Food

The Food Startups Podcast

Matt Aaron

We bring in top performers like Bob Moore of Bob's Red Mill, Legendary Investor Jim Rogers (Skip the MBA and Start a Farm), and founders of emerging food startups in a weekly show designed to educate and entertain. Exclusive tips and insights to help you build a meaningful and profitable food business.

Episodes

Ep162- On Building True Fans, Mentors and E-commerce Dominance - Madeline of nutpods
47:58
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 47:58
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.

Ep161- Logistics Strategy with Andrew of Zipline PART 2
30:41
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 30:41
Ep161- Logistics Strategy with Andrew of Zipline PART 2

Ep160- Logistics Strategy Part 1
33:36
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 33:36
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.

Ep159- Cauliflower as a Bread Replacement? - Jeanne of Outer Aisle
28:51
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 28:51
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.

Ep158- A Pragmatic, Visionary Capitalist - Michael of Green Chef
41:25
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 41:25
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.

Ep157- Seaweed, Category Leading, and 25 Years in the Game - Steve of GimMe Health
25:41
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 25:41
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.

Ep156- Personal Strength, Community, and Homegrown Veggies - Sam of Vinder
37:45
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 37:45
Ep156- Personal Strength, Community, and Homegrown Veggies - Sam of Vinder

Sam Lillie is the founder/CEO of Vinder, a peer-to-peer marketplace for homegrown produce that connects home gardeners who hate seeing their excess veggies go to waste, with fellow community members looking to buy local produce. Sam graduated from San Jose State in 2015 then solo-hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (2,658 miles) which took 5 months to complete. While hiking, Sam faced extreme weather conditions from 105+ degree heat in the desert with 20-30 miles distances between water sources to snow storms and lightening storms.

After 3 months he figured he'd put his degree to good use and applied to 106 jobs across 4 states but only received one offer. He turned it down, moved to the small town of Port Townsend, Washington and launched Vinder. I am so excited about this startup and cannot wait to follow this over the years.

This episode talks about how developing personal strength can assist in startup perseverance and much more:

  • Sam's 5 month journey on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Adapting to "real life" post hike
  • How to deal with challenges that come your way
  • Conceiving the idea and starting Vinder
  • Creating the AirBnB of homegrown produce
  • Pivoting an idea and winning the Silicon Valley business plan competition
  • The viral coefficient for your startup
  • Community building via Vinder
  • Plans for expansion across the United Statse
  • The disaster relief program

Ep155- How to Last in the Natural Foods Space - Joshua of Living Intentions
35:08
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 35:08
Ep155- How to Last in the Natural Foods Space - Joshua of Living Intentions

"I had a lot of experiences where I truly manifested my reality. And those experiences continue."

Joshua Mchugh has been at this for 13 years. Not many startups make it to the decade mark. How did he do it?

Starting out, he would spend endless hours reading recipe books with the intention of understanding how he could take standard comfort foods and turn them into nutritional powerhouses.

Living Intentions has formulated multiple lines of products, from gourmet sprouted nut and seed blends to superfood cereals, sprouted superfood seasonings, sprouted trail mix, superfood smoothie blends, and more.

  • We talk about the philosophy of slow growth and activated foods:
  • How Joshua started the company
  • The path to going from small, local distribution to nationwide
  • Managing a high # of sku's
  • Live and breathe what you are doing
  • Creating your reality
  • Sprouted vs Activated vs Raw
  • Separating the craft from the business

Ep154- Food Biz Success in 3 Steps
06:59
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 06:59
Ep154- Food Biz Success in 3 Steps

Hi all!

In today's brief episode, I evaluate the success of the past 50 guests on the show and synthesize it into 3 steps.

Ep153- Investing in the 1% - Jordan of AccelFoods
28:20
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 28:20
Ep153- Investing in the 1% - Jordan of AccelFoods

"Back the jockey, not the horse."

At early revenue stages, the founder is crucial when deciding whether or not to invest.

Out of every 100 or so food startups Accel Foods invests in just 1.

What makes them say yes to this small handful of companies? Cofounder Jordan Gaspar and I dive into her perspective of food startups and how they can prosper:

  • How Jordan left the legal space and ended up with an investment fund
  • The size of the companies and the investments they make
  • Common mistakes food startups make that affect their long term success
  • Advice for companies in "launch mode"
  • Mentoring: is this a value-added service that Accel offers all brands?
  • Legal guidelines to keep in mind for your company
  • How long it takes from meeting a founder to making an investment

Ep152- How to Run a Premium, Global Brand - Reza of Icelandic Glacial
35:33
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 35:33
Ep152- How to Run a Premium, Global Brand - Reza of Icelandic Glacial

Reza Mirza has an exciting job: CEO of Icelandic Glacial. A premium brand, they control the sole commercial rights to bottle and sell water from the legendary Ölfus Spring.

In 21 countries with only 40 total employees, they are organized, efficient, and growing.  Their U.S. distribution is handled by Anheuser-Busch, which took a 20% ownership stake in the company in July 2007.

Reza recently served as President of Activate Drinks where he grew the company in key markets through increased distribution while driving double digit same store sales and increased brand awareness. We go behind the scenes of their fascinating company and, of course, water:

  • The vision of Icelandic Glacial
  • Keys to leadership
  • Let's talk water...
  • Global distribution strategies into new countries
  • What it means to be carbon neutral
  • Marketing in the United States compared to China?
  • Logistics, sending product to various countries around the world
  • How he grew Activate same-store sales numbers
  • Think global; act global
  • Only 40-50 employees.Just for export. Becoming a distributor.
  • What type of marketing, what message are you trying to send to people?
  • As the CEO of a large food company (many are smaller in nature) what is your day-to-day like?
  • Expanding to other countries you brought Blaupunkt audio into India, what’s the plan here?
  • Unique selling positions between different brands of water

 

 

Ep151- #1 on Amazon + Road Trip Retail Strategy - Alex of Bizzy Coffee
31:38
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 31:38
Ep151- #1 on Amazon + Road Trip Retail Strategy - Alex of Bizzy Coffee

When I asked Alex how they came up with the idea for an energy shot. It was simple: Our customers told us.

Before the interview, I thought: "Why would anyone start a cold-brew coffee company? There are so many on the market already."

I quickly learned the unique value proposition of Bizzy Coffee from a product and brand perspective.

The co-founder, Alex French sat down to talk with me on the final leg of their East Coast #vanlife tour.

And it was quite the success: they were able to sell into 200 new stores with 500 prospects in the pipeline. There is a lot we can learn from Bizzy Coffee:

  • Ranking #1 in amazon for cold brew coffee
  • Finding product opportunities using internet metrics
  • A/B testing and online customer feedback
  • How to run a successful promotion tour
  • Door-to-door retail sales tips
  • Navigate the chicken and egg problem with distributors and retail
  • The National Coop Grocers association
  • Key metrics that many founders overlook
  • Buying and equipping a van for your brand
  • Why you need company "gear"
  • Understanding why customers use your product

 

 

 

Ep150- Raising Money + Lessons from 1000 Founders - Steven of CircleUp
40:41
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 40:41
Ep150- Raising Money + Lessons from 1000 Founders - Steven of CircleUp

For Steven, it's all about patterns. He has spoken to over 1,000 founders and has developed a sense for which startups are going to flourish.

He focuses on sourcing and evaluating premier brands and coaching entrepreneurs through the fundraising process at CircleUp.

CircleUp is the platform providing capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands, and opportunities for sophisticated investors to participate in their growth.

From machine learning data to predict CPG success to the do's and don'ts of fundraising, we cover a lot:

  • The fallout from Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods
  • An 18 billion dollar shift from large brands to small brands in the consumer space from 2011-2015
  • Is there a “too early” for Circle Up?
  • Characteristics of good brand communication
  • Helio - machine learning for the CPG space
  • How to attack a trade show.
  • Trends Steven sees in 2017
  • The 5 buckets of entrepreneurs
  • Why some companies can raise money and others can’t

Ep149- Health, Wealth + Coconuts - Alex of Genius
38:05
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 38:05
Ep149- Health, Wealth + Coconuts - Alex of Genius

Most Americans are sick. Alex Bayer saw it first hand, dealing insurance policies for AFLAC in southern California.

Born and raised in Palos Verdes, he has followed an extremely healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. In his 20’s, he became ‘too busy’ and was always on the go, never having time to cook a meal or prepare food, and smoothies became a way of life for him.

When the coconut craze hit, he discovered that coconuts were a great source of nutrients and benefits, and he always wondered why the full coconut meat was never included in coconut drinks. He started cold blending coconut water and coconut meat in his vitamix blender, eventually giving birth to the Genius Juice formula with coconut milk.

Alex has persevered through a lot. Now, in over 400 stores, he is ready to take it to the next level:

  • Finding simplicity
  • The shocking things Alex witnessed at AFLAC
  • A lot of times we are “experts” without even knowing it.
  • Why did coconut milk receive very little attention in the U.S. coconut craze?
  • Subtle changes and market impact
  • Sourcing coconuts 101
  • Why will Genius continue to succeed once others copy it?

Ep148- The Blockchain and Food - Emma of AgriDigital
41:18
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 41:18
Ep148- The Blockchain and Food - Emma of AgriDigital

Imagine if, in 1996, you knew that the internet was going to be the next big thing. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but it wasn't at the time.

Now we are on the brink of a new technology that can be as monumental to the world as the internet: the blockchain.

Food and Ag is just one of many industries that will evolve with the technology.

Emma Weston of AgriDigital is applying blockchain technology to transform global agricultural supply chain. She breaks down the blockchain and how it will change food forever:

  • What is the blockchain?
  • Current state of international food trading
  • Tokenizing physical assets
  • Smart contracts
  • Making trust a commodity
  • Why did Emma's pitch win?
  • The three main problems the blockchain can solve in agricultural trading
  • Traceability, the blockchain, and IoT
  • Additional uses of the blockchain in food
  • Why CPG brands should learn about the blockchain
  • Food marketing potential of the blockchain

Ep147- More on Brokers, Costco, and the Evolving Food Space - Jeremy of LaunchPad
50:59
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 50:59
Ep147- More on Brokers, Costco, and the Evolving Food Space - Jeremy of LaunchPad

Jeremy Smith is back. If you haven't heard the first interview, listen here.

There is trouble in the food broker space. The market has changed dramatically.

Based on listener response to the first episode and Jeremy's intuition, we continued the conversation on Costco, brokers, and how to adapt to the evolving food space:

  • Costco pitches: phone vs in-person. Can you do it on the phone?:
  • “Does a founder have to live the messaging of the brand before he/she communicates it to the consumer?”
  • Hershey’s and Nestle are not driving the categories anymore ..
  • Thoughts on Whole Foods “decline” ..
  • Why the food brokerage business is broken. The challenge, how is it impacting companies?
  • Your broker is not doing a good job it could be you.
  • Can you be a food broker?
  • Should you sell directly to Costco or use a broker.
  • Why do some buyers say you should work directly with them and not use brokers?
  • What are Costco Buyers like?
  • Why brands fail at Costco?
  • “Flavor Fatigue”
  • Channel protectors should not sell to Costco.
  • Is there a right time for a brand to go to Costco?
  • Raising money: How Circle Up has evolved

Ep146- How to Join and Thrive at a Food Startup - Amanda Sains of B'more Organic
27:43
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 27:43
Ep146- How to Join and Thrive at a Food Startup - Amanda Sains of B'more Organic

In the last episode, we spoke with the founder of B'More Organic. This week we interview their secret weapon, Amanda Sains.

Amanda was in the corporate world and wanted a change. She started as a brand ambassador, doing product demos on her lunch break.

She has since rebranded the company, supported growth into over 3000 stores and has gotten placement for B’more on The Rachael Ray Show, collegiate sponsorships, secured NFL athlete endorsements with VaynerSports and coaching from entrepreneur, Barbara Corcoran.

We find out what drives Amanda and how she has been able to excel at B'More Organic:

  • What she learned running an Etsy store
  • Her decision to go to grad school
  • Advice for young people who are unsure of their career path
  • What "the hustle" means to Amanda
  • Getting the attention of a food company
  • How she proved herself to B'more Organic
  • Getting in front of superstar entrepreneur Gary Vee
  • Landing endorsements with NFL players
  • Life on the road..
  • Guerrilla marketing

Ep145- Resourcefulness, Skyr, + Taking a Bite out of Disease - Andrew of Skyr
27:01
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 27:01
Ep145- Resourcefulness, Skyr, + Taking a Bite out of Disease - Andrew of Skyr

"Necessity creates opportunities in my life."

Andrew Buerger was in his 40's and stuck in a declining industry. He had to find something new.

While mountain climbing in Iceland, tried their traditional yogurt, Skyr. Even though he is lactose-intolerant, Andrew loved the yogurt and felt great after eating it.

He came back to Maryland and figured out how to turn this into a real business. In 2015, they became the fastest growing yogurt company in the U.S. And the yogurt sales spur Jodi's Climb for Hope, which has  raised over $750,000 to funding promising research on breast cancer and MS at Baltimore’s John’s Hopkins University.

They are in over 3,000 stores and growing strong. Andrew and I had an enlightening conversation:

  • Converting limitations into opportunities
  • Making a career transition
  • What is Skyr?
  • How the product evolved to a yogurt smoothie
  • Turning a cause into a business
  • Aligning the "why" with the product and charity
  • Goals for 2020
  • Consultation with Barbara Corcoran
  • Andrew's life mission
  • The opportunities available in Baltimore

Ep144- A Lesson on Biz Dev and Consumer Behavior - Andy of Basket Savings
34:27
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 34:27
Ep144- A Lesson on Biz Dev and Consumer Behavior - Andy of Basket Savings

In the space Andy Ellwood plays in, every few years you need to be prepared to start over.

On his dynamic career "path", Andy has become a high-performer in business development with a track record to back it up.

He helped Gowalla through its acquisition by Facebook in 2011, Waze through to its acquisition by Google in 2013, and Bond which was acquired in 2016 by Newell Rubbermaid.

Now he is on his next venture. As Cofounder and President of Basket, Andy leads a community of shoppers committed to never over paying for groceries again.

Some retailers and brands have resisted the app, but it is becoming an unstoppable force with over 300,000 users. And as Andy will explain, the users always come first:

  • What is business development?
  • The ups and downs as an entrepreneur
  • Why you should play on the edges
  • The variation of grocery prices
  • Celebrity driving directions with Waze
  • The hipster effect
  • The key moment that marks the success of any product/service
  • Grocery shopping behavior
  • Gamified data collection
  • How they overcome obstacles with retailers and brands
  • Business development philosophy (way more than "tips")

Ep143- Finding the White Space - Mikey's
38:11
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 38:11
Ep143- Finding the White Space - Mikey's

He started Mikey's Muffins as a side hustle to pay the rent. As of today, his products are in more than 4500 retailers nationwide.

Michael Tierney began working in professional kitchens at the age of 13 and followed his passion to The Culinary Institute of America, where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts Management. He went on to work in the kitchens of world-renowned restaurants, including 3 michelin star The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California and Eleven Madison Park in New York.

Not happy with his future prospects in the restaurant industry, he left it all behind and ended up in the food CPG space. Mikey's started out with paleo, gluten-free english muffins and they are growing their product offerings. We cover a diverse set of topics:

  • How he decided to leave the restaurant industry
  • The skills he picked up grinding away in top restaurant kitchens
  • His proprietary candy product that will launch this summer
  • How Mikey revised his strategy for investment / fundraising tips
  • The keys to scaling quickly
  • Understanding the long-term effects of margins
  • On having a lean staff
  • The two types of white space in the marketplace
  • Integration of your fans in social media
  • Book recommendations (linked below)

Ep142- Raw Sugar, Strategy, + Serendipity - Robbie of Just Panela
42:41
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 42:41
Ep142- Raw Sugar, Strategy, + Serendipity - Robbie of Just Panela

He thought he was going to be a diplomat. While gaining international experience in Medellin, Colombia, he fell into a circle of entrepreneurs.

And everything changed. Robbie Thomas teamed up with another expat and launched Just Panela, a true raw cane sugar.

The company has grown fast. 18 months later, the organic sweetener is in many parts of the United States.

Robbie has helped Just Panela get slotted in accounts like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Wegmans, as well as build out the food service/bulk side of the company’s business.

Robbie and I talk about the art of the launch with a product unknown to the North American consumer:

  • Advice to younger listeners who want to start a business with little to no money
  • Creating serendipity
  • What is panela?
  • How is panela different from Turbinado sugar?
  • The sales pitch for panela
  • What they would have done differently knowing what they know now
  • How to use food brokers
  • Strategic distribution partnerships
  • Retail versus food service
  • Conventional vs specialty grocers
  • Running a U.S. focused business from South America
  • Why finding a great fulfillment/warehouse partners is important
  • Colombian musings
  • Bonus: Robbie attempts to eloquently pronounce "terroir"

Ep141- How to Reinvent Yourself, Build Startups - Tobias of Square Roots
40:41
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 40:41
Ep141- How to Reinvent Yourself, Build Startups - Tobias of Square Roots

Tobias Peggs understands how to pivot; how to evolve. He has primarily operated in venture-backed tech startup environments (twice as CEO w/exits to Walmart and Adobe).

He has led companies across various domains including mobile, search, social, e-commerce, ad-tech and speech rec.

Now, with Kimbal Musk, he is spearheading Square Roots Urban Growers - a farming accelerator based out of Brooklyn. Think of a 2 acre farm inside a 40' shipping container.

Tobias imparts wisdom on how to have a fulfilling career, urban growing and more:

  • Understanding real food
  • Working alongside Kimbal Musk
  • What he has learned about leadership
  • Why the accelerator model is so powerful
  • Keys to being an effective CEO
  • Tobias's process for changing career/industry
  • The creative-active phase
  • How to get involved with Urban Roots accelerator
  • Advice to those who are starting out in food

Ep140- Mushrooms, Customer Rituals, and Lifestyle - Tero of Four Sigmatic
37:24
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 37:24
Ep140- Mushrooms, Customer Rituals, and Lifestyle - Tero of Four Sigmatic

Tero Isokauppila, the founder of Four Sigmatic, is on a mission to make medicinal mushrooms, some of the world’s most researched superfoods, more accessible to everyone.

Born in Finland to an agronomist father and nursing teacher mother, Tero grew up on a farm his family has owned since 1619. There, he foraged for mushrooms and other wild foods while learning about the natural food space at an early age.

A world traveler, Tero has created a powerful business that matches his lifestyle and values. Tero was also chosen as one of the world's TOP 50 Food Activists by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. An engaging, wise Scandinavian dude:

  • How to find your optimal breakfast
  • Connecting with Tim Ferriss and his podcast
  • Online marketing thoughts
  • Customer service strategies
  • Entering the U.S. market
  • Becoming ritual-focused
  • Advice for those who want to bring an unknown superfood to market
  • Sleeping on a nail mat and other wellness tips

Ep139- Costco, Chobani, and Becoming Iconic - Jeremy of LaunchPad
54:49
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 54:49
Ep139- Costco, Chobani, and Becoming Iconic - Jeremy of LaunchPad

Jeremy Smith is fed up with the food brokerage industry. There are a shortage of great food brokers. And grocery buyers have noticed. That's why he is back in the game.

