We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Petrozzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN where I dreamed of someday getting to travel the world as a photo journalist for National Geographic experiencing and learning about new cultures. My dreams shifted when I fell in love and dedicated myself to the art of ballet at a young age. Yet, my passion for sharing my art and getting to travel came together when I had the opportunity to dance on international stages with the Houston Ballet. While working and living in Houston, I met and later married my soul mate, Ismael, a Peruvian Native and businessman, opening my heart and eyes to the beauty of Peru, with its rich culture, warm hospitality, and delicious cuisine. Having been a professional ballet dancer for over 13 years, I understand first-hand the importance of taking care of one’s self in body, mind and spirit. Relying on my body as my instrument, my mind as my guide and my spirit as my inspiration, I continue to strive to live out my life’s purpose and passion in all I do. With the knowledge and experience I gained throughout my career as a dancer, my 12 years of combined experience in the health and wellness industry as Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor and holistic health coach, as well as my 10 years of motherhood, I love any opportunity to share the gifts of happiness and awareness that come with mindful lifestyle choices. Over the years my husband, Ismael and I have seen a positive trend of families like ours seeking healthier food options, which was very much in line with my passion of a healthy lifestyle. Being a native Peruvian, Ismael knows first hand that Peru is home to some of the best nutrient-dense plants, fruits, grains, and roots known as Superfoods. Ismael had spent many years working in the consumer goods and food distribution industries, and it became clear to us that the timing was right to introduce these superfood ingredients to the U.S. market in a fun and relatable way. We decided to combine our knowledge and passions, co-founding LLamaLand Organics, getting a chance to share the richness of Peruvian superfoods with American families in the forms of delicious, nutritious fruit spreads and cereals, that are 100% organic. Now more than ever, people in the U.S. are waking up to the reality of COVID-19 seriously impacting their health if their bodies aren’t metabolically healthy. So much of our population is dealing with underlying issues, often times due to poor food and lifestyle choices. Now is the time to change course and get serious about learning the importance of what we put in our bodies today, matters tomorrow and long into the future. Families are now demanding healthier, better-for-you options and supply will follow the demand. With “healthier for you” pantry staples like ours, we are excited to see a huge interest and following from families who are looking for nutritious and delicious foods for themselves and their loved ones. Our two young boys are some of our biggest fans! They love the cereal and spreads, especially the Lucuma fruit spread.
What should our readers know about your business?
LLamaLand Organics came about in a very “organic” way for me and my husband, and although we have had many challenges along the way, we continue to look at all our failures as training tools. We feed off each other’s encouragement to always continue to move forward. We started brainstorming this “idea” back in April of 2019, and soon thereafter began growing relationships with trusted partners in Peru who were aligned with our core values and big vision. Building a brand and products from the roots up took time, patience, a lot of trust and faith. Finally in 2020, as our LLamaLand Organics products were ready to hit shelves, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the globe. While the timing didn’t seem ideal at first, we refused to believe that it wasn’t for a purpose. An already growing awareness of the importance eating healthy was now front page everywhere encouraging healthy eating as a way to help your immune system, leading to a much better COVID outcome if you get sick. Our fruit spreads, in particular are full of Vitamin C and a great immune boost. Our Camu Camu spread has 140% of your daily recommend Vitamin C in one serving. Not many people here in the U.S. are familiar with Camu Camu, a small fruit that grows along the banks of the Amazon river and can contain up to 60 times more Vitamin C than an orange. But we believe by introducing Camu Camu in a way where anyone can enjoy it, it is going to be a household name soon. I get excited everyday at the opportunity to follow a gut feeling and a dream, working along side my husband as we share LLamaLand Organics in every way we can, knowing we are staying true to our core values. Our LLamaLand Organics core values include providing the highest quality organic, non-GMO, and plant-based ingredients from Peru; as well as products that are responsibly sourced (environmentally and socially), offering full transparency and traceability—from source to end consumer—and make products that improve people’s lives every step of the way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My ideal day itinerary with a dear friend visiting us in Houston would include breakfast at Tiny Boxwood, heading to the Museum of Fine Arts, then to the Contemporary Arts museum, just talking and soaking in all the art. Eating lunch outside at Flower Child in Uptown Park, then head over to Amorino for a delicious gelato. After a quick rest and shower, we would head out on the town to catch a performance by Houston Ballet or Houston Symphony, and then have a late night dinner/drink at MF Sushi. I am going to have to write this down for myself to remember to do this as soon as COVID is under control and we can socialize again and gather to enjoy live art. 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and co-founder of LLamaLand Organics, Ismael is the incredible, knowledgable, passionate force behind our LLamaLand dream. From the moment we started brainstorming about this idea to combine our passions and knowledge to grow this “idea” from the roots up, he has never wavered in encouragement and support and patience. Whether it be teaching me about marketing, sales, pricing, branding or taking the time to to give me a confidence boost when I start pulling the card….”but I never went to university.” He likes to quickly remind me that I have always been an entrepreneur and CEO by nature and have learned so much in my experiences as a dancer, health and wellness coach, and mom.
Kristen Touma, Ellen Appel