Behind Her Empire: Catherine McCord's Journey From Supermodel to Food Mogul

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 this episode of Behind Her Empire, I talked with the CEO and founder of One Potato, an organic and family-oriented meal delivery service. Catherine McCord created the business after becoming a mom and realizing there was a large community of mother's needing nutritious, quality meals — especially if their child has allergies or food-intolerances.


McCord started her career as a supermodel, posing on the cover of Vogue, walking the runway for Donna Karan and Calvin Klein and appearing in movies with stars like Matt Damon, the Rock and Jennifer Aniston. After witnessing 9/11 from a few blocks away, she said her perspective on life totally shifted.

McCord attended and graduated from culinary school, and became a food writer. She has released three cookbooks. During this time, she became a mother, and started a blog titled 'Weelicious' about her experience cooking for her son with a sensitive stomach. She said she started the blog to feel less alone in motherhood, and to connect with other like-minded mothers with similar struggles.

"You're like, 'oh my God, I know how to cook a four-star meal and I have no idea what to feed you', this tiny human. And so that was really the way that Weelicious was born, was I was just a little blog helping other moms in Facebook and in rooms. I mean, it was just really connecting with like-minded people through the education that I had received and practical experience. And it really just grew from there."

Weelicious grew into One Potato because McCord saw an urgent response from families facing a tremendous amount of stress from trying to feed their kids. She sees her goal as removing that stress and giving families the confidence to know they're feeding their children wholesome foods that meet their dietary needs.

In this episode, Catherine discusses how she pivoted from modeling to the food industry, how she became a serial entrepreneur, how she balances being a mother of three children with her work, and how leveraging community is an important part of getting your business off the ground.

"I don't think that anyone when they're like, 'I want to have a baby' realizes that it's 21 meals plus snacks, 365 days a year for 18 years. As a parent, it's the one thing you can't escape. And especially when you're co-parenting, you'll see a lot of couples and kids and parents get into these food feuds and we try to take a lot of that away, take a lot of that stress away." —Catherine McCord

Catherine McCord is the CEO and founder of One Potato, and the author of "Weelicious: One Family, One Meal," "Weelicious Lunches" and "Smoothie Project."

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

dot.LA Engagement Intern Colleen Tufts contributed to this post.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Picked up by Kevin Mayer and Tom Stagg’s New Media Company

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

The women-focused media company run by Reese Witherspoon, Hello Sunshine, is being sold to former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs' media startup. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed but according to the Wall Street Journal, it's valued at $900 million.
Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/racheluranga
rachel@dot.la

SoCal Venture Pipeline's Plans to Connect Less-Connected Startups with Series A Funds

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a general assignment reporter for dot.LA. She's previously reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she served as a communications fellow at an environmental science research center in Sri Lanka. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Since founding StarNews Mobile, a video platform for content creators in Africa, Guy Kamgaing has landed deals with telecommunications giants to distribute content to subscribers across the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo, South Africa and Nigeria.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/frosebillington
francesca@dot.la

Weekly Recap: The State of Venture Capitalism in Southern California

Luis Gomez

Luis Gomez is dot.LA's Engagement Editor. Prior to joining the dot.LA team, he served as the audience growth consultant for Capital & Main. He has also previously worked as a digital producer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, NPR affiliate KPCC in Los Angeles and Yahoo. Follow him on Twitter at @RunGomez.

Top L.A. venture capitalists are benefitting from a white hot market.

This week, dot.LA published the first of several findings out of its quarterly poll of top Los Angeles venture capitalists. In short, those surveyed remain optimistic about the economic recovery and more than half say their companies saw valuations jump in the second quarter.

Among other findings:

  • All of the 33 investors who took the survey saw employee headcounts increase at their portfolio companies last quarter
  • Most VCs surveyed expect more hiring on the horizon
  • Some (36%) said they're having trouble retaining workers.

LA Startups To Watch 👀

MedTech Innovator has launched BioTools Innovator, a new virtual accelerator for genomics, personal medicine, targeted drug therapy and other life science startups.

Culver City-based startup Modern Animal is looking to grow by appealing to both overtaxed vets and the new rush of pet owners with its hybrid telemedicine subscription service. On Friday, it announced a $75.5 million investment to help do it.

Adway promises to pay drivers $50-$350 a month in what they call "passive" income by projecting ads on the side of their cars. This week, the nearly three-year-old company clinched a $6 million seed round led by Upfront Ventures.

Spinn, the maker of a coffee brewing machine that uses a unique "centrifuge process," has raised $20 million in a round of funding announced Monday. The startup says its focus on sustainability sets it apart from other at-home brewing machines.

#TechLA's Movers & Shakers This Week 📢

Rocket Lab this week successfully launched a satellite for the U.S. Space Force after a failed mission in May. MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur Krisztina "Z" Holly writes that Rocket Lab's quiet launch represents the real reason to have faith in space exploration, rather than space tourism.

Rental services are finally coming to the masses. Los Angeles-based Arrive Outdoors is making the technology behind its camping gear renting success available to brands that want to add a "rent" button on a product detail page. The company also announced it has raised $4 million in Seed II funding led by Amino Ventures.

LA Tech and Venture Capital News 🗞

El Segundo-based Dibbs, which brands itself as "the only real-time fractional sports card marketplace," this week secured a $13 million Series A round led by Foundry Group, with star athletes like Chris Paul and Skylar Diggins-Smith also investing.

Meta Data Software, a company that organizes the massive content libraries at some of the biggest streaming services, is calling Los Angeles its new home.

New data from PledgeLA's survey of Los Angeles tech companies and venture firms shows there is still a big disparity in pay among women, Black and Latinx tech workers.

Even as sports events scaled down during the pandemic, Elysian Park Ventures saw an opportunity in the digital realm. Co-founder Cole Van Nice says COVID ultimately advanced the timelines for the sports industry.

Listen Up 🎙

Need a podcast recommendation this weekend? Here are some new pods we have for you:

Hear from Alex Friedman, the co-founder of LOLA, a feminine care brand created to address the need for more transparency in women's health, in the latest episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast. Listen on Stitcher | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | iHeart Radio

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, veteran media investor Daniel Leff spills the truth about streaming services: everyone's chasing Netflix. Listen on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify

🚨 ​EXTRA EXTRA 🚨

Hundreds of Activision Blizzard employees in Irvine and many more remotely walked off the job on Wednesday to protest a workplace culture they call misogynistic and toxic. The walkout came after workers decried the company's response to a lawsuit brought forward by a California agency that accuses Activision Blizzard of fostering a pervasive "frat boy" culture. At their protest, they called on the company to be more transparent in its hiring practices.

Olympics viewership on NBC is taking a dive. New data shows a 36% decline from the 2016 Games across all NBC's platforms, which include its linear TV channel, Peacock and NBC Sports digital.

LA Tech and Venture Capital Events 💬

Immersive gaming experiences took a hit during the pandemic as venues shut down, but industry leaders expect them to come roaring back as people seek greater connections and the industry grows. This week, dot.LA hosted an intimate gathering at the immersive Two Bit Circus in downtown Los Angeles. Watch the video and sort through photos of the event.

Other upcoming Southern California events in the tech and startup scene in August:

Is your organization having an event? Let us feature it in our newsletter! Email luis@dot.la.

Am I doing this right? 🤔

Throw me feedback, compliments or questions on this newsletter at luis@dot.la or on Twitter at @rungomez.

RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS

Trending