by Katherine Spiering

When you get an offer to put a product on the shelves of a national grocery store chain, you don’t pass that up. The founders of NadaMoo! certainly didn’t.

At the time, Daniel Nicholson was still finishing up his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin but would soon join the company and eventually become President and CEO.

Made with sustainably sourced coconut milk, NadaMoo! started as a homemade recipe that has grown into a premiere non-dairy dessert brand. Now, with 15 flavors, including seasonal favorites, and a new frozen snack bite, NadaMoo! ships to grocery stores across the country including Whole Foods Market and Walmart.

For Nicholson, who originally joined the team in 2008 on the accounting side, it’s all about creating healthy indulgences for the consumer while focusing on efficiency and sustainability, which includes staying local. NadaMoo! products have been manufactured and packaged in a plant in Tyler, Texas since the brand’s early days in 2008.

Nicholson grew up in a family of what he calls ‘serial entrepreneurs’ in Laredo, Texas. Unsure of what to study in school, his high school physics teacher suggested engineering because of his aptitude in math and science. The choice to attend UT Austin though was a no-brainer. There’s a deep history of Longhorns in the Nicholson family.

It was important for Nicholson to bring his small-town experience to the Forty Acres and interact with other Hispanic students. In his early years, he participated in groups like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Equal Opportunity in Engineering program.

“It’s nice to find yourself in smaller groups and smaller pieces of community at such a massive school. Those experiences help you find your way, and help translate into very valuable experiences within your professional career where you’re just finding a place of belonging,” said Nicholson.

So how does mechanical engineering translate into ice cream? Nicholson says he gets this question all the time.

“My engineering degree provided me with a very valuable set of problem-solving skills. As an entrepreneur and head of a company, these problems are being put in front of you big and small, and being able to think about things in systematically set me up for success.”

The complex problems in front of Nicholson include current market turbulence that is heavily affecting the frozen dessert category and the broader industry. But the team at NadaMoo! believes that continuing to focus on bringing value, continuity, and efficiency will take them through the ebbs and flows and eventually into a wider range of products.

As consumer trends shift, one constant is the need for sustainability and transparency from brands. Nicholson believes that the power to choose what you consume has the biggest impact on people’s sustainable decision making on a day-to-day basis.

From their sustainable packaging to the organic, non-dairy raw materials they source, including 100% pure agave syrup sweetener, NadaMoo! can truly be a mindful indulgence.

“Our company was founded upon the mission to make the world happier and healthier one scoop at a time.”