Ayeshah Abuelhiga took a big risk: She left corporate America, and started a company making something that really mattered to her — high-quality comfort food. 

On my podcast, The Irresistible Factor, Mason Dixie Founder and CEO, Ayeshah, shares how she pushes boundaries in everything she does. (She’s a total badass.) 

Let me tell you about the food first: It’s fresh and tasty, just like how Ayeshah told me comfort food is meant to be. It’s handmade — plucked from the earth and put on the table. But Americans got away from that model of cooking. With Mason Dixie, Ayeshah is bringing back the magic of comfort cuisine. 

What amazed me about Ayeshah is that she’s self-made, self-taught and self-funded. Together, we discuss her journey from the transportation sector to CEO of one of America’s most delicious, better-for-you brands. 

“I left a career in tech and automotive, and I climbed that corporate ladder in less than 15 years,” Ayeshah said. “And [I] kind of got tired of hitting the glass ceiling. Quite frankly, I always say it’s a glass floor, because the expectations are never that women can get those opportunities in a lot of those industries. I didn’t want to wait 30 years for my turn. And so I decided to kind of go out on my own.”

From the response to the KickStarter fund, to its first day in business, with customers wrapped around four city blocks, Mason Dixie continually exceeds expectations. 

“One of the rules in business that’s really important for any entrepreneur to remember is,” Ayeshah told me, “when you’re hot, don’t stop. Don’t dilly-dally. You have to keep the fire going.” 

Ayeshah plans only to keep going upwards from here, and she is determined to help other women build their own legacies, too.

Listen to The Irresistible Factor’s Interview with Ayeshah Abuelhiga, Founder of Mason Dixie.

Here’s what you won’t want to miss from our conversation: 

  • How your brand can break into the grocery store
  • The difference between scaling and growing, and the year-on-year growth that Mason Dixie has been experiencing
  • Gender gaps in the business world, and Ayeshah’s approach to mentoring other women entrepreneurs
  • The challenges of balancing a consumer product and restaurant 

Links mentioned in this episode: 

Mason Dixie Foods 

Mason Dixie Foods on Instagram 

Ayeshah Abuelhiga on LinkedIn 

Ross Perkins on LinkedIn