Sam Binkley doesn’t just make spice blends — she’s on a mission to inspire your creative taste buds. Initially, Sam’s rubs and salts were made exclusively for her private cooking classes. As it turns out, her students couldn’t get enough of them. When they started requesting refills between sessions, Sam knew she had something special.
Now, Sam’s seasonings are a pantry staple for home chefs everywhere. From umami-rich Porcini Sea Salt to peppery Creole Spice, Healthy On You keeps every meal wholesome and nutritious.
Recently, we caught up with Sam to learn more about her journey and hear her advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
01 Why did you start Healthy On You?
As Americans, we’re not always not in touch with our food; where it comes from, how it’s produced, and the benefits of simple ingredients. I started Healthy On You because I was looking for a way to show people how to eat healthier. I also wanted people to know that healthy eating doesn’t mean boring food.
After I became a certified health coach, I began hosting cooking classes in my kitchen. I taught people how to create delicious and nutritious meals with ingredients from my garden, including spice blends I’d make for our recipes. The goal was to cut out unhealthy fats and sauces while maintaining the flavor of everyone’s favorite dishes.
Soon, I had students reaching out to me every week for refills on the blends I’d given them in class. I quickly realized I had a great product opportunity and, with that, my spice blend company was born!
02 What obstacles did you face along the way?
Where to begin, right? Isn’t entrepreneurship all about overcoming obstacles? That’s what makes it such a rewarding process. But, kidding aside, my products had to be organic, so the first real obstacle was gaining USDA certification. It was essentially like learning a whole new language. Meanwhile, they provided little in the way of guidance. In short, the process was laborious!
After that, all the other obstacles seemed minimal by comparison. Still, we had to overcome the challenge that every new company encounters — getting people to purchase your products. I had to put myself out there every day, share the benefits of spice blends, and show how they fit into today’s fast-paced environment. It was a lot of effort for a team of one (me), but it was fun showing people how to quickly turn a few simple ingredients into a delicious meal with the addition of Healthy On You. Once that lightbulb came on, I was able to convince both retailers and customers to try my products.
03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Three things come to mind: time management, maintaining balance, and self-assessment. Every entrepreneur knows that owning your own business is a 24/7 gig. Even though it’s your passion project, it will be time consuming. Personally, having a plan of action always helps me stay on-task without feeling overwhelmed. I love whiteboarding my to-do list. Crossing items off is the best feeling! By being efficient and organized, I get to maintain a suitable work/life balance.
I like to take the time to reflect on my successes and failures. My regular check-ins allow me to dial in on what I want to achieve with Healthy On You. In turn, I can look at my long to-do list and prioritize. It’s corny, but there really are only so many hours in a day. There will always be more to do and you will never get it all done. Instead, I prioritize the items that require my attention so that I can continue achieving my goals.
04 What’s on the horizon for Healthy On You?
Our goal at Healthy On You is to enable individuals to create delicious, home-cooked meals that deliver unmatched flavor with ease. Our blends are meant to inspire and excite the inner cook within us all. Trust me, we all have one! We offer a variety of blends to allow customers to create versatile dishes and incorporate our flavors into every meal. To ensure we continue achieving that goal, we like to spice things up (pun intended) by continuously working on new spice blends.
We also keep things interesting and new by sharing easy and fun ways to use Healthy On You products with our customers. We add new recipes to our website every week and engage with our social media followers regularly. We even host virtual cooking classes! Showing customers new ways to enjoy our products is one of my favorite components of the business. That includes the cooking classes — they’ve a huge reason why we’ve built an unmatched connection with customers.
05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
I have my daily rituals that keep me centered. I always begin my day by making the bed with my husband. At the end of the day, I always cook dinner and eat with my family. No matter how busy we all are, we always make the time to sit together and enjoy a meal. My favorite part of the day is sitting down to have a thought-provoking conversation with my family. Additionally, whenever I can find some extra time, I try to go for a walk with my husband, which keeps us both active and connected!
There are so many things that inspire me. I believe our lives are filled with people and experiences that are meant to make us the best possible versions of ourselves. I’m inspired by working parents who serve as healthy role models for their families. When I began my cooking class, many of my students wanted to learn how to make nutritious meals for their loved ones. They were dedicated; they wanted to learn a new skill for the people they love.
In that same sense, I’m inspired by people everywhere who follow their dreams — especially my fellow female-dreamers. As an entrepreneur, there’s nothing more exciting than watching an idea come to life through love and passion.