EY Announces SIMPLi Co-founder Sarela Herrada an Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner in the Mid-Atlantic

Celebrating the bold leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries and transform lives

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announced on June 24th, 2024 that Sarela Herrada, co-founder of SIMPLi, the leading maker of regenerative organic pantry staples, was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Mid-Atlantic Award winner. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive awards program for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies.

Sarela Herrada was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, leading CEOs and other business leaders. Candidates were evaluated based on their ability to create long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to their purpose and the demonstration of growth and substantial impact, among other key indicators.

“After experiencing firsthand the overly complex and opaque global food supply chains that lead to lower quality products lacking nutrient density and hurting our planet, I created SIMPLi with my partner Matt to show the industry a different path forward,” shares Sarela Herrada, co-founder of SIMPLi. “Today, I’m incredibly proud to see our vision to build a healthier food system for people and planet come to fruition.”

SIMPLi, which offers a suite of Regenerative Organic Certified® products in restaurants, retails stores, and online has experienced strong market reception and growth since launching in 2020. Notably, the company has seen:

  • 144% growth in retail footprint year-over-year in 2023

  • Earned space on shelves in over 2,400 retailers and menus of more than 2,000 restaurants

  • Expanded offering to 15 products, including a variety of single-origin, regenerative organic grains, beans, oils, superfoods and spices

This news also follows on Sarela Herrada’s recent recognition by Inc.’s Female Founder 250 list.

As a Mid-Atlantic award winner, Sarela Herrada is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2024 National Awards. The National Award winners, including the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in June 2025.  

Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. The program celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized the leadership of entrepreneurs such as:

  • Daymond John of FUBU 

  • Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani, Inc.

  • Holly Thaggard and Amanda Baldwin of Supergoop!

  • Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company

  • James Park of Fitbit

  • Jodi Berg of Vitamix

  • Kendra Scott of Kendra Scott LLC

  • Michael Happe of Winnebago Industries

  • Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation

  • Sheila Mikhail of AskBio

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners become lifetime members of a global, multi-industry community of entrepreneurs. They receive exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of program alumni and other ecosystem members in more than 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

In addition to Entrepreneur Of The Year, EY US supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ (Winning Women) program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN) to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, Cresa, Marsh USA, SAP and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In Mid-Atlantic, sponsors also include platinum sponsor, ADP, gold sponsors, Cooley and DLA Piper, and silver sponsor, Kelly Benefits Strategies.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year® has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition. Visit ey.com/us/eoy.

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

About SIMPLi

SIMPLi is the leading maker of regenerative organic pantry staples that are flavorful, nutrient-dense, and make a social and environmental impact. On a mission to connect people around the world through the joy of food, SIMPLi offers a suite of Regenerative Organic Certified® products that have been perfected over generations and harvested with care to ensure the highest quality and integrity. SIMPLi is a woman- and minority-owned company, co-founded by native-Peruvian Sarela Herrada and her husband, Matt Cohen in 2020. The company offers a variety of grains, beans, oils, superfoods and spices that follow local farmer’s market standards, no matter where they’re from. SIMPLi products can be in retail stores across the nation like Whole Foods, Sprouts, The Fresh Market and more, as well as restaurants such as Sweetgreen, Chopt, True Foods Kitchen, and Just Salad.

Learn more about SIMPLi and its products at eatsimpli.com and @eatsimpli.

Read the original release here