Caroline Fausel is a clean eating and lifestyle blogger. Her blog, Olive You Whole, primarily focuses on recipes that follow the paleo diet. The paleo diet mainly consists of meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats while cutting out gluten, grains, dairy, soy, legumes, and sugar.
Before launching the blog, Caroline and her family began to follow the paleo diet at home about six years ago. She noticed that everyone started to feel better and healthier, which is what inspired her passion for starting a company around this concept.
Olive You Whole is a platform for sharing Caroline’s original food recipes for people with dietary restrictions. She teaches people how to eat healthy using the “prep, cook, freeze” meal planning method.
By following Caroline’s cooking instructions, people can prepare a week’s worth of meals in less than three hours. With just one afternoon of preparation, dinner takes less than 15 minutes to cook every night. It’s as simple as throwing something on the stove, adding fresh ingredients, or reheating.
All of the recipes contain a grocery list, and instructions for batch cooking as well. People have the option to cook extra and freeze half, essentially giving them two weeks worth of dinner in less than three hours.
Like most blogs, Olive You Whole generated revenue from affiliate marketing, advertisements, and sponsored content via social media. But as the blog grew, Caroline started to brainstorm different ways to take her concept to the next level.
“I wanted to be able to take my income into my own hands and be in control of it,” she explains.
Caroline considered writing a cookbook, teaching a course, or publishing an ebook. But she wanted to make sure that her audience would benefit from her choices.
“On the one hand, I was just trying to figure out what makes the most sense for me. And on the other hand, what does my community really need the most?”
Caroline ultimately realized that her audience needed help with meal prepping. The idea was simple—spend an afternoon cooking, and then dinner for the rest of the week comes together in less than 15 minutes.
While the idea in itself might have been straightforward, Caroline still had a problem. She asked herself, “How do I present this to people?”
At first, Caroline considered writing a weekly blog post with these meal prep recipes. But she realized that it wasn’t practical. “That blog post would be 20,000 words long. So I was looking for the right medium to have this concept, and that’s when I really thought about creating an app.”
The Olive You Whole Mobile App
After weighing the balance between her personal gain and her audience’s needs, the Olive You Whole mobile app was born. This platform would allow Caroline to monetize her recipes while still providing value to the users.
As someone who has never built an app before, Caroline turned her idea into a reality in roughly three months.
“We thought about the idea for an app in February, and it came out in May. So it was a pretty quick turnaround, and it’s been really fun,” she explains.
But before Caroline could start developing her app, she needed to find the right app building platform. “I didn’t want to be paying for a software and then also hire a developer. I just wanted to do it all myself.”
So she started researching different options and discovered BuildFire.
“BuildFire was the perfect choice for me because I needed such specific things,” she says. “I looked at all of these different platforms, and the reason that I chose BuildFire was because it offered in-app purchases in a way that was super easy to do.”
Being able to monetize her idea was one of the main reasons that inspired Caroline to build an app, so this feature was crucial. “I have three in-app purchases. It’s so simple. That’s exactly what I needed. And each other platform I looked at had limitations. After working with BuildFire for a week or two, it was very evident to me that they care about what I need.”
Improving the User Experience
Caroline is always looking for ways to add value to her audience. For example, she wanted to turn the grocery list feature in her app into a checklist, which would make things easier for people while they’re shopping.
However, she couldn’t find a way to implement that feature with the tools at her disposal. So she reached out to the BuildFire team for assistance. “Then a week later, they’re like, ‘Here’s your checklist!’ So that was really, really great for me. I think BuildFire really has a pulse on their customers and the kind of functionalities that they need. They really try to make the app what their users need, and that spoke wonders to me,” Caroline explains.
She continues to say that her experience with BuildFire’s support team has been exceptional. They help ensure that the app performs well for her users.
“I haven’t had any bugs since the app launched. But if I email them, I get a response. They make it happen. They fix it. Overall, I feel like the support is really, really great.”
Caroline has big aspirations for herself and the Olive You Whole brand. She hopes to become an author, publish a cookbook, be on television, and become a motivational speaker for health and wellness. The app is helping her gain a following to ultimately achieve these goals.