|Founder||Christina Dorr Drake, Russell Drake, Elena (Dorr) Zienda|
|Headquarters||Brooklyn, NY and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN|
|Press Contact||Christina Dorr Drake|
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. Willa's creates organic oat milk with a deliciously creamy consistency, using the whole ingredients as nature intended.
Willa’s Oat Milks are the most sustainable plant milk on the market (organic ingredients and zero food waste), and the healthiest oat milk 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 highly processed white bread. And it tastes super creamy and delicious using clean ingredients, just like their Grandmother Willa’s recipe.
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 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 milk, 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.
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 artificial 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, radiation and lumpectomy surgery.
Christina was fortunate 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 exercised 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 mammograms.
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.