Lizzi Ackerman grew up in the Upper West Side of New York and envisioned herself becoming a doctor, not knowing she was destined to one day become Dr. Pancake at Birch Benders Micro-Pancakery. As Co-Founder & CMO of one of the leading pancake mix brands in the country, Ackerman is instrumental in the creation of the beautiful brand and plethora of flavors found in Birch Benders’ better-for-you pancake and waffle mixes. A visionary, branding guru, and master networker, Ackerman was recently inducted in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 in the Food & Drink category for her outstanding work in the food industry.
At Yale University, while studying the history of science and medicine, Ackerman met Matt LaCasse, who would soon become her business partner and later her husband. Together they discovered their mutual love of flapjacks and bonded around the breakfast table, thus starting the beginnings of what would eventually revolutionize the pancake industry.
With a vision of creating an easy, gourmet pancake mix, LaCasse founded Birch Benders in Boulder, CO back in 2011, appointing Ackerman as Co-Founder to help make this vision a reality. The duo set out to build a naturally delicious, just-add-water pancake and waffle mix company with a goal of combining wholesome food with convenience. Ackerman’s experience and education contributed to her growing the Birch Benders brand — from running sales and marketing, to helping design their whimsical packaging, to constantly focusing on future innovation.
After debuting the brand with a national launch at Expo West in 2014, business took off. Today, Birch Benders is the number one pancake and waffle mix brand in the natural channel, and the fastest growing brand in the category across all channels. Their mixes are available nationwide at over 6,000 retailers, including Target, Whole Foods, and many more. Ackerman is an avid proponent of the power of mentorship, and a passionate advocate of women in business.