The mother of two boys diagnosed with celiac disease, Becker founded Caulipower in 2016 after finding that existing gluten-free options lacked both nutrition and taste. So even though her only experience with frozen food was, well…eating it, “I left a successful career in corporate America with a mission of reinventing America’s favorite comfort foods,” she says.
Six years later, Caulipower has netted more than $100 million in revenue. But Becker knew she had really made it in 2021 when she was featured in a question on Jeopardy! (Question: Gail Becker, mom of two boys who couldn’t have gluten, started the Caulipower line by making this out of cauliflower. Answer: What is pizza crust?). “It was pretty epic,” she says of the very unexpected mention.
‘To all the women out there with a business plan shoved in the back of the bottom drawer: always bet on yourself.
If you don’t, who will?’
— Gail Becker
Jeopardy! fame aside, Becker says she’s most gratified by the impact the company has had on the lives of consumers. “We are privileged to continuously hear from our customers, who thank us for making their meals better and easier,” she explains.
“I often tell people that Caulipower is my third child,” continues Becker. “Though truth be told, it’s definitely the most challenging of the three.” But the company’s success has allowed her to support another of her passions: making nutritional food more accessible to all.
Since Caulipower’s inception, explains Becker, a portion of all sales has gone to the American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens Network, to help educate children in under-resourced schools about healthy eating. “And in 2020, we allocated funds to a program that provided 100,000 meals made with food bought from local farmers to 4,500 families across the country,” she reports.
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND THEM
Caulipower’s charitable initiatives are proof positive of Becker’s belief that female leaders often work tirelessly to not only improve their own lives but the lives of those around them. “Women can make brave decisions for their organization, even if it benefits them the least, often generating a more inclusive and societal impact,” she says. In addition, “Women are more adaptive to change, lead with empathy and excel at incorporating divergent viewpoints into their decision-making process,” all of which help build a stronger organization.
Although Becker is honored by her FoRWARD Award, “I am hopeful that one day we won’t need special recognition for women in business because we will be equally represented and compensated. Until then, it’s our job to band together and celebrate each other’s successes.
“To all the women out there with a business plan shoved in the back of the bottom drawer: always bet on yourself,” says Becker. “If you don’t, who will?” And to those who are mothers, she adds, “Remember that your kids are watching. Show them how to live confidently and independently.”