Passionate about food from a young age, R’Ryana DeCordova used to check cookbooks out of the library. She turned her love of cooking and veganism into My Vegan List LLC, a business that offers “Recipes, Reviews & Really Good Vegan Food.”
R’Ryana participated in the reSET Food Incubator and won third place at the Foodie Demo Day pitch event. She spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about why she started a business and what she gained from the incubator experience.
NAN PRICE: How did you develop the business concept for My Vegan List?
R’RYANA DECORDOVA: I’ve always enjoyed cooking. Years ago, when I was nannying, I cooked for the kids and myself. When that job ended, I decided to see where my cooking skills would take me.
So, I hosted a cookout and invited a bunch of people over so they could try my food to see if it was viable for me to start selling. I got the feedback I needed and started selling $6 lunches from my car to barber and beauty shops and almost anyone who would give me the time of day.
Eventually, those $6 lunches turned into late night eats and then somehow turned into an assortment of cheesecake jars. However, I wouldn’t change my journey because in it, I realized that I love to cook, I love veganism, and I love sharing about it.
My love for cooking branched into a love for vegan food and veganism. I also love frequenting local vegan restaurants. I noticed that many people didn’t know where to get vegan food in Connecticut. So, in early 2020, I started blogging about all the different restaurants I went to. That built a community of people And landed me an opportunity to collaborate with The Russell Grab and Go and start Meatless Mondays with My Vegan List. From there, I started My Vegan List LLC.
NAN: Let’s talk about business resources. How and why did you become involved with reSET?
R’RYANA: I had seen an Instagram post about reSET’s Food Incubator and I thought, I’d love to do that because I really wanted to learn more fundamentals about building my business and my brand. I was so grateful to be included in the program.
NAN PRICE: What are your biggest takeaways from the incubator program?
R’RYANA: I learned a lot from the program, specifically about the financial and logistical side of business. It was also helpful to learn about the rules and regulations you need in place to run your business successfully.
The incubator was a great resource in showing me what I need and putting me in a space with other people who are at different levels in their business. We shared insights and got a lot of useful information to help us more forward.
NAN: How are you marketing and building clientele?
R’RYANA: I mainly run on Instagram, where I post a lot of food reviews and recipes. My clientele isn’t just someone who is vegan, it’s anyone who’s interested in veganism as a cuisine. It doesn’t put veganism in a box with rules and regulations, instead it creates a way to for other people to embrace it.
NAN: What’s next for you and your business?
R’RYANA: I’m in the process of getting my mobile grocery store up and running. That’s something I’m truly passionate about because I realize veganism isn’t accessible and attainable in certain areas and many people think it’s not affordable. I want to bridge the gap. So, with the grocery store bus, I’ll be going to areas where veganism isn’t fully attainable and offering raw vegan and vegan options.
NAN: Any for advice for others or lessons learned along the way?
R’RYANA: I had a moment where I was listening to a lot of insight from other people. I got some great advice, but it also wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. So, the best advice I can give anyone is to listen to yourself and stick to your gut and know what you want to do. When you’re authentic, your people will find you.
Learn more about My Vegan List LLC