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Ryemarkable Kate (Katy) Velasquez

Family info: Jack (Husband) & Daughters: Audrey (9) Paige (7) - both at Osborn School

Pets: Cooper, 1 year old lab

Name and description of your business:

I founded my local smoothie business, Westchester Smoothie ( right here in Rye! I make frozen smoothie packs available for local delivery and pickup. I founded it a few months ago at the start of 2023. I have 5 flavors available right now - Chocolate Dream, Red Velvet, Mocha Xpress, Berry Blast, Ginger Berry, as well as a sampler pack so people can try all 5 and find their favorite. These individual packs can be blitzed up in your favorite high powered blender in just a few minutes. They're mess free and can save you time if you want to use them as a delicious snack or meal replacement.

How would you describe your work?

Helping people feel their best is one of my passions. I believe in the power of nutrition and fueling your body with nutrient dense food that is going to help you feel your best, all day long. I create smoothie packs for easy, convenient, healthy smoothies that are ready quickly, perfect for people on the go or with schedules booked to the minute. The smoothie packs are packed with vitamins and nutrients and loaded with superfoods to help people eat clean food, even when they are tight on time. They’re an easy way to get 21 grams of protein, in a delicious way!

Before this, what was your career?

My experience started at the Institute for Culinary Education where my focus was Health Supportive Culinary Arts. I was schooled in the importance of quality, fresh, and organic ingredients. After graduation, I continued to work in several esteemed kitchens and owe most of my efficiency ideas to those hours spent prepping for service.

Teaching came next. I started doing in-home cooking tutorials, focusing on family style meal prep. I would incorporate pre-assembled smoothie packs into those workshops as well. Low and behold, I continually got asked if I would make the smoothie packs myself and sell them. Of course I would! And just like that, Westchester Smoothie was born.

My number one goal is to help you fuel your body. Life gets busy, trust me, I get it. What started as me blending superfoods in delicious and nutritious smoothies for my own family has quickly become a go to snack, breakfast item, or meal replacement for the community.

What did you have to do to start?

I got my Shopify website up and running to be able to take orders and have been trying to boost content on socials. Getting the word out about my local business is super important at this stage in my startup.

What have you learned since you started?

There is a lot behind the scenes that I have been learning as I go from calculating COGS to learning how to advertise and grow my company. I am so grateful for my first customers who supported me as I was still figuring everything out. Being an entrepreneur has taught me a lot about being self-determined, having grit, being nimble, and pivoting upon receiving feedback.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love helping people eat well. Nourishing your body with clean food can have such a positive impact on your life which is why all of my smoothie blends are crafted with gut health in mind and are loaded with fiber and protein. My smoothies are just about the easiest way to support your digestive health.

What is the biggest challenge you face, and how do you manage it?

Running a business while running a household doesn’t always leave enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to be done. It requires a lot of late nights and early mornings. It is not a standard 9-5, Monday - Friday but thankfully I have a very supportive family that has pitched in whenever I needed them and have been happy to have cheerios for dinner when I don’t have time to put together a home cooked meal.

What is one thing that's surprised you?

It is always so fascinating to see what smoothie flavors people will gravitate towards. What I thought might not be as popular of a flavor ended up being a best seller. For instance, Ginger has dozens of health benefits but it also has a strong, potent taste. I have been working on my craft to make my smoothies not have any overpowering flavors which has taken a lot of experimenting to get the proportions just right. I mastered masking the strong ginger flavor but I thought people knowing such a bold flavor was in the blend would deter some people but Gingerberry has been flying off the shelves.

Did you always plan on having a smoothie business?

Having worked in corporate commercial interiors for 20 years, there was a point in my life I thought I would be in design forever but I am so glad I pivoted and it landed me here. Working in the food space has always been exciting to me, if you asked me 20 years ago if I would own a smoothie business I would have said “no way” but I am so glad my schooling and passion for clean eating has brought me here.

What are some other fun details about you: favorite books, Netflix, or other fun facts?

I love spending quality time with my family, socializing at Manursing, playing tennis, and catching up on my favorite shows with Jack. I recently finished my first half marathon and hope to run another soon! In the interim, I am still completing distance runs.


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