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Forbes

 

Maya French, 28; Cofounder, Koia

 

There's a plant-based replacement for just about everything these days, even burgers. But until Maya French created Koia, there wasn't a tasty vegan protein drink. French came up for the idea in 2013 after she developed lactose intolerance and couldn't find a good post-workout shake. She and her cofounder, Dustin Baker, now 37, had previously tried to maket a juice from cold-pressed vegetables to local Chicago grocers; they switched to a nut-based protein drink they eventually named Koia (after Nicoya, the town in Costa Rica fames for long-lived residents.) "Protein is on trend. It's not going anywhere anytime soon," French says. They now have a nationwide deal with Whole Foods, plus shelf space at Walmart, Publix and Stop & Shop. Koia is in roughly 4,000 stores in the U.S., putting it on pace for an annual run rate of $10 million. - Maggie McGrath, Chloe Sorvino and Kristin Stoller

Maya French wears a leather jacket by The Mighty Company ($1,295). A silk blouse by Vivetta ($467) and gold loops earrings by Eriness ($1,750).

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