056: Kate Schade, Founder and Chief Energy Officer of Kate's Real Food
Long before Kate Schade became a business owner and whole foods advocate, she was a self-proclaimed ski bum. Tram Bars, Kate’s preliminary food source for on-the-go fun, were made on off-days in her kitchen. In line at 7:00 a.m., Kate would catch first box at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, ski all day, then grab a quick shower before slinging Italian food in the evenings. All the while, her Tram Bar pocket-fuel satiated any nourishment needs.The Tram Bar recipe evolved over time (consistent with Kate’s cupboard availabilities) and with each tweaking, the recipe perfected itself. Kate continued her routine; sometimes tossing bars to gawking, hung-over friends in the tramline. Still, she ignored her friends’ suggestions of starting a viable Tram Bar business. “Too much work,” she confessed before dropping into a powder-filled couloir. After years of poking and prodding by her sometimes-hostile comrades, Kate bit the bullet and became an entrepreneur. While still working her night job and spending summers managing farm workers at Cosmic Apple Gardens, a local CSA farm, she also dedicated her spare time to produce and sell the now famous Tram Bars. Kate’s time on the farm helped her adopt the conscious eating habits that shaped today’s organic bar recipes. On Today's show Kate will share: - What’s Your Personal Mission Statement Personal – Personally, I strive to live true to my ethics, values and beliefs, and carry this into all areas of my life, including my business. As folks say, “It’s not what you do, but why you do it.” Whatever it may be, I’d like to make a difference in people’s life (be a good influence in whatever way I can), whether it be a good word, helping people when I can, or leading by example. Every new day is a day to better yourself. We are all human, and here to help each other get through what we call life in the best way we can. Read my blog, “Kate’s Way” which incorporates some of my beliefs. http://katesrealfood.com/blog/page/2/ Business – On the business side, I always thought that if I could create a great successful company, I’d be able to give back more to those things I believe in other than just what I was doing before the business started. And that brings us back to the roots of the company; inspired by outdoor play, and organic farming, Kate’s Real Food hopes to give back more to areas such as helping small organic farmers, and promoting outdoor play through trail building and similar efforts. - Biggest Business Mistake Well, certainly we all learn from our mistakes, and I feel I have learned a priceless amount of information by starting a company in the food industry. Mistakes can be costly for a small startup. That being said, I think my biggest mistake was not seeking consulting, and not networking enough with industry folks in the early stages of the business. There is a world of knowledge out there and people who want to help and share their experiences. As I learn, I am becoming one of those people! Small business is difficult and it’s really great to get or give help during the tough times. - How Do You Handle Business Stress and Uncertainty There are a few things I do currently to help combat these things. Stress really sucks, but as a start-up it seems inevitable. First and foremost, I get outside and exercise. It is a godsend. Luckily I live in the mountains, and can walk out my door in the morning and go for a run or a bike ride. It helps to relax, but also invigorate body and mind, it increases my productivity, and boosts my mood. I try to push the limits. The harder I exercise, the better I feel. Next. I try to talk to people. When there is uncertainty, anyone who can help give a little insight into the situation will help me feel at ease. Networking is so important, and a lot of people have gone through similar situations. Lastly, keep up your perseverance and you will surely get past the current stress and uncertainty until the next round of it comes on. Haha! - Greatest Business Decision That Changed Everything Starting this business! At first this was my third job for a little extra cash, and at one point I was either ready to throw in the towel, or just go for it. I decided I couldn’t let it go unless I gave it a good shot, so that’s what I did. I partnered with a self professed businessman who put in a little capital and I took it from there . . . - Best Book For The Entrepreneurial Mindset I resonate most with Let My People Go Surfing by Yvonne Choinard, and Raising the Bar by Gary Erickson. These are still 2 independently owned companies who do their best to stay true to their values, and have created an amazing company culture. I have a great amount of respect for them. There are always more books on my list, but finding the time for them can be another challenge. Other than that, sometimes an entrepreneur should read a little fantasy…just to get away from it all! - Plus much more...