We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonya Gomez and Angela Stanger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonya Gomez and Angela Stanger, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
SONYA: Taking risks are an essential part of growth, and I have always been one for personal growth. There’s a thrill I get when I go for what I want – a thrill from the adventure of risk-taking. Despite criticism from others (and myself!), I have always enjoyed taking the next leap of faith into life. From obtaining higher degrees while being part of the first generation of my family to go to college, to solo traveling abroad, to starting my own businesses, risk-taking is part of my genetic makeup. There were several risks involved when starting Plant Based Meals. Angela and I started with nothing except our own skills and determination, and have bootstrapped our way to where we are today. We risked not having a steady income, health insurance, and other factors that come with the typical 9-5 type jobs. We continue to overcome risks on a daily basis as we continue to grow.
ANGELA: Taking calculated risks is the foundation of forming any business. When starting Plant Based Meals, risk was a valuable factor that motivated Sonya and me. In response, we put together the optimal formula that would provide our customers with a convenient way to eat healthy meals that taste delicious. Our bold decision-making coupled with our heart healthy meals has led to a partnership with UCSD Cardiac Rehab and Wellness Clinic, as well as being endorsed by leading healthcare professionals across San Diego. I see the greatest benefit in taking risks when speaking to our amazing customers. They each have their own journey to finding us, and hearing their testimonials of benefits: weight loss, better physical health, mental health, and easier meals- nothing feels better than that. I can’t wait to see where this year’s risks take us!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
SONYA: Plant Based Meals stands out next to any other meal prep company out there. We are whole food plant-based, which means we make delicious food without ever adding oil or sugar. I am most proud of the amount of love we put into each and every meal. From the flavor to the presentation of our food, we provide our customers with an experience that satisfies all their senses! Fortunately, Angela and I have similar passions in life. We both strive to make this world a better place and are able to do so every day with PBM. We really balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and are both dedicated to creating the best product for our customers. I definitely know our compatibility and open communication contributes to the success of our business, which has gone pretty smoothly since we started. We started this business right before the pandemic began, which is a huge challenge within itself. Hearing about all the seniors who were in need of assistance during all the uncertainties, we decided to donate meals to seniors in need. Since our start, we have donated meals to seniors, frontline hospital workers, victims of recent wildfires, search crews looking for missing loved ones, and many more. We make a great effort to help out wherever we can and we enjoy being able to give back.
ANGELA: Plant Based Meals is San Diego’s only whole food, plant-based meal prep company that delivers fresh, ready-to-eat meals to your door. We are a local, woman and minority owned business that strongly believes in giving back to our community. We prioritize diversifying our workforce and donating meals to those in need. What differentiates us from others is our unwavering commitment to quality. Because all of our meals are made from scratch, we are in complete control of our ingredients and never have to compromise on taste. We source from local, organic vendors whenever possible, and never use added oils or sugars. I am proudest of creating healthy, delicious, and nourishing meals that help our clients achieve their daily nutritional goals while enjoying every bite. Our meal choices change weekly as we create new recipes – and love the appreciative comments we get from satisfied customers. We are changing the image of plant-based eating one person at a time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
SONYA: Well, we all know that San Diego is the best city in the world. There is SO much to do and see. First and foremost, I would take my friend on a ferry ride from Coronado to the Broadway Pier to see the beautiful views of the bay. We would walk around Seaport Village exploring every shop, then grab a snack and coffee at the bookstore there while browsing through all the wonderful books. Next, I would take them to visit the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, then work our way south to La Jolla Cove, go on a roller coaster ride at Mission Beach, and end at the Border Field State Park so my friend can witness the full experience of this lovely border town. Of course, we would have to grab some Mexican food and craft beer along the way!
ANGELA: What I love about San Diego is that it has so many diverse ecosystems. My must-see stops include Mount Soledad views from the cross, Balboa Park, Torrey Pines, and of course the ocean! I love hidden gems, and one of them is watching the dolphins swim from a perch at the La Jolla Glider Port. While we are there, we can take the stairs down to Black’s Beach, getting some exercise while enjoying the ocean; I’ve seen whales right off the coast from this spot. While in the area, we would explore the art exhibits spread throughout UCSD campus including the amazing architecture of Geisel Library. Another fun activity is to get out and paddle board in Mission Bay and enjoy some vegan sushi on the beach from NOW Sushi. You cannot leave San Diego County without taking a day to drive east and explore the beautiful mountain area of Anza Borrego and Ocotillo Wells. Of course, while being so busy, I would pack up my lunch box with Plant Based Meals!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
SONYA: There are so many people and books that I would love to give shoutouts to! For the sake of not writing too much, I will dedicate this shoutout to my friends, family, and loved ones who have supported me throughout this journey. Although there are so many uncertainties and fears that go into starting a business, I have been filled with an abundance of love and support from those closest to me. You all know who you are!
ANGELA: I dedicate my shoutout to my beautiful mother Janice Stanger. You always have taught me to do the right thing and treat others with respect. In these times, more than ever, I see how my upbringing has shaped my adulthood and I am very grateful. Your guidance to always do something to give back has shaped my life and I am forever grateful to have been raised by such a strong woman. Also, Lionel’s Legacy Senior Dog Rescue in San Diego has given me the opportunity to help our little furry friends find love in their forever home.