He previously sold his food brokerage, Level One, and is back with an innovative Food Brokerage and Consultancy: LaunchPad.

Over his career in food, design and advertising, Jeremy has worked with iconic brands.

Think Chobani, Apple, 5Hour Energy, popchips, EVOL Foods, Promax, Pure Foods, Krave Jerky and Bob’s Red Mill.

His relationships with buyers and marketers, strategists and designers presents enviable connections in the food industry. Jeremy sheds all kind of golden advice:

  • How to sell to Costco
  • Becoming multi-talented - design, advertising, copywriting, business strategy, etc.
  • What he learned from Steve Jobs
  • On selling his brokerage to Advantage Sales and Marketing
  • The lack of great food brokers in 2017
  • Questions that you should ask a food broker
  • What makes Chobani special?
  • The "Secret Sauce" of Chobani
  • Helping Chobani thrive at Costco
  • How much does a food broker charge a food brand?
  • Why founders shouldn’t stay on after an acquisition
  • “Im scared of losing Whole Foods business if I go to Costco”
  • Various Costco tips and insights (pack size, behavior etc.)
  • Some top emerging food brands to look out for

Ep138- Inside the Buyer's Brain - Alli Ball
40:59
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 40:59
Ep138- Inside the Buyer's Brain - Alli Ball

I thought I knew a decent amount about how to connect with buyers. I was wrong.

Alli Ball has all the secrets I wanted to know. She has successfully opened several retail locations, including the Bi-Rite Divisadero location as store manager. She is a rockstar. 

Listen to this episode and you'll agree:

  • Opening Bi-Rite in Divisadero
  • Why they rejected Runa, who is doing great today and was recently on the podcast.
  • The right way to cold call on new stores
  • How to send information to buyers
  • Understanding category performance
  • Do buyers like being acknowledged as "busy"?
  • Can you send a text message to a buyer?
  • Constant, gentle pressure
  • Demystifying the business plan
  • The future of online vs in-person retail

Ep137- Chicory, Prebiotic Health Benefits, and B2B Sales - David of Blue Prarie
29:20
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 29:20
Ep137- Chicory, Prebiotic Health Benefits, and B2B Sales - David of Blue Prarie

When David Woodburn was asked to be the CEO of Blue Prarie, he didn't know what chicory was. Now, he is leading the charge developing prebiotic, chicory-based ingredients that help maintain a healthy gut environment for beneficial bacteria while replacing fast-digesting starches.

David is pleased to announce that Blue Prarie has completed a $6 million Series A Investment round.

While the nutrition space highlights probiotics, prebiotics should arguably be the #1 focus. Learn about prebiotic nutrition, chicory, and an awesome biotech company:

  • Chicory definition and history
  • Prebiotics vs probiotics
  • Inulin and soluble fiber
  • Understanding the giant market opportunity
  • B2B relationship building
  • The biggest challenges/opportunities of their business model
  • What they are looking for in a VP of Sales + Marketing

Ep136- Building a Popsicle Empire - Daniel of Good Pop
37:07
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 37:07
Ep136- Building a Popsicle Empire - Daniel of Good Pop

He founded GoodPop on a ramen noodle budget in 2009 and hasn’t accepted investments since. College student at the time, Daniel couldn’t find an all-natural popsicle, snow cone or frozen treat to beat the Texas heat.

Daniel Goetz decided to quit his advertising internship to launch GoodPop with his first retailer, Whole Foods. GoodPop has since seen triple digit growth every year, revenue in the millions and recently received a loan from Whole Foods.

Now, at the age of 30, Daniel has transformed GoodPop from its humble beginnings as a popular, local Austin brand to a nationally-recognized leader in the natural frozen novelty category.

Daniel radiates positive energy and perseverance. Learn about:

  • His initial market research when GoodPop a dorm room startup
  • The long-term goal of the company
  • Creating customer experience
  • How did you get a loan from Whole Foods?
  • Moments of struggle/perseverance
  • What makes GoodPop successful?
  • How do you manage hiring/growth?
  • Working with seasonality and different regions of the United States
  • Channeling nostalgia and improving access to food

Ep135- International Man of Food Development - Tim Forrest
40:13
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 40:13
Ep135- International Man of Food Development - Tim Forrest

Cookies in Saudi Arabia, pomegranates in Croatia, bananas in Ecuador, Olive oil in Georgia. Tim has done it all.

In the food business since 1988, he helps companies add thousands of retail locations, millions of dollars in revenue, and millions of capital investment.

Tim has worked with large and small companies from all around the world. With experience working at the big boys (Unilever and Nestle), he applies their advanced, proven practices to smaller ones.

Fun stories and practical advice for all:

  • Georgia Olive Farms story
  • How he brought Keebler to Saudi Arabia without permission
  • Food Network endorsements + PR tis
  • The 4-5 key metrics you must pay attention to
  • How to recognize the key issues during growth
  • 9 pillars of successful food brands
  • The retail index coefficient
  • Bananas, Ecuador, and Whole Foods
  • Results-based consulting pay
  • Tips for raising capital

Ep134- Insights from an Austin Food Legend - Scott of Rhythm Superfoods / Stubb's BBQ
40:57
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 40:57
Ep134- Insights from an Austin Food Legend - Scott of Rhythm Superfoods / Stubb's BBQ

Scott Jensen is Co-Founder and CEO of Rhythm Superfoods, a manufacturer of organic plant-based superfoods snacks. I am snacking on their delicous broccoli bites as we speak!

He is the former CEO & President of One World Foods (Stubb’s Bar-B-Q), which he co-founded 20+ years ago with C.B. Stubblefield and two close friends.

One World Foods was successfully sold to McCormick & Co. in 2015. Scott led Stubb’s in its national and international expansion to be the largest SuperPremium Bar-B-Q and Marinade brand in the country.

Scott is personable, intelligent, and happy to impart his wisdom from his many years of success in the food industry. From marinades to superfood snacks:

  • The Stubbs BBQ story
  • How they came across the Kale chips idea
  • Working with co-founder Clayton Christopher (of Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka)
  • Why did Kale become popular? (19:30)
  • Moving production facilities 3x
  • Handling demand spikes in the Kale dehydrating niche business
  • Becoming a produce buyer
  • Sourcing and supply chain tips
  • Benefits of working with General Mills - 301 INC.

Ep133- Food Systems, Startup Investing, and Creating Alpha - Victor of S2G Ventures
31:11
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 31:11
Ep133- Food Systems, Startup Investing, and Creating Alpha - Victor of S2G Ventures

Everything changed on his visit to the Central Market in Valencia, Spain: Victor Friedberg realized that food is a system.

He returned to the U.S. and dove head first into learning about food systems.

At S2G Ventures, Victor and his team invest in innovative food startups. Many of the startups have been guests on our show, including Maple Hill Creamery, TerraMera, Myco, Mercaris, Kuli Kuli, Back to the Roots, Shenandoah Growers, and SVO.

S2G has built an amazing community and portfolio. Victor is sharp and insightful. We talk about:

  • Victor's diverse work and life background
  • His trip to Valencia, Spain
  • The different stages of investing
  • Investing in great "systems"
  • What he sees in some of the food startups that he has invested in
  • Synergy between his food startups
  • Creating alpha
  • How they advise their portfolio of companies
  • The advisors to Victor and his fund (an impressive group)

 

Ep132- Building an Amazonian Enterprise - Dan from Runa
34:23
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 34:23
Ep132- Building an Amazonian Enterprise - Dan from Runa

Dan MacCombie is the co-founder and former Co-CEO of Runa, an Amazonian social enterprise and beverage company supporting indigenous farmers sustainably growing guayusa tea in the rainforest.

 He and the Runa team developed relationships with indigenous farmers and built a supply chain into nationwide distribution in Whole Foods and other U.S. chains.

Starting in 2009, it has been a fun, challenging adventure. Dan tells us how they got to where they are today:

  • A” listening tour” in Ecuador
  • Introducing an unknown food (guayusa) to the U.S. market
  • Highlights of their growth
  • On strategic relationships
  • How they stayed on the shelves
  • Musings on the food industry
  • Keys to sampling your product
  • Analyzing the social investment landscape
  • Bonus: Matt and Dan rant on “New Vendor Packets”

Ep131- The Future of Chips - Brand Evolution - Christian of Cabo Chips
31:04
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 31:04
Ep131- The Future of Chips - Brand Evolution - Christian of Cabo Chips

It all started 12 years ago in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Today, it is a nationwide brand based out of Southern California.

Christian Bunte started Cabo Chips in college and has been doing it ever since. In 2012, he made the decision to focus on the natural retail channels. A pivotal shift that changed everything.

He is very savvy on the food industry, production, sales and marketing. We tell his story:

  • Why Christian decided to launch Cabo Chips
  • Launching a business in Mexico versus the U.S.
  • Comparing conventional vs natural channels
  • The 2012 company shift
  • How he works with his mentors
  • Managing production - quality control
  • Dealing with a seasonal product
  • Tips for hiring
  • On hiring a C.E.O. to run his company
  • The biggest mistakes Christian
  • How has the industry changed since you started?

Ep130- Nutrition Tips + The Best Baby Food Money Can Buy - Cassandra of Once Upon a Farm
28:48
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 28:48
Ep130- Nutrition Tips + The Best Baby Food Money Can Buy - Cassandra of Once Upon a Farm

Doing research for this interview, I quickly realized that this is no ordinary baby food. It utilizes start of the art technology. And adults love it too!

Cassandra Curtis is a nutrition fanatic foodie with an extensive background in the health and wellness spheres.

Her deep understanding of business operations, nutrition and food, combined with the experience of being a mother to two little ones, led her to pursue her ultimate passion: to create a one-of-a-kind HPP baby food line that would become the gold standard in childhood nutrition.

In this episode, we talk all things nutrition, health, caffeine and more:

  • Experiences at the Optimum Health Institute
  • Moving from a kitchen startup to a co-packer
  • How Matt would react if he was diagnosed with cancer
  • Did drinking copious amounts of soda as a child ruin my adult health?
  • How nutrition affects mood and psychology
  • Two things you can subtract from your diet for a healthier, better life.
  • What is epigenetics?
  • Packaging tips -- Phthalate and BPA free
  • The Magic HPP - High Pressure Processing (photos below)
  • The dangers of "shelf stable" food
  • Matt’s 3-day coffee rule
  • Sourcing produce from the West Coast
  • Michael Pollan's Rules of Food
  • Packaging tips

As promised: HPP Machine - High Pressure Processing:  

 

 

E

Ep129- Bogotá to Eugene, Solo to Co-Founder, Crafting Beer - Doug of Alesong
37:11
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 37:11
Ep129- Bogotá to Eugene, Solo to Co-Founder, Crafting Beer - Doug of Alesong

Douglas Coombs decided it was time for a change.

He left a tech startup in a South American city of 9 million people and moved to a small college town in Oregon to start a brewery. Why and how did he do it?

We have a fun conversation about his journey and current venture: Alesong Brewing & Blending. They are focused on small batched beers aged in oak barrels, out of Eugene, Oregon.

Alesong recently took home a couple medals last weekend at The Best of Craft Beer Awards. Bronze for Saison du Vin '16 and GOLD for Shake Your Tree!

Working with his chemist brother (Brian Coombs) and a brew master (Matt Van Wyk), they have a strong, complimentary team. Listen and learn:

  • When did Doug realize that it was time to start a brewery in Oregon?
  • Why his brewery hours feel different than his past employee hours
  • Life is Oregon, "what is it like man?"
  • Going from solo founder to co-founder
  • What do people beer lovers not know about starting a beer company?
  • Matt the brewmaster, how do you channel his creativity?
  • Changing the way craft beer is viewed
  • What did you tell the people that invested in your company?
  • Keys to high end wine + beer marketing
  • "I’m not just buying the beer i’m buying a story."
  • What is sour beer?
  • Building a following; interacting with customers?
  • Their mid-term and long-term goals

Ep128- Organic Chicken with a Farmer Focus - Jefferson of SVO
40:45
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 40:45
Ep128- Organic Chicken with a Farmer Focus - Jefferson of SVO

Once you have the chance to eat organic chicken, it is difficult to return to the conventional. I say this from experience.

Jefferson Heatwole and Shenandoah Valley Organics (SVO) are trying to affordably provide organic chicken. They have an innovative, farmer-focused business model and encourage healthy eating and cultural awareness.

The company is growing in number of farms, chickens, and sales. In fact they have an exclusive brand developed just for Costco.

SVO operates out of the beautiful Shenandoah valley in Virginia. Jefferson and I demystify the chicken industry and elaborate on their business model:

  • What certified organic farms look like
  • Antibiotic free chicken vs organic chicken
  • Health differences of organic vs conventional chicken
  • Quality of life differences for the chickens!
  • Teamwork and relationships with independent farmers on over 25 farms (24:40)
  • Tips for working with USDA Organic certifiers
  • Tim Heydon of Shenandoah Growers an an advisor
  • Keys to success and rapid sustainable growth
  • Why is organic turkey so expensive? (31:45)
Note: For the chicken raising standards chart mentioned at (13:30) scroll down on this page Book recs.

Ep127- Growth, Awareness, Inc. 500 - Courtney of SmartyPants Vitamins
52:19
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 52:19
Ep127- Growth, Awareness, Inc. 500 - Courtney of SmartyPants Vitamins

It started off as an Amazon.com side business. Now it is one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.

But Courtney Gould had to evolve as a person and leader in order to make SmartyPants Vitamins a successful AND healthy company.

They have disrupted the vitamin industry. The company's products are top ranked on Amazon and sold everywhere from Whole Foods and Target to Costco and beyond.

Courtney is sharp and agile. A talented CEO. Learn about business and personal development:

  • “I like complex problems!!!”
  • No such thing as work/life balance - it is all connected
  • Dealing with the fear of not crushing it
  • The power of knowing yourself
  • Understanding that you suck at most things (humility)
  • Why the name SmartyPants?
  • “I use to lead from fear”
  • Going from Student of Life to Expert
  • Becoming a 'Superager'
  • Online/Amazon versus retail
  • Unaided awareness vs aided awareness
  • Methylfolate folate vs folic acid
  • Recognizing and transforming your personal traits
  • The personal development fund
  • 1-for-1 nutrient grants to a child in need

Ep126- Advice from a Franchise Extraordinaire - Greg Sausaman of Topper's Creamery
42:37
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 42:37
Ep126- Advice from a Franchise Extraordinaire - Greg Sausaman of Topper's Creamery

And I asked him: Why are you doing this? Your grandchildren won't have to work..” -Greg to his co-founder Wade who owns more than 50 Papa John's pizza franchises.

Greg Sausaman has worked in food since the 1980's. By the time he was 30 years old, he owned eight Domino's pizza locations. Then he transitioned to Allied Domecq, one of the largest food/liquor conglomerates in the world.

Now he is cofounder of Topper's Creamery, a custard franchise currently in Florida.

Upon the company’s inception, Sausaman fully designed an entire new brand; image, operational flow, menu, pricing strategy, training processes, and financial. AND he undertook full strategic and tactical plans for this new brand.

I had a great time speaking with Greg. He talks about the long term mindset, what he would have done differently, how to manage people and much more:

  • The transition from entrepreneur to employee
  • On choosing retail locations
  • The question he asks employees that has made a huge difference
  • Creating a legacy company
  • Baby boomer vs Millennial definition of "long-term"
  • Developing an award-winning custard recipe
  • All about vanilla
  • Cobranding vs Multibranding
  • Lessons learned from mistakes
  • How they incentivize their employees for high performance and long-term commitment

Ep125- Money, Pressure, and Passion - The Art of Authenticity
41:19
2017-09-22 13:48:10 UTC 41:19
Ep125- Money, Pressure, and Passion - The Art of Authenticity

Turning the tables to end the year, this time I am the interviewee.

Laura Coe, of The Art of Authenticity, and I talk about Money, Pressure, and Passion.

Copying the show notes from Laura's episode page here:

  • Matt’s background and what inspired him to become an entrepreneur [4:20]
  • The background on his podcast, The Food Startups Podcast [7:50]
  • How the reception has been to his podcast [10:17]
  • Why he wanted to talk about money, pressure, and passion [11:45]
  • Dispelling myths about passion [14:40]
  • How to balance money vs. passion [17:01]
  • Balancing the pressure of business with life [19:02]
  • The power of journaling and digital detoxes [25:33]
  • Balancing your current business success with your future goals [27:10]
  • How Matt defines authenticity [30:30]
  • His big turning point moments [32:02]
  • The last time he was almost inauthentic and caught himself [34:18]
  • Matt’s daily practices [37:24]

Ep124- How to Make 2017 Better
16:39
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 16:39
Ep124- How to Make 2017 Better

Dear listeners,

You know me from my podcast. I've spoken to over 100 experts and I always try to get advice. Ask questions that we can learn from. You know this.

But did you know that I am in the food business as well?

Where do I want to go with my business. Today I am going to share more about me. What I do, mistakes I made in 2016, things that went well, plans for 2017.

From these reflection combined with learnings from the many founders I spoke with this year, I'll go in depth on Peter Drucker's feedback analysis method. Then, I'll teach you how to apply this to your professional and personal life.

We discuss:

  • My food startup
  • Why I am sharing this information publicly
  • The importance of applying probability theory to your business
  • Top learnings from 2016
  • Relationship building and venture capital
  • Our strategy to grow in 2017 
  • Feedback analysis and it's short, medium and long-term benefits
  • My foray into journalism
  • Always be storytelling!!
  • Exciting plans for the podcast going forward

 

Ep123- Indoor Growing, Coworking, and Coliving - Eric of ROOT
44:39
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 44:39
Ep123- Indoor Growing, Coworking, and Coliving - Eric of ROOT

Eric De Feo grew up in New York, the son of Italian immigrants. As a child, he learned about design, building, and community.

He also learned that living in a big house means a lot of work!

As an adult, Eric has combined his experience and interests in design, architecture, environmental conservation, and food.

Eric has experience in designing projects for informal settlements abroad, including working with the Kounkuey Design Initiative in Nairobi to build sanitation blocks and a playground, along with public housing concepts with Gensler in Thailand.

After working abroad, Eric came home.

He co-founded OpenDoor, a collaborative living space currently in the Bay area.

He also built a beautiful and functional smart growing machine, ROOT. Grow your own fresh foods, medicinal herbs and flowers with the swipe of a finger.

If you are interested in indoor growing or would like to learn about coliving spaces, this episode is for you:

  • Eric's influence from his childhood
  • Work/life balance
  • In the U.S., are we defined by our work?
  • The appeal of collaborative living
  • How OpenDoor works
  • Why attention to detail and design create experience
  • The amazing ROOT machine
  • Matt makes a shameless plug for the coconut
  • Will indoor growing ever produce a higher percentage of our crops than traditional, outdoor agro?

