Simple Mills: Katlin Smith In 2012, 22-year-old Katlin Smith was growing restless at her consulting job, so she started experimenting with grain-free, paleo-friendly muffin recipes in her Atlanta kitchen. A buyer at a nearby Whole Foods agreed to sell Katlin's muffin mixes and placed an order for twelve bags. She then hustled to expand the business: hand-mixing almond flour and coconut sugar in food-grade barrels, slinging wardrobe boxes of muffin mix into a rental car, and standing by helplessly while shoppers scarfed down more samples than anticipated. 8 years after launch, Simple Mills has expanded to include cookies and crackers and other treats; it's available in 28,000 stores and does roughly $100M in annual revenue.

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Simple Mills: Katlin Smith

Simple Mills: Katlin Smith

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Kristen Uroda for NPR
Katlin Mills is the founder and CEO of Simple Mills.
Kristen Uroda for NPR

In 2012, 22-year-old Katlin Smith was growing restless at her consulting job, so she started experimenting with grain-free, paleo-friendly muffin recipes in her Atlanta kitchen.

A buyer at a nearby Whole Foods agreed to sell Katlin's muffin mixes and placed an order for twelve bags. She then hustled to expand the business: hand-mixing almond flour and coconut sugar in food-grade barrels, slinging wardrobe boxes of muffin mix into a rental car, and standing by helplessly while shoppers scarfed down more samples than anticipated.

8 years after launch, Simple Mills has expanded to include cookies and crackers and other treats; it's available in 28,000 stores and does roughly $100M in annual revenue.

Special Series

How I Built This

For all new episodes, go to the How I Built This page on Wondery.com Listen early and ad-free on Wondery+ Listen on Amazon Music