The Lowdown: Leslie Zinn
I Bet You Didn't Know...Leslie Zinn, CEO of Arden’s Garden, grew up drinking all sorts of nutritional concoctions, which instilled in her a passion for health and nutrition.
After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).
Atlanta is chock-full of interesting “movers and shakers” – some bent on creativity, empire building, activism, the sciences, and/or just plain having fun and living the good life. Lean in to hear some of the “off the cuff” remarks as to what makes our spotlight, Leslie Zinn, tick.
As Arden’s daughter, Leslie Zinn, CEO of Arden’s Garden, grew up drinking all sorts of nutritional concoctions, which instilled in her a passion for health and nutrition. Graduating with a bachelor’s in industrial management from Georgia Institute of Technology, she was one of the founding partners of Arden’s Garden in 1995.
With a fitness enthusiast for a mother and a Regent’s professor for a father, Leslie had the perfect background to lead a wellness company that emphasizes education. She became CEO in 1999 and focused on making healthier living easy, accessible, and affordable.
With 200 employees, Arden’s Garden is the premier juice company in the Southeast, with wholesale partners in six states and 16 retail stores in the Atlanta area. Arden’s 17th store will open in South Fulton in June 2023. Recently, Leslie purchased a local urban farm where she’s partnering to promote wellness and access to fresh food in a food desert, and also developing a plant-based burrito bar.
All outdoor lovers, Leslie is married with four kids, and she serves as the poster child for “later-in-life” motherhood, having children at 35, 40, 42, and 46.
Find out why not to wear white while standing by Leslie.
Jaffe: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Zinn: Peanut butter, followed closely by chocolate covered almonds.
Jaffe: You are an adventure traveler?
Zinn: Absolutely! My husband and I love active “backroads trips.” Our most recent one was biking through Mallorca. Last summer, we climbed Mt. Baker, which absolutely pushed me beyond limits. I can’t say that I enjoyed it then, but I felt fantastic at the summit and hope to climb Mt. Rainier next year.
Jaffe: My kids would say I am too…
Zinn: Energized in the morning. I love mornings and wake up early and exercise which clears my head and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Jaffe: You will not find me…
Zinn: In a fast food restaurant.
Jaffe: I’m reading…
Zinn: The New York Times and “Daring Greatly,” by Brene Brown. “How I Built This” is my favorite podcast.
Jaffe: My own favorite juice is…
Zinn: Cruciferous Cabbage, followed closely by Kalenator – nutritional powerhouses!
Jaffe: If there’s one thing I’ve learned the hard way about running a business…
Zinn: I am not always right. It is important to see the bigger picture.
Jaffe: I would look back and tell a 21-year-old Leslie…
Zinn: At 21, I was inpatient at Ridgeview Drug and Alcohol Treatment and on my way to long-term treatment in New Jersey. Little did I know, at the time, that it would be three years before I returned to Atlanta. It was a very difficult time. All my friends were graduating college and starting their careers, and I was getting sober.
Jaffe: The last time I cried…
Zinn: Was when I was interviewing dad about his life. We meet weekly to document his story and the week we covered my parents’ divorce brought up a ton of tears for me.
Jaffe: My last fashion disaster was…
Zinn: I was wearing a white top and a green juice exploded all over!
Jaffe: Best advice you received?
Zinn: Suit up and show up, no matter what. Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides.