Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Aug 15, 2020

Normally on Business for Good, we focus on companies using innovative commerce to solve serious social problems. In this episode though, we’re focusing on a less traditional type of business: the life of a solo-preneuer. That’s to say, the life of a business person who isn’t trying to build a team and grow into a huge company, but rather someone who goes it alone and makes a business work essentially by themselves.

If you’re interested in the plant-based world, you likely know Colleen Patrick-Groudreau’s name, since Colleen is essentially a brand unto herself, often known as the Joyful Vegan. In fact, The Joyful Vegan is the name of her latest (and 7th) book. A long-time advocate for pragmatic and friendly animal advocacy, Colleen has built her own empire of revenue streams that allow her to earn money by putting out her positive message of compassion and joy into the world. 

Many people who want to promote animal-friendly eating may go work for an animal charity or work for a company making alternative protein. Those are of course cool things to do. But Colleen has for decades now successfully charted a different path of advocacy, and has made a good business out of doing so. 

Whether it’s earning revenue from her books on vegan eating, from sponsored vegan-friendly vacations, from online cooking classes, and more, Colleen has a truly diversified approach to ensuring her own living while urging the rest of us to adopt a live and let live mentality toward other animals. 

As you’ll hear in this interview, Colleen really was an influencer long before there was social media. She was collecting small contributions from fans of her work long before there was Patreon. She was podcasting for animals long before most people knew what a podcast was. And she was writing plant-based cookbooks, of which she’s sold more than a quarter million copies, long before there was an internet full of unlimited plant-based resources.

In other words, Colleen really is an OG of plant-based advocacy. So enjoy listening to her story of how she got started and how she’s made her business of advocating compassion for animals work for so long. 

Discussed in this episode

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau Bio:

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s compassionate living philosophy is propelling plant-based eating into the mainstream and forever changing how we regard animals.

A recognized expert and thought leader on the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living compassionately and healthfully, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is a speaker, cultural commentator, podcaster, and award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan’s Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and her newest book, The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs. She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought,” which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row. She launched a spin-off podcast called Animalogy in 2017. Along with fellow advocates, she recently formed a political action committee called East Bay Animal PAC to work with government officials on animal issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Colleen shares her message of compassion and wellness on national and regional TV and radio programs, including a regular segment on Good Day Sacramento and as a monthly contributor on National Public Radio (KQED). She has appeared on the Food Network, CBS, PBS, and FOX; interviews with her have been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, U.S. News, and World Report; her letters and editorials are published in publications such as The New York Times and The Atlantic Magazine, and her recipes have been featured on and

Colleen lives in Oakland, CA with her husband David and two cats, Charlie and Michiko.