Welcome to OSO Good, the newest part of UBGoods, where our company mission is to be a part of your joy, and help you love what you eat.
Hi there! My name is Jennifer Ntiri, and I am the co-founder of UBGoods. I’d like to share a little about my story, because I think it will help you understand the mission of our company, and how the OSO Good line of products in particular emerged.
I was raised in New York, the daughter of immigrants from Ghana. Growing up as a first-generation American was tough at times and often difficult for others to understand. As a result, I tended to stick to circles of other first-generation kids like me. From an early age, I knew what it is like to not feel included, and to exist outside of the box, which ultimately encouraged me to think more and more outside the box and lean towards creative interests as I grew up.
Food allergies changed my life, but I adapted
During my time in college, I began having adverse reactions to many types of foods. After years of discomfort, testing, and frustration, I was finally diagnosed with a rare condition that caused me to be allergic to over 30 types of foods. While it was a relief to know what was wrong, it made it that much harder to take the first step forward. And that’s really where my story begins.
My first post-diagnosis grocery run really opened my eyes to what a challenge living with allergies was going to be. I spent 3 hours in the store agonizing over every ingredient list and nutrition label, and left feeling hopeless and frustrated. I thought that I would never be able to eat anything that tasted good ever again.
But with the help of my mom, I began to experiment with safe, tasty recipes that I could eat on the run. Over the course of the next year we perfected recipes for comfort foods that were not only safe for me to eat, but tasted so good that everyone else wanted to eat them too. At first our goal was to make food just for me, but that soon changed when we found out others craved our recipes too.
How I got in to business… accidentally
My boss at the time heard about what I was up to and asked me if I could bake cookies for her daughter’s graduation party as a personal favor… the catch was that there were 100 invited guests, with over 15 different allergies between them, who were all going to be in attendance. Talk about pressure!
After weeks of researching multiple allergies, as well as personally reviewing the ingredients I intended to use with every guest with allergies, I pulled an all-nighter baking and making sure there was no cross-contamination. The party went off without a hitch, and my boss gave me a glowing recommendation, giving my mother and I the courage to launch the UBGoods brand and begin catering for large-scale health-conscious clients, like Boston Children’s Hospital and the New England Celiac Organization.
Before we knew it, we were selling into and being requested by major cafés and coffee shops in NYC and Boston and signing up clients like Pavement and Southdown Coffee. Our customers love our products and what UBGoods stands for - a taste and quality everyone can love. Enter OSO Good, a unique UBGoods product line to support an everyday allergy-friendly lifestyle to envy. I came to business school at Duke to use my new skills and resources, grow our brand, and reach everyone craving the kind of responsible indulgence UBGoods is known for, everyday, which is why you’re here.
I hope that my story and the OSO Good brand empowers you to believe that food allergies don’t have to be limit your world, they can inspire it. Health-conscious eating can make you feel decadent, safe, and free to love what you eat.