Meet a Maker

Meet a Maker: Candace Wu & Jonathan Weinstein from Wonder Monday

In the middle of the pandemic, these seasoned techpreneurs turned to food with their reinvention of the cheesecake.

Meet a Maker: Candace Wu & Jonathan Weinstein from Wonder Monday

It's time you had your cake and ate it, too! No doubt, there has been a lot of innovation in the keto snack space with low carb cereals, pizza, chocolates and cookies and high protein ice creams and chips. But what about cheesecake? Think of this dessert and an image of a thick slice of sugary, sinful indulgence comes to mind. Wonder Monday is going against the status quo, keeping the indulgence but saying bye-bye to the sugar.

Wonder Monday is the first-ever low carb, better-for-you alternative to the traditionally sugar-ladden cheesecake. Each cheesecake snack is made with clean ingredients like cream cheese, allulose and vanilla, and has just 1g net carbs with zero compromises.

Founders Candace Wu and Jonathan Weinstein spoke with Foodboro about their journey to entrepreneurship, the inspiration for their innovative product, how they manage work/life balance while building a startup, and what they recommend for other early-stage food founders.

Want more maker interviews in your inbox? Check out our weekly newsletter!

Before starting Wonder Monday, what were you up to?

We both spent our careers in tech in a variety of roles: tech/biotech consulting, business development, operations, product management.

Prior to Wonder Monday, I worked as a Product Manager at WW (WeightWatchers Reimagined), building mobile experiences for 4.5 million members on their weight loss journey. Jonathan previously co-founded and served as COO of Stitch Health, a healthtech company that raised $4M in funding from top tier investors including Benchmark and Y Combinator. 

What inspired Wonder Monday?

In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, I (Candace here!) quit my job to start something new. At the same time, Jonathan had just left the startup he previously cofounded. We knew we wanted to create a product together — something we could use (or eat!) every day.

The moment of inspiration came during lockdown. We finally got a chance to use a The Cheesecake Factory gift card that had been sitting in Jonathan's wallet for years. We ate a slice of their cheesecake, only to be shocked several minutes later by the nutritional information of what we'd just consumed.

Everest-sized mountains of carbs. Insulin-defying heaps of added sugar. And enough sketchy-sounding additives to spook a Twinkie.

We realized that no one had innovated on cheesecakes in decades. There were just a tiny handful of unhealthy options in the market. In fact, most people couldn't name more than a single brand. We realized that we'd all come to expect very little of America's favorite dessert.

So we decided to do cheesecake better. We would make the best cheesecake you'd ever had, minus the sugar and junk.

We named our brand Wonder Monday as an invitation to challenge the status quo.

We named our brand Wonder Monday as an invitation to challenge the status quo. Everyone knows Mondays get a bad rap. There's a lot of dread surrounding the start of a new week. It's back to the daily grind, the usual hassle, the same old struggle. A story stuck on repeat.

So we asked ourselves, what would it look like to chart a different course?

Wonder Monday stands for the other way things could be. It stands for the power to create our own reality. To choose what makes us feel most alive. And the belief that magic and awe are always in reach for the curious of mind.

Retail relationships: do you sell mostly DTC? 

Currently, we sell exclusively DTC and plan to stay laser focused on this channel for a while! 

Who in the industry do you turn to for inspiration?

We love brands that are doing things differently — whether that’s with their products or their mission. We love how Chobani consistently delivers exceptional products, funds and supports the ecosystem, and leads with a strong set of values. There’s a lot to learn and admire from Hamdi Ulukaya and his team. 

We also love the team at Mid-Day Squares. They’re setting a whole new bar for founders and we love how transparent they are with documenting their journey. 

What sets you apart from other brands out there?

No one has innovated on the cheesecake for DECADES. 😱

Seriously. Can you name a cheesecake brand other than Sara Lee and The Cheesecake Factory? Compare that to how many ice cream and protein bar options you know.

No one has created a cheesecake that tastes just like the real deal without the bad stuff — no added sugar, low carb (just 1g net carb per cake!), no sugar alcohols, rBST-free and GMO-free dairy, and honest ingredients. We spent over a year crafting a cheesecake that’s seriously delicious and actually healthy to eat as an everyday snack. 


What have been the challenges of navigating the CPG industry? Especially with a perishable product!

