Well Made

Ep. 120 Trying New Things with Julie Nguyen

May 20, 2020 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

A fridge that's full of Methodology meals isn't stacked with disposable trays. A Methodology fridge is stocked with columns of colorful foods, visible through glass jars.

Founder Julie Nguyen knows that the Methodology audience is niche — busy people who value high quality, sustainable ingredients — but since they launched five years ago, she's seen their dedicated customer base grow.

Every week with her co-founder Stephen Liu and their R&D team, Julie is sourcing new ingredients, while keeping their supply chain quality consistent. She's testing new menu items while continuing to produce customers' go-to favorites. And she's making health swaps while keeping their meals comforting and fulfilling.

In this episode, Julie talks about walking the line between keeping standards incredibly high while staying sustainable, finding a stride with automated marketing, traveling to expand the palate, and her discoveries about people's relationship with food.

“I definitely want Methodology to be a part of that movement that introduces a lot of these storied foods to Americans.”

 Trying New Things
 Trying New Things
 Trying New Things
 Trying New Things
 Trying New Things
 Trying New Things

Julie loves taking people out to eat, but in the midst of social distancing, she's found a new dining passion: studying the takeout experiences of high-end restaurants. She's learned a lot of tips from seeing how five-star restaurants are treating takeout during the pandemic (0:30). She talks about finding their niche audience and being realistic about the cost of high quality (7:09).

Julie takes us back to her days in the startup tech scene at Lumosity (11:09). She shares tips and tricks from her experience with automated lifecycle marketing, and how she's brought those lessons to Methodology. 

She takes us back to Oaxaca where she discovered chintextle paste — the base for many Oaxacan dishes — and what it means to translate a foreign flavor for the Methodology customer base (22:22). Every Methodology meal has to be colorful, healthy, and filling, with layered components.

Julie explains why sourcing is the biggest production bottleneck and she tells us some of her dream ingredients that she'd love to get on the menu: Sir prize avocados and purslane are on the top of her list (30:31).

She wraps up the episode sharing how her interior design philosophy influences the Methodology aesthetic, why she moved to LA, and how a pandemic has made parking lot picnics the highlight of her week (44:26).

Also mentioned on this episode:

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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