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The Food Startups Podcast
36 minutes | Dec 24, 2019
Ep 176: Mental Health Roundtable with Jeremy Smith, Mark Samuel & Hugh Thomas
A discussion on mental health with our guests: Jeremy Smith - CEO of Launchpad Mark Samuel - Founder & CEO of iWON Organics Hugh Thomas - Co-founder & CEO of Ugly Drinks In this episode we trigger up some thoughts from three serial entrepreneurs who share their close encounter with it, how they crossed over to the other side and some daily best practices that keep your heart and mind healthy.
29 minutes | Dec 13, 2019
Ep 175: Position Your Business and Investor Relationship For Success
Tom Spier is the Founder and Managing Partner of Boulder Food Group(BFG), a venture capital firm that seeks partnerships with early stage food and beverage consumer product companies. Tom previously co-founded EVOL Foods and was the COO of Bear Naked Granola. Under Tom’s management, both businesses were successfully sold to public companies. In addition to his role at BFG, Tom proudly serves on the board of directors of three non-profit organizations including Chef Ann Foundation, Just Label It and Growe Foundation. In this episode Tom talks about what BFG values in emerging partners and some of the ins and outs of how they operate.
26 minutes | Nov 24, 2019
Ep 174 - Going from 0-1300 stores in Eight Months
Jessica Levison is the Founder and CEO of Pekaboo Ice Cream. In her search to get veggies into her three toddlers, this lawyer turned Ice Cream Confectionist started infusing vegetables in ice cream and ended up starting a successful ice cream brand called Peekaboo Ice Cream. In this episode, Jessica talks about how she used her artisanal ice cream stores in Surfside and Wynwood to launch Peekaboo Ice Cream and how she managed to get the funding and exposure that brought Peekaboo Ice Cream to1300 stores in just 8 months.
48 minutes | Jun 26, 2019
Ep 173 - How Collaboration Can Catapult a Brand's Success
Francisco Pavan is the Co-Founder of Kumana, a company that makes Avocado Sauces inspired by Venezuelan cuisine. After traveling the world and experiencing different cultures through food, he decided to change career paths from being an automotive parts supplier, to a food startup entrepreneur. His passion and desire to bring light back to the image of Venezuela(Francisco’s home country), led him to team up with Jeremy Smith(President of LaunchPad Group) and Eric Read(Founder & Creative Director of MarketBrand) to successfully brand and sell his Avocado Sauce. Here are some show notes: - 04:34 - Founder's story - why Francisco Pavan left his career with Toyota to start an avocado sauce company? - 11:14 - Early market testing - 13:51 - Locking in branding and “Go-To-Market” strategy. - 15:34 - A founder's mindset - 23:09 - How to combine all of the different design parts and pieces and make - a coherent and simple for the end user to understand. - 24:15 - How to define your “onlyness”. How do you really stand out? - 28:49 - How the design team should be part of the soul and creativeness all the way throughout the brand's journey. - 35:00 - Early traction - 43:17 - What’s next for Kumana?
33 minutes | Jun 17, 2019
Ep 172 - Turning a Home Remedy to a Successful Beverage Brand
Kenneth Park is the founder and CEO of Detoxwater, an Aloe Vera water brand that started as a home remedy that his mom used for digestive problems and other illnesses. Ken eventually introduced Aloe water to the market, originally branded as Superleaf Aloe Juice, selling from his dorm room and later on becoming a household name with a nationwide distribution. Detoxwater is now famously known to be an aloe drink offering the best of both worlds: great taste with health benefits. In this episode, he shares how he turned his mom's home remedy to a successful beverage brand. Some key takeaways from the interview: 1. Doing research on your competitors and incorporating what they can't provide to your brand in order to stand out. 2. Being open to collaborating or partnering with established manufacturers with the same vision or niche. 3. Executing a national distribution: finding a partner, getting a purchase order, hiring the brokers. 4. Presenting your brand through a personal experience or story which people will be able to relate to. 5. Exploring all your retailer options; don't be afraid to swim against the current when it comes to applying other people's advise versus what you really want to achieve.
43 minutes | May 16, 2019
Ep 171 - Importance of Shelf Strategy, Perseverance and Vision - Matt Cohen of KidFresh
Mark Cohen is the founder and CEO of Kidfresh, a food brand that was inspired by Matt's goal to provide a line of better-for-you and tasty kids meals to-go made with the same quality ingredients enjoyed by parents but for children. In this episode, he shares several key insights for shelf strategy, as well as the importance of perseverance and vision. A few other takeaways: Production and packaging: Find co-packers who are willing to work with you and your small margins. Develop an honest, straightforward and personal relationship with them. Pricing on shelf: Make sure that your product is affordable. Take note of where your product is being shelved, who your competitors are and what price point will work best in your category. Success of shelf: visibility is important. Start with minimum SKUs to put on a number of shelves, to be picked strategically depending on variety. Choose a number of stores which are representative enough, allowing you to do some marketing and promotion. Raising capital: For starters, go with investors whom you know personally or are introduced to you within your network. And many more such valued lessons!