The main challenge is operations and logistics — from packout engineering to getting shipping costs under control. Plus in the world of COVID, we’ve seen a huge number of shipping delays and volume impacts. From a storage and fulfillment perspective, frozen shipping and logistics is incredibly costly. This also introduces its unique challenges. As an emerging perishable food brand, it’s critical we are able to get our cheesecakes safely to our customers. We’re proud to have come a long way and built a system that enables us to get our cheesecakes to all 50 states!

As a founder, what do you do to take care of your health, "turn off" work?

We love what we do every day and it lights us up! And, we recognize that entrepreneurship is incredibly hard and burnout is 100% real. Our #1 tip is having a consistent morning ritual that helps us stay grounded and feel energized. Our ideal morning starts with mobility/strength training or yoga followed by a nutritious breakfast. I also love my meditation / journaling practice every morning.

As a break, we love getting out and taking walks together. To eliminate Zoom fatigue and get less screen time, we always propose walking/phone meetings with our vendors/suppliers and partners.

What advice do you have for early-stage entrepreneurs?

Make sure you are working on something that other people actually want. The added bonus is if you want this product/service alive in the world, too. 

What food and beverage trends are over-hyped and which are here to stay?

Sorry to say it…”x with cbd” or “x with functional benefits.”

We definitely believe that sugar reduction is here to stay. Unless human metabolism changes in the next 20 years or diabetes is magically cured, then people will always be looking for low sugar alternatives.

What does the future look like for the brand, what are you currently working on?

We love all things pumpkin and just launched our 5th flavor, Pumpkin Spice, just in time for the Holidays! 🍂

This is the first innovation the cheesecake category has seen in decades. We're excited to become a household name as we reinvent America's favorite dessert: the cheesecake. 

Connect with Candace and on Jonathan on LinkedIn

Follow Wonder Monday on IG

Try Wonder Monday HERE

Read more Meet a Maker interviews here!

It's time you had your cake and ate it, too! No doubt, there has been a lot of innovation in the keto snack space with low carb cereals, pizza, chocolates and cookies and high protein ice creams and chips. But what about cheesecake? Think of this dessert and an image of a thick slice of sugary, sinful indulgence comes to mind. Wonder Monday is going against the status quo, keeping the indulgence but saying bye-bye to the sugar.

Wonder Monday is the first-ever low carb, better-for-you alternative to the traditionally sugar-ladden cheesecake. Each cheesecake snack is made with clean ingredients like cream cheese, allulose and vanilla, and has just 1g net carbs with zero compromises.

Founders Candace Wu and Jonathan Weinstein spoke with Foodboro about their journey to entrepreneurship, the inspiration for their innovative product, how they manage work/life balance while building a startup, and what they recommend for other early-stage food founders.

Want more maker interviews in your inbox? Check out our weekly newsletter!

Before starting Wonder Monday, what were you up to?

We both spent our careers in tech in a variety of roles: tech/biotech consulting, business development, operations, product management.

Prior to Wonder Monday, I worked as a Product Manager at WW (WeightWatchers Reimagined), building mobile experiences for 4.5 million members on their weight loss journey. Jonathan previously co-founded and served as COO of Stitch Health, a healthtech company that raised $4M in funding from top tier investors including Benchmark and Y Combinator. 

What inspired Wonder Monday?

In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, I (Candace here!) quit my job to start something new. At the same time, Jonathan had just left the startup he previously cofounded. We knew we wanted to create a product together — something we could use (or eat!) every day.

The moment of inspiration came during lockdown. We finally got a chance to use a The Cheesecake Factory gift card that had been sitting in Jonathan's wallet for years. We ate a slice of their cheesecake, only to be shocked several minutes later by the nutritional information of what we'd just consumed.

Everest-sized mountains of carbs. Insulin-defying heaps of added sugar. And enough sketchy-sounding additives to spook a Twinkie.

We realized that no one had innovated on cheesecakes in decades. There were just a tiny handful of unhealthy options in the market. In fact, most people couldn't name more than a single brand. We realized that we'd all come to expect very little of America's favorite dessert.

So we decided to do cheesecake better. We would make the best cheesecake you'd ever had, minus the sugar and junk.

We named our brand Wonder Monday as an invitation to challenge the status quo.

We named our brand Wonder Monday as an invitation to challenge the status quo. Everyone knows Mondays get a bad rap. There's a lot of dread surrounding the start of a new week. It's back to the daily grind, the usual hassle, the same old struggle. A story stuck on repeat.

So we asked ourselves, what would it look like to chart a different course?

Wonder Monday stands for the other way things could be. It stands for the power to create our own reality. To choose what makes us feel most alive. And the belief that magic and awe are always in reach for the curious of mind.

Retail relationships: do you sell mostly DTC? 

Currently, we sell exclusively DTC and plan to stay laser focused on this channel for a while! 

Who in the industry do you turn to for inspiration?

We love brands that are doing things differently — whether that’s with their products or their mission. We love how Chobani consistently delivers exceptional products, funds and supports the ecosystem, and leads with a strong set of values. There’s a lot to learn and admire from Hamdi Ulukaya and his team. 

We also love the team at Mid-Day Squares. They’re setting a whole new bar for founders and we love how transparent they are with documenting their journey. 

What sets you apart from other brands out there?

No one has innovated on the cheesecake for DECADES. 😱

Seriously. Can you name a cheesecake brand other than Sara Lee and The Cheesecake Factory? Compare that to how many ice cream and protein bar options you know.

No one has created a cheesecake that tastes just like the real deal without the bad stuff — no added sugar, low carb (just 1g net carb per cake!), no sugar alcohols, rBST-free and GMO-free dairy, and honest ingredients. We spent over a year crafting a cheesecake that’s seriously delicious and actually healthy to eat as an everyday snack. 


What have been the challenges of navigating the CPG industry? Especially with a perishable product!

The main challenge is operations and logistics — from packout engineering to getting shipping costs under control. Plus in the world of COVID, we’ve seen a huge number of shipping delays and volume impacts. From a storage and fulfillment perspective, frozen shipping and logistics is incredibly costly. This also introduces its unique challenges. As an emerging perishable food brand, it’s critical we are able to get our cheesecakes safely to our customers. We’re proud to have come a long way and built a system that enables us to get our cheesecakes to all 50 states!

As a founder, what do you do to take care of your health, "turn off" work?

We love what we do every day and it lights us up! And, we recognize that entrepreneurship is incredibly hard and burnout is 100% real. Our #1 tip is having a consistent morning ritual that helps us stay grounded and feel energized. Our ideal morning starts with mobility/strength training or yoga followed by a nutritious breakfast. I also love my meditation / journaling practice every morning.

As a break, we love getting out and taking walks together. To eliminate Zoom fatigue and get less screen time, we always propose walking/phone meetings with our vendors/suppliers and partners.

What advice do you have for early-stage entrepreneurs?

Make sure you are working on something that other people actually want. The added bonus is if you want this product/service alive in the world, too. 

What food and beverage trends are over-hyped and which are here to stay?

Sorry to say it…”x with cbd” or “x with functional benefits.”

We definitely believe that sugar reduction is here to stay. Unless human metabolism changes in the next 20 years or diabetes is magically cured, then people will always be looking for low sugar alternatives.

What does the future look like for the brand, what are you currently working on?

We love all things pumpkin and just launched our 5th flavor, Pumpkin Spice, just in time for the Holidays! 🍂

This is the first innovation the cheesecake category has seen in decades. We're excited to become a household name as we reinvent America's favorite dessert: the cheesecake. 

Connect with Candace and on Jonathan on LinkedIn

Follow Wonder Monday on IG

Try Wonder Monday HERE

Read more Meet a Maker interviews here!

It's time you had your cake and ate it, too! No doubt, there has been a lot of innovation in the keto snack space with low carb cereals, pizza, chocolates and cookies and high protein ice creams and chips. But what about cheesecake? Think of this dessert and an image of a thick slice of sugary, sinful indulgence comes to mind. Wonder Monday is going against the status quo, keeping the indulgence but saying bye-bye to the sugar.

Wonder Monday is the first-ever low carb, better-for-you alternative to the traditionally sugar-ladden cheesecake. Each cheesecake snack is made with clean ingredients like cream cheese, allulose and vanilla, and has just 1g net carbs with zero compromises.

Founders Candace Wu and Jonathan Weinstein spoke with Foodboro about their journey to entrepreneurship, the inspiration for their innovative product, how they manage work/life balance while building a startup, and what they recommend for other early-stage food founders.

Want more maker interviews in your inbox? Check out our weekly newsletter!

Before starting Wonder Monday, what were you up to?

We both spent our careers in tech in a variety of roles: tech/biotech consulting, business development, operations, product management.

Prior to Wonder Monday, I worked as a Product Manager at WW (WeightWatchers Reimagined), building mobile experiences for 4.5 million members on their weight loss journey. Jonathan previously co-founded and served as COO of Stitch Health, a healthtech company that raised $4M in funding from top tier investors including Benchmark and Y Combinator. 

What inspired Wonder Monday?

In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, I (Candace here!) quit my job to start something new. At the same time, Jonathan had just left the startup he previously cofounded. We knew we wanted to create a product together — something we could use (or eat!) every day.

The moment of inspiration came during lockdown. We finally got a chance to use a The Cheesecake Factory gift card that had been sitting in Jonathan's wallet for years. We ate a slice of their cheesecake, only to be shocked several minutes later by the nutritional information of what we'd just consumed.

Everest-sized mountains of carbs. Insulin-defying heaps of added sugar. And enough sketchy-sounding additives to spook a Twinkie.

We realized that no one had innovated on cheesecakes in decades. There were just a tiny handful of unhealthy options in the market. In fact, most people couldn't name more than a single brand. We realized that we'd all come to expect very little of America's favorite dessert.

So we decided to do cheesecake better. We would make the best cheesecake you'd ever had, minus the sugar and junk.

We named our brand Wonder Monday as an invitation to challenge the status quo.

We named our brand Wonder Monday as an invitation to challenge the status quo. Everyone knows Mondays get a bad rap. There's a lot of dread surrounding the start of a new week. It's back to the daily grind, the usual hassle, the same old struggle. A story stuck on repeat.

So we asked ourselves, what would it look like to chart a different course?

Wonder Monday stands for the other way things could be. It stands for the power to create our own reality. To choose what makes us feel most alive. And the belief that magic and awe are always in reach for the curious of mind.

Retail relationships: do you sell mostly DTC? 

Currently, we sell exclusively DTC and plan to stay laser focused on this channel for a while! 

Who in the industry do you turn to for inspiration?

We love brands that are doing things differently — whether that’s with their products or their mission. We love how Chobani consistently delivers exceptional products, funds and supports the ecosystem, and leads with a strong set of values. There’s a lot to learn and admire from Hamdi Ulukaya and his team. 

We also love the team at Mid-Day Squares. They’re setting a whole new bar for founders and we love how transparent they are with documenting their journey. 

What sets you apart from other brands out there?

No one has innovated on the cheesecake for DECADES. 😱

Seriously. Can you name a cheesecake brand other than Sara Lee and The Cheesecake Factory? Compare that to how many ice cream and protein bar options you know.

No one has created a cheesecake that tastes just like the real deal without the bad stuff — no added sugar, low carb (just 1g net carb per cake!), no sugar alcohols, rBST-free and GMO-free dairy, and honest ingredients. We spent over a year crafting a cheesecake that’s seriously delicious and actually healthy to eat as an everyday snack. 


What have been the challenges of navigating the CPG industry? Especially with a perishable product!

The main challenge is operations and logistics — from packout engineering to getting shipping costs under control. Plus in the world of COVID, we’ve seen a huge number of shipping delays and volume impacts. From a storage and fulfillment perspective, frozen shipping and logistics is incredibly costly. This also introduces its unique challenges. As an emerging perishable food brand, it’s critical we are able to get our cheesecakes safely to our customers. We’re proud to have come a long way and built a system that enables us to get our cheesecakes to all 50 states!

As a founder, what do you do to take care of your health, "turn off" work?

We love what we do every day and it lights us up! And, we recognize that entrepreneurship is incredibly hard and burnout is 100% real. Our #1 tip is having a consistent morning ritual that helps us stay grounded and feel energized. Our ideal morning starts with mobility/strength training or yoga followed by a nutritious breakfast. I also love my meditation / journaling practice every morning.

As a break, we love getting out and taking walks together. To eliminate Zoom fatigue and get less screen time, we always propose walking/phone meetings with our vendors/suppliers and partners.

What advice do you have for early-stage entrepreneurs?

Make sure you are working on something that other people actually want. The added bonus is if you want this product/service alive in the world, too. 

What food and beverage trends are over-hyped and which are here to stay?

Sorry to say it…”x with cbd” or “x with functional benefits.”

We definitely believe that sugar reduction is here to stay. Unless human metabolism changes in the next 20 years or diabetes is magically cured, then people will always be looking for low sugar alternatives.

What does the future look like for the brand, what are you currently working on?

We love all things pumpkin and just launched our 5th flavor, Pumpkin Spice, just in time for the Holidays! 🍂

This is the first innovation the cheesecake category has seen in decades. We're excited to become a household name as we reinvent America's favorite dessert: the cheesecake. 

Connect with Candace and on Jonathan on LinkedIn

Follow Wonder Monday on IG

Try Wonder Monday HERE

Read more Meet a Maker interviews here!

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