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‘Shark Tank’ winner & Meijer vendor makes it easy to do the right thing with sustainable product
Mar 4, 2024

A new sustainable product has hit our stores shelves thanks to Laura Lady, a second-generation Honduran-American, woman entrepreneur. Her product, FryAway takes the guesswork out of what to do with leftover oil after cooking and continues to gain a strong following.

“So many people pour oil down the drain thinking, oh, it's fine. I'll just run a little hot water and a little dish soap will take care of it,” Laura explained. “And that's not the case. FryAway just makes it easy for people to do the right thing,”

FryAway is an oil solidifier that transforms leftover cooking oil into an easily disposable, organic waste product. It’s 100% plant-based and non-toxic. Simply stir FryAway powder into hot oil, and it turns into a solid that is easy to scoop and toss into the trash, eliminating messy oil spills or smelly jars.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Laura spent about 20 years working in the toy industry in marketing and product development. Cooking had always been her passion, and the concept of FryAway was born in her own kitchen when she was cooking more at home during COVID.

The idea came as she was cooking with friends in a remote farmhouse with a septic tank, and she had no idea what to do with the leftover oil after frying chicken. She knew she couldn't pour it down the drain because it would destroy the septic system.

She had heard a few years earlier about fatbergs, which are clumps of oil, trash and waste that block sewers. The oil is often a result of people incorrectly disposing of oil and grease in their sinks or toilets. In 2017, this problem made international headlines when the Whitechapel fatberg was discovered in the East London sewer. It was the size of several double-decker buses!

“Everything came full circle, and I just connected the dots. I realized it was something I needed to do, and I became a little bit of an accidental activist in the process,” Laura said.

Within a couple of months of launching FryAway, the product was written up in several media outlets. That exposure led to her opportunity with “Shark Tank”, resulting in getting buy-in from Shark investors, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner last year. The deal was a great boost for her business and only propelled her forward.

Despite getting a deal on Shark Tank, Laura remained focused on her partnerships and after learning about the Meijer Supplier Inclusion program, she was equally as eager to take part, and since, Meijer has helped her take FryAway to the next level.

“Meijer has helped us put together some great programs, and I'm not sure it would have happened without their support,” said Laura, noting that our team recently helped her partner with other vendors for an end cap promotion in over 180 of our stores.

Working with our Supplier Inclusion team has also opened up new opportunities for Laura’s business.

“We're actually in the middle of getting our minority business enterprise certification, and that's largely due to the Meijer team’s council and industry expertise,” said Laura.

Like Meijer, FryAway is committed to sustainability. As a member of 1% for the Planet, the company donates 1% of its revenues to nonprofits that focus on water conservation.

“It’s really important to me, as a founder, to build a business that gives back,” Laura said.

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