The Uplifters
The Uplifters
The Food Rebel: Claudia Castellanos

The Food Rebel: Claudia Castellanos

“One of the things that I strongly believe will lead you to succeed, is undeterred resilience: Fall, but get up. Be rejected, but try again. Don’t take no for an answer for something you really want. If you’re tired don’t quit, but rather rest, and come back with a plan. The best way to develop resilience is to nurture that inner conviction that you will succeed, eventually. Do a victory dance and celebrate the good times, and build relationships that will provide guidance, support, and acceptance during the bad times (and invite them to do the victory dance as well!).”

Claudia Castellanos, founder of Black Mamba Foods, is an accidental entrepreneur.

When she turned 30, she had what she calls her “awakening crisis.” Her journey for purpose carried her to Africa. She fell in love with her husband, spicy foods, and Eswatini. Together, her new loves turned her into a “food rebel.”

Claudia believes that the way we are thinking about food is fundamentally wrong. The only way that food can be truly good is if it's good for you, good for the planet, and good for the communities that produce it.

Here are 5 key takeaways from this inspiring conversation:

  • How Claudia found her “Massive Transformational Purpose”

  • What it means to be a “food rebel”

  • The role we, as consumers, play in influencing the food industry towards more ethical and sustainable practices

  • Why relentless optimism is valuable for founders, pioneers, and Uplifters of all sorts

  • How Claudia finds her balance as a passionate entrepreneur, mother, and wife

Claudia was nominated for The Uplifters Podcast by Sarah Dusek from episode 29.

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About Claudia

Claudia Castellanos, a Colombian impact entrepreneur and food rebel, came as a volunteer to Eswatini in 2008, fell in love with Africa, and made it her home. She is the co-founder and CEO of Black Mamba Foods, a growing brand with a strong social and environmental ethos based in Eswatini that manufactures and distributes specialty food products worldwide, and supports over 1000 individuals from rural communities. Through Black Mamba, Claudia has become a vocal activist for transforming food ecosystems through a simple yet powerful premise: food can only be truly good if it’s good for you, good for the planet and good for the people that grow it and make it.

She is a fellow of Vital Voices (an organization that works to elevate women’s leadership around the world) and The DO (a global platform for accelerating a new economy that is sustainable, innovative and equitable), a member of EY Winning Women (worldwide network of successful and inspiring women entrepreneurs) and Ecco (Eswatini Climate Coalition). In 2020, Claudia received the Women in Africa Award for her work with Black Mamba.

Follow Claudia’s Work:

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