 

Selected links from the episode:

ROOT Landmark Open Door Immigrant Inc Your Money or your Life Email Eric

Ep122- Local Empowerment + Alternative Sales Channels - Kim of Cureate
39:51
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 39:51
Ep122- Local Empowerment + Alternative Sales Channels - Kim of Cureate

You don't HAVE to follow the cookie-cutter retail sales model. An entrepreneur can feel powerless when they are 100% dependent on one or two large grocery buyers for the success of their food startup.

Hotels, catering, and local cafes are a few examples of local businesses that may be interested in carrying your brand. But they need a way to find out about your product.

Kim Bryden is doing just that with Cureate Connect. She has a network nearing 250 food startups in DC and Baltimore with access to D.C. and Maryland businesses interested is local sourcing.

For over 10 years, she has worked in the food and beverage industry from government to Whole Foods retail management, to food+tech start-up. We talk about:

  • Kim's diverse background in the food space
  • Lessons from Whole Foods and EMERGE
  • What is SHRINK? and creative finanical costing
  • Community learnings from issuing D.C. liquor licenses
  • Why success is often misunderstood
  • Working with the legendary chef José Andrés
  • Measuring the impact on local economies
  • Why we need Wikileaks for the food industry
  • How Cureate Connect warks
  • The meaning of Cureate
  • Connecting high-level messaging with tactile details
  • Mistakes that food startups make
  • Operating from abundance
  • Two types of food entrepreneurs and how to interact with them

Selected links from the show: Cureate Cureate Connect (If in D.C / Maryland - sign up!!) Kim Bryden #FoodPorn School of Food Minibar by José Andrés Adobe Creative Cloud

Ep121- Perfect Fuel, Perfect Mentors, Perfect Acquisition - Nicolas Warren
44:52
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 44:52
Ep121- Perfect Fuel, Perfect Mentors, Perfect Acquisition - Nicolas Warren

"I attribute my success to my numerous beloved mentors and getting up early in the morning to play and work harder."

Nicolas Warren is relied upon for action, leadership, strategy, sales, energy, and smiles. Learning, competition, and positivity are driving forces in his life.  

He has significant experience in several capacities across multiple industries including tourism, food /hospitality, computer/software tech, marketing, and advertising. 

Nicolas recently sold his dark chocolate energy bar company, Perfect Fuel. We reflect on his 6 year journey. How did Nicolas get to where he is today?

  • Thoughts on nutrition
  • How to find and utilize mentors
  • Why were they acquired by America's #1 meatball company?
  • What he would have done differently
  • Why Perfect Fuel was attractive to be acquired
  • Cross-merchandising and shelf displays
  • Making your product into a platform
  • Advice for creating a brand new concept
  • The importance of customer feedback
  • Analysis of another great brand: Perfect Bar
  • “Don’t bootstrap your business.”
  • Nicolas's next adventure
  • The way he likes to learn

Selected links from the show: Perfect Fuel @nicolaswarren Home Market Foods Perfect Bar

Ep120- Pro Tips from the All-Stars of Food
07:44
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 07:44
Ep120- Pro Tips from the All-Stars of Food

Happy thanksgiving to all! In this episode we pay thanks to and learn from the all-stars of food. Learnings from five of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs in the game:

Tim Joseph of Maple Hill Creamery (episode link)

Tim Heydon of Shenandoah Farms (episode link)

Susan MacTavish Best of Living MacTavish (episode link)

Andrew Chae of YinYang Naturals (episode link)

Seth Goldman of Honest Tea (episode link)

Selected links from the episode:

The War of Art and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield:

If these books don't provide the necessary motivation to work, to become a true professional then nothing will...

Read both, but start with The War of Art.

Ep119- How to Change the World via Food with Tim West
38:38
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 38:38
Ep119- How to Change the World via Food with Tim West

Recognized as one of Zagat’s 30 under 30 in 2013, Tim West is a Slow Food chef turned Social Entrepreneur. He is a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate and grandson of Arch West, the inventor of Doritos®.

Tim cut his teeth in the the kitchens at The St. Regis Hotel in New York and the Facebook headquarters in California before entering the world of entrepreneurship.

Tim co-created The Food Hackathon + Forum as a business plan competition and alternative educational experience to encourage entrepreneurs to work on more meaningful problems and to expose corporate teams to a more collaborative and inspiring working methodology.

We had a great conversation about the future of food and how to get involved:

  • How Tim became a chef
  • His family's past food experience
  • Definition of "Slow Food"
  • What is wrong with food today?
  • Tim's realization "that he can feed more people with a cell phone and a computer than a chef knife and a flame."
  • True cost accounting
  • How do we change the food system?
  • What is a "hackathon" and why is it important?
  • The Startup Bus Competition
  • How to win business plan competitions
  • The art of the pitch
  • What Tim learned from his time at Facebook
  • Thoughts on "digital discipline"

 

Selected links from the show: Food Hackathon Tim West - iFTF Profile Learning From A Banana Tycoon Tim's Ted Talks: Cultivate Innovation and Hacking: Food for Thought Camp Grounded - Summer Camp for Adults A Taste of Generation Yum StartupBus Guy Kawasaki - The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch Tim West - AboutMe Terra Madre Future Food Institute

Ep118- Do You Need a Food Broker? Andrew of YINYANG NATURALS
39:23
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 39:23
Ep118- Do You Need a Food Broker? Andrew of YINYANG NATURALS

He is the founder of Yin Yang Naturals, a food brokerage focused on the natural retail channel.

Andrew Chae worked in his family’s food manufacturing business since his teenage years. In 2004, he oversaw the organic certification of two production facilities, and built a new Asian organic brand, Ohana House, from the ground up.

Ohana House went national with distribution into all Whole Foods and other major natural chains.

Andrew also oversaw the entry of Ohana House into Costco and initiated private label opportunities with Trader Joe’s.

In 2008, Andrew started Yin & Yang Naturals. He discovered a passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

Taking a product from concept, to store shelf, to someone’s kitchen shelf provides an unmatchable level of both personal and professional satisfaction.

Some brands that Yin Yang Naturals works with are Coconut Bliss ice cream, Harmless Harvest, Maple Hill Creamery, and Uncle Matt's. Yin Yang also helped launch EPIC bar, REBBL drinks, and Temple Turmeric.

Andrew is highly skilled, experienced, and successful. He drops serious knowledge for food startup founders: 

  • Life in Hawaii
  • Showing up as a rookie to ExpoWest
  • Definition of a food broker
  • What food brokers do from sales to the shelves
  • Why use a broker instead of a full time sales person
  • On selling a private-label to Trader Joe's
  • Keys to selling at Trader Joe's
  • When it comes to sales, followups, inventory, etc with distributors and stores, where is the responsibility with the food brand and when is it with the broker?
  • What questions to ask a broker when shopping for one
  • Qualities YinYang looks for in a food brand
  • Retail is about detail
  • Why flavor wins in any launch
  • Tips for buying machinery
  • What is happening in the industry right now?
  • How has the industry changed over the past few years?

Selected links from the show: YIN YANG NATURALS L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food

Ep117- $$$ for American Food Startups - Adam of Kiva
44:01
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 44:01
Ep117- $$$ for American Food Startups - Adam of Kiva

Featuring cameos from Keely Gerhold of Tinyfield Roofhop Farms and Corey Wood of Elixir Kombucha.

My favorite charity*, Kiva, is a micro-finance platform based on Nobel-prize winner Muhammad Yunus's Grameen Bank. 

On their platform, over $924,000,000 has been lent to over a million borrowers in 82 countries from over a million lenders!

Kiva's awesome international work has a lot of publicity. But small U.S. businesses can also receive loans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest!

We talk with their US Digital Marketing Manager, Adam Kirk. Plus, we hear from two startups that benefitted from a Kiva Zip Loan.

This episode was so much fun and a great way to learn about low-interest money for your startup:

  • Life in Albania and how it helped shape Adam's career
  • How to get a 0% interest Kiva zip loan for up to $10,000
  • After a successful kiva loan what other funding platforms can we look at?
  • Why food startups do well on Kiva
  • How to use social impact to get loans at your favor
  • Essential crowdfunding tips

*Our company has already made 38 loans to Kiva borrowers in Colombia and Peru.

Start a Kiva Loan Application Elixir Kombucha (Elixir Instagram) Tinyfield Roofhop Farm (Tinyfield Instagram) Tinyfield Kiva Video Adam Kirk on LinkedIn Square Capital Mission Economic Development Agency Urban Solutions Scrum Methodology Episode 88 – How to Crush Kickstarter & Business – Lisa Q. of NOMIKU Elixir Kombucha Kiva Loan Tinyfield Roofhop Farms Kiva Loan Tinyfield Roofhop Farms Indiegogo Campaign Peshkopi, Albania Banker to The Poor by Muhammed Yunus Nichols Industrial Art Strong Rope Brewery Amazon Smile Masters International Reach out to Adam

 

 

Ep116- International Biz, Patents, and Bed Bugs - Karn of Terramera
30:34
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 30:34
Ep116- International Biz, Patents, and Bed Bugs - Karn of Terramera

In this episode, we talk neem oil, biology, and international business with the founder of Terramera.

Their products can increase crop yields over conventional and current organic pesticides, bee health and public health applications  by harnessing the power of natural plant defenses and innovative chemistry.

Checkout their PROOF® Spray at Walmart and Target.

This is important stuff: Karn Manhas recently traveled to Washington to talk with the Obama's about it! And have you ever had bedbugs?

Karn has a background in Biology and Law. He is incredibly bright and charismatic. So it is no surprise that his company is thriving. We dig into all sorts of cool stuff:

  • All about the Neem tree
  • What Terramerra is at its heart
  • Explaining their technology in layman's terms
  • The problem with many of today's bio-pesticides
  • How to ensure integrity in organic farming
  • Tips on doing effective work with government entities
  • Resources for receiving government aid
  • What it is like to do business in India
  • Future of organic certification
  • How to incentivize companies to work with Terramera

Selected links from the show: Neem (Indian Lilac) Terramera About Terramera

 

Ep115- Baking up a Business - Marlo's Bakeshop
32:25
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 32:25
Ep115- Baking up a Business - Marlo's Bakeshop

Marlo Giudice landed in San Francisco by way of New York City and years of work in relationship management at digital marketing & Ad Tech companies.

Once relocating, she quickly realized that her passion actually lay in baking and enrolled in a professional pastry education program.

Today, she has expanded that recipe and Marlo's now sells five flavors of the contemporary twist on traditional biscotti across 10 SKUs.

We had a great time talking about biscotti, the ups and downs of being entrepreneur, and food business strategy:

  • Turning a family recipe into a business
  • What motivated her to start her own food brand
  • How Marlo transitioned from a digital marketing job to starting a bake shop
  • Soft-baked biscotti
  • The high's and low's of entrepreneurship
  • On selling online and importance to the brand
  • Amazon Fresh and Amazon Payments
  • Coffee shop distribution
  • Alternative channels to grocery

Selected links from the episode: Marlo's Bakeshop Marlo's Bake Shop on YouTube Kiva Zip Loans Marlo's Kickstarter The Sweet and Salty Podcast Reach out to Marlo

Ep114- Startup Resources @ The Indie Food Hub – Corey Hill
24:38
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 24:38
Ep114- Startup Resources @ The Indie Food Hub – Corey Hill

“Any time more than two people mention something, you know that it is something to consider.”

Corey Hill is the founder and CEO of Indie Food Hub, a resource providing services to small and medium sized food businesses. He is driven to change the food system for the better, creating greater access for independent producers.

Indie Food Hub is in the bay area and recently launched Vittle Bus to help food startups with one of the two most difficult problems: delivery logistics.

The other is money, which will also be discussed in detail. Corey is passionate about helping people like you, the listener:

  • What is the purpose of Indie Food Hub?
  • How do you consolidate the wide array of resources for food entrepreneurs?
  • How do I interact with IFH as a small food biz entrepreneur?
  • Corey’s favorite food startup resources
  • Water rights, The Big Short, and the precarious future
  • Ideas on how to raise funds for your food business
  • Vittle Bus – one of the brands under the IFH umbrella
  • Stories from a childhood in Germany
  • His experience as a freelance journalist
  • Human frights, fracking, and the issues he is passionate about
  • Corey’s favorite novels

Ep113- The Timeless Art of Social Dynamics - Susan MacTavish Best
40:30
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 40:30
Ep113- The Timeless Art of Social Dynamics - Susan MacTavish Best

"I've made a lot of people wealthy, but what about me? What do l love to do?"

Susan MacTavish Best creates interesting and engaging salons that have brought together some of the most creative minds of this century, from Tim Ferriss to Michael Pollan to food companies like Hampton Creek. The salons cover topics ranging from LSD to the future of death, and more.

Susan also has an all-encompassing lifestyle brand, Living MacTavish. It is not unlike Martha Stewart, but well, more accessible. And not a perfectionist. Martha Stewart meets the Royal Tennenbaums.

The art of casually bringing together our friends has been lost in this era of texting, social gaming, tweeting, IM’ing, and frenetic scheduling

Understand: strategically executed events, dinners, and salons can be used to make contacts, promote your food brand, and get deals done. Add this to your skill set. We cover a wide array of topics in a fun interview:

  • How she "cold-emailed" Michael Pollan and got him to show up at a salon.
  • Tips on putting together a guest list
  • Getting over the fear of attending a party alone
  • How to get people to show up to your event
  • Social dynamics party tips
  • Making a lasting, favorable impression
  • How to foster introductions at a busy event or party
  • Embracing imperfection
  • Why Susan started Living MacTavish
  • A common characteristic among elite performers like Tim Ferriss and Chris Sacca
  • How to fit in when not drinking
  • Using wigs and masks for events
  • How to choose a topic for a salon
  • How to create the right "vibe" for an event
  • Why the back of a bar or restaurant is not the ideal location

Mentioned in this episode: Living MacTavish Best PR Living the Lab Expert advice for your best end-of-summer fete This entrepreneur wants you to eat, drink – and party! – just like her A high-tech high: Wearable gives you good vibes Quid Pundits Vs. Machine: Predicting Controversies In The Presidential Race

Ep112- Start a Food Brand Your Way - Ryan Florio of Inca Tea
36:05
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 36:05
Ep112- Start a Food Brand Your Way - Ryan Florio of Inca Tea

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”  -Hunter S. Thompson

He took an adventure against doctor’s orders and it changed his life.

Back to another Ohio startup (what up LeBron!), Inca Tea does not disappoint. As you'll learn today, Ryan Florio is a contrarian thinker. He does not take things at face value, which gives him an advantage in business and life.

The story of Inca Tea began when Ryan and his friends hiked a treacherous Peruvian mountain trail with the help of their Sherpa Edgar.

Edgar introduced them to an amazing Ancient Tea recipe combining boiling water, freshly cut apples and Purple Corn, which Peruvians consider a super food that fights against a host of medical conditions.

Upon Ryan’s return home to the U.S., he quit his job, cashed in his 401K, took a second mortgage out on his home and started a company called Inca Tea, the first U.S. company to use the ingredient Purple Corn.

In addition to winning several awards throughout the state of Ohio, Inca Tea’s sales continue to climb at big-brand stores around the country (like Bed Bath and Beyond) and online orders continue to come in from all over the world.

We share Ryan's journey and offer tips for food startup founders who want to do things their way:

  • How his childhood shaped his values and outlook on life
  • Ryan's previous entrepreneurial adventures
  • What Ryan has learned from sourcing
  • The healing properties of Purple Corn
  • Going "all-in", the mindset and stress management
  • Food marketing on a shoe-string budget
  • Starting a kiosk at Cleveland airport
  • The importance of building relationships and saying thank you
  • Taking online sales from $1900 to $30000 over 42 states and 7 countries
  • How he develops flavors
  • On attracting and retaining cusomers
  • A day in the life of Ryan Florio
  • When to sell your company
  • Future plans for Inca Tea

Selected links from the show: Inca Tea Inca Tea Cafe The War of Art Robert Thurston Coffee Episode

Ep111- Creating a Food Commodities Exchange - Kellee James of Mercaris
34:39
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 34:39
Ep111- Creating a Food Commodities Exchange - Kellee James of Mercaris

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." - Steve Jobs

Kellee James exemplifies this quote. Looking at her experience, one can connect the dots and trace why she was able to start a food commodities exchange.

Mercaris allows buyers and sellers of raw commodities to meet and trade online. Customers include Whole Foods Market, Michael Foods, Perdue Farms, and others.

They make it possible for "everyone in the supply chain, from farmers to food manufacturers, to track prices, volumes and other statistics for organic corn, or non-GMO soybeans."

Prior to Mercaris, Kellee spent five years at the Chicago Climate Exchange(CCX), the first electronic trading platform and registry for spot, futures and options contracts on carbon, sulfur, clean energy and other environmental products.

In 2009, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow where she advised members of the administration on environmental markets.

She has also worked with coffee farmers and commodity banks in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. She was named by both Black Enterprise Magazine and Crain's Chicago Business Magazine as a '40 under 40' rising leader.

Learn the ins and outs of Kellee's life and company:

  • Her aspirations to be a pro athlete and how she adjusted
  • Why politics and government are two different things
  • What she learned from politics
  • Limitations of the futures market
  • "Every single contract that is traded on our platform results in the physical delivery of the underlying commodity."
  • Why didn't an exchange like Mercaris exist 10 years ago?
  • How they assemble their data (very cool!!)
  • What she learned working with coffee farmers in Honduras
  • How the company attracts farmers, grain mills/elevators, and retailers
  • "Identity preservation" in commodities
  • The auction strategy: standard vs. reverse auctions
  • The commodities she wants to add in the future

Selected links from the show: Mercaris Kellee James on AngelList The Rogue Traders Foods: Facebook | Instagram Direct Origin Trading

Ep110- The Food Truck Episode - Bob and Richard of M+R Specialty Trailers
22:44
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 22:44
Ep110- The Food Truck Episode - Bob and Richard of M+R Specialty Trailers

Richard Willis and Bob Pierson saw the trend of food trucks before most. From their website:

"The Macclenny based company is cooking up a thriving business of customizing food trucks and trailers. They have capitalized upon the public’s insatiable appetite for mobile food, the steady online buzz, and the testimonies of satisfied customers – nearly tripling their annual revenue to $1 million within the last year.

Fed by reality television shows, social media, and a demand for increasingly creative trucks and food, the nation’s street vendor market has grown into a $1 billion industry."

Tune in to learn:

  • What are the keys to Bob and Richard's success?
  • How much does it cost to start a food truck or food trailer?
  • What traits to successful food truck owners share?
  • How has the industry changed over the years?

