Behind Her Empire Podcast: How Fresh n’ Lean's Founder Grew Her Idea into a $100M Business

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

On today's episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, we hear from Laureen Asseo, founder and CEO of Fresh n' Lean, one of the largest organic prepared meal delivery service in the United States.


While studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, her father faced serious health problems. Galvanized to help him reverse the damage of years of poor eating habits and inactivity, she founded Fresh n' Lean out of her one-bedroom apartment, at 18 years old.

Talking business was commonplace growing up, and she says her parents were extremely supportive of her endeavor. Of her dad, a serial entrepreneur, she said, "He's my number one fan, always pushing me to do what I want to follow my dreams. And that was really instilled for me at a young age. So that was a super powerful, especially being a woman and being young...."

As she cooked for him, she formulated a business plan. Her goal was to make eating well incredibly easy for people who lack the time or desire to prepare healthy meals. She spent her twenties grinding, while her friends were partying and says "personally now I look back at my life and I'm like, oh my gosh, eleven years went by so fast. And like my whole twenties,...I didn't get to experience a lot....I think that everyone just...chooses the path to go down."

The business grew rapidly and over the past three years, and Laureen says Fresh n' Lean has recorded revenue growth of more than 500%, has a team of 400 employees and is generating over $100 million in revenue without any outside funding.

Hear what Laureen says it takes to build a business as a young woman in an industry largely dominated by men, how she dealt with the many naysayers who thought her idea was impossible and the biggest lessons she's learned over the past decade running her company.

"If I could go back in time, I would tell myself...don't be so hard on yourself and don't...listen so much to what people are saying or wanting to please everybody or just being in that emotional state because it only negatively impacts yourself and...your ability to process properly or to make a decision." -- Laureen Asseo

Laureen Asseo is under 30 years old and the founder and CEO of Fresh n' Lean.


Want to hear more of the Behind Her Empire podcast? Subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

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samblake@dot.la

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Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

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