Menu The Helm

Breeze

Breeze is an on-demand food service for airport travelers. Through a simple and intuitive app, travelers choose between a selection of curated meals and snacks, delivered to them in just 3 clicks within 15 minutes.

Headshot of Breeze CEO Annabel Lawee

Founder

Annabel Lawee

Short biography

I’m originally from Montreal (and fit most typical Canadian stereotypes). I started my career at Goldman in investment banking and then moved to New York to pursue a career in tech at Eko (f.k.a Interlude). I started as an account manager, and employee number 8, and went on to lead BD, sales & partnerships. Most recently, I was an integral part of solidifying a $250M strategic investment with Walmart aimed at building out their entertainment ecosystem.

What first inspired you to build your company?

Being in sales at Eko, I was constantly in and out of airports and struggled to find healthy, yet convenient food choices, especially as someone with Celiac’s disease. This personal pain point manifested into Breeze, a tech-enabled foodservice for airport travelers. Because, well, airport food sucks and the food experience is not aligned with the needs and wants of the modern traveler.

Why is now the time for it to exist?

The on-demand economy has changed our lives, making goods and services readily available, whenever we want it. But why has that not transferred into the airports? Why when you enter an airport, you feel trapped, and have to succumb to options you would never choose outside the airport? It’s about time!

Walk us through an average day in your life (what time do you get up? What’s the first thing you do — pick up your phone, have coffee, brush your teeth, etc.?

I wake up at 6am, snooze a couple of times, quickly change into workout clothes, and then run to my daily pilates class at 6:30am. I LOVE classes and the routine of going every morning – basically my sanity and my version of meditation (it requires so much mental focus or I will legit fall). I then shower, and either have a breakfast meeting or get straight to my inbox with a cup of tea. When I need to grind on something, I turn my phone on airplane mode and pause my inbox so I can fully focus. I typically have a ton of meetings and calls so when I have a solid couple of hours to actually do work, I like to be super focused! I also try to walk everywhere, and take calls, listen to podcasts, and call my family on the way!

What’s the biggest obstacle you are facing right now?

Breaking into an industry that is super traditional both in their way of thinking and working. Being patient is key.

Which opportunity that you are currently working toward is most exciting to you?

Getting our pilot launched!

Who do you look to for inspiration in your field and why?

Sara Blakely’s career path has always inspired me, especially her saying “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” I haven’t worked in the airport industry, I don’t know all the nuances and processes that are involved, but I do know, the current concession model doesn’t appeal to the modern traveler, and the way to solve it, isn’t doing things traditionally…When you don’t know things, you become more creative, resourceful, and figure out a different way to break barriers through sheer perseverance. That’s where the magic happens.

What’s one piece of advice you would give a fellow entrepreneur?

You can be your harshest critic. Once you get your mind on your side and truly believe in yourself, the world better watch out. When shit happens (and it will), think about your reaction carefully. You have 2 choices: be resilient and push forward, or crumble and back down. When you think about it this way, you only have one choice.

What do you want to be known for?

I want to be able to make a difference in someone’s life: whether that’s personally or professionally, I want to change someone’s life for the better.

Words to live by?

Go where you feel most uncomfortable, that’s where you truly realize what you’re capable of.

The Helm