42 minutes | Apr 29, 2019
Ep 170 - How to Make Your Product an Amazon Best Seller and More, with Katie Jesionowski
Katie Katie Jesionowski is Co-Founder of MySuperFoods, a company that makes superfoods for kids. With three product lines distributed nationally via natural food channels, traditional grocery, food service, schools and export as well as online, they are a snack brand on the rise. Katie shares her journey, the impact of a good business partner, and how she mastered the eCommerce channel to get her products out to her consumers.
47 minutes | Nov 5, 2018
Ep 169 - The technique of self distribution and building strong relationships with buyers - Sadie from Bread Srsly
Sadie Scheffer is the founder and CEO of Bread Srsly, a wholesale sourdough bread company that wants to reunite gluten-free eaters with their beloved sourdough bread. All of their bread rises for more than 12 hours, breaking down hard-to-digest grains and plus, Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough contains a host of bioavailable nutrients, promoting digestive health and healing. Sadie has had a different approach to CPG via self-distribution. And she shares how they’ve made that work, and why it helps attain higher margins while maintaining product integrity. She shares their smart strategy on building long lasting effective relationships with buyers and how to maintain high re-order rate and shelf velocity.
42 minutes | Oct 2, 2018
Ep 168 - How fanaticism and a solid channel mix strategy can help you thrive in the beverage industry - Matt from Wandering Bear Coffee
Matt Bachmann is the co-founder of Wandering Bear Coffee, a company that produces and distributes cold brew beverages. The company started back in 2013 and is now sold in over 750 retailers, including Target, Costco and Whole Foods and is distributed nationally to offices via their website. Matt shares the experience of how an obsession with coffee ended up becoming a successful business. 3:18 How and why Matt Bachmann got into the food business. 7:35 The influence of university in entrepreneurship and starting a business. 13:31 The relevance of supplying direct office orders and wholesale orders. 18:17 Drawbacks and challenges 29:26 Key points to take into account in the early stages of a food business. 32:19 How Wandering Bear Coffee got on the shelves at Costco
29 minutes | Sep 3, 2018
Ep 167 - Learn about regenerative agriculture and how it can reverse climate change - Annie from Kiss The Ground
Annie is an activist, writer, scientist, and marketing manager dedicated to environmental issues related to food, water, and agriculture. She works with consumers, suppliers, and purchasers to drive demand for regenerative products, transition farms to regenerative agriculture, and inspire brands to invest in regenerative supply lines. 5:00 - Overview of Kiss The Ground as an organization 7:30 - What damage have we done via farming practices and food waste 10:00 - What is regenerative agriculture 17:00 - How can small businesses identify regen ag based supply chain 19:50 - How can consumers get aware of composting and make a huge impact on the greenhouse gas emissions 21:08 - Vermiculture and how it can make your compost "stink-free", making it smell like fresh earth! 27: 40 - General Mills, Patagonia, and other major brands taking a stand on regen-ag farming
30 minutes | Aug 2, 2018
EP166 - How the passion for spirits combined with strategic execution made this cocktail vinegars brand a hit
Don Morton is a bartender, WSET trained wine nerd, cocktail geek, fermentation enthusiast, and an eager host. After 10 years of working in public policy, Don founded Shrub District to bring a little more happiness into the world. Today, their cocktail vinegars (aka shrubs) and 'built cocktails' (A “built” cocktail is a cocktail you build in the same glass in which you serve it) are available online, restaurants and bars across the North East. With a keen focus on quality and sometimes, seasonal ingredients, Don is determined to provide an exceptional experience while making it convenient for consumers to make a cocktail. Some key takeaways from the interview: test the product after you have nailed down the formulation with real customers make sure that you have variety for folks otherwise you will leave money on the table finding partners that meet distribution challenges innovating in a category that's quite hot while not over extending on capacity and production For more information, visit: www.shrubdistrict.com
28 minutes | Jul 20, 2018
Ep165 - Launch a record breaking kickstarter campaign and a solid marketing strategy - John “Sonic” Ban and Mark Yu of Grass Fed Coffee
John “Sonic” Ban has worn many hats, is a serial entrepreneur and shares valuable lessons from his experience, in this episode. Also known as DJ Sonic, due to 10+ years in a hip hop radio station, his first brush with starting his own business was with the Indianapolis food truck scene and becoming one of the first successful food truck business owners. Grass Fed Coffee began in 2014 when John “Sonic” Ban experienced incredible gains in mental clarity, energy, and fat burning, from just one daily cup of butter coffee. After recommending butter coffee to all his friends and family, he was dismayed that many couldn’t experience it because they were too busy to brew it every morning themselves or didn’t know where to purchase the ingredients and equipment. John talks about his faith in the ketogenic diet, and how he, along with Mark You, who is a principal at Grass Fed Coffee, raised $86K on a Kickstarter Campaign in December 2015 and broke the record for “Highest Funded Non-Alcoholic Project on Kickstarter, ever.” Episode index: 5:15 - the journey from food truck into food 8:29 - bio hacking as a trend 9:48 - the kickstarter project for Grass Fed Coffee - lessons learned always have a well produced video one minute or less what makes videos viral, compared to other kickstarter video raised $86K in 2 months without anyone tasting the product keep it simple, down to 1-2 takeaways for your target audience 15: 45 - the challenges of taking a concept to production 18:00 - go-to-market strategy, channel strategy 21:00 - marketing approach and focus on education, and content A few pointers: https://grassfedcoffee.com https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1431509519/introducing-the-worlds-first-ready-to-drink-butter Book recommendation: Contagious: Why Things Catch On - Jonah Berger A message to this podcast listeners from Hema Reddy, the new host of the show: “Thank you all for listening. Please share your feedback on the show and help us get better! We want to bring you value and content that’s helpful to you. I am so excited to continue this journey with you!”
