa’s was started by two sisters and born from a family belief in using honest ingredients to make food both absolutely delicious and nutritious.

At Willa's, we create a deliciously creamy consistency, using the whole ingredients as nature intended. 

Willa’s Oat Milks are the most sustainable plant milks on the market (organic ingredients and zero food waste), and the healthiest oat milks around. They create a deliciously creamy consistency, using the whole ingredients as nature intended. Their first products were inspired by their grandmother’s oat milk recipe, and transformed into a proprietary, zero waste milling approach that creates a creamy consistency using the whole entire oat.

While other oat milks strip away the healthiest 20-30% of the oat, and then process them heavily to make them sweeter and higher in sugar, Willa’s uses the entire whole grain oat and processes it minimally. It’s like comparing an artisanal whole grain bread to a highly processed white bread. And it tastes super creamy and delicious using clean ingredients, just like their Grandmother Willa’s recipe.

founding story

Christina & Elena's Grandma Willa used real, honest ingredients to make the creamiest, most delicious oat milk ever.

As they got older, they struggled to find an oat milk that measured up to Grandma Willa’s recipe. So, they thought, why not bring hers to the world instead? They dug up her hand-written recipe card from their mother’s kitchen drawer and got to work. 

The result? Willa's oat milk. It’s made with honest ingredients you can recognize. It’s organic, non-GMO and sustainably produced, using the entire whole grain oat and real organic vanilla. Unlike other oat milks, Willa's uses the whole oat in their recipe which allows them to get all the grain’s nutrition. This means more protein and fiber in every serving, and less sugar because they're sweet enough!

They took great care in making sure their oat milk lives up to Grandma Willa’s, and the best part is you can feel good about drinking it, and serving it at your table, every single day.

Bios

Christina Dorr Drake
CEO and Co-Founder

Prior to starting Willa's, Christina spent over 16 years in marketing strategy, most recently as Strategy Director at Anomaly, leading the Panera account. At this time, Panera was removing all artificials and preservatives from its menu, and Christina was shocked to see that the plant based milks in her fridge had ingredients that fast food restaurants were removing from their menu items. 

While Christina worked at Anomaly, Anomaly won Ad Age's Agency of the Year and Panera garnered a Marketer of the Year Award for its Clean Food Campaign. 

While preparing to launch Willa's in 2020, Christina was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at the age of 36 with no family history or risk factors. Thankfully, she was able to continue to work full time and fundraise through chemo therapy, immunotherapies, raditiation and lumpectomy surgery.

Christina was fortnuate in that she had the best possible response to cancer treatment and is now cancer free and it is very unlikely to return. She ate a clean, primarily plant based diet throughout treatment (including Willa's of course) and excercised daily because it made her feel the best and helped her combat the effects of chemo. She's filled with gratitude that she had such a positive response to treatment and aims to support other cancer warriors and be an advocate for young women getting mamograms. 

Russell Drake
Chief Growth Officer, Co-Founder

Prior to starting Willa's, Russell was a Master Trainer in Sales and Leadership at Dale Carnegie and was one of ten trainers to help support Indeed.com in its growth from 500 employees to over 10,000 globally.

Russell became especially interested in sustainable food when he spent extensive time traveling throughout Asia and became aware of deforestation and animal poaching practices. 

 

Elena (Dorr) Zienda
Chief Product Officer, Co-Founder

Elena spent 11 years in operations management as a chemical engineer in food and beverages. She's spent her career identifying new ways of making food and beverages healthier and most sustainably in the most efficient way possible. She has a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an Executive MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business.

Products

Willa's Organic Creamy Oat Milk

Willa’s Creamy Oat Milk is a nutrition packed, all-around champ with an extra creamy consistency inspired by our fans looking for a way to replace dairy in their favorite recipes.

Willa’s Creamy Oat Milk uses organic ingredients (glyphosate-free), no harmful phosphates or inflammatory rapeseed oil, and has a zero waste process. It is a truly sustainable, truly nutritious, low sugar champion.

Willa's Organic Creamy Oat Milk

$
6.99
Description:

Willa’s Creamy Oat Milk is a nutrition packed, all-around champ with an extra creamy consistency inspired by our fans looking for a way to replace dairy in their favorite recipes.

Willa’s Creamy Oat Milk uses organic ingredients (glyphosate-free), no harmful phosphates or inflammatory rapeseed oil, and has a zero waste process. It is a truly sustainable, truly nutritious, low sugar champion.

Details:
Using the whole oat makes Willa’s the artisanal whole grain bread of the category, surrounded by highly processed, white breads. It is balanced with a touch of organic vanilla and sea salt. No rapeseed oil or harmful phosphates needed. Just creamy swirls in coffee, a full dairy like texture, and no separation. Willa’s Creamy recipe uses organic high oleic sunflower oil, which has a nutritional profile similar to avocado oil, high in mono-saturated fats and anti-inflammatory omega 3s. Willa’s uses organic oats because Grandmother Willa wouldn’t have wanted pesticides like glyphosate in her oat milk.
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Willa's Organic Unsweetened Original

Willa’s Unsweetened Original Oat Milk is the closest thing to Willa's original recipe. It is revolutionary in its nutrition packed simplicity, delicious consistency, and no waste process, making it the healthiest oat milk and most sustainable plant milk available.  

From a health standpoint, it appeals to those who love oat milk, but question the nutritional value of the other options, which often have 8-14 g of sugar/cup and no protein or fiber. From a sustainability standpoint, this oat milk uses all organic plant based ingredients for superior soil and human health, and is minimally processed, as well as zero waste.

Willa’s trade secret approach uses the entire whole grain oat, giving you the most protein and fiber and the least sugar (1 gram per cup from oats). It’s the artisanal whole grain bread amongst white breads. Willa’s also has the most prebiotic fiber for gut health, satiation and immunity, as well as cholesterol lowering beta-glucans, and de-stressing vitamin B and gramine.

Willa's Organic Unsweetened Original

$
6.99
Description:

Willa’s Unsweetened Original Oat Milk is the closest thing to Willa's original recipe. It is revolutionary in its nutrition packed simplicity, delicious consistency, and no waste process, making it the healthiest oat milk and most sustainable plant milk available.  

From a health standpoint, it appeals to those who love oat milk, but question the nutritional value of the other options, which often have 8-14 g of sugar/cup and no protein or fiber. From a sustainability standpoint, this oat milk uses all organic plant based ingredients for superior soil and human health, and is minimally processed, as well as zero waste.

Willa’s trade secret approach uses the entire whole grain oat, giving you the most protein and fiber and the least sugar (1 gram per cup from oats). It’s the artisanal whole grain bread amongst white breads. Willa’s also has the most prebiotic fiber for gut health, satiation and immunity, as well as cholesterol lowering beta-glucans, and de-stressing vitamin B and gramine.

Details:
Just organic whole grain oats, organic vanilla and sea salt.
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retailers

Amazon
Brooklyn Fare
Earth Fare
Erewhon Market
Foxtrot Market

press releases

Press articles

Forbes
Why Are There So Few Organic Oat Milks?
Exploring oat milk and glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), as well as Willa's use of the whole grain oat.
Today.com
Oat Milk is Everywhere. Is it Good for You?
Covering oat milk and health. Mentions two brands: Oatly and Willa's.
Refinery29
Oat Milk Nation
A look back at 2020 through the lense of launching Willa's in the midst of a pandemic.

testimonial

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