004: How To Get Started In The Food Industry (Sophie Slesinger)

Sophie Slesinger

The food industry is one of the toughest industries to succeed in and our guest for episode 4 knows this firsthand.

Sophie Slesinger joins us to give us the lowdown on making it in the world of food and the path she took to becoming a recognized expert in the world of cheese.


Sophie Slesinger’s early pursuits are typical of a lot of young girls in the US, she spent 15 years training as a ballerina. Though her love affair with food eventually won out, the time she invested in ballet would prepare her well for pursuits later in life.

One of her first jobs after completing her undergraduate degree was a position she petitioned, and created within her college. Her tenacity and persistence in creating this job would become trademarks of her career; creating opportunity is something Sophie has perfected.


  • The two pieces of advice she’s always followed.
  • How she has made herself indispensable throughout her career.
  • Why she always says yes when opportunities come along.
  • How to make yourself be in the right place, at the right time according to Sophie.
  • The necessity of building your personal network and the safety net it creates.

Sophie’s desire to be in the food industry has led her to being open to various opportunities as they’ve come along. She knows working in the world of food doesn’t always translate to high pay and stability! There’s a lot of turnover and a lot of sweat equity that goes into being a success in food, just like other fields.

Because of who she is and the path she’s chosen in food, Sophie has learned the importance of being open, flexible and adaptable – traits that benefit everyone in any industry.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a position in the food industry or not, Sophie’s story and the suggestions she gives in this episode will apply to you.

She recommends being resilient and aggressively pursuing what you want while building and maintaining a network. Sometimes you may have to barter or even do unpaid for a short period of time, while you build your “chops” and gain experience.

Her bottom line in all of this? If you want something, go for it. Don’t do it halfway!

Having Sophie on the show was a blast; whether you’re interested in the food/restaurant business, she has plenty of knowledge we can all learn from. As an added bonus, she even made some great cheese recommendations at the end!

 Tweetable: “If you want to go for it, really do it. Don’t do it halfway!”


Vermont Butter and Cheese Company recommendations from Sophie:


Click here to download the transcript for episode 004 (PDF)


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