The M+R Recipe: 1 – Seasoned business owner with construction experience 1 – High-potential business partner proficient in computer-aided design and online marketing 1 – SBA-backed loan from community credit union Cook in pre-heated food-truck industry. Serve to customers across the country.

Selected links from the episode:

M&R Specialty Trailers + Trucks "Pimp my Food Truck" Youtube Channel

Ep109- The World's Smartest Coffee Machine - Roderick of Spinn Coffee
25:36
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 25:36
Ep109- The World's Smartest Coffee Machine - Roderick of Spinn Coffee

"After the tour, I started meeting with him regularly to do Harley trips, and over a bottle of whiskey we both talked about doing something together, starting a business ... Let’s make a coffee machine that’s connected, that uses your patent."

If you're into coffee, you may own a variety of equipment: grinder, coffee dripper, french press, an expresso machine .. what if it could all be replaced by one, smart machine?

Roderick de Rode is making it a reality with his Spinn machine. (Check out the video)

He got his first investment at Rockefeller Plaza; an investment banker there gave him $25K.

In the past, Roderick has successfully built and managed $100M+ businesses in hardware, software and online services.

We talk about the machine, entrepreneurship, and, of course, the second most traded commodity in the world, coffee:

  • How they evolved the idea from a patent into a soon to be retail machine
  • The downside to Keurig machines
  • The second and third wave of coffee
  • Why the machine will sync with local coffee roasters
  • The upcoming crowdfunding campaign
  • Why hardware is .. hard
  • A brilliant gamification strategy for their audience (take notes)
  • The invaluable learnings from their hardware advisory team
  • Looking back what he would have done differently
  • Roderick's advice for food startups

Selected links from the show: Spinn Coffee PCH International highway1.io Juicero

Ep108- 80 farms, 6000+ stores in 7 Years - Tim of Maple Hill Creamery
40:41
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 40:41
Ep108- 80 farms, 6000+ stores in 7 Years - Tim of Maple Hill Creamery

Tim Joseph had no farming experience. He had never even milked a cow. In 2004, he received a fast education when sixty-four cows stepped off the trailers onto his land.

Thrown into the fire, Tim and his wife Laura started selling milk while Tim worked a full-time corporate job from home. In 2009, they went "all in", opened a storefront and transitioned to making dairy products, like yogurt and cheese. And the company started to grow..

Over a two-year span from 2011-2013, Maple Hill Creamery went from being on shelf in about 600 stores—mostly independents in the Northeast—to over 6,000 stores, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Target, Walmart, Ahold, Safeway, Natural Grocers, EarthFare, and many others.

Tim is also committed to building the Maple Hill Milkshed, the community of nearly eighty 100% grass-fed dairy farms in New York. A fun, incredible success story. I had a lot of questions for Tim:

  • Working from home and dairy farming on the side, how did you manage your time?
  • How did you make the transition from conventional dairy to organic grass-fed dairy?
  • How did you manage the fear of stepping out and doing something different?
  • What’s a day like on the farm? Cow milking 101?
  • Why does grass fed dairy make sense?
  • What was the initial response to "grass fed dairy?
  • How did you manage growth from 600 to 6000 stores?
  • What were the keys to such rapid growth?
  • How do you view trade shows from a P/L perspective?
  • How is yogurt made? What about Greek yogurt?
  • When is it time to go "all-in" with your food startup?
  • What questions do you need to ask yourself?
  • Will you hire robots to milk cows? (note: this is already happening!)

Selected links from the show: Maple Hill Creamery Pennsylvania Certified Organic This is Maple Hill

 

Ep107- Entrepreneur, Innovator, + Farmer - Tim of Shenandoah Growers
28:20
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 28:20
Ep107- Entrepreneur, Innovator, + Farmer - Tim of Shenandoah Growers

Tim Heydon started at Shenandoah Growers via an unusual route: along with a few classmates, he wrote a case study on the company while doing his MBA nearby at James Madison University.

This was 1998. Tim joined the company as CEO and has grown Shenandoah into 350 employees across 300,000 square feet of growing/packing facilities in Virginia, Texas, Indiana, and Georgia.

Today, Shenandoah is the leading organic herbs supplier in the Eastern United States.

How did they get here? To start, Tim is a fantastic leader. People like to work for him. Listeners will pickup on this quickly. Strong on innovation, culture, and vision, we talk about the ins and outs of Shenandoah and the keys to their success:

  • Why Tim decided to join a herb company with no prior experience in agriculture
  • Keys to their impressive employee retention rate
  • On staying afloat in the often harsh and unforgiving agriculture market
  • Their amazing content website - FreshHerbs.com (check it out!!)
  • Cutting edge technology and how it helps their bottom line
  • Keys to developing retailer/buyer relationships
  • How they plan to transform the food system
  • Why the BIG opportunities are in logistics

Selected links from the show: Shenandoah Growers FreshHerbs.com

 

Ep106- The Grocery Shopper 2.0 with Sam of the Sage Project
31:07
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 31:07
Ep106- The Grocery Shopper 2.0 with Sam of the Sage Project

In today's interview we talk about the paradox of choice and the power of data.

As Sam Slover mentioned in the interview: "If you think of a grocery store with a huge aisle of 60+ yogurts to choose from, but each of those yogurts has a slightly different (nutritional) profile", how do you choose the healthiest yogurt to eat?

Sam's company, the Sage Project, is working to make in-store recommendations based on your dietary needs and help to decipher product transparency to the end consumer. Food product labels have it's limitations. Think of a "smart wikipedia for food data".

What do "all-natural" and "made in small batches" mean in terms of nutrition and the preparation of a food product?

They are working with a number of retailers in Whole Foods to bring the project to reality. Listen and learn how a data-driven company is on the path to transform our shopping experience:

  • Personalized nutrition - why it matters
  • Sam's personal journey and how the idea for Sage came about
  • How self-tracking has had a positive impact in Sam's life (see Wrap Genius)
  • The positive benefits of personal tracking
  • How we can get started on data tracking
  • Why transparency and nutrition can be overwhelming at a grocery store
  • Buzz words and the confusion of customers
  • Ways for food startups to get involved
  • Empower consumers to be healthier

 

Selected links from the episode: The Sage Project Wrap Genius The Rational Optimist Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling

Ep105- 8 Minute Intro to AI and Food Startups
08:25
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 08:25
Ep105- 8 Minute Intro to AI and Food Startups

Self-driving cars, IBM's Watson, and Google's search algorithm are just a few examples of AI (Artificial Intelligence) .. it is already here. And it is rapidly becoming a bigger part of our lives. AI will change food.

Listen to this quick overview as a starting point for AI Awareness, how you can start thinking about AI business ideas and some examples of AI in food startups. We'll interview some of them in the next few weeks.

Don't worry, you can learn about it even if you're not technically inclined.

Photo Credit: CC Sarah Wheeler

Selected links from the show: Inevitable by Kevin Kelly Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Stuart Russell Nuritas ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AGRICULTURE. PART 1: HOW FARMING IS GOING AUTOMATED WITH ROBOTS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AGRICULTURE. PART 2: HOW FARMING IS GOING AUTOMATED WITH ROBOTS

Ep104- Editorial and Social Content Tips from a Food Freelancer - Kristen Hawley
21:23
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 21:23
Ep104- Editorial and Social Content Tips from a Food Freelancer - Kristen Hawley

Kristen Hawley is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor focusing on chefs and restaurants + digital and social technology. Like a lot of freelancers, she leads a fascinating life.

She has worked on creative projects with OpenTable, the National Restaurant Association, TechTable Summit, SF's Nopa restaurant, SALIDO, Upserve, and more and has a background in traditional magazine publishing (Country Living, Delish).

In 2013, she started the Chefs + Tech newsletter to share news, ideas, and trends in the restaurant+tech space combining her love of lifestyle, food, and restaurants with an understanding of the current technology landscape.

And her newsletter has an unprecedented open rate of over 50%! It has opened up opportunities for her in the ever-evolving digital content and communications space. Kristen answers host and listener questions:

  • What makes an interesting story?
  • Why does a great story become mediocre after 6 months?
  • How do you standout and be a leader in your industry?
  • What is the best way to start a content strategy for your food startup?
  • Does an article or mention in the New York Times matter in 2016?
  • What questions can I answer about my food biz that will create valuable content (Hint: don't forget the small stuff!)?
  • How do I educate my audience about why my product is better than the competition in a ethical way?
  • What was it like working at Twitter?

Selected links from the show: Chefs + Tech Kristen on Twitter Pop Sugar Tech

Ep103- Mental Models for Prosperity
10:41
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 10:41
Ep103- Mental Models for Prosperity

85 dollars is the most I ever paid for a book. Not a textbook, but book. I had to have it.

And it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am a better thinker and food entrepreneur because of it.

The most important takeaway from the book was the importance of having a latticework of mental models in decision making.

Mental models are the key concepts from main disciplines you'll need in business - psychology, economics, finance, physics, evolution (biology) accounting, marketing, etc.

In less than 10 minutes, I explain the why and I share my four favorite mental models.

This can be a game changer for your prosperity/performance. I encourage YOU to follow the steps below to begin your masters in mental models. I have to say it is quite fun.

First Read: Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Then, review these two lists of models: Creating a Latticework of Mental Models: An Introduction

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

Finally put together a list of mental models and create flashcards to study:

Anki - Friendly, Intelligent Flashcards

Cover Photo Credit: CC Photo by “Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Munger quote” User TEDizen

Ep102- Strengthening Communities in the Amazon + Ohio - Evan of Peaceful Fruits
27:08
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 27:08
Ep102- Strengthening Communities in the Amazon + Ohio - Evan of Peaceful Fruits

Evan Delahanty is one of the few people I know who has lived in the the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. I mean taking a canoe 3 hours UP river. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname, he learned a language that only 26,000 people speak (Saramaccan)!

After completing his mission, he was looking for a way to stay in touch and help the community. He choose Açaí as the vehicle to accomplish that.

Evan founded Peaceful Fruits, a snack company that makes delicious organic fruit snacks that create jobs for people with disabilities in Akron while helping to protect the Amazon Rainforest. I LOVE how he is helping two distinct communities!!

Peaceful Fruits is currently in about 50 stores and working hard to scale up. Evan shares his journey:

  • How he got his company off the ground
  • Sourcing in Suriname / wild harvesting
  • How to maintain consistency with an artisan product
  • The joys and business advantages of working with the developmentally disabled
  • All about Açaí, the superfruit
  • How to scale up when working in a remote part of the world
  • Why timing is crucial to success
  • When to involve a famous celebrity from Akron, Ohio (hint: he's very athletic)
  • The two types of people in the world
  • The Crowdfunding campaign coming up
  • Plans to scale up the company in U.S.

Selected links from the show: Peaceful Fruits Cleveland Culinary Launch Kuli Kuli Foods Saramaccan language Lebron James Foundation Cornell University Food Lab

 

Ep101- How to Survive (and Thrive) with Purpose - Seth of Honest Tea
35:11
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 35:11
Ep101- How to Survive (and Thrive) with Purpose - Seth of Honest Tea

Seth Goldman co-founded Honest® Tea in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. Thirteen years later they were acquired and are now a $160 million division of Coca-Cola.

Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling ready-to-drink organic bottled tea and Honest Kids® is the nation’s top-selling organic children/youth beverage.

The brands are carried in more than 100,000 outlets in the United States, including all Wendy’s and Chik-fil-A restaurants.

It was a long, tough, and fun road to get to where they are today. One of the best food business books I have ever read, Mission in a Bottle tells their story. I interviewed Seth about the book and he responded with sage advice for emerging food startups:

  • "I can't ask others to invest if I'm not completely invested in myself."
  • The biggest mistakes that almost put the company under
  • Why the company needs to shift and evolve along the way
  • Dealing with competitors inside the tent
  • "Creating a successful company depends on your ability to successfully two questions"
  • How to sign on and have success with distributors
  • Learnings from an unsuccessful run with Barnes + Noble
  • How he sold Canada Dry Potomac after 4 years of rejections
  • Why the "little things" add up and can make or break your company
  • "You have to win in New York" - Learnings from a Red Sox fan
  • On selling their company to Coca-Cola
  • How Seth managed a harmonious and prolific relationship with his co-founder
  • Negotiating shipping rates
  • The main problems he sees in advising food startups

Selected links from the episode: Honest Tea Mission in a Bottle (note from Matt: Read it!!) Coca Cola Venturing & Emerging Brands Ripple Foods Beyond Meat Calvert Investments American Beverage Association Bethesda Green

 

Ep100- How to Seduce and Succeed with Buyers
13:41
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 13:41
Ep100- How to Seduce and Succeed with Buyers

It's been almost three years since we started the show. Today we finally reached a milestone.  Triple digits!

All this time we have spent - interviewing experts, talking to listeners, and going through the trials and tribulations of a food startup ourselves - we have picked up a lot of ideas on how to succeed.

This knowledge needs to be shared. So I synthesized all of this feedback and advice into recommendations on how to get in front of buyers and sell to them over a long-term relationship. Enjoy!

Selected links from the episode: When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers

Ep99- Branding Packaging + Design 101 - Jordan and Fed of Hungry Studios
32:25
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 32:25
Ep99- Branding Packaging + Design 101 - Jordan and Fed of Hungry Studios

Over the last 6 months, we have had many listener requests for a packaging/branding episode. It took a while, but I finally found the experts.

Jordan Hill and Fed Pacheco met when in the design program at the University of North Texas. Upon graduation they took separate paths as art directors in different global ad agencies, working on global and national accounts.

A move to New York in 2014 reignited the spark to partner once again, and Hungry Studio was formed over the love of a good meal and the longing to make beautiful work.

They work with large and small food companies and help them with all aspects of branding, packaging and design. Hear their story and take notes:

  • What is a strong brand?
  • Experience with big brands and what they learned
  • Package design as it is related to branding
  • How to find your story
  • The role of brands in today's market
  • What is the value of great packaging design?
  • How to choose a designer/agency
  • Case studies on successful branding/design work
  • How much should you budget for design/packaging?
  • Purchase decisions at the shelf
  • Attention to detail - Touch points
  • What is important to know about food branding
  • Coming soon: Hungry Studio and Food Startups Podcast's digital guide to Branding, Packaging and Design

Selected links from the episode: Hungry Studio Community Coffee Builder's Tea Crepes and Delices FDA Packaging Guidelines

Ep98- Growth Stories from Blue Crabs to Boston - Sean of LeanBox
43:01
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 43:01
Ep98- Growth Stories from Blue Crabs to Boston - Sean of LeanBox

The original title was "Growth Stories from Blue Crabs to the Bronx to Brooklyn to Boston".. full of alliteration but a bit too long.  

Sean Butler has been slowly moving north through his life, adding skills and experiences.

The current stop of his journey is VP of Growth at one of the hottest startups in New England.

Sean joined LeanBox pre-revenue, and has grown with the company as it expanded from 3 to 42 employees in two years. 

LeanBox delivers customized inventories of meals, salads, sandwiches, snacks, and beverages to hi-tech refrigerators at 200+ companies in New England, including Uber, Amazon, and Microsoft. Cold brewed coffee, organic snacks, cold-pressed juice and more.

The million dollar question: with software, hardware, sourcing, logistics, and more, how are they able to run multiple businesses at once? We go behind the scenes:

  • Culture shock: moving from the country to the Bronx
  • Witnessing a shooting .. and moving to Brooklyn
  • On managing multiple businesses at once
  • Unusual tactics to get your foot in a door at a startup
  • Surviving their biggest mistakes in outsourcing and insourcing
  • How to get your food product approved by their buying committee 
  • Mistakes that food startup brands make
  • The unique pricing model - keeping it cheaper than Whole Foods
  • "We do really well in places where you’ve got to drive 15 minutes just to find somewhere to eat"
  • What's next for LeanBox

Selected links from the show: LeanBox Uber Boston Office Envy: LeanBox Literally Works out of a Mansion Hunts Point Market Kitchen Confidential Cultivate Ventures Eden, Maryland Chipotle Montreal

Ep97- Running a Startup on Two Continents - Eattiamo
21:02
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 21:02
Ep97- Running a Startup on Two Continents - Eattiamo

Pietro Guerrera and Filippo Lubrano reached breakeven in 2015 with their European venture. But they are thinking BIG. They recently launched in the U.S. with a new subscription box business model.

Eattiamo brings exclusive, gourmet Italian products to your doorstep. On the outside, the products are fantastic and the design is beautiful.

On the inside, like most startups, they are putting in serious WORK. Sourcing, importing, storage, logistics, marketing and sampling .. the hustle is on.Starting from scratch in a new country is not easy. Get the inside scoop:

  • Why they expanded to the U.S.
  • Life in New York
  • Communicating the value and telling the story of their food
  • Utilizing the international experience and diverse skill set of the founders
  • Italian Food vs “Italian American Food” 
  • How they plan to gain subscribers

Selected links from the show: Eattiamo Sourcing - The ROI Olive Oil Mill Chef's Table

Ep96 - IoT Produce Tracking and Startup Wisdom - Tom of Fresh Surety
22:55
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 22:55
Ep96 - IoT Produce Tracking and Startup Wisdom - Tom of Fresh Surety

Produce going bad is no secret: 50% of the shelf life is already gone before you can visually detect that the fruit has gone bad. Fresh Surety is working on solving the problem with "real time freshness reporting anywhere in the world for a few cents per carton."

It could really change the world. As we covered in the Bluecart episode, this startup is founded on 10X thinking.

Over the past 30 years as founder and CEO Tom Schultz has guided multiple technology companies from concept to liquidity event, including IPO, NASDAQ listing, and nine-figure exit. I recommend this episode to everyone:

  • Going through the process, concept all the way to exit
  • Being the senior guy among the young Food X startup community
  • How to correct your "bad ideas"
  • What Tom learned at Dole Foods
  • The concept behind Fresh Surety
  • Advantages of raising venture money
  • Tips for food startups after being in the game 30+ years
  • The two key points that must be proved to investors

Selected links from the show: Fresh Surety A Simple Explanation of The Internet of Things

Ep95 - NYC Startup Life and The Protein Hustle - Ryan of Protings
24:09
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 24:09
Ep95 - NYC Startup Life and The Protein Hustle - Ryan of Protings

Ryan Wiltse was working as a CPA. Common to many guests on the show, along with his cofounder, he realized that they wanted more than the status quo; a higher calling than the "cubicle finance life".

So they founded a healthy snack food company out of Brooklyn. Their first product is named ProTings, A vegetable snack with 15 grams of protein per serving. Ryan explains the "why" behind the product, the problem they solve and how they are growing the company:

  • Marketing at fitness and bodybuilding events
  • On nutrition label panels and balancing taste, ethics, and health
  • Distribution strategies for the company (You can find it at Wegmans!)
  • Usability advantages of their snack
  • The transition from full time job to startup mode
  • Making it work financially as a startup in NYC
  • Why Qwest nutrition has had phenomenal growth + success
  • The Food X Cohort - how it has helped the company
  • Raising capital and the future
  • Advantages of a finance/accounting background in running a food startup

Selected links from the episode: Protings Contact Ryan - contact Ryan. Qwest Nutrition Rabobank

Ep94- Changing the Menu Game - Jeff Hong of Bite
19:38
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 19:38
Ep94- Changing the Menu Game - Jeff Hong of Bite

"We've noticed that most restaurants don't put much effort into their menus, which is their most important tool for selling their food."

