Why Nolita was created
Nolita was founded by Fernanda Vasconcelos in 2019. She wanted to invest in two of her big passions: healthy food and digital.
Two years before Nolita's creation, Fernanda read several books and studies about healthy food and was alarmed and at the same time amazed by all that she learned.
She decided to change her family diet and had a lot of difficulties finding healthy alternatives for breakfast and snacks. She started to cook bread, granola, cereal bars, chocolate cream, etc. She did not add sugar to any of her cooks and only used bio and whole ingredients (slow carbs).
At the beginning, all these new cooks were a disaster, but she did not give up. She tested a lot of different ingredients' combinations and was able to create amazing recipes.
A lot of people started to ask her for recommendations about healthy food and healthy products and to complain about the lack of truly healthy alternatives on the market.
She understood that a significant number of people were facing the same problem and wanted to help them.
The first steps
Fernanda started to offer her favorite creation to family and friends: a healthy granola with no refined sugar.
To obtain honest feedback, she created a google form (with anonymous responses) and put a qrcode on the back of package, asking everyone to fill it.
The feedback was very good and several persons were always insisting on buying more granola, so she felt that she could create a real product and sell it.
But this is not an easy task. She knew that a lot of barriers would appear and she was afraid to quit her job as a Chief Marketing Officer of a group of tech startups.
Nolita @ From Start to Table, the acceleration programme of Startup Lisboa
The project was selected to participate in the second edition of the From Start to Table program at Lisbon.
This was a tipping point!
Fernanda got the sign she was waiting for: it was the perfect time to bet everything on Nolita and quit her job.
During 9 weeks (between October and December 2019) Fernanda was able to learn from the best players of the food and restaurants ecosystem. She received a lot of feedback about her project and was able to define how she was going to start and scale.
What we stand for
What is truly healthy food?
Healthy food may be a diferent concept for you and for your friends. This is because marketing slogans have more awareness than cientifique research about food.
At Nolita, we love fashion, but only in clothes and hair styles. We do not play with health.
The definition of healthy food, in a scientific way, is clear. Nolita's commitment too:
That's why we offer organic products, gluten-free, wholemeal, without artificial additives and with zero added sugar.
Nolita @ EWA - Empowering Women in Agrifood, the acceleration programme of EIT Food
In July 2020 Fernanda was one of the 10 Portuguese Women selected to participate in the first edition of the EWA - Empowering Women in Agrifood, launched by EIT Food and managed in Portugal by BGI - Building Global Innovators.
Another great help to scale Nolita and transform this little project in a sustainable business.
In this program, she had the opportunity to choose her mentor, Olga Matias, at the time responsible for innovation in the Mendes Gonçalves group. Olga was an inspiration and precious help in the creation of the new Nolita product range, suggesting very interesting new ingredients, such as acorns, lupines, Portuguese fruits, etc.
The new range of 10 amazing products: the moment when we feel you are ready to take a big leap
In the summer of 2021, Nolita launched 10 wonderful products for breakfast and snacks, a diverse range from granola to pancake mixes, including a prebiotic fiber and a zero-calorie natural sweetener. The feedback on the new products was fabulous. All the new products have extended shelf life, enabling the realization of an old dream: the beginning of the company's internationalization strategy.