Aviva Goldfarb, The Six O’Clock Scramble, Woman Entrepreneur

imgresI have a good friend who is probably the most plugged into what is happening than any person I know.  I always ask him for a list of all the things he reads every day and he laughs.  He is always sending me info and links.  I have grabbed some of the daily gets over the years.  He is also into the food scene and told me about Aviva and what she had built.  I was curious and scheduled a time to speak with Aviva.  Her entrepreneurial energy is clear within seconds of talking.  The Scramble is a daily meal planner that filled a void in her life and it ends up that it filled a void in many other lives too.

Aviva was born in Chicago.  She lived there until she was in 5th grade when her parents decided they wanted to live somewhere with better weather and an easier commute.  They packed up the family and moved to Santa Barbara.  Her father was a psychiatrist and a lawyer.  Her mother was the at-home Mom.  Growing up they traveled a fair amount in a pop-up Winnebago camper including annual trips to a Dude ranch in Tucson.

Aviva always thought of food as a way to save the world.  When they lived in Chicago she made granola and sold the bags door to door to raise money for Leukemia.  This was spurred on after seeing Brian’s Song.  She started spaghetti dinners to raise money for the homeless.  She’d also have tables at carnivals to collect food cans for shelters.  She was socially conscious and raised money through food.

After graduating high school Aviva moved back east and went to University of Pennsylvania where she majored in political science. Always working to put money in her pocket she would type papers and edit them for people.  During her summers Aviva would work in food (waitressing/hosting) and would also take an unpaid internship in journalism.  She did not spend a year or semester abroad but did spend one summer in Argentina working for the Associated Press.  It was an interesting summer as Argentina was having their first democratic transition in 60 years.  That experience made her want to be more of an activist than an observer when she graduated college.

After graduating college she got a job in DC working for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.  She worked in the social justice office as an intern with a stipend learning how DC worked in regards to the Jewish response to political issues.  She stayed for a year before taking another job at an organization called Families USA working towards healthcare reform.  They were involved in helping Hillary Clinton attempt to get healthcare reform passed.  She stayed four years there doing media relations.  After that she went to work for a PR/Media company doing media relations for non-profit companies.  Quite frankly she was burnt out.  She had met her husband the first day of her first job in DC, they were married, living in DC and she was ready to have a family.  Aviva figured she would have a family, sit back and take some time before deciding what to do next.

While she was home she got into healthy cooking and wrote a cookbook that she self-published with her best friend.  They sold 1000 copies through a website she had built.  She was starting to develop more recipes and started to think about writing another cookbook. It occurred to her that it wasn’t the recipes she needed as much as a weekly plan for the week so she could shop for everything at once instead of scrambling to figure out what to make that day.  It was 2003.  Aviva asked herself the question; how do you enjoy a meal with your family every night without feeling angst about what you are going to prepare.  This is when she put the Scramble on line and figured it out.

It was really when the online world was taking off.  She used her media relations to get PR to drive people to the site.  The users drove income to the site which she put back into the business.  Her service allows you to take their affordable recipes and create a grocery list for the week.  The recipes are simple with just a few ingredients and marketed towards families on the run.  How to get a healthy affordable meal on the table in 30 minutes.  Aviva wanted to build something for the majority of the market.

Their customers are across the country.  When you join you get weekly plans that can be customized for your family.  It is the tool for them to plan, shop and cook.   One of the most important goals is to have happy customers, a good reputation and the right product fit for them.  They have just begun to take a step towards ramping up.  All these years the business has continued to grow organically and thru PR such as the Today show that Aviva appears on.  They are now starting to do paid acquisition that most start-ups do from early on.  They are beginning to look at their ads and if they are cost effective.  All that will help The Scramble build partnerships with large food companies.

Aviva is an impressive entrepreneur.  She began the Scramble when nobody was in this space.  She is starting to look at the company with her eyes on the next steps of building more members.  Based on what she has already accomplished I can’t imagine that she won’t figure it out.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Lisa Abeyta

    Affordable + Healthy + Grocery List = big win for anyone with a busy life. Hope they’re thinking about an API that grocery list apps can use to integrate to allow their users to add that grocery list into an app they already use.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i think that is the plan.

  2. Meghan

    Some of my (very picky) family’s favorite recipes have come from The Scramble cookbooks! We are big fans of Aviva 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thats awesome

  3. Aviva Goldfarb

    Thanks so much for sharing the story of how I created my meal planning site The Six O’Clock Scramble, Joanne! I didn’t realize you were taking so many notes on our conversation, what a great listener you are.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i try! great story.