Though finding a dessert that tastes good and makes you feel good can sometimes feel impossible, Sorbabes is here to show us it's not. These frozen sorbet bars are 100% dairy-free and gluten-free, and come in a variety of delicious flavors, ranging from Vanilla Caramel Crunch to Strawberry Crisp. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Sorbabes co-founder and WashU Alum Deborah Gorman to hear more about her experience launching the company. 

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Before launching SorBabes in 2012, Deborah had a few career shifts. She studied Visual Communication and Marketing at WashU and initially began working with advertising post graduation; however, she always loved cooking and knew she wanted to incorporate it into her career. "I always love being in the kitchen, coming up with new flavors and combinations," Deborah said. "That's my favorite medium when it comes to being creative.”

After spending a few years in advertising, Deborah decided to follow her passions and pursue a career as a professional chef. She began taking several internships and jobs with restaurants in New York City, and worked as a private chef for a family in the Hamptons for several summers. When she became increasingly interested in founding her own startup, her boss at the time matched with her co-founder Nicole Cardonne. Nicole had a background in finance, shared Deborah's love of food, and was also looking to get started with her own company. The two combined their backgrounds, began launching their products at farmer's markets, and officially started their company.

Deborah and Nicole's focus when founding SorBabes was to create a dessert for people who were trying to eat well, but also weren't trying to sacrifice when it came to eating dessert. “We asked ourselves, how can we make a dessert that makes you feel good and focuses on eating healthy, real food, instead of artificial colors and flavors?” Deborah said. "When we started, the dairy free space was small. A lot of these companies were run by men, they were super indulgent, they were in larger portions... we wanted to focus on eating food that actually has nutrition value and has a benefit to your diet." On her choice to make the brand vegan, Deborah said, "We wanted to celebrate fruit in a way that other desserts which were very dairy heavy weren’t doing. We were using nut butter as our base - making these really delicious frozen desserts that were purely from nature - and that was really rare at the time."

Deborah also aimed to give college students a way to love food in a setting where it was sometimes challenging to do so. "As a woman in college, I was always watching what I was eating, or eating too much, and I didn’t have a very healthy relationship with food until I devoted myself to loving it and really focusing on it. Finding a way to let that negativity go is part of what is Sorbabes is - really loving food, loving your body, and feeling like you don't have to sacrifice all of the time. That was a really powerful thing which affected how our brand exists today - it's what Nicole and I stand for as a female-founded dessert brand and it’s something we still think about when launching our products." 

"The first product you come out with may not be successful," Deborah stated as she reflected on launching her company. "You just have to keep trying until you hit something which really works. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see your sales going at the right pace right away. Try new techniques, new marketing ideas - have that stamina and just keep trying until you find what works. And have more money than you think you need." Gorman laughed. "Like, a lot more money than you think you need.” 

Deborah's current favorite SorBabes flavor is the Mango Coconut Crunch. She described it as having a bright, mango, tart flavor with tones of passionfruit, all dipped in a crunchy coconut creamy coating and creating a "pina colada creamy tart experience." She's also excited about Sorbabes' new line coming out this year, which readers should keep an eye out for - it will be all about "chocolate and fudginess." 

Pro tip for readers: use code SPOON for free shipping on all nationwide orders.

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