A New Look at Wellness: Iris Briand of Sol Food Nutrition

Iris Briand grew up on an organic orchard and vegetable farm where she learned the importance of eating fresh foods as part of a healthy lifestyle. “From a young age, I knew I wanted to teach others how to enjoy tasty and nutritious foods – with any budget,” she notes.

Today, Iris is a Registered Nurse Dietitian and the owner and of Sol Food Nutrition, LLC. Getting started, however, took some time. Her first year in business was challenging because she didn’t realize how many unpaid hours of work she would need to perform. Every day she found herself tangled in hours of online and print marketing, cold calling, and networking events. She was surprised by the business background needed to make the company grow at a sustainable rate. “I overcame those obstacles by attending Mercy Corps Business Courses 1 and 2, which helped broaden the business background. Fortunately, with increased ‘word of mouth’ referrals and better online marketing I haven’t needed to network as much,” she says.

The best learning Iris uncovered from the classes is simple: Double the amount of time you think it will take to get something done.

As she reflects on her current experience as a small business owner, she speaks fondly about how far she’s come. “The most exciting thing about running a small nutrition coaching business in Portland is that each day my clients are becoming more open minded about living a healthy lifestyle. They quickly experience the health benefits of making simple habit changes, so they can live their lives with more excitement. It is so rewarding to witness!” she shares.

Iris feels a sense of support and ease in the community. Not only has she won over the minds of her clients, but also of local partners. She now makes regular appearances instructing nutrition and cooking segements on AM Northwest, KATU Channel 2; leads monthly events at Tri Oasis Wellness Center; and has instructed workshop series and meal tastings at Multnomah Athletic Club, Williams, New Seasons Market, and Whole Foods Market and other locations.

“I’m excited to be a part of a movement to help strengthen the wellness of our community members,” she says.

To learn more about Sol Food Nutrition, LLC, visit her website here.

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