Serena Wolf Explains How She Became A Rao's Homemade Ambassador - Exclusive

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According to Ina Garten, Rao's Homemade marinara is the best store-bought pasta sauce you can buy. Chef and solo-preneur Serena Wolf couldn't agree more. "Their store-bought sauces are truly the best," Wolf told Mashed in an exclusive interview. "The flavor, in my opinion, is incomparable." Wolf had been cooking with Rao's Homemade for years and even barraged the company with emails expressing her love for their products. She initially envisioned a partnership with Rao's Homemade, but her emails went unheeded. That changed four years ago, when she was told that Rao's isn't actively working with ambassadors or seeking out paid partnerships. But they would love to send her some sauce. 

Wolf considered that initial rejection a turning point because she finally had an in-road to the company that she could continue to pursue. Then, in 2019, just before the pandemic, Rao's finally reached out to her. They were at the point where they wanted to work with chefs and recipe developers on paid partnerships, and Wolf was the first person who came to mind. The culinary personality is now the ambassador for Rao's Homemade, and at present you can find eight of her delicious recipes on the company's website. She's also appeared on Rao's Sauce4Cause Instagram Live series, which delivers up to $100,000 (based on Instagram views) to Jersey Cares Food Delivery Program.

Serena Wolf's key to success - and how other influencers can do the same

If you check out Serena Wolf's website, you'll see a wide range of products that she fully endorses. Wolf said she's proud of these partnerships because they're products that she's been using for several years, and 80% of them she landed by actively pitching the companies through introductory emails. Most of Wolf's communications were ignored for a while, but she was persistent, and it paid off. Now, she frequently tells people that want to be influencers, freelance recipe developers, private chefs, or cookbook writers that, "Nothing bad can come from a cold email and persistent follow-ups. The worst result is that you will get a no." 

Wolf has recognized that there is an increasing number of people who are trying to be solo-preneurs, but the key to success, as she sees it, is believing in your potential — first and foremost. Don't be afraid to get your name out there because nobody else will, she advised. Wolf also encourages would-be solo-preneurs to be their own best cheerleader. Building your own business or brand does take time, but patience and persistence will eventually win out. "The best advice I ever got was that it takes 10 years to be an overnight success," she said. Wolf's newest ventures are the launch of a fashion line and a weekly cooking class subscription called "Serena's Cooking Club," which begins March 10.

Find out more about Serena Wolf on her website and follow her on Instagram. Her books "The Dude Diet" and "The Dude Diet Dinnertime" are available on Amazon.