ZÜPA NOMA president Jen Berliner on leading a food brand, her best productivity tip, and practicing self-care


In the ‘How I Work’ series, we interview interesting people to learn about who they are, what they do, and how they navigate the messiness and unpredictability of work life. Here, we’re chatting with Lunch Break community member Jen Berliner. She is the president of the Sonoma, California based food brand ZÜPA NOMA.


Hi, Jen! Let’s get started by having you introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Jen Berliner — veggie enthusiast and President of ZÜPA NOMA. I’m passionate about creating behavior change that helps people live healthier lives.  

Tell us a little about your morning routine and how you get motivated to start the day.
I’m definitely a morning person! My alarm goes off at 6:15 and I head to the gym, yoga, or for a run in the Presidio in San Francisco. Early morning views of the sun rising over the city or the Golden Gate Bridge make me feel grounded and ready to take on the day. After my workout, I head home to quickly get ready (usually while listening to morning news podcasts), make matcha with collagen and Nutpods to sip during my commute, and run out the door!

So, what’s a typical day at ZÜPA NOMA like?
We’re a small but mighty team, so we all wear a lot of hats. I work on everything from our marketing calendar and influencer partnerships, to new product innovation and managing our financials. Every day is totally different! We recently launched a new flavor this fall in partnership with Whole30 that I’m really proud of: Pumpkin Spice with Collagen. It tastes like everything that is delicious about fall, but with no added sugars or funky chemicals. (Bye, PSL!) It’s just super clean, paleo-friendly veggie goodness. It’s been a huge hit with our community and it’s awesome to show that healthy really can taste amazing.

💰Jen is offering the Lunch Break community 15% off any order with promo code LUNCHBREAK. 💰

That sounds busy! How do you stay organized and keep it all together?
I spend an hour on Sunday evenings planning out the week ahead. I think about my work life (what are my big deliverables, how can I consolidate my schedule in efficient ways, how might I best support my team) and my personal life (what workouts do I want to schedule, which evenings am I planning to see friends). It helps fight the Sunday Scaries and leaves me ready to tackle the week.

Are there any accessories, apps, or gadgets that you rely on to get work done?
I love the Five Minute Journal app to support my attempts at mindfulness, Slack for easy communication with my team, and the Day Designer planner to lay out my schedule and top priorities for each day.

What do you do for self-care when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed?
I view my morning movement as non-negotiable, and that’s a source of self-care for sure. I try (not always successfully) to keep my caffeine intake in check and stay away from sugar when I’m stressed, since I know those won’t help me in the long term. I’m also a big believer in acupuncture and go weekly.

OK, last question … since this is Lunch Break we have to ask: What do you typically do for lunch?
My lunch breaks are pretty short, but the ZÜPA NOMA office is a few blocks from Whole Foods so I get a few minutes of walking and sunshine in when I go there to grab lunch. If I’m not multitasking and eating while on calls, I try to take the time to catch up on interesting articles and industry news.

Kyle Ellis