Meet Our Team
Carlo Brandon CEO Founder
Carlo Brandon became a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his first daughter, Sofia, in 2004. Prior to that, he had been a litigation attorney who often spent time cooking and inventing in the kitchen as a way of unwinding after a long work day.
With the birth of Sofia, he began focusing more on natural and organic foods, given his concern with heightened instances of childhood obesity (and the accompanying risks of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes) and early puberty amongst girls (resulting from poor nutrition and increased hormones in meats and dairy products). By the time his second daughter, Stella, was born two years later, Carlo had already begun to address the universal need for natural and organic gourmet food so lacking in the current marketplace.
Carlo Brandon started a Gourmet Natural Foods company in order to provide products that are nutritious and easy to prepare, while ensuring that taste and quality are never compromised. He named this company Sof'ella (after his daughters, of course) in order to remain focused on his original goal of providing his kids with nutritious, natural and flavorful food. Sof'ella remains committed to the goal of nutrition, by formulating products that increase the nutritional value of each and every spoonful. Understanding that kids are likely to eat only a handful of spoons of food at each meal, Sof'ella has sought to maximize the nutritional value of each of those spoonfuls by using only natural products; Sof'ella also combines ingredients like grains and beans, in order to ensure a full protein in many of its side dish products.
The same commitment to food remains in the creation of the market's most extensive organic baking line. Here, Sof'ella focused only on natural and organic ingredients so as to preclude the use of corn syrups, colors and dyes, artificial flavors, or preservatives. At Sof'ella, we like to think that "If you can't read it, it's not on our label." To date, the Sof'ella Organic Baking Line has outsold every national brand combined at the 388 Whole Foods supermarkets across the country.
Sof'ella hasn't forgotten that the word "Gourmet" is placed prominently on the company logo. This serves as reminder that no matter how natural or nutritious any product may be, the product must still taste great. To date, this commitment to great tasting food remains evident in each of the Baking, Side Dish, Meal Kit and Home-made Soup Lines currently on the market.
Carlo Brandon likes to tell people that he got into the food business to get his kids to eat right, eat well and eat good food. As it turns out, Sof'ella may actually get all of us (not just Sofia and Stella) to do just that: eat right, eat well and eat good food.
Jennifer Black Dea Chef - Research & Development Director
Jennifer's passion for cooking started at a very young age as she was encouraged by her mother cook dinner once a week. After graduating from school with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology she was given the advice by her father to pursue her passion and turn it into a career. She applied to Culinary Institute and the rest is history.
Jennifer has over twenty years experience in the food industry. She has worked as a pastry chef at Eureka and Spago Hollywood and as a caterer to celebrities. Jennifer moved into the R&D aspect of the food industry at Perspectives, The Consulting Group by beginning consulting work for supermarkets and restaurants. She continued consulting and developed bakery items for a cafe in Cabo San Lucas. She joined Huxtable's Kitchen and continued product development work formulating fresh and frozen products to be sold at wholesale and retail outlets. Jennifer then moved on to Kitchen Academy where she created and oversaw curriculum revisions and managed culinary faculty and students. Jennifer has now found her home at Sof'ella.
Jennifer is the Director of R&D Development and is responsible for the creation of most all of the fabulous dishes Sof'ella has to offer. Jennifer has worked at Sof'ella since November 2007. She is accountable for the development of recipes and cooking instructions, photography of products and sourcing of new ingredients. Jennifer also aids in sales calls and product presentations.
Nancy Cheng QA&QC
Nancy got an early start in the food industry when, as a little girl, she served as her grandmother’s sensory panelist in the family kitchen. A few years later, baking and cooking classes in her high school's practical arts program fueled the desire to pursue a Food Science degree in college.
Since graduating, she has worked in the QA and R&D departments of various manufacturing plants, namely those in the cocoa, dairy, beverage, fruit, salad dressing, sauces and oil processing industries.
Nancy has been with Sof'ella since February 2010 and is responsible for assisting the R&D Director through all stages of product formulation and introduction. She's also involved in the quality assurance/quality control aspect of Sof'ella's operations.