31 minutes | Mar 28, 2018
Ep164- Build a Community Before a Food Brand - Hema of Crafty Counter
Hema Reddy is the Founder & CEO of Crafty Counter, an innovative packaged food products company, and their first product line is available in the market today, and they called Wundernuggets. She is also the Founder & CEO of Epicurate Media - a digital marketing firm that is hyper-focused on helping food & beverage brands achieve their growth targets via carefully designed marketing blueprints & processes. Prior to her entrepreneurial ventures, she was Program Director for Worldwide Systems Marketing at IBM Corporation. Hema is a public speaker, and has been featured on several TV & media outlets.
35 minutes | Nov 20, 2017
Ep163- Why Amazon-Whole Foods is unlikely to work (for Whole Foods)
There is no denying the inventory and logistics benefits of Whole Foods being purchased by Amazon. Any spreadsheet or report can show that. But what is often overlooked in the history of acquisitions is culture. Jeremy Smith believes there is a high probability that Whole Foods will fail post-Amazon purchase because of it. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, has already acknowledged the cultural challenges. We talk about Online vs Retail, what the future holds, and what food startups can do to best compete moving forward.
48 minutes | Sep 21, 2017
Ep162- On Building True Fans, Mentors and E-commerce Dominance - Madeline of nutpods
In just a few years, nutpods is on fire. A dairy-free coffee creamer, they have passed Coffee Mate on Amazon.com for # of reviews. Talk about "review capital"! She entered the food space as an outsider. With a beginner’s mindset and the ability to develop die-hard fans, nutpods has become a great success. Awarded as “Editor’s Pick” at the Natural Products Expo in her debut year, nutpods has quickly grown online and in traditional brick and mortar business and is now available nationwide. Madeline Haydon is open and engaging. We tell her incredible story.
31 minutes | Sep 14, 2017
Ep161- Logistics Strategy with Andrew of Zipline PART 2
34 minutes | Sep 7, 2017
Ep160- Logistics Strategy Part 1
Andrew Lynch is co-founder and president of the Zipline Logistics, an award-winning North American 3PL that specializes exclusively in the transportation of retail consumer goods and food and beverage products. Zipline Logistics works with popular brands such as Vita Coco, Chameleon Cold Brew, Avitae Water, Vegan Rob’s, and Barney Butter. Starting his career in carrier procurement and management within a Fortune 100 logistics company, Lynch has held positions of responsibility in all areas of third party logistics. He is currently responsible for relationship management, data analysis, organizational alignment, and overall strategic direction for his company and its client base.
29 minutes | Aug 31, 2017
Ep159- Cauliflower as a Bread Replacement? - Jeanne of Outer Aisle
Jeanne David has created a company by taking a long-used veggie as a replacement for pizza crust and bread. By cutting out refined carbs, one can transform health. We talk about the anti-inflammatory diet, getting on restaurant menus, dealing with unexpected sales spikes via a popular blog, and more. More about Jeanne: Jeanne David is the Founder, Head of Product Development and President of Outer Aisle Gourmet, LLC. Jeanne is a born entrepreneur and loves creating ideas for new products. She started her first business at the age of ten. Jeanne founded several small businesses, the most successful of which brought a line of natural food products to market in Louisiana.
41 minutes | Aug 24, 2017
Ep158- A Pragmatic, Visionary Capitalist - Michael of Green Chef
Mindset, packaging, food labeling, logistics, innovation, systems thinking, sustainability, traceability, and big e-commerce in the delivery space. This episode has it all. I don't say this lightly, but this episode should be listened to by all food entrepreneurs. Michael Joseph is the CEO of Green Chef, his 3rd food startup. Green Chef is a a USDA-certified organic meal kit company. They work with farmers to source sustainable, non-GMO ingredients. A fun and insightful episode.
26 minutes | Aug 17, 2017
Ep157- Seaweed, Category Leading, and 25 Years in the Game - Steve of GimMe Health
Steve Broad is on his second startup in the food space. He previously had Co-Founded and was CEO of Annie Chun’s Inc. with his wife, Annie Chun. They started at the Farmer’s Market in 1992 and built it into a national brand, then sold the company in 2008 to CJ Corp, Korea’s largest food company. They began gimMe in 2012 and the brand has quickly become the #1 seaweed snack. We talk seaweed and Steve's ideas on how to thrive in the natural foods space.
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