The Secret Sauce: Interview with Saasha Celestial-One from OLIO

The Secret Sauce: Interview with Saasha Celestial-One from OLIO

By
Arman Anatürk
April 30, 2020

One woman’s journey from dumpster diving to starting a food sharing revolution: Olio

Giving things of value a second chance is part of Saasha’s DNA. Growing up in sleepy Iowa, her hippy entrepreneur parents would take her on dumpster-diving missions, looking for items that could be reused or repaired and sold on or food that could be salvaged.  

Her unconventional childhood left Saasha craving normality. She rebelled by working for global corporations - from Morgan Stanley to McKinsey and American Express - in various strategy and business development roles. But something didn’t feel right.

And before long, when off on maternity leave, she found a way to reconcile her professional and personal values. When founding her first business - a pay as you go childcare provider - she outfitted the whole crèche using freecycle - an online network where people can give away items they no longer need. One of the seeds that would grow into Olio had already been planted.  


The lightbulb moment

Saasha had met Tessa Cook, her business partner-to-be, while studying at Stanford. A farmer’s daughter, she knew exactly how much work goes into creating the food that we eat - and waste - every day. While struggling to give away her leftover food when moving house in 2014, the idea for Olio suddenly struck her.

When Tessa finally shared her thoughts with Saasha, her eyes immediately lit up. Within an hour, they’d pinned down a name and a plan had been drawn up.

Proof of concept

The friends founded Olio in February 2015 and gave themselves a year to see if they could make it work. Rather than jumping straight to development, they tested the concept by connecting neighbors using a WhatsApp group. Two weeks later the unanimous verdict was in: the Olio app had to be made.

Early investment from a web development agency helped them shape and launch their first MVP. Within 5 months the first version of Olio was live in North London.

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

Written by
Arman Anatürk

Lived across North America, Europe and Asia, leading to my questionable cooking style. Jumped two feet forward into the startup world in 2013, and haven't looked back since. Always on the hunt for the next story or inside scoop to cover - email me or connect on LinkedIn.

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One woman’s journey from dumpster diving to starting a food sharing revolution: Olio

Giving things of value a second chance is part of Saasha’s DNA. Growing up in sleepy Iowa, her hippy entrepreneur parents would take her on dumpster-diving missions, looking for items that could be reused or repaired and sold on or food that could be salvaged.  

Her unconventional childhood left Saasha craving normality. She rebelled by working for global corporations - from Morgan Stanley to McKinsey and American Express - in various strategy and business development roles. But something didn’t feel right.

And before long, when off on maternity leave, she found a way to reconcile her professional and personal values. When founding her first business - a pay as you go childcare provider - she outfitted the whole crèche using freecycle - an online network where people can give away items they no longer need. One of the seeds that would grow into Olio had already been planted.  


The lightbulb moment

Saasha had met Tessa Cook, her business partner-to-be, while studying at Stanford. A farmer’s daughter, she knew exactly how much work goes into creating the food that we eat - and waste - every day. While struggling to give away her leftover food when moving house in 2014, the idea for Olio suddenly struck her.

When Tessa finally shared her thoughts with Saasha, her eyes immediately lit up. Within an hour, they’d pinned down a name and a plan had been drawn up.

Proof of concept

The friends founded Olio in February 2015 and gave themselves a year to see if they could make it work. Rather than jumping straight to development, they tested the concept by connecting neighbors using a WhatsApp group. Two weeks later the unanimous verdict was in: the Olio app had to be made.

Early investment from a web development agency helped them shape and launch their first MVP. Within 5 months the first version of Olio was live in North London.

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Join a Global Community
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One woman’s journey from dumpster diving to starting a food sharing revolution: Olio

Giving things of value a second chance is part of Saasha’s DNA. Growing up in sleepy Iowa, her hippy entrepreneur parents would take her on dumpster-diving missions, looking for items that could be reused or repaired and sold on or food that could be salvaged.  

Her unconventional childhood left Saasha craving normality. She rebelled by working for global corporations - from Morgan Stanley to McKinsey and American Express - in various strategy and business development roles. But something didn’t feel right.

And before long, when off on maternity leave, she found a way to reconcile her professional and personal values. When founding her first business - a pay as you go childcare provider - she outfitted the whole crèche using freecycle - an online network where people can give away items they no longer need. One of the seeds that would grow into Olio had already been planted.  


The lightbulb moment

Saasha had met Tessa Cook, her business partner-to-be, while studying at Stanford. A farmer’s daughter, she knew exactly how much work goes into creating the food that we eat - and waste - every day. While struggling to give away her leftover food when moving house in 2014, the idea for Olio suddenly struck her.

When Tessa finally shared her thoughts with Saasha, her eyes immediately lit up. Within an hour, they’d pinned down a name and a plan had been drawn up.

Proof of concept

The friends founded Olio in February 2015 and gave themselves a year to see if they could make it work. Rather than jumping straight to development, they tested the concept by connecting neighbors using a WhatsApp group. Two weeks later the unanimous verdict was in: the Olio app had to be made.

Early investment from a web development agency helped them shape and launch their first MVP. Within 5 months the first version of Olio was live in North London.

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

One woman’s journey from dumpster diving to starting a food sharing revolution: Olio

Giving things of value a second chance is part of Saasha’s DNA. Growing up in sleepy Iowa, her hippy entrepreneur parents would take her on dumpster-diving missions, looking for items that could be reused or repaired and sold on or food that could be salvaged.  

Her unconventional childhood left Saasha craving normality. She rebelled by working for global corporations - from Morgan Stanley to McKinsey and American Express - in various strategy and business development roles. But something didn’t feel right.

And before long, when off on maternity leave, she found a way to reconcile her professional and personal values. When founding her first business - a pay as you go childcare provider - she outfitted the whole crèche using freecycle - an online network where people can give away items they no longer need. One of the seeds that would grow into Olio had already been planted.  


The lightbulb moment

Saasha had met Tessa Cook, her business partner-to-be, while studying at Stanford. A farmer’s daughter, she knew exactly how much work goes into creating the food that we eat - and waste - every day. While struggling to give away her leftover food when moving house in 2014, the idea for Olio suddenly struck her.

When Tessa finally shared her thoughts with Saasha, her eyes immediately lit up. Within an hour, they’d pinned down a name and a plan had been drawn up.

Proof of concept

The friends founded Olio in February 2015 and gave themselves a year to see if they could make it work. Rather than jumping straight to development, they tested the concept by connecting neighbors using a WhatsApp group. Two weeks later the unanimous verdict was in: the Olio app had to be made.

Early investment from a web development agency helped them shape and launch their first MVP. Within 5 months the first version of Olio was live in North London.

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

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