Eat Me Guilt Free was founded in Miami, Florida in 2013 by Cristie Besu, at the time a Registered Nurse and Certified Sports Nutritionist. What initially began as a project passion in Cristie’s home kitchen to fill a void for her original customers (which were clients she worked closely with to craft nutrition programs), rapidly evolved into a booming business.
Cristie’s first product was the brownie, but not just any brownie. It was a brownie that was protein-packed, and had healthier ingredients and macros than any of the traditional, large food brands that were on the shelves at the time. Equally important, the feedback from those early customers was resounding – customers were ecstatic that the product was a healthy alternative and that is also tasted absolutely delicious. Thus, a winning formula was born: a better-for-you brownie that didn’t sacrifice taste – and her clients ate it up.
As a first-time entrepreneur, a Cuban-American and mother-of-three, Cristie was keenly aware that she was not the “typical” CEO, and that her brand was shaping up to be radically different than anything the food industry, and consumers, had witnessed in food space.
Seemingly against all odds, but encouraged by the early success of the original chocolate brownie, Eat Me Guilt Free turned to social media, (predominantly Instagram) and began to see early, strong growth. Now it wasn’t just Cristie’s clients, but a broader set of consumers from around the world that validated the love and desire for the Eat Me Guilt product, and brand.
This propelled Cristie to continue to innovate with a range of truly unique, never-before-seen brownie flavors, and the Eat Me Guilt Free product line extended beyond brownies to tortillas, breads, and in 2022, to the first-ever protein cake mix.
In 2019, based off continued success in direct-to-consumer sales, Eat Me Guilt Free expanded into brick and mortar retail, and rapidly secured its product lines in more than 3,000 retailers. In 2020, it secured its first big retailer, Vitamin Shoppe, and became the number one grab n’ go snack with one week. As of 2022, Eat Me Guilt Free is now in more than 8,000 retailers including GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, 24 Hour Fitness, with many other leading national retailer partnerships in the works.
Eat Me Guilt Free has also grown from its founder in the kitchen baking on her own to a team of more than 30, with all of its products being hand-crafted by artisan bakers. As of 2022, Eat Me Guilt Free has started to plan for its own production plan to meet consistent, increased capacity and consumer demands.
Eat Me Guilt Free Is More Than Just Its Food Products
Yet, with all the success of our food lines, Eat Me Guilt Free is more than its products. The company’s core belief is that Freedom Should Not Have Limitations, and the brand inspires and empowers others to break down limitations for the freedom to live their best lives.
In 2021, after a year of planning, Eat Me Guilt Free launched its women entrepreneur grant, dubbed You Glow Girl (YGG), whose mission to provide guidance, financial and mental health resources to rising female entrepreneurs. The idea of YGG came as a direct result of the complex challenges that Cristie faced as a female in a decades-old industry that was and still is hesitant to change. She felt strongly that her freedom to express herself through her brand was being limited by so many outdated, external views. This inspired her to help other female entrepreneurs that might be navigating similar challenges in their respective industries. The YGG grant has attracted thousands of applicants as it enters its second year in 2022, and the media and consumer engagement has been tremendous.
To further illustrate the company’s core belief of Freedom Should Not Have Limitations, Eat Me Guilt Free launched its first brand platform in 2021, Free Delicious.
The notion behind Free Delicious is that for decades, the food conglomerates defined unhealthy, processed foods as delicious. Consumers didn’t have a choice. The freedom to be healthier was being slowly ripped away by these massive food companies as they were using the word “Delicious” to trick people into eating unhealthy, toxic foods. With Free Delicious, Eat Me Guilt Free is taking delicious back, and is now surrounded by all things better for you – better nutrition fact ratios, less sugar, no preservatives, no GMOs. Eat Me Guilt Free also has the highest protein-to-carb ratio than any other brand on the market. Eating better-for-you foods that taste delicious is the freedom our society deserves.
Eat Me Guilt Free is more committed than ever to helping people eat better-for-you foods. In 2020, Eat Me Guilt Free formed a formal product innovation team, with Cristie at the helm, and continues to conceptualize a range of better-for-you products that never sacrifice taste or texture.
And although Eat Me Guilt Free is now viewed as a pioneer in the better-for-you and CPG categories, the passion and innovative DNA that helped give birth to the brand is still at the core of everything we do, as we remain incredibly committed to inspiring and empowering people to live healthier lives.