Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner

Mary Waldner had been sick most of her life without knowing why. When she was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease in 1994, it was a life-changing relief—and was soon to be the ‘aha moment’ that sparked an entrepreneurial journey.

“I developed a cracker recipe for myself so that I could have something to eat, especially when going out. And then I saw other people eating them and I watched how much they loved them!”

So in 2004, not knowing she was going to hit the wave of consciousness that was beginning to sweep the food industry and consumers, Mary launched her company. Since then, poetically, “it’s taken off like crazy!” Today, Mary’s Gone Crackers ships its  organic and vegan crackers, cookies and pretzels across the US from their plant in California, and north to Canada.

It hasn’t all been easy. In fact, the company is currently undergoing some major changes “Growing fast enough has been a long-term challenge,” she explained to us in a recent call. “We’ve never been able to supply the world with as much product as is demanded. “

“People are demanding transparency from companies.”

In addition to bringing the world delicious and healthy food, Mary  feels her company’s mission is to educate people about the dangers in our food supply:  GMO ingredients, toxic pesticides, and unsustainably grown crops.  She sees how  people are waking up and wanting more local control of their food and more sustainable agricultural practices to heal our planet. “Our consciousness is really shifting. There’s a huge wave of awareness hitting people who are demanding transparency from companies.  It’s a very exciting time.”

Resilience in the face of challenge….

As always for Mary’s Gone Crackers, the challenges continue:  Last November, the company hired a new CEO to help them through the process of major growth, new product development and building a new facility. Sadly, he passed away suddenly earlier this year, so Mary has had to step back in to her company.

Mary’s commitment to keep going comes from “helping people become conscious of how food impacts their bodies, to change the way they eat, and to change the food industry.”

Mary thinks that everything that we are as humans connects us to the food that we eat. It completely determines our health, our consciousness and our lives. “I really want people to wake up to eating nourishing food, because it is key to having a delicious and joyful life—especially for our children.”

Mary imagines “all our food will be organic and whole, we’ll get rid of all toxic chemicals in our food system. Companies will stop deceiving people and be interested in making food that really nourishes our bodies.”

When asked to tell us one thing most people don’t know about her, Mary didn’t hesitate: “I was a psychologist first and identify myself as a healer more than a business person.“

It’s not surprising, really. Clearly, if she had her way, our world would look very different.

Mary Waldner was a ‘True Confession’ keynote speaker at the recent Social Venture Institute in Vancouver. Click here to learn more about the next Social Venture Institute, this September 14 – 18 at Hollyhock.

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