Envisioning Better Food? Chew!


A mission to engineer healthy, delicious, earth conscious food

We were excited to welcome The Chew Lab and in particular Adam Melonas, the outstanding entrepreneur behind it to join us for our Vision Mission and Culture worskhop. Thanks to Alok Tayi for making this happen!

The Chew Lab provides an exciting and distinct culinary (rather than pure tech) example of how culture, mission, vision, and values can help guide the growth of a startup from one person to a large team. What I love is both that Adam is so clearly passionate about this subject and how we uses his vision and mission both internally and externally: from hiring to client acquisition, culture, mission, vision. In all these areas he sees Chew Labs’ values as crucial. Chew Lab deserves our admiration: they are resolved to revolutionize what we eat by making food healthier and more sustainable.

Guest post from Adam Melonas, Founder Chew Labs and Alok Tayi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Whitesides Labs, Harvard University


The Chew Lab is an innovative test kitchen we started in Cambridge, MA. Chew is composed of a team of “snack food engineers” that develops new types of snacks for large companies that are healthier and more sustainable. Before starting Chew, I helped concoct the confections found in Unreal Candy.


As a company, Chew is about providing a solution to the world’s health and sustainability issues one delicious bite, sip, or crunch at a time. These, and other, core values guide our team and fit well within the Startup Secrets series.

“Culture, mission, vision, and values are the threads that tie together a company, independent of the industry”

Unlike the conventional case example in the series, Chew Lab is unique as it is innovating in the domain of food. However, I hope that my advice on culture, mission, vision, demonstrates that these lessons are relevant to every company in every industry. At Chew, our mission is to change the way the world thinks about snacking. We will do this by re-imagining the food everyone loves the most. Our mission and our values are our battle cry. We stay true to our values by being militant about holding ourselves to incredibly high standards:

  1. We assert confidently: every new food concept developed must meet the ‘kid test’. The team must feel comfortable feeding it to their own children before releasing it to the public.
  2. The food must be delicious.
  3. The product must be good for the consumer and good for the earth.


My team is also enthusiastic about spreading their values outside of the organization. First and foremost, every product that is sold by our clients have their values, literally, baked right in: our clients’ food is delicious, healthy and sustainably-sourced. Furthermore, Chew spreads its perspective through thought leadership. Members of the lab are represented in the food community by sitting on as many panels and joining as many different discussions as possible. These speaking engagements only happen in places where we can have an impact (e.g. schools and forward thinking organizations). Moreover, my team also volunteers at community events and small farms in the region.