Bite was founded in 2015 by two friends who set out to transform the way restaurants sell to their guest experience. They offer restaurants digital menus that can be easily updated, are more visually appealing, and do a better job of explaining the entrees.

I learned a lot in this interview. Jeff educates us on their mission and strategy for getting Bite into thousands of restaurants nationwide:

  • Communicating the unique value proposition
  • What is most important in selling new clients and more importantly KEEPING them.
  • Learnings from the sales/marketing process
  • Understanding exactly who your customers are
  • How they scaled their solution to offer Bite remotely anywhere in the country
  • On being a disruptive company and overcoming the resistance to change

Ep93- Problem Solving Lessons From The Last 10 Guests
12:20
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 12:20
Ep93- Problem Solving Lessons From The Last 10 Guests

Hey FSP Community. The last 10 guests have a common theme. They solved either their own problem or a problem they saw in the world. I share my thoughts on each. This is a great refresher episode and a way to start exploring the last 10 guests. Have a listen!

Selected Links From This Episode:

Episode 92 – On Becoming a Rockstar Social Entrepreneur – Lisa of Kuli Kuli

Episode 91 – Breaking the Rules to Better a Supply Chain – Karl of Direct Origin/Swillings Coffee

Episode 90 – “Will you help me bring this fruit to the US?” – Linh and Myron of XOI Company

Episode 89 – Building a Community in NYC – Ashly of Barley + Oats

Episode 88 – How to Crush Kickstarter & Business – Lisa Q. of NOMIKU

Episode 87 – American Hemp, Activism, and Life on the Bourbon Trail – Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America

Episode 86 – Natural Prophets, Whole Foods and Advice for Millennial Food Entrepreneurs

Episode 85 – How to Build a Brand Using Art, Values, and Experience Design – Jody Levy of WTRMLN WTR

Episode 84 – How to Create Impactful Editorial Content – Jeffrey of The New Food Economy

Episode 83 – Making Shrimp Great Again – New Wave Foods

 

Ep92- On Becoming a Rockstar Social Entrepreneur - Lisa of Kuli Kuli
22:06
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 22:06
Ep92- On Becoming a Rockstar Social Entrepreneur - Lisa of Kuli Kuli

Roughly six years ago, Lisa was in the Peace Corps in a remote village of Niger. Eating a limited vegetarian diet, she was feeling malnourished. On discovering the superfood moringa, she solved her "sluggish energy" problem. And she decided to use moringa as a vehicle to solve problems for others.

Fast forward to today, her company Kuli Kuli foods is a thriving business making a positive social impact in West Africa and Haiti.

Before Kuli Kuli, Lisa wrote political briefings for President Obama in the White House, served as a United Nations Environment Programme Youth Advisor and worked at an impact investment firm in India. Lisa shares her story:

  • On a life of service and becoming a social entrepreneur
  • Why she mentors young women entrepreneurs
  • Social impact in the non-profit sectior vs "business"
  • Life in Niger
  • Limitations of the non-profit sector
  • Turning Moringa into reality
  • The quality control of unknown superfoods in the US market
  • Obstacles she has had to overcome

Selected links from the show: Kuli Kuli Foods Cheryl Sandberg Peace Corps

Photo Credit: Kuli Kuli Foods (link)

Ep91 - Breaking the Rules to Better a Supply Chain - Karl of Direct Origin/Swillings Coffee
20:21
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 20:21
Ep91 - Breaking the Rules to Better a Supply Chain - Karl of Direct Origin/Swillings Coffee

For every 20 lots of coffee Karl tastes, only 1 makes the cut for his final container. A direct trading coffee company requires work. It's not just visiting beautiful coffee farms.

Karl Wienhold has some stories to tell. He frequently has to take longer routes to coffee farms to prevent contact with leftist guerrillas that have plagued the country for 60 years.

My favorite story is Karl's effort to change a supply chain and involve rural farmers in Colombia. Learn about international trade and specialty coffee:

  • How he learned the craft of selecting and cupping coffee
  • Explaining the economics of coffee to the end consumer
  • Breaking the rules, a few things that he does different
  • Selling in the US, but living outside of it
  • Avoiding guerrillas on Karl's coffee travels
  • Defining direct trade and vertical direct trade
  • Shade grown coffee and the environment
  • The man, Jack Swilling (see his bio below)
  • On "coyotes": intermediaries and their effect on the coffee and farmers
  • Working through the El Nino catastrophe

Selected Links From The Episode: Direct Origin Trading Swillings Coffee Jack Swilling

About Jack Swilling: "Swilling was a teamster, prospector, mine and mill owner, a saloon and dance hall owner. He also was a visionary, a canal builder, farmer, rancher, and public servant. All of this was accomplished while he suffered from periods of excruciating pain resulting from major injuries he suffered in 1854. He took morphine to assuage the pain, which led to dependency problems for the rest of his life."

Swilling founded the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Ep90 - "Will you help me bring this fruit to the US?" - Linh and Myron of XOI
29:37
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 29:37
Ep90 - "Will you help me bring this fruit to the US?" - Linh and Myron of XOI

The title of the episode is a question from Bkrong, an Ede (ethnic minority group) farmer from Vietnam. Bkrong was also the host mother of Linh, cofounder of XOI company.

Linh Tran and Myron Lam met on a 2013 trip to Vietnam on a research grant from Brown university. There, they discovered the Gac fruit growing in Bkrong's backyard.

Upon further research, they realized Gac fruit was packed with beta-carotene and lycopene; a new superfood was born.

How could they bring the Gac fruit to the U.S. and include the Ede in the process? This episode tells their story:

  • The challenges faced by the Ede
  • How the idea was born
  • How to introduce an unknown fruit to the U.S.
  • Tackling ethnic inequality via social entrepreneurship
  • Changing the supply chain
  • All about the Gac fruit

Selected links from the episode:

XOI Company

XOI IndieGoGo Campaign ($34,611)

Gac Fruit

The Ede People

Tessa Stuart Author Page

 

Ep89- Building a Community in NYC - Ashly of Barley + Oats
24:20
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 24:20
Ep89- Building a Community in NYC - Ashly of Barley + Oats

Ashly Yashchin created Barley + Oats to solve a problem. She was pregnant and worried about her baby's health. So, she learned and practiced a healthy pregnancy diet.

9 in 10 women are micronutrient deficient, affecting their fertility, pregnancy and postpartum experience. Ashly is quickly establishing herself as an expert in the space. But first she had to become accepted by the community:

  • Detailed customer profiling
  • How to develop community trust
  • Putting on successful events
  • Understanding your niche
  • Mom sourcing
  • Mom bloggers
  • Logistics and bike messengers

Mentioned in the episode:Barley + OatsDemeterBarefoot BlondeUber RushPremium Rush (the movie I couldn't recall)

Ep88- How to Crush Kickstarter & Business - Lisa Q. of NOMIKU
22:06
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 22:06
Ep88- How to Crush Kickstarter & Business - Lisa Q. of NOMIKU

NOMIKU was born from two successful Kickstarter campaigns that totaled over $1.3 million and have thousands of units in homes and restaurants around the world.

Lisa Q. Fetterman, the co-founder and CEO, is equally gifted and inspiring.

She launched the first home sous vide immersion circulator machine on the market. Yes, you've tried sous vide cooked food even if your not familiar with the term. I wasn't. Top restaurants, Chipotle, they all use this cooking method.

Lisa has been featured in Wired, Make, CNET and Forbes, and was named on both Forbes and Zagat Survey’s 30 Under 30 lists for her pioneering work in the food space.

Her book Sous Vide at Home is available on preorder from Amazon now. On top of all that, Lisa is a YCombinator graduate, where she worked on the app Tender.  Lisa takes us to school:

  • How to put on a successful Kickstarter
  • On moving to China to produce their product
  • "Every night I met 5 new people for real"
  • Makerspace/Hackerspace - where the gadget was born
  • "What humans yearn for is truth and what tastes good. And the old way of food doesn't do that, because you don't have control."
  • Participating in YCombinator
  • Writing a best-selling book
  • Creating the Tender app

Selected links from the episode:

NomikuYC-Backed Nomiku, Maker of An Affordable Sous Vide Machine, Gets Into Software With Tender AppLisa's Crowdfunding CourseRaising over $1 milion on Kickstarter, graduating from Y Combinator and being married to a co-founder — Lisa Fetterman, CEO of Nomiku, produces sous vide cooking applianceSous Vide At Home

Ep87- American Hemp, Activism, and Life on the Bourbon Trail - Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America
39:15
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 39:15
Ep87- American Hemp, Activism, and Life on the Bourbon Trail - Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America

Chad Rosen is nicknamed "Hemp Man" in New Castle, Kentucky. A California transplant, he is spearheading the movement for industrial grown US hemp.

Watch the video (and support) his IndieGogo to learn why hemp is so important to the economic, environmental, and nutritional future of the United States.

U.S. legislation is severely restricting the hemp movement. But not for long. Chad is on a mission for federal change. And it starts in Henry county, Kentucky which is on its' way to becoming the agricultural center for the hemp crop in America.

If you're interested in starting a movement and/or becoming an activist, learn from Chad:

  • Why hemp is a game changer for the US on economic, environmental, and nutritional fronts
  • The history of Kentucky in hemp agriculture
  • Moving from Cali to a town with 5 baptist churches and 800 people
  • Legislation problems in the US current shortcomings and restrictions to success
  • How to talk, dress and solicit permits from the DEA
  • Making a superfood available for all, not just the wealthy
  • 100 amazing facts about hemp, including Thomas Jefferson, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mercedes, and BMW

Selected links from the episode:Hemp Foods AmericaSupport Hemp Foods America on IndieGogoThe Hemp ManifestoSunStrandsRules for RadicalsHemp History Week

Ep86- Natural Prophets, Whole Foods and Advice for Millennial Food Entrepreneurs
35:48
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 35:48
Ep86- Natural Prophets, Whole Foods and Advice for Millennial Food Entrepreneurs

This is the history episode you have to listen to! Joe Dobrow wrote the textbook on the history of the natural foods industry: Natural Prophets. He masterly weaves U.S. history and the natural foods industry history side by side.

Joe served as the head of marketing for Fresh Fields, Whole Foods Market, Balducci’s and Sprouts Farmers Market. The inside look at the industry educates us on where we've been and where we're going:

  • What the baby boomer natural foods titans were like in their late 20's/30's
  • Visionary and Whole Foods founder John Mackey - king of the industry
  • Why someone starting a food business should read Natural Prophets
  • Whole Foods's "Libertarian Philosophy"
  • Learning to compete from John Mackey and Michael Jordan
  • The natural foods industry enormous if not underreported influence on Silicon Valley
  • MBArk - Joe's program to steer MBA's towards social impact businesses

Selected links from the show:Natural ProphetsMBArkSilent SpringMo Siegel/Celestial SeasoningsStonyfield FarmThe Purpose CollaborativeAbout Joe Dobrow

 

Ep85- How to Build a Brand Using Art, Values, and Experience Design - Jody Levy of WTRMLN WTR
26:04
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 26:04
Ep85- How to Build a Brand Using Art, Values, and Experience Design - Jody Levy of WTRMLN WTR

Jody Levy knew she was going to be an artist in 3rd grade when she got into the flow state painting a Georgia O'Keefe piece. Fast forward to 2016, her watermelon water drink WTRMLN WTR (website) will be nationwide in 7500 stores this summer. Cold pressing 14 million pounds of watermelons in 2016.

Last month, many of the Denver Broncos drank it before they went on to upset the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. How have they achieved success so quickly in one of the hardest industries around?

This episode will help you to think deeper about your company's branding and marketing. I credit a lot of Jody and her team's success to their comprehensive understanding and execution of experience design. You'll learn how to apply the concept to your food project and more:

  • How to think about storytelling
  • Experience design - how to pickup this invaluable skill
  • Brand ethos - tactics vs strategy
  • Why are there no vowels in the brand name
  • How they select their wellness experts
  • Utilizing waste melons (think Hungry Harvest)
  • Growing watermelons in Puerto Rico!
  • Appealing to the senses with your product
  • What is YOUR emotional connection to watermelon?
  • The corporate office in Manhattan - what's it like?

Selected links from the episode:WTRMLN WTRDenver Broncos

Ep84- How to Create Impactful Editorial Content - Jeffrey of New Food Economy
21:21
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 21:21
Ep84- How to Create Impactful Editorial Content - Jeffrey of New Food Economy

Jeffrey Kittay is a native New Yorker who spent time in the academic world as a journalism professor @ Columbia University.

Later, he worked as a publisher. Four months ago, he decided to start his own e-magazine: The New Food Economy.

I love the content. It is aimed to help entrepreneurs like us create change as part of the "food movement". We discuss:

  • The art of helping food entrepreneurs with actionable advice
  • How to create great long-form content
  • How to find (and tell) interesting stories
  • What is the online publishing business like?
  • Certification nation!!
  • The triple bottom line
  • Why "everything in business is personal"
  • How to find journalistic talent.

Selected links from the episode:

The New Food EconomyJeffrey Kittay BioWhat can open-source do for the food movement?In Maine, a farm-to-campus revolution?Verdict: in Maine, Big Food Service wins againWelcome to certification nationContact Jeffrey

 

 

Ep83- Making Shrimp Great Again - New Wave Foods
25:59
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 25:59
Ep83- Making Shrimp Great Again - New Wave Foods

I'm so proud to have Dominique Barnes and Michelle Wolf on the show. They are the founders of New Wave Foods. They create seafood in a lab not the ocean. Their first product is recreating shrimp using plant proteins and marine algae. This interview blew my mind.

Fresh out of IndieBio, a biotech accelerator, and a $250,000 grant, they are currently raising capital with investors. Their first customer: Google. The lead vegan chef at Googleplex put in an order for 200 pounds.

The environmental and social issues of commercial seafood production are numerous and serious. It is precisely what makes New Wave so important. Listen to their story and be inspired:

  • The why behind New Wave Foods
  • Getting the shrimp texture and nutritional profile right
  • Demo day @ IndieBio
  • Fundraising, marketing, and their blueprint to grow the company
  • Stopping slave labor + shrimp fishing
  • The muscular structure of a shrimp
  • Why marine algae is amazing
  • Behind the scenes of the day-to-day @ New Wave Foods
  • On being founders AND roommates

Selected links from the episode:New Wave FoodsIndieBioWhy Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular MindSarcomereGoogle

Ep82- Jess Jackson, California Wine, and Laws of Power
10:29
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 10:29
Ep82- Jess Jackson, California Wine, and Laws of Power

One of the most formative biographies on food and business that I have read is A Man and His Mountain: The Everyman who Created Kendall-Jackson and Became America’s Greatest Wine Entrepreneur.  

Jess "Stonestreet" Jackson passed away in 2011. A self-made billionaire, he was vital to the transformation of California wine and was a champion in horse racing.

Using concepts from the legendary strategist, Robert Greene, I analyze the key traits and power laws that Jess Jackson followed. They allowed for him to build a wine empire. Enjoy the show:

 

Selected links from the show:

A Man and His Mountain: The Everyman who Created Kendall-Jackson and Became America’s Greatest Wine Entrepreneur.

Robert Greene Author Page 

Jess Jackson Dies at 81, a Wine Grower With a Taste for Thoroughbred Racing

Photo Credit: Under Creative Commons 3.0 - User:Packyourlunch

Ep81- Elevating the DC Food Scene - Caesar Layton of Cultivate Ventures
28:38
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 28:38
Ep81- Elevating the DC Food Scene - Caesar Layton of Cultivate Ventures

Cultivate Ventures is changing the Washington DC food scene. They invest time, money, and expertise into promising startups in the DMV.

A few years ago, Caesar Layton, the founder, was commuting to South East Asia as an agricultural economist. After poor customer service from an online grocery, he sent an email to them and got called back by the founder. A few months later, Caesar invested in the company and took over as the CEO.

Today, his firm is investing and advising. Wheeling and dealing. They are betting everything on the under-appreciated DC food scene. Caesar shares his story:

  • The survivalist skill set (developing skills on the fly)
  • The value-chain appoarch
  • time = relevance | relevance = access | access = opportunity
  • “Capital is never enough”
  • “your business is not that great and you’re not that smart” 
  • Focus on the non-sexy
  • Learning from failure

Selected links from the show:Cultivate VenturesRelay FoodsCultivate Ventures Bets Big on DC's Food SceneDAIBoratKick IncubatorSeeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Ep80- The Hustler's Mindset (How to Dominate) - Anthony Rodriguez
38:10
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 38:10
Ep80- The Hustler's Mindset (How to Dominate) - Anthony Rodriguez

Anthony Rodriguez is the founder of Lineage Interactive, A mini ad agency meets a production company. They work with Anna Rawson, David Ortiz, Chris Culliver, Amare Stoudemire, Diplo, Nas, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Amare Stoudemire, 8 pro sports teams, and many other athletes, musicians and actors.

Lineage formally started 12 years ago with athletes who were struggling to get off the court income. He has been honing his craft since he was a kid, helping his parents build a cosmetics business that got into big box retailers like Target and Walmart.

While he maintains a low profile, Anthony is a power player in digital media for artists. He's proud of his "old school" mentality around building a business that provides real value. I had a great time speaking with him and there is so much we can learn to become better entrepreneurs:

  • How to operate in world that it is out of control
  • The short term mindset epidemic
  • On pain tolerance
  • Advice for those who want to start multiple projects at once
  • Problems young entrepreneurs face..
  • “Getting bored is more lethal than getting distracted.”
  • Managing willpower and energy as you get older
  • Finding the right types of mentors
  • Anthony's businesses that didn't work out
  • Working with smart people who are unsuccessful
  • What selling is really about
  • How to work with celebrities (who are different from us normal people)
  • How to connect with celebrities with zero connections
  • Selling a TV show for Henrik Lundquist, The Mask with guests like Jeff Gordon, Michael J Fox, DJ Tiesto.
  • His daily routines and habits

Selected links from the episode:Lineage InteractiveThe Mask with Hendrik LundqvistAnna RawsonNew York Knicks

 

More about Anthony Rodriguez:

As the founder of Lineage Interactive, Rodriguez has ideated and produced creative content and strategy for some of the world’s biggest athletes, musicians, teams, and brands. By acting as the creative liaison between Fortune 200 brands and clients, he's able to bring them genuine and captivating digital content that their clients will love and share. His work is seen by millions on television, the web, and mobile platforms every month. Rodriguez is also the acting content director for five different charitable foundations.

