A non-dairy alternative that’s creaming the competition

Two years ago, Madeline Haydon grew weary of waiting for the perfect creamer for her coffee.

Two years ago, Madeline Haydon grew weary of waiting for the perfect creamer for her coffee.

She was pregnant at the time, and alternative products like almond and coconut milk weren’t enough. Haydon couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t find a creamer that was healthy and organic.

“You don’t want to take something because you’re guilty that it’s not good for you,” she said, then listing the various suspicious ingredients you find in most creamers that are in the market, including carageenan, hydrogenated oils, mono and diglycerides, and titanium dioxide. “At the time, I was waiting for the big guys to come out with something nut-based, because it was only a matter of time.”

Her pregnancy had heightened her awareness of what was going in her body and the itch to consume healthy, natural products had grown strong. So Haydon did the only natural thing a businesswoman could do — she created her own brand of dairy-free creamer that was paleo, vegan and kosher but didn’t compromise on the richness and creaminess of a regular half-and-half.

“Nutpods” began as a homemade concoction, but when Haydon decided to venture into the market herself, it became a Kickstarter campaign. She was a one-woman enterprise who worked out of her home with help from her friends. She’d regularly update the campaign with videos and the business’ progress, slowly building a network of soon-to-be loyal customers.

“It’s this great story where people got to see what I wanted to do and hear from my words what we were trying to do with Nutpods,” she said. “It helped build a relationship with us and our customers, who were our Kickstarter backers at the time.”

By raising almost $32,000 from the campaign, the company launched in 2015 through Amazon and quickly found success. It became the highest reviewed dairy-free creamer on the market and was named as one of the innovative beverages of 2016 by the Specialty Food Association.

Nutpods creamers are made from almonds and coconuts, and come in three flavors: original, french vanilla and hazelnut. They are also free from GMOs, soy, dairy, gluten and artificial flavors.

“When I started off, at first I was really self-conscious that I didn’t come from a food background,” Haydon said. “But this company and this product is built from the eyes of a consumer. I built what I wanted to be able to buy.”

The product and the brand has Haydon’s fingerprints all over it. From the packaging to the website, Haydon makes sure that a consumer is able to hear her voice and her heart behind Nutpods.

“I want them to know I’m a figure-head. I want them to know I’m a real person and I’m a mom. All of those things contribute to the success,” she said.

Haydon, who grew up in Renton and graduated from Liberty High School, credits the many challenges she has faced in her childhood for her entrepreneurial success. Haydon’s family were Vietnamese refugees who were one of many families welcomed to Washington state by former Governor Dan Evans.

“Sometimes the things you really struggle with are blessings in your life,” she said. “We came from a really hard beginning. We were a family of refugees so we were in no way affluent. We were on public assistance when we came here. There were challenges with a new culture, challenges with language… those are the things that were definitely hardships, but in the long run, it also teaches you perseverance and determination. And being able to push past those, and to know that you need to be willing to work hard for a sustained period of time with delayed gratification is key. We had a tough start in this country, but it helped forge what I needed to be a businessperson.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

A young chef carefully spreads sauce onto pizza dough during a cooking class at Young Chefs Academy of Covington. Courtesy photo/YCA Covington
Kids culinary school opens in Covington

The school takes the unknown out of cooking for kids, owner Deb O’Brien said.

A new measure from the King County Council could increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas of King County. File photo
County measure would increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas

Staff report Legislation the King County Council passed June 23 could lead… Continue reading

The Landing in Renton/File photo
The Landing open in Phase 2 for businesses

Individual retailers determine reopening and operating hours

Photo from March 2019, when the Hi-Lands Shopping center first stood vacant. A developer wants to move forward with demolition but states it can’t due to a city moratorium. File photo/Haley Ausbun
Hi-Lands Shopping Center purchased, but project, demolition on hold

The city placed an emergency moratorium on land use applications in Sunset neighborhood until October 2020. The new developer for Solera has appealed the decision and spoke out against it.

24 Hour Fitness to close clubs in Kent, Auburn, Renton

Panther Lake Kent location scheduled to reopen next month

24 Hour Fitness is closing over 100 gyms, including one in Renton. Photo courtesy the Highlands 24 Hour Fitness Instagram.
Highlands 24-Hour Fitness gym will not be reopening

It is one of several gyms in region and over 100 in the country closing after 24 Hour Fitness filed bankruptcy Monday

Westfield Southcenter Mall to reopen June 15

Modified hours; safety protocols

Closure, layoffs at Mitsubishi Aircraft’s Renton headquarters.

Only a year into joining the aerospace hub of the Northwest, several hits to the commercial jet industry in 2019-2020 causes the company to scale back.

Goodwill to reopen donation centers, stores in King, Pierce counties

Including Kent, Auburn, Federal Way locations

Michelle Hankinson stands in front of the Renton Area Youth Services office in downtown Renton. While RAYS is merging with two other nonprofits, much of it remains the same. Courtesy photo RAYS.
Local RAYS joins nonprofit Childhaven

Renton Area Youth Services has been working with local families for 50 years.

New Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma to open June 8

$400M, 310,000-square-foot facility will open with COVID-19 precautions