Native Peruvian Sarela Herrada and her husband Matt Cohen co-founded SIMPLi in January 2020. Their shared love of food and travel, Sarela’s deep roots in South American foodways and culture, and a joint mission to simplify global food supply chains led them to launch SIMPLi as a global food company that prioritizes producers, people, and the planet equally.

Sarela was born and raised in Lima, Peru, where her family owned an organic chicken farm and worked with farming communities in the Amazon. She moved to the U.S. in her early teens and attended Penn State University, to earn an industrial engineering degree to start her journey on a supply chain and food management career always with the goal in mind of creating a fairer and more just food system while helping developing communities around the world.

Matt was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, and graduated from Salisbury University Perdue School of Business where he spent over a decade developing his finance career, working in the Capital Markets Group at Fannie Mae and managing corporate development and innovation at Choice Hotels International, before launching SIMPLi. Matt’s holistic approach to business models across all industries, and his broad range of skills—from strategic partnership execution to creative marketing, technology, sales, and mergers and acquisitions—help SIMPLi stand apart as an innovative and responsible food company.

Through SIMPLi, Sarela and Matt have been able to ethically source nutrient-dense, single-origin, award-winning pantry ingredients from around the world while simplifying and transforming our flawed food system into one that is equitable and regenerative.