Q: What’s your name, and what do you do?
A: I’m Charlotte Cruze and I’m Co-Founder + COO at Alice Mushrooms.
Q: How did Alice Mushrooms come about? What’s the origin story?
A: Alice started in my business partner, Lindsay Goodstein’s, kitchen. She was leaving a career in pharmaceuticals and looking for holistic ways to address her own struggles with sleep and focus. Mushrooms became the answer, but there was nothing on the market that was fun to consume (read: tasted good), ready-to-eat, and fast acting. So she started formulating in her kitchen with a homeopathic doctor and eventually brought on a team of biochemists, doctors, and professional formulations. The two of us met around this time (over the phone! She’s in LA, I’m in NYC), immediately hit it off, and worked on the brand for another year until we came to market in October 2022. My background is in food, so pairing her expertise in pharmaceuticals and mine in food was the secret sauce to making Alice the perfect functional treat.
Q: You’ve been in CPG for a while though - tell us more about your greater journey in the CPG space.
A: It is the must fun and most challenging part of the business. It’s one thing to create a formula that is actually effective and healing, and it’s a whole other thing to make it taste incredible. We start first by narrowing down what mushrooms, nootropics and herbs we might want to use. We make a few formulations, test them out for efficacy, and once we have something that works we start playing with the chocolate. It becomes a goldilocks approach after that – a little more of this, a little less of that – until we find the perfect balance of taste and function.
Q: How can functional mushrooms change the game in the CPG world?
A: Mushrooms can change the game in EVERY world! In CPG specifically, mushrooms can be used in consumable products like ours, but they can also be used as alternative sources for packaging, as raw materials themselves (have you seen the mushroom leather substitutes?!) and so much more. Mushrooms are our past, present and future, and can provide solutions for so many more problems than we can even comprehend right now.
Q: What’s something you’re most proud of in this Alice chapter?
A: The impact we’ve made on individuals who have been struggling with the issues we address: sleep and focus. Not a day goes by that I don’t get an email from a customer saying how grateful they are to finally have the energy to get through their day with ease or that they are sleeping better than they have in years. Those emails are the best.
Q: Tell us something hilarious that’s come into the Alice inbox.
A: A lot of people think we make different kinds of mushrooms… and get verrrrrry inquisitive in the inbox ;)
Q: What’s your big massive goal? Give us the biggest 🙂 and leaving this open ended on purpose 😀A: For the name alice to be synonymous with mushrooms, like kleenex is with tissues :)
Q: What’s your favorite way to eat tbh?
A: This sounds insanely gluttonous (because it is), but on top of dark chocolate (cough cough *alice*). The chocolate on chocolate combo is…divine.