Name: Grace Kohn
Class Year: 2018
Business Name: Eat the Change
How did you first start in the food & beverage industry, and how long have you been in your current role?
My name is Grace Kohn, and I am the Associate Brand Manager at Eat the Change (Bethesda, MD). I attended Sidwell Friends for 14 years– a true “Lifer!”– and graduated with the class of 2018.
I have worked for a year at Eat the Change, a company founded by Seth Goldman P’12 (Co-Founder of Honest Tea) and Spike Mendelsohn (Celebrity Chef) whose products you may have heard of like Just Ice Tea and Cosmic Chews (Website– https://eatthechange.com/, Instagram–https://www.instagram.com/eatthechange/).
found my way to the food & beverage industry because I believe what we eat is our single biggest environmental impact. Eat the Change is not just a food & beverage company, but a call to action because every bite (and sip) affects the planet. We’re an innovative organization that creates snacks and drinks that are both delicious and planet-friendly.
How did your time at Sidwell Friends School influence your values and aspirations, particularly in relation to the food and beverage industry?
Sidwell Friends deeply shaped my values and the way in which I interact with the world. The six pillars of Quakerism (S-P-I-C-E-S, as we learned to remember them by), have been particularly influential in guiding my career path. Environmental stewardship is core to why I take part in the food & beverage industry, working with Eat the Change to develop a new, more sustainable food system.
My time at Sidwell empowered me to always fight for change and created my deep desire to work for a company that tries to build community, seeks justice for all, and is guided by integrity.
What do you like most about your work?
I love that my work is fast-paced and has room for creativity and spontaneity. Each day holds a wealth of surprising opportunities. For example, this summer, I was handing out free bottles of Just Ice Tea in Bethesda and somehow ended up on the afternoon news, sharing my love for our delicious, new product.
I also love that I am a part of a company that is re-imagining sustainable eating and creating novel ideas– like “fruit snacks” made simply from carrots! I feel a sense of purpose at work; my job is not only fun but also improving the health of people and the planet.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy reading, listening to the podcast Normal Gossip, watching the new season of Love Island, and spending time with friends.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone, especially SFS students or young alums, who want to enter the food/beverage industry?
Finding a company and product whose mission and ethics match your own makes the experience much more meaningful and fulfilling.
Stay curious, always question things, and find a mentor(s)! I’m lucky enough to be on a smart, thoughtful team, most of whom have spent the majority of their career in the food & beverage industry. I have the unique opportunity to work with some of the best in the business and their guidance is invaluable.