Lineage Interactive is made of up three branches; digital marketing services for athletes and musicians, content as a service for Fortune 200 brands, and a production house that produces original content custom-tailored for all formats. Our DNA is rooted in agency work with athletes, teams, and brands. We are storytellers by nature and are responsible for communicating with over 41 million social media accounts daily. Because we actively manage a multitude of clients’ social platforms, we have a robust understanding of what content generates interest, engagement, and sharing.

 

Ep79- How to (really) Utilize Your Network - Sophie of EatPops
29:13
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 29:13
Ep79- How to (really) Utilize Your Network - Sophie of EatPops

She dreamed up EatPops in 2013 while studying for the Bar exam, becoming frustrated by the lack of healthy snack (and dessert) option. In 2014, it became a reality. EatPops is now in over 300 locations throughout the country, including stores like Fairway and Whole Foods .

Sophie was recently named to Forbes 30U30 and is making dessert healthy with her fruit and veggie pops.  Noni, Acai, Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Vanilla, and Mango are among some of the ingredients you’ll find in her popsicles. We reflect on her foray into the food biz:

  • On asking for feedback
  • Biz dev partnerships with  SoulCycle, modelFIT and Lululemon
  • How to utilize your network
  • Dealing with rollercoaster moments
  • Building a support group
  • Why she still maintains her status as an active lawyer
  • Sophie's daily routines and habits

Mentioned in this episode:EatPopsEmail SophieSophie in ForbesBristol FarmsLazy AcresThe Art of LearningSweet GreenThistle

Ep78- A Life 180 into Healthy Baking Mixes - Lindsey of Cherryvale Farms
18:11
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 18:11
Ep78- A Life 180 into Healthy Baking Mixes - Lindsey of Cherryvale Farms

“I was doing entertainment P.R. in Hollywood — you know, celebrities and calls at 2 a.m. — and was, what should I say? Burnt out,”  (New York Times) .. That was 5 years ago.

Today, she runs Cherryvale Farms, currently in 1400 stores with their “Everything But The...” baking mixes. Lindsey Rosenberg and I had a fun chat about her story and she dishes out advice for our listeners:

  • What makes their baking mixes unique. Why they are the modern-day Betty Crocker
  • How she transitioned her career from Hollywood PR to a successful food startup
  • "Don't spend any money"
  • Advice for becoming (or not becoming) a Whole Foods national brand
  • How to pitch grocery buyers
  • On bootstrapping
  • Working with Dad
  • The D.I.Y. spirit (note from Matt: I have seen this characteristic in among many guests)
  • Why Cherryvale doesn't focus on trends

Selected Links from the show:Cherryvale Farms Small Food Brands, Big SuccessAbout LindseyChowhound ReviewHampton Creek (Beyond Eggs™)Cherryvale Farms Twitter

Ep77- The Art of Ingredient Sourcing – One Degree Organics
25:56
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 25:56
Ep77- The Art of Ingredient Sourcing – One Degree Organics

They showed up to ExpoWest 2012 with an idea: transparent ingredient tracing using proprietary software and creative film production. Today, they are nationwide in US stores with their collection of cereals, breads, flowers, and seeds.

Danny Houghton is the cofounder of One Degree Organics. He leads ingredient expeditions around the world in search of pure veganic harvests. Every ingredient comes with a video (see below) where you meet the farmers and learn how it is made.

I really enjoyed learning about One Degree, the veganic movement, and their unique business model: technology, media, and sustainable food. Danny sheds light on:

  • What is veganic?
  • The "why" of One Degree Organics
  • Leading world expeditions - fun sourcing stories
  • The gluten misconception ancient vs modern wheat
  • Organic's "dirty little secret"
  • Keys to success in a competitive space

"We only want to tell stories about ingredients we're proud to tell stories about." - Danny Houghton

Selected links from the episode:One Degree OrganicsOne Degree BlogReal SaltB.C.’s One Degree Organic Foods feeds veganic farming movementOne Degree Organic YouTube Channel (Check it out!Salt: A World HistoryWheat BellyKhorasan WheatVeganic Google Search

My 5 6 favorite One Degree Organic videos:Sumatran Treasure - Veganic CinnamonOn Colorado's High Plains - Organic Oats and MilletNutmeg and Mace - Discovering Siau IslandPeace and Purity - Missouri's Organic PecansAlquimia Farmers - ParaguayIndonesian Safari - Veganic Vanilla + Cloves

Ep76- Food Startup Lessons from our Last 10 Guests
14:33
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 14:33
Ep76- Food Startup Lessons from our Last 10 Guests

Our first episode of 2016. Let's revisit the wisdom for our last 10 guests. Use this episode as a recap of 10 food lessons. And if you here a lesson or guest that interests you. Check them out in the links below!

 

Ep75- The Unscalable Dirty Work for Success - Charlie Guo
26:00
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 26:00
Ep75- The Unscalable Dirty Work for Success - Charlie Guo

Charlie Guo started his first company at Stanford, left it, and did the famed YCombinator in Silicon Valley. While the startup fizzled out, Charlie learned a lot of lessons along the way.

He made some friends. Charlie interviewed startup founders from companies including DoorDash, ZeroCater, and Zenefits, and turned it into the book Unscalable. The founders share the behind-the-scenes "dirty work" to success. Working 20 hour days, managing 100's of orders in a simple excel spreadsheet, etc.. whatever it takes.

"These interviews pull back the veil on a much more eclectic mix of strategies and experiments, revealing the longer and less predictable road to success in Silicon Valley."

The book will be released January 19th, 2016 (Pre-order now: I read an advanced copy and it is phenomenal). We discuss:

  • Why Charlie decided to write the book
  • Behind the scenes at YCombinator
  • Develop an unscalable mindset in startup mode
  • "The costs of starting these businesses is plummeting, but the costs of building these businesses is skyrocketing."
  • The luck factor
  • How to deal with fast growth
  • Mythology of brilliant leadership and “overnight” success stories
  • Bootstrapping vs VC
  • Establishing a monopoly

Selected Links from The Episode:Unscalable The BookUnscalable - Amazon!Charlie on TwitterHow I Crashed and Burned at YCombinatorClassOwlDoorDashZeroCaterZenefitsGithubTiltFlight Car (Note from Matt: I remember reading about this a few years ago and was so excited. I forgot about it, but am looking to using it in 2016!)When Startups Fail: 99 Dresses

More about Charlie Guo

Charlie Guo based in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the heart of the world he portrays. A software engineer by trade, he has also founded two companies. While getting his undergraduate degree at Stanford, he founded the education-tech company ClassOwl.

ClassOwl partners with Stanford and other schools to improve student-teacher communication and productivity, and in startup-storybook fashion it was sold by Guo’s cofounders in 2015 to Branch Metrics. After graduation, he launched a second company, FanHero, which was accepted into Y Combinator, a prestigious startup accelerator program based in Silicon Valley.

His own experiences working to make his ideas fly exposed him to the inner workings of the startup culture and inspired him to reach out to a fascinating mix of tech founders to share their experiences.

 

 

Ep74- Inside the Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars - Martin Mignot
41:51
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 41:51
Ep74- Inside the Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars - Martin Mignot

Martin Mignot is a Venture Capitalist @ IndexVentures. A large VC firm out of London, their investments include DropBox and Skype, tools we use to make the Food Startups Podcast.

Martin is actively looking after Index's investments in Algolia, Blablacar, Capitaine Train,Drivy, Rad, Swiftkey, TheFamily and Deliveroo: an on-demand food delivery startup who just raised 100 million. The food delivery space is hot: over 1,000,000,000 USD was invested in 2014 alone.

We talk about his theses and predictions for the exploding sector from his article: The Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars (TechCrunch). Make sure to check it out before listening.

Note: We had a few sound quality issues on the episode. But for the insights from Martin, it was worth editing it the best we could and putting it live! Martin and I discuss:

  • Software vs On-Demand vs Meal-Delivery Startups
  • Uber's effect on food delivery logistics
  • What makes a great VC
  • Defining "fast food 2.0"
  • Why "managed marketplaces are the superior model for consumers."
  • Opportunities for chefs to join an on-demand network
  • Prediction: “virtual” restaurant chains
  • Robots and drones

Selected links from the episode:

Index VenturesMartin Mignot BioThe Billion Dollar Food Delivery WarsThe Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars (Rebuttle)Deliveroo Raises 100 Million as Food Delivery Service ExpandsDoor DashJust-EatgrubHubUnvalidated Learnings (Martin's blog)BirchboxRSP.FMThe Food Assembly

Ep73- Fear No Fruit - THE Specialty Produce Champs - Karen Caplan of Frieda's
29:16
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 29:16
Ep73- Fear No Fruit - THE Specialty Produce Champs - Karen Caplan of Frieda's

In 1962, Frieda Caplan introduced an exotic fruit to the United States, which she named the Kiwi. Fast forward to 2013, 62 million pounds of kiwi were sold! In the 50+ years since, Frieda's has played a part in introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables.

A documentary about the company, Fear No Fruit, was recently released telling their amazing story. I speak with her daughter, Karen Caplan, who has been the CEO since 1986. Tons to learn here:

  • How the documentary came about
  • Karen's tips on how to introduce a new product to the U.S. Market
  • On the California drought and resilience
  • How to separate family from business
  • Why farmers are trending away from grocery stores.
  • On effective management and creating a culture
  • "Specialty isn't a big % of business at a grocery store, but perception of the consumer " sets the tone and energy for the store!!”

Selected links from the show:FriedasFear No FruitAbout Karen CaplanUnited Fresh Produce AssociationPurple Kiwi Cookbook by Karen CaplanDocumentary asks consumers to 'Fear No Fruit'The Fancy Foods ShowThe Rational OptimistWatch Fear No Fruit on United, Qatar, and Emirates Airlines The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

 

Ep72- Transforming the Online Recipe Space: Yuni of Chicory
19:10
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 19:10
Ep72- Transforming the Online Recipe Space: Yuni of Chicory

Have you ever seen a recipe online that you loved, but never ended up making? Maybe you didn't have the time. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with some of the ingredients, and it would take too much effort to locate them. Chicory solves that problem with a one-click delivery solution of the ingredient list of a given recipe.

Yuni Samashima founded the company in his senior year at Colgate university. Two years later, they are getting millions of page views per month and growing. We discuss Chicory's adventure:

  • How Yuni leveraged opportunities in college to get to where he is today
  • Why online recipes are difficult to index and organize
  • How Chicory improves content for food bloggers
  • Landing a deal with the mammoth publishing company, Time Inc.
  • Why they analyze 100 million data points a day (natural language processing)
  • Why molecular biology matters
  • Modernizing legacy industries

Selected links from the show:ChicoryEntrepreneur Roundtable AcceleratorTime Inc.Food & Wine MagazineMichael Keriakos

Ep71- 10X Thinking via Democratization and Disruption - Bluecart
20:55
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 20:55
Ep71- 10X Thinking via Democratization and Disruption - Bluecart

Simplifying ordering for restaurants is a growing industry. Many startups are entering the space. This week's guest, Bluecart, stands out with a unique business model: it is free for everyone.

The company has a potential for huge growth precisely because there are so many small farmers, producers, wholesalers, and restaurants out there who's margins are so tight they could never afford this kind of technology otherwise.

This summer, they received 4 million dollars in investment and the Washington D.C. based company is taking off.

Jag Bansal, Andrew Genung and myself talk about the how and why of Bluecart:

  • What pitching VC's is really like
  • On relationships with their investors
  • How they chose the business model and their plans for monetization
  • Why they like having competitiors
  • Andrew's tips on content marketing
  • The importance of company culture

Selected links from the episode:

BluecartDan Norris - Content MachineWP CurveThe Halo Trust

Ep70- 6 Strategies to Become a More Effective (Food) Entrepreneur
13:31
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 13:31
Ep70- 6 Strategies to Become a More Effective (Food) Entrepreneur

This episode is a compilation of 6 strategies to become a more effective entrepreneur. They are utilized by top entrepreneurs and can help you get to the next level. Learn how to:

1. Define and amplify signal2. Have a growth vs fixed mindset3. Serendipity scale4. Active reading/discussion5. Get a business coach6. Skip the credentials (Doing things without permission)

Mentioned in the episode:

Carlos MiceliSebastian MarshallGotta Be Good TourOn ‘Being a CEO’ - What Scott Cook Wish He Knew When he Founded Intuit

Ep69- Michelin Guide in Less than a Year - Melanie Moss of Mini Melanie
18:21
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 18:21
Ep69- Michelin Guide in Less than a Year - Melanie Moss of Mini Melanie

Melanie Moss is a life long pastry chef. She started her own company last year along with sous chef Alex Hawkins. They create jewel-inspired pastries and sells them under her brand, MiniMelanie.

With clients like Spotify, BirchBox, Morgan Stanley, and lots of weddings, Mini Melanie is on fire. They were recently included in the 2016 NYC Michelin Guidebook. Melanie shares her experience:

  • What inspired the bling?
  • "Startups like to help other startups."
  • What are your hours like now that you work for yourself compared to working at a restaurant?
  • What Melanie learned worked under renowned Blue Hill chef Dan Barber.
  • On setting the table for an heir of the Rockefeller family

 

Selected links from the show:Mini Melanie (Instagram)Blue Hill @ Stone BarnsNegroni Week (Campari)The Rockefeller Family

 

Ep68- Jim Rogers: Skip the MBA and Start a Farm
21:25
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 21:25
Ep68- Jim Rogers: Skip the MBA and Start a Farm

It feels good repeating the quote to anyone close by : "Be very worried and buy agriculture". After all, I work in food. Yet, I didn't have a fundamental understanding of the concept. So I read his books and got Jim Rogers to come on the show.

Jim Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros in 1973, helping lead the fund to a 4200% return before “retiring” at age 37. He is considered to be one of the greatest investors of all time.

Jim has a really strong understanding of history and using it to bet on the future. We talk about:

  • "Soon farmers will buy the Lamborghinis and they will employ ex wall street guys who will drive the tractors."
  • The importance of food prices in world history and current social unrest
  • Why Jim's adventure and world travel were a key catalyst to his success
  • Key historical patterns in agriculture
  • How farmers can protect themselves in bear markets
  • Countries with agricultural opportunities that can be targeted on a limited budget
  • How to monitor political situations and be on the forefront for new opportunities
  • The custom Mercedes that Jim Rogers used to set his 3rd Guinness World Record
  • Myanmar, formerly known as Burma

Selected links from the show:Jim Rogers Official WebsiteRogers International Commodity Index®Street Smarts by Jim RogersA Gift to My Children by Jim Rogers

Ep67- The Maple Syrup Whiz Kid - Josh of Parker Maple
17:28
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 17:28
Ep67- The Maple Syrup Whiz Kid - Josh of Parker Maple

I met Josh Parker at ExpoEast. He got started making maple syrup at age 11. Fast forward to 2015 and his business is growing rapidly. After the conference, he has moved from 12 stores to 332 stores. All while being a full time student At Clarkson University. He isn't old enough to vote, but needs to higher 4 employees to meet the production needs! We talk about his life:

  • On running a food business as a full-time student @ Clarkson University.
  • Socialism in Quebec and how it's helping the US maple syrup industry.
  • The origin of maple syrup. How maple syrup is made. Maple water.
  • Using your age as a marketing and sales advantage.
  • How he manages his life as a college student and entrepreneur.
  • On seeking and receiving investment and advisors. 

Mentioned in the episode:

Parker Maple

Reverse Osmosis

Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program

Josh Parker on Glenn Beck

Ep66- Life Lessons from Bob of Bob's Red Mill
25:14
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 25:14
Ep66- Life Lessons from Bob of Bob's Red Mill

What a treat! Bob Moore and his longtime (and lovely) assistant Nancy Garner join us for this episode. At 86 years old, Bob is full of energy as he continues to manage a thriving company with over 400 employees.

I start off telling a few highlights of Bob's life as well as some defining character traits that I observed in his biography. Then, Bob sheds light on a variety of questions I prepared along with a few questions from listeners:

  • Pivotal moments in the course of Bob's life
  • Why Bob decided to open a mill
  • Bob's idea of nutrition and a healthy diet
  • Thoughts on intuition - “What I did was jump into something I didn’t know anything about. But I just knew it was the right thing for me to do."
  • About Dewey Sheets - Bob's mentor
  • Dealing with adversity - when the mill burned down
  • What Bob is reading these days

Selected links from the show:Bob's Red MillJohn Goffe's MillAdelle DavisPeople Before ProfitMilestones of AviationHow I Did It: Bob Moore, Bob's Red MillThe Allergy & Free From Show

Ep65- Global Promotion of an Ancient Grain - Doug Bice of Sorghum Checkoff
32:33
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 32:33
Ep65- Global Promotion of an Ancient Grain - Doug Bice of Sorghum Checkoff

Sorghum is a versatile grain.  Not only is it a superfood, but it serves for livestock feed and ethanol. It is an important part of diets in parts of Africa and India. It is also fermented into a popular Chinese liquor: Baijiu and used in KIND® bars and at one of Danny Meyer's restaurants in New York.

Doug Bice is the high value markets director at the Sorghum Checkoff, which works with sorghum farmers in USA. This was a really fun interview.  We talk about what they are doing to position the grain on a global scale:

  • Making a commodity useful: you are not working with one particular company, but every company. An interesting dynamic
  • Why Sorghum disappeared and why it is coming back
  • Their recent ad with Southwest Airlines
  • How to make an emotional marketing appeal to consumers
  • A marketing approach based on being a player and not #1
  • Competing againts commodities who have higher marketing budgets

Selected links from the show:Sorghum CheckoffNational Sorghum ProducersExtrusionSorghum Recipes

Ep64- A Guide to Moving Food Products on Amazon - Brad Forbush of Maivita
26:48
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 26:48
Ep64- A Guide to Moving Food Products on Amazon - Brad Forbush of Maivita

He left a billion dollar nutrition company with a revelation: "I can do better". Brad wanted to sell truly healthy foods that were backed up by a healthy process. An e-commerce and online marketing whiz, Brad helps companies sell online via Amazon and other channels. He also has his own brand: Maivita. Brad takes us to school:

  • The key decisions when you start selling online
  • Jet.com - why it matters and how they are going head-to-head against Amazon
  • Reasons you should start with Amazon
  • How to "pull" people towards your product
  • An unconventional strategy for building sales on Amazon.com

Selected links from the episode:Maivita (on Instagram)KiveyaThe Lean StartupAmazon FBAJet.comNatural StacksJet.com Gets Investment That Values It at $600 MillionWayfair

Ep63 - Real Deal Meal Delivery in SF - Ashwin of Thistle
21:00
2017-09-22 13:48:11 UTC 21:00
Ep63 - Real Deal Meal Delivery in SF - Ashwin of Thistle

Ashwin Cheriyan is a recovering corporate lawyer. Leaving New York @ age 30, he moved to San Fran and started Thistle: a leading cold-pressed juicery and food-delivery startup. Once a struggling industry , particularly with online grocery, food delivery is h-o-t today. On top of Thistle, Ashwin is an investor and advisor in startups. Listen to his story:

  • On the Kerala, India phenomenon, the highest literacy rate in the world.
  • How to know if you should stay in an industry
  • The inspiring Thistle philosophy
  • Ashwin's startup investing/advisory
  • The cold-pressed juice nutrition scam (watch out Apples!!)
  • Bonus: Suggestions for your business profile photos

Selected links from the episode:

Thistle.coCheck out Thistle's MenuThistle - PhilosophyWhy you Should Not Go to Law SchoolChargeModern Wheat

Ashwin's Skype Photo

About Ashwin:

Ashwin Cheriyan is an entrepreneur, recovering corporate lawyer and a mediocre surfer. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Thistle, a San Francisco-based cold-pressed juice and healthy food startup.

Prior to Thistle and WeGoFair, he spent 4 years in New York as an M&A associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he worked alongside senior management and cross-functional deal teams in collective transactions valued at over $100 billion. He received his A.B. in Economics from Brown University and his JD from The University of Texas School of Law.

He currently spends his energy working with, advising and investing in startups, suiting up in neoprene to surf the "world-class" waves of Pacifica, and enjoying the abundant culinary delights the Bay Area has to offer.

Ep162- On Building True Fans, Mentors and E-commerce Dominance - Madeline of nutpods
47:58
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 47:58
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.

Ep161- Logistics Strategy with Andrew of Zipline PART 2
30:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 30:41
Ep161- Logistics Strategy with Andrew of Zipline PART 2

Ep160- Logistics Strategy Part 1
33:36
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 33:36
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.

Ep159- Cauliflower as a Bread Replacement? - Jeanne of Outer Aisle
28:51
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 28:51
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.

Ep158- A Pragmatic, Visionary Capitalist - Michael of Green Chef
41:25
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 41:25
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.

Ep157- Seaweed, Category Leading, and 25 Years in the Game - Steve of GimMe Health
25:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 25:41
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.

Ep156- Personal Strength, Community, and Homegrown Veggies - Sam of Vinder
37:45
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 37:45
Ep156- Personal Strength, Community, and Homegrown Veggies - Sam of Vinder

Sam Lillie is the founder/CEO of Vinder, a peer-to-peer marketplace for homegrown produce that connects home gardeners who hate seeing their excess veggies go to waste, with fellow community members looking to buy local produce. Sam graduated from San Jose State in 2015 then solo-hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (2,658 miles) which took 5 months to complete. While hiking, Sam faced extreme weather conditions from 105+ degree heat in the desert with 20-30 miles distances between water sources to snow storms and lightening storms.

After 3 months he figured he'd put his degree to good use and applied to 106 jobs across 4 states but only received one offer. He turned it down, moved to the small town of Port Townsend, Washington and launched Vinder. I am so excited about this startup and cannot wait to follow this over the years.

This episode talks about how developing personal strength can assist in startup perseverance and much more:

  • Sam's 5 month journey on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Adapting to "real life" post hike
  • How to deal with challenges that come your way
  • Conceiving the idea and starting Vinder
  • Creating the AirBnB of homegrown produce
  • Pivoting an idea and winning the Silicon Valley business plan competition
  • The viral coefficient for your startup
  • Community building via Vinder
  • Plans for expansion across the United Statse
  • The disaster relief program

Ep155- How to Last in the Natural Foods Space - Joshua of Living Intentions
35:08
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 35:08
Ep155- How to Last in the Natural Foods Space - Joshua of Living Intentions

"I had a lot of experiences where I truly manifested my reality. And those experiences continue."

Joshua Mchugh has been at this for 13 years. Not many startups make it to the decade mark. How did he do it?

Starting out, he would spend endless hours reading recipe books with the intention of understanding how he could take standard comfort foods and turn them into nutritional powerhouses.

Living Intentions has formulated multiple lines of products, from gourmet sprouted nut and seed blends to superfood cereals, sprouted superfood seasonings, sprouted trail mix, superfood smoothie blends, and more.

  • We talk about the philosophy of slow growth and activated foods:
  • How Joshua started the company
  • The path to going from small, local distribution to nationwide
  • Managing a high # of sku's
  • Live and breathe what you are doing
  • Creating your reality
  • Sprouted vs Activated vs Raw
  • Separating the craft from the business

Ep154- Food Biz Success in 3 Steps
06:59
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 06:59
Ep154- Food Biz Success in 3 Steps

Hi all!

In today's brief episode, I evaluate the success of the past 50 guests on the show and synthesize it into 3 steps.

Ep153- Investing in the 1% - Jordan of AccelFoods
28:20
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 28:20
Ep153- Investing in the 1% - Jordan of AccelFoods

"Back the jockey, not the horse."

At early revenue stages, the founder is crucial when deciding whether or not to invest.

Out of every 100 or so food startups Accel Foods invests in just 1.

What makes them say yes to this small handful of companies? Cofounder Jordan Gaspar and I dive into her perspective of food startups and how they can prosper:

  • How Jordan left the legal space and ended up with an investment fund
  • The size of the companies and the investments they make
  • Common mistakes food startups make that affect their long term success
  • Advice for companies in "launch mode"
  • Mentoring: is this a value-added service that Accel offers all brands?
  • Legal guidelines to keep in mind for your company
  • How long it takes from meeting a founder to making an investment

Ep152- How to Run a Premium, Global Brand - Reza of Icelandic Glacial
35:33
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 35:33
Ep152- How to Run a Premium, Global Brand - Reza of Icelandic Glacial

Reza Mirza has an exciting job: CEO of Icelandic Glacial. A premium brand, they control the sole commercial rights to bottle and sell water from the legendary Ölfus Spring.

In 21 countries with only 40 total employees, they are organized, efficient, and growing.  Their U.S. distribution is handled by Anheuser-Busch, which took a 20% ownership stake in the company in July 2007.

Reza recently served as President of Activate Drinks where he grew the company in key markets through increased distribution while driving double digit same store sales and increased brand awareness. We go behind the scenes of their fascinating company and, of course, water:

  • The vision of Icelandic Glacial
  • Keys to leadership
  • Let's talk water...
  • Global distribution strategies into new countries
  • What it means to be carbon neutral
  • Marketing in the United States compared to China?
  • Logistics, sending product to various countries around the world
  • How he grew Activate same-store sales numbers
  • Think global; act global
  • Only 40-50 employees.Just for export. Becoming a distributor.
  • What type of marketing, what message are you trying to send to people?
  • As the CEO of a large food company (many are smaller in nature) what is your day-to-day like?
  • Expanding to other countries you brought Blaupunkt audio into India, what’s the plan here?
  • Unique selling positions between different brands of water

 

 

Ep151- #1 on Amazon + Road Trip Retail Strategy - Alex of Bizzy Coffee
31:38
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 31:38
Ep151- #1 on Amazon + Road Trip Retail Strategy - Alex of Bizzy Coffee

When I asked Alex how they came up with the idea for an energy shot. It was simple: Our customers told us.

Before the interview, I thought: "Why would anyone start a cold-brew coffee company? There are so many on the market already."

I quickly learned the unique value proposition of Bizzy Coffee from a product and brand perspective.

The co-founder, Alex French sat down to talk with me on the final leg of their East Coast #vanlife tour.

And it was quite the success: they were able to sell into 200 new stores with 500 prospects in the pipeline. There is a lot we can learn from Bizzy Coffee:

  • Ranking #1 in amazon for cold brew coffee
  • Finding product opportunities using internet metrics
  • A/B testing and online customer feedback
  • How to run a successful promotion tour
  • Door-to-door retail sales tips
  • Navigate the chicken and egg problem with distributors and retail
  • The National Coop Grocers association
  • Key metrics that many founders overlook
  • Buying and equipping a van for your brand
  • Why you need company "gear"
  • Understanding why customers use your product

 

 

 

Ep150- Raising Money + Lessons from 1000 Founders - Steven of CircleUp
40:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:41
Ep150- Raising Money + Lessons from 1000 Founders - Steven of CircleUp

For Steven, it's all about patterns. He has spoken to over 1,000 founders and has developed a sense for which startups are going to flourish.

He focuses on sourcing and evaluating premier brands and coaching entrepreneurs through the fundraising process at CircleUp.

CircleUp is the platform providing capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands, and opportunities for sophisticated investors to participate in their growth.

From machine learning data to predict CPG success to the do's and don'ts of fundraising, we cover a lot:

  • The fallout from Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods
  • An 18 billion dollar shift from large brands to small brands in the consumer space from 2011-2015
  • Is there a “too early” for Circle Up?
  • Characteristics of good brand communication
  • Helio - machine learning for the CPG space
  • How to attack a trade show.
  • Trends Steven sees in 2017
  • The 5 buckets of entrepreneurs
  • Why some companies can raise money and others can’t

Ep149- Health, Wealth + Coconuts - Alex of Genius
38:05
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 38:05
Ep149- Health, Wealth + Coconuts - Alex of Genius

Most Americans are sick. Alex Bayer saw it first hand, dealing insurance policies for AFLAC in southern California.

Born and raised in Palos Verdes, he has followed an extremely healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. In his 20’s, he became ‘too busy’ and was always on the go, never having time to cook a meal or prepare food, and smoothies became a way of life for him.

When the coconut craze hit, he discovered that coconuts were a great source of nutrients and benefits, and he always wondered why the full coconut meat was never included in coconut drinks. He started cold blending coconut water and coconut meat in his vitamix blender, eventually giving birth to the Genius Juice formula with coconut milk.

Alex has persevered through a lot. Now, in over 400 stores, he is ready to take it to the next level:

  • Finding simplicity
  • The shocking things Alex witnessed at AFLAC
  • A lot of times we are “experts” without even knowing it.
  • Why did coconut milk receive very little attention in the U.S. coconut craze?
  • Subtle changes and market impact
  • Sourcing coconuts 101
  • Why will Genius continue to succeed once others copy it?

Ep148- The Blockchain and Food - Emma of AgriDigital
41:18
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 41:18
Ep148- The Blockchain and Food - Emma of AgriDigital

Imagine if, in 1996, you knew that the internet was going to be the next big thing. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but it wasn't at the time.

Now we are on the brink of a new technology that can be as monumental to the world as the internet: the blockchain.

Food and Ag is just one of many industries that will evolve with the technology.

Emma Weston of AgriDigital is applying blockchain technology to transform global agricultural supply chain. She breaks down the blockchain and how it will change food forever:

  • What is the blockchain?
  • Current state of international food trading
  • Tokenizing physical assets
  • Smart contracts
  • Making trust a commodity
  • Why did Emma's pitch win?
  • The three main problems the blockchain can solve in agricultural trading
  • Traceability, the blockchain, and IoT
  • Additional uses of the blockchain in food
  • Why CPG brands should learn about the blockchain
  • Food marketing potential of the blockchain

Ep147- More on Brokers, Costco, and the Evolving Food Space - Jeremy of LaunchPad
50:59
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 50:59
Ep147- More on Brokers, Costco, and the Evolving Food Space - Jeremy of LaunchPad

Jeremy Smith is back. If you haven't heard the first interview, listen here.

There is trouble in the food broker space. The market has changed dramatically.

Based on listener response to the first episode and Jeremy's intuition, we continued the conversation on Costco, brokers, and how to adapt to the evolving food space:

  • Costco pitches: phone vs in-person. Can you do it on the phone?:
  • “Does a founder have to live the messaging of the brand before he/she communicates it to the consumer?”
  • Hershey’s and Nestle are not driving the categories anymore ..
  • Thoughts on Whole Foods “decline” ..
  • Why the food brokerage business is broken. The challenge, how is it impacting companies?
  • Your broker is not doing a good job it could be you.
  • Can you be a food broker?
  • Should you sell directly to Costco or use a broker.
  • Why do some buyers say you should work directly with them and not use brokers?
  • What are Costco Buyers like?
  • Why brands fail at Costco?
  • “Flavor Fatigue”
  • Channel protectors should not sell to Costco.
  • Is there a right time for a brand to go to Costco?
  • Raising money: How Circle Up has evolved

Ep146- How to Join and Thrive at a Food Startup - Amanda Sains of B'more Organic
27:43
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 27:43
Ep146- How to Join and Thrive at a Food Startup - Amanda Sains of B'more Organic

In the last episode, we spoke with the founder of B'More Organic. This week we interview their secret weapon, Amanda Sains.

Amanda was in the corporate world and wanted a change. She started as a brand ambassador, doing product demos on her lunch break.

She has since rebranded the company, supported growth into over 3000 stores and has gotten placement for B’more on The Rachael Ray Show, collegiate sponsorships, secured NFL athlete endorsements with VaynerSports and coaching from entrepreneur, Barbara Corcoran.

We find out what drives Amanda and how she has been able to excel at B'More Organic:

  • What she learned running an Etsy store
  • Her decision to go to grad school
  • Advice for young people who are unsure of their career path
  • What "the hustle" means to Amanda
  • Getting the attention of a food company
  • How she proved herself to B'more Organic
  • Getting in front of superstar entrepreneur Gary Vee
  • Landing endorsements with NFL players
  • Life on the road..
  • Guerrilla marketing

Ep145- Resourcefulness, Skyr, + Taking a Bite out of Disease - Andrew of Skyr
27:01
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 27:01
Ep145- Resourcefulness, Skyr, + Taking a Bite out of Disease - Andrew of Skyr

"Necessity creates opportunities in my life."

Andrew Buerger was in his 40's and stuck in a declining industry. He had to find something new.

While mountain climbing in Iceland, tried their traditional yogurt, Skyr. Even though he is lactose-intolerant, Andrew loved the yogurt and felt great after eating it.

He came back to Maryland and figured out how to turn this into a real business. In 2015, they became the fastest growing yogurt company in the U.S. And the yogurt sales spur Jodi's Climb for Hope, which has  raised over $750,000 to funding promising research on breast cancer and MS at Baltimore’s John’s Hopkins University.

They are in over 3,000 stores and growing strong. Andrew and I had an enlightening conversation:

  • Converting limitations into opportunities
  • Making a career transition
  • What is Skyr?
  • How the product evolved to a yogurt smoothie
  • Turning a cause into a business
  • Aligning the "why" with the product and charity
  • Goals for 2020
  • Consultation with Barbara Corcoran
  • Andrew's life mission
  • The opportunities available in Baltimore

Ep144- A Lesson on Biz Dev and Consumer Behavior - Andy of Basket Savings
34:27
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 34:27
Ep144- A Lesson on Biz Dev and Consumer Behavior - Andy of Basket Savings

In the space Andy Ellwood plays in, every few years you need to be prepared to start over.

On his dynamic career "path", Andy has become a high-performer in business development with a track record to back it up.

He helped Gowalla through its acquisition by Facebook in 2011, Waze through to its acquisition by Google in 2013, and Bond which was acquired in 2016 by Newell Rubbermaid.

Now he is on his next venture. As Cofounder and President of Basket, Andy leads a community of shoppers committed to never over paying for groceries again.

Some retailers and brands have resisted the app, but it is becoming an unstoppable force with over 300,000 users. And as Andy will explain, the users always come first:

  • What is business development?
  • The ups and downs as an entrepreneur
  • Why you should play on the edges
  • The variation of grocery prices
  • Celebrity driving directions with Waze
  • The hipster effect
  • The key moment that marks the success of any product/service
  • Grocery shopping behavior
  • Gamified data collection
  • How they overcome obstacles with retailers and brands
  • Business development philosophy (way more than "tips")

Ep143- Finding the White Space - Mikey's
38:11
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 38:11
Ep143- Finding the White Space - Mikey's

He started Mikey's Muffins as a side hustle to pay the rent. As of today, his products are in more than 4500 retailers nationwide.

Michael Tierney began working in professional kitchens at the age of 13 and followed his passion to The Culinary Institute of America, where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts Management. He went on to work in the kitchens of world-renowned restaurants, including 3 michelin star The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California and Eleven Madison Park in New York.

Not happy with his future prospects in the restaurant industry, he left it all behind and ended up in the food CPG space. Mikey's started out with paleo, gluten-free english muffins and they are growing their product offerings. We cover a diverse set of topics:

  • How he decided to leave the restaurant industry
  • The skills he picked up grinding away in top restaurant kitchens
  • His proprietary candy product that will launch this summer
  • How Mikey revised his strategy for investment / fundraising tips
  • The keys to scaling quickly
  • Understanding the long-term effects of margins
  • On having a lean staff
  • The two types of white space in the marketplace
  • Integration of your fans in social media
  • Book recommendations (linked below)

Ep142- Raw Sugar, Strategy, + Serendipity - Robbie of Just Panela
42:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 42:41
Ep142- Raw Sugar, Strategy, + Serendipity - Robbie of Just Panela

He thought he was going to be a diplomat. While gaining international experience in Medellin, Colombia, he fell into a circle of entrepreneurs.

And everything changed. Robbie Thomas teamed up with another expat and launched Just Panela, a true raw cane sugar.

The company has grown fast. 18 months later, the organic sweetener is in many parts of the United States.

Robbie has helped Just Panela get slotted in accounts like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Wegmans, as well as build out the food service/bulk side of the company’s business.

Robbie and I talk about the art of the launch with a product unknown to the North American consumer:

  • Advice to younger listeners who want to start a business with little to no money
  • Creating serendipity
  • What is panela?
  • How is panela different from Turbinado sugar?
  • The sales pitch for panela
  • What they would have done differently knowing what they know now
  • How to use food brokers
  • Strategic distribution partnerships
  • Retail versus food service
  • Conventional vs specialty grocers
  • Running a U.S. focused business from South America
  • Why finding a great fulfillment/warehouse partners is important
  • Colombian musings
  • Bonus: Robbie attempts to eloquently pronounce "terroir"

Ep141- How to Reinvent Yourself, Build Startups - Tobias of Square Roots
40:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:41
Ep141- How to Reinvent Yourself, Build Startups - Tobias of Square Roots

Tobias Peggs understands how to pivot; how to evolve. He has primarily operated in venture-backed tech startup environments (twice as CEO w/exits to Walmart and Adobe).

He has led companies across various domains including mobile, search, social, e-commerce, ad-tech and speech rec.

Now, with Kimbal Musk, he is spearheading Square Roots Urban Growers - a farming accelerator based out of Brooklyn. Think of a 2 acre farm inside a 40' shipping container.

Tobias imparts wisdom on how to have a fulfilling career, urban growing and more:

  • Understanding real food
  • Working alongside Kimbal Musk
  • What he has learned about leadership
  • Why the accelerator model is so powerful
  • Keys to being an effective CEO
  • Tobias's process for changing career/industry
  • The creative-active phase
  • How to get involved with Urban Roots accelerator
  • Advice to those who are starting out in food

Ep140- Mushrooms, Customer Rituals, and Lifestyle - Tero of Four Sigmatic
37:24
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 37:24
Ep140- Mushrooms, Customer Rituals, and Lifestyle - Tero of Four Sigmatic

Tero Isokauppila, the founder of Four Sigmatic, is on a mission to make medicinal mushrooms, some of the world’s most researched superfoods, more accessible to everyone.

Born in Finland to an agronomist father and nursing teacher mother, Tero grew up on a farm his family has owned since 1619. There, he foraged for mushrooms and other wild foods while learning about the natural food space at an early age.

A world traveler, Tero has created a powerful business that matches his lifestyle and values. Tero was also chosen as one of the world's TOP 50 Food Activists by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. An engaging, wise Scandinavian dude:

  • How to find your optimal breakfast
  • Connecting with Tim Ferriss and his podcast
  • Online marketing thoughts
  • Customer service strategies
  • Entering the U.S. market
  • Becoming ritual-focused
  • Advice for those who want to bring an unknown superfood to market
  • Sleeping on a nail mat and other wellness tips

Ep139- Costco, Chobani, and Becoming Iconic - Jeremy of LaunchPad
54:49
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 54:49
Ep139- Costco, Chobani, and Becoming Iconic - Jeremy of LaunchPad

Jeremy Smith is fed up with the food brokerage industry. There are a shortage of great food brokers. And grocery buyers have noticed. That's why he is back in the game.

He previously sold his food brokerage, Level One, and is back with an innovative Food Brokerage and Consultancy: LaunchPad.

Over his career in food, design and advertising, Jeremy has worked with iconic brands.

Think Chobani, Apple, 5Hour Energy, popchips, EVOL Foods, Promax, Pure Foods, Krave Jerky and Bob’s Red Mill.

His relationships with buyers and marketers, strategists and designers presents enviable connections in the food industry. Jeremy sheds all kind of golden advice:

  • How to sell to Costco
  • Becoming multi-talented - design, advertising, copywriting, business strategy, etc.
  • What he learned from Steve Jobs
  • On selling his brokerage to Advantage Sales and Marketing
  • The lack of great food brokers in 2017
  • Questions that you should ask a food broker
  • What makes Chobani special?
  • The "Secret Sauce" of Chobani
  • Helping Chobani thrive at Costco
  • How much does a food broker charge a food brand?
  • Why founders shouldn’t stay on after an acquisition
  • “Im scared of losing Whole Foods business if I go to Costco”
  • Various Costco tips and insights (pack size, behavior etc.)
  • Some top emerging food brands to look out for

Ep138- Inside the Buyer's Brain - Alli Ball
40:59
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:59
Ep138- Inside the Buyer's Brain - Alli Ball

I thought I knew a decent amount about how to connect with buyers. I was wrong.

Alli Ball has all the secrets I wanted to know. She has successfully opened several retail locations, including the Bi-Rite Divisadero location as store manager. She is a rockstar. 

Listen to this episode and you'll agree:

  • Opening Bi-Rite in Divisadero
  • Why they rejected Runa, who is doing great today and was recently on the podcast.
  • The right way to cold call on new stores
  • How to send information to buyers
  • Understanding category performance
  • Do buyers like being acknowledged as "busy"?
  • Can you send a text message to a buyer?
  • Constant, gentle pressure
  • Demystifying the business plan
  • The future of online vs in-person retail

Ep137- Chicory, Prebiotic Health Benefits, and B2B Sales - David of Blue Prarie
29:20
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 29:20
Ep137- Chicory, Prebiotic Health Benefits, and B2B Sales - David of Blue Prarie

When David Woodburn was asked to be the CEO of Blue Prarie, he didn't know what chicory was. Now, he is leading the charge developing prebiotic, chicory-based ingredients that help maintain a healthy gut environment for beneficial bacteria while replacing fast-digesting starches.

David is pleased to announce that Blue Prarie has completed a $6 million Series A Investment round.

While the nutrition space highlights probiotics, prebiotics should arguably be the #1 focus. Learn about prebiotic nutrition, chicory, and an awesome biotech company:

  • Chicory definition and history
  • Prebiotics vs probiotics
  • Inulin and soluble fiber
  • Understanding the giant market opportunity
  • B2B relationship building
  • The biggest challenges/opportunities of their business model
  • What they are looking for in a VP of Sales + Marketing

Ep136- Building a Popsicle Empire - Daniel of Good Pop
37:07
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 37:07
Ep136- Building a Popsicle Empire - Daniel of Good Pop

He founded GoodPop on a ramen noodle budget in 2009 and hasn’t accepted investments since. College student at the time, Daniel couldn’t find an all-natural popsicle, snow cone or frozen treat to beat the Texas heat.

Daniel Goetz decided to quit his advertising internship to launch GoodPop with his first retailer, Whole Foods. GoodPop has since seen triple digit growth every year, revenue in the millions and recently received a loan from Whole Foods.

Now, at the age of 30, Daniel has transformed GoodPop from its humble beginnings as a popular, local Austin brand to a nationally-recognized leader in the natural frozen novelty category.

Daniel radiates positive energy and perseverance. Learn about:

  • His initial market research when GoodPop a dorm room startup
  • The long-term goal of the company
  • Creating customer experience
  • How did you get a loan from Whole Foods?
  • Moments of struggle/perseverance
  • What makes GoodPop successful?
  • How do you manage hiring/growth?
  • Working with seasonality and different regions of the United States
  • Channeling nostalgia and improving access to food

Ep135- International Man of Food Development - Tim Forrest
40:13
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:13
Ep135- International Man of Food Development - Tim Forrest

Cookies in Saudi Arabia, pomegranates in Croatia, bananas in Ecuador, Olive oil in Georgia. Tim has done it all.

In the food business since 1988, he helps companies add thousands of retail locations, millions of dollars in revenue, and millions of capital investment.

Tim has worked with large and small companies from all around the world. With experience working at the big boys (Unilever and Nestle), he applies their advanced, proven practices to smaller ones.

Fun stories and practical advice for all:

  • Georgia Olive Farms story
  • How he brought Keebler to Saudi Arabia without permission
  • Food Network endorsements + PR tis
  • The 4-5 key metrics you must pay attention to
  • How to recognize the key issues during growth
  • 9 pillars of successful food brands
  • The retail index coefficient
  • Bananas, Ecuador, and Whole Foods
  • Results-based consulting pay
  • Tips for raising capital

Ep134- Insights from an Austin Food Legend - Scott of Rhythm Superfoods / Stubb's BBQ
40:57
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:57
Ep134- Insights from an Austin Food Legend - Scott of Rhythm Superfoods / Stubb's BBQ

Scott Jensen is Co-Founder and CEO of Rhythm Superfoods, a manufacturer of organic plant-based superfoods snacks. I am snacking on their delicous broccoli bites as we speak!

He is the former CEO & President of One World Foods (Stubb’s Bar-B-Q), which he co-founded 20+ years ago with C.B. Stubblefield and two close friends.

One World Foods was successfully sold to McCormick & Co. in 2015. Scott led Stubb’s in its national and international expansion to be the largest SuperPremium Bar-B-Q and Marinade brand in the country.

Scott is personable, intelligent, and happy to impart his wisdom from his many years of success in the food industry. From marinades to superfood snacks:

  • The Stubbs BBQ story
  • How they came across the Kale chips idea
  • Working with co-founder Clayton Christopher (of Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka)
  • Why did Kale become popular? (19:30)
  • Moving production facilities 3x
  • Handling demand spikes in the Kale dehydrating niche business
  • Becoming a produce buyer
  • Sourcing and supply chain tips
  • Benefits of working with General Mills - 301 INC.

Ep133- Food Systems, Startup Investing, and Creating Alpha - Victor of S2G Ventures
31:11
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 31:11
Ep133- Food Systems, Startup Investing, and Creating Alpha - Victor of S2G Ventures

Everything changed on his visit to the Central Market in Valencia, Spain: Victor Friedberg realized that food is a system.

He returned to the U.S. and dove head first into learning about food systems.

At S2G Ventures, Victor and his team invest in innovative food startups. Many of the startups have been guests on our show, including Maple Hill Creamery, TerraMera, Myco, Mercaris, Kuli Kuli, Back to the Roots, Shenandoah Growers, and SVO.

S2G has built an amazing community and portfolio. Victor is sharp and insightful. We talk about:

  • Victor's diverse work and life background
  • His trip to Valencia, Spain
  • The different stages of investing
  • Investing in great "systems"
  • What he sees in some of the food startups that he has invested in
  • Synergy between his food startups
  • Creating alpha
  • How they advise their portfolio of companies
  • The advisors to Victor and his fund (an impressive group)

 

Ep132- Building an Amazonian Enterprise - Dan from Runa
34:23
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 34:23
Ep132- Building an Amazonian Enterprise - Dan from Runa

Dan MacCombie is the co-founder and former Co-CEO of Runa, an Amazonian social enterprise and beverage company supporting indigenous farmers sustainably growing guayusa tea in the rainforest.

 He and the Runa team developed relationships with indigenous farmers and built a supply chain into nationwide distribution in Whole Foods and other U.S. chains.

Starting in 2009, it has been a fun, challenging adventure. Dan tells us how they got to where they are today:

  • A” listening tour” in Ecuador
  • Introducing an unknown food (guayusa) to the U.S. market
  • Highlights of their growth
  • On strategic relationships
  • How they stayed on the shelves
  • Musings on the food industry
  • Keys to sampling your product
  • Analyzing the social investment landscape
  • Bonus: Matt and Dan rant on “New Vendor Packets”

Ep131- The Future of Chips - Brand Evolution - Christian of Cabo Chips
31:04
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 31:04
Ep131- The Future of Chips - Brand Evolution - Christian of Cabo Chips

It all started 12 years ago in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Today, it is a nationwide brand based out of Southern California.

Christian Bunte started Cabo Chips in college and has been doing it ever since. In 2012, he made the decision to focus on the natural retail channels. A pivotal shift that changed everything.

He is very savvy on the food industry, production, sales and marketing. We tell his story:

  • Why Christian decided to launch Cabo Chips
  • Launching a business in Mexico versus the U.S.
  • Comparing conventional vs natural channels
  • The 2012 company shift
  • How he works with his mentors
  • Managing production - quality control
  • Dealing with a seasonal product
  • Tips for hiring
  • On hiring a C.E.O. to run his company
  • The biggest mistakes Christian
  • How has the industry changed since you started?

Ep130- Nutrition Tips + The Best Baby Food Money Can Buy - Cassandra of Once Upon a Farm
28:48
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 28:48
Ep130- Nutrition Tips + The Best Baby Food Money Can Buy - Cassandra of Once Upon a Farm

Doing research for this interview, I quickly realized that this is no ordinary baby food. It utilizes start of the art technology. And adults love it too!

Cassandra Curtis is a nutrition fanatic foodie with an extensive background in the health and wellness spheres.

Her deep understanding of business operations, nutrition and food, combined with the experience of being a mother to two little ones, led her to pursue her ultimate passion: to create a one-of-a-kind HPP baby food line that would become the gold standard in childhood nutrition.

In this episode, we talk all things nutrition, health, caffeine and more:

  • Experiences at the Optimum Health Institute
  • Moving from a kitchen startup to a co-packer
  • How Matt would react if he was diagnosed with cancer
  • Did drinking copious amounts of soda as a child ruin my adult health?
  • How nutrition affects mood and psychology
  • Two things you can subtract from your diet for a healthier, better life.
  • What is epigenetics?
  • Packaging tips -- Phthalate and BPA free
  • The Magic HPP - High Pressure Processing (photos below)
  • The dangers of "shelf stable" food
  • Matt’s 3-day coffee rule
  • Sourcing produce from the West Coast
  • Michael Pollan's Rules of Food
  • Packaging tips

As promised: HPP Machine - High Pressure Processing:  

 

 

E

Ep129- Bogotá to Eugene, Solo to Co-Founder, Crafting Beer - Doug of Alesong
37:11
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 37:11
Ep129- Bogotá to Eugene, Solo to Co-Founder, Crafting Beer - Doug of Alesong

Douglas Coombs decided it was time for a change.

He left a tech startup in a South American city of 9 million people and moved to a small college town in Oregon to start a brewery. Why and how did he do it?

We have a fun conversation about his journey and current venture: Alesong Brewing & Blending. They are focused on small batched beers aged in oak barrels, out of Eugene, Oregon.

Alesong recently took home a couple medals last weekend at The Best of Craft Beer Awards. Bronze for Saison du Vin '16 and GOLD for Shake Your Tree!

Working with his chemist brother (Brian Coombs) and a brew master (Matt Van Wyk), they have a strong, complimentary team. Listen and learn:

  • When did Doug realize that it was time to start a brewery in Oregon?
  • Why his brewery hours feel different than his past employee hours
  • Life is Oregon, "what is it like man?"
  • Going from solo founder to co-founder
  • What do people beer lovers not know about starting a beer company?
  • Matt the brewmaster, how do you channel his creativity?
  • Changing the way craft beer is viewed
  • What did you tell the people that invested in your company?
  • Keys to high end wine + beer marketing
  • "I’m not just buying the beer i’m buying a story."
  • What is sour beer?
  • Building a following; interacting with customers?
  • Their mid-term and long-term goals

Ep128- Organic Chicken with a Farmer Focus - Jefferson of SVO
40:45
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:45
Ep128- Organic Chicken with a Farmer Focus - Jefferson of SVO

Once you have the chance to eat organic chicken, it is difficult to return to the conventional. I say this from experience.

Jefferson Heatwole and Shenandoah Valley Organics (SVO) are trying to affordably provide organic chicken. They have an innovative, farmer-focused business model and encourage healthy eating and cultural awareness.

The company is growing in number of farms, chickens, and sales. In fact they have an exclusive brand developed just for Costco.

SVO operates out of the beautiful Shenandoah valley in Virginia. Jefferson and I demystify the chicken industry and elaborate on their business model:

  • What certified organic farms look like
  • Antibiotic free chicken vs organic chicken
  • Health differences of organic vs conventional chicken
  • Quality of life differences for the chickens!
  • Teamwork and relationships with independent farmers on over 25 farms (24:40)
  • Tips for working with USDA Organic certifiers
  • Tim Heydon of Shenandoah Growers an an advisor
  • Keys to success and rapid sustainable growth
  • Why is organic turkey so expensive? (31:45)
Note: For the chicken raising standards chart mentioned at (13:30) scroll down on this page Book recs.

Ep127- Growth, Awareness, Inc. 500 - Courtney of SmartyPants Vitamins
52:19
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 52:19
Ep127- Growth, Awareness, Inc. 500 - Courtney of SmartyPants Vitamins

It started off as an Amazon.com side business. Now it is one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.

But Courtney Gould had to evolve as a person and leader in order to make SmartyPants Vitamins a successful AND healthy company.

They have disrupted the vitamin industry. The company's products are top ranked on Amazon and sold everywhere from Whole Foods and Target to Costco and beyond.

Courtney is sharp and agile. A talented CEO. Learn about business and personal development:

  • “I like complex problems!!!”
  • No such thing as work/life balance - it is all connected
  • Dealing with the fear of not crushing it
  • The power of knowing yourself
  • Understanding that you suck at most things (humility)
  • Why the name SmartyPants?
  • “I use to lead from fear”
  • Going from Student of Life to Expert
  • Becoming a 'Superager'
  • Online/Amazon versus retail
  • Unaided awareness vs aided awareness
  • Methylfolate folate vs folic acid
  • Recognizing and transforming your personal traits
  • The personal development fund
  • 1-for-1 nutrient grants to a child in need

Ep126- Advice from a Franchise Extraordinaire - Greg Sausaman of Topper's Creamery
42:37
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 42:37
Ep126- Advice from a Franchise Extraordinaire - Greg Sausaman of Topper's Creamery

And I asked him: Why are you doing this? Your grandchildren won't have to work..” -Greg to his co-founder Wade who owns more than 50 Papa John's pizza franchises.

Greg Sausaman has worked in food since the 1980's. By the time he was 30 years old, he owned eight Domino's pizza locations. Then he transitioned to Allied Domecq, one of the largest food/liquor conglomerates in the world.

Now he is cofounder of Topper's Creamery, a custard franchise currently in Florida.

Upon the company’s inception, Sausaman fully designed an entire new brand; image, operational flow, menu, pricing strategy, training processes, and financial. AND he undertook full strategic and tactical plans for this new brand.

I had a great time speaking with Greg. He talks about the long term mindset, what he would have done differently, how to manage people and much more:

  • The transition from entrepreneur to employee
  • On choosing retail locations
  • The question he asks employees that has made a huge difference
  • Creating a legacy company
  • Baby boomer vs Millennial definition of "long-term"
  • Developing an award-winning custard recipe
  • All about vanilla
  • Cobranding vs Multibranding
  • Lessons learned from mistakes
  • How they incentivize their employees for high performance and long-term commitment

Ep125- Money, Pressure, and Passion - The Art of Authenticity
41:19
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 41:19
Ep125- Money, Pressure, and Passion - The Art of Authenticity

Turning the tables to end the year, this time I am the interviewee.

Laura Coe, of The Art of Authenticity, and I talk about Money, Pressure, and Passion.

Copying the show notes from Laura's episode page here:

  • Matt’s background and what inspired him to become an entrepreneur [4:20]
  • The background on his podcast, The Food Startups Podcast [7:50]
  • How the reception has been to his podcast [10:17]
  • Why he wanted to talk about money, pressure, and passion [11:45]
  • Dispelling myths about passion [14:40]
  • How to balance money vs. passion [17:01]
  • Balancing the pressure of business with life [19:02]
  • The power of journaling and digital detoxes [25:33]
  • Balancing your current business success with your future goals [27:10]
  • How Matt defines authenticity [30:30]
  • His big turning point moments [32:02]
  • The last time he was almost inauthentic and caught himself [34:18]
  • Matt’s daily practices [37:24]

Ep124- How to Make 2017 Better
16:39
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 16:39
Ep124- How to Make 2017 Better

Dear listeners,

You know me from my podcast. I've spoken to over 100 experts and I always try to get advice. Ask questions that we can learn from. You know this.

But did you know that I am in the food business as well?

Where do I want to go with my business. Today I am going to share more about me. What I do, mistakes I made in 2016, things that went well, plans for 2017.

From these reflection combined with learnings from the many founders I spoke with this year, I'll go in depth on Peter Drucker's feedback analysis method. Then, I'll teach you how to apply this to your professional and personal life.

We discuss:

  • My food startup
  • Why I am sharing this information publicly
  • The importance of applying probability theory to your business
  • Top learnings from 2016
  • Relationship building and venture capital
  • Our strategy to grow in 2017 
  • Feedback analysis and it's short, medium and long-term benefits
  • My foray into journalism
  • Always be storytelling!!
  • Exciting plans for the podcast going forward

 

Ep123- Indoor Growing, Coworking, and Coliving - Eric of ROOT
44:39
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 44:39
Ep123- Indoor Growing, Coworking, and Coliving - Eric of ROOT

Eric De Feo grew up in New York, the son of Italian immigrants. As a child, he learned about design, building, and community.

He also learned that living in a big house means a lot of work!

As an adult, