Name: Sabeena Ladha
Hometown: Born in Chicago and raised in Euless, Tex.
Currently Lives: In a 1920s, three-bedroom house in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles, with her husband, Kabir Jain, and a French bulldog.
Claim to Fame: Ms. Ladha is the founder of Deux, a vegan, gluten-free, ready-to-eat cookie dough that is a favorite of Paris Hilton, Kristin Cavallari, Addison Rae and other celebrities. Popular flavors include chocolate chip, birthday cake, brownie batter and peanut butter. â€œDeux makes you feel good when you eat it,â€ Ms. Ladha said. â€œIt solves this problem of â€˜healthy food doesnâ€™t taste good.â€™â€ Deux is now sold at some Whole Foods stores, Erewhon Market and Foxtrot grocery stores.
Big Break: Ms. Ladha was featured on â€œShark Tankâ€ last November. â€œA lot of other raw cookie doughs are made with things like refined sugars, preservatives and animal byproducts,â€ she said on the show. â€œOur cookie dough is made with things like oats, almond butter, flaxseed and coconut sugar.â€ But it was more than her sales pitch that got attention. She wore a hot-pink short suit by Cinq Ã Sept that prompted misogynistic comments on Reddit, Twitter and elsewhere. (â€œWoman was not dressed appropriately. Wouldnâ€™t have done a deal,â€ one person wrote.) Instead of keeping quiet, Ms. Ladha called out the negative comments in a TikTok video, with the caption: â€œsilly me! shouldâ€™ve known my place is in the kitchen not in the board room!â€ The video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times.
Latest Project: Last summer, Deux released a chocolate hazelnut spread called Drip that is made from five ingredients, all vegan and gluten-free: dry roasted hazelnuts, organic cane sugar, cocoa powder, sea salt and maca root powder. â€œNutella is a beloved nostalgic snack,â€ Ms. Ladha said. â€œWe did a full marketing campaign around Valentineâ€™s Day because itâ€™s a liquidy chocolate sauce and itâ€™s a little sensual.â€
Next Thing: The next cookie flavor, cinnamon roll, comes out in April. â€œIt tastes like youâ€™re eating a breakfast cookie,â€ Ms. Ladha said. The ingredients are oats, blanched almond butter, cinnamon, vegan white chocolate, flaxseed and vitamin B12.
In the Pink: Ms. Ladha isnâ€™t the first â€œShark Tankâ€ contestant to face backlash for something other than her product. â€œIâ€™ve talked to other female foundersâ€ â€” including Caroline Creidenberg, the founder of Wedfuly, a wedding livestreaming service â€” â€œwhoâ€™ve been on the show and some of them had similar experiences,â€ Ms. Ladha said. â€œPeople kept saying her voice was annoying. Thatâ€™s such a microaggression toward women.â€