Beyond Mom Interviews

Shelby Zitelman

CEO & Founder of Soom Foods


Soom Foods is a sister-owned purveyor of globally inspired pantry staples for celebrated chefs and home cooks. Shelby is the oldest of the Soom Sisters. Inspired by her entrepreneurial family, Shelby graduated from the Wharton School with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Management, and has applied this degree to all of her jobs since. Shelby is responsible for developing the Company’s strategy, managing the finances and accounting, managing the team and overseeing contractor relationships. The Soom Foods chocolate tahini dip is a favorite snack at Beyond Mom retreats! Shelby spends her downtime exploring kid-friendly Philadelphia with her husband, Dan and their two sons, Malcolm and Julius. She loves drinking beer, working out and avoiding doing the laundry. 

What makes you a Beyond Mom? 

I am a Beyond Mom because, like any other Mom who is running a business, nurturing a family and managing a household, that in and of itself is Beyond!   

What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom? 

I’ve become a better businesswoman because of my kids, and a better mom because of my business. I’ve learned how to improvise, I’ve improved my active listening, communication and time management skills, and I am become more comfortable with “letting go” of the things that I cannot control.  

Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?

We are constantly collaborating with other women, and other women-owned businesses. There are too many to choose from!  But I do think that the key to a successful collaboration is setting clear expectations and revisiting those expectations if things start to stray off course.  

What relationships help you stay connected to yourself? 

My husband always keeps me grounded and reminds me to take time for me. He also plans the most fun activities for us and for our family.  Without him I’d be pretty boring! 

Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? 

Starting a business and a family were two dreams of mine that are currently in motion! 

What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?  

Unfortunately this is something that has fallen by the wayside, but I recently prioritized therapy and that has been an amazing gift for my mental wellness.  

How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer? 

I am the WORST shopper. I literally hate shopping. So I signed up for Le Tote three months ago and that has been life changing! I have a personal shopper and a rotating wardrobe, all for $80/month! 

Favorite Local Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom: 

Vault + Vine in East Falls, Philadelphia is a beautiful greenhouse / gift shop / cafe started by this amazing woman named Peicha Chang.  It is a physical representation of how I want to feel every moment of my life.  

Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:  

Cocktail = Dirty Martini. Food = Any variation of cheese and bread. And tahini & date syrup, of course 😉 

Beyond Workout: 

These days it’s walking up the steps at my son’s daycare. Ideally it’s a combination of yoga, dance and interval training. And chasing the kids around!