Behind the Brand
Renewal Mill was established by co-founders Claire Schlemme and Caroline Cotto. Having co-founded Boston’s first organic juice company, Claire always found herself with a large pile of fresh and nutritious juice pulp at the end of the day. She had no idea what to do with it and grew increasingly distressed at the thought of it going to waste. Through discussions with other food producers and manufacturers, Claire quickly realized that others were experiencing similar issues with their pulp byproducts. After a conversation with the owner of a large tofu company who was throwing out a nutritious tofu byproduct called okara, Claire sensed an opportunity to turn waste into revenue.
Determined to find a sustainable solution to this problem, Claire teamed up with her friend and former U.N. World Food Programme staffer Caroline Cotto to start Renewal Mill. Enlisting the help of 5x James Beard award-winning cookbook author Alice Medrich, Claire and Caroline turned the okara byproduct from the tofu factory into superfood ingredients and premium plant-based pantry staples and baking mixes. They did the same with nutritious oat pulp leftover from oat milk production, and developed the goal to identify upcycling opportunities in other food byproducts. Named a “World Changing Idea” by Fast Company, the Renewal Mill team is fighting climate change and reimagining the food system by giving a new life to the needlessly wasted byproducts of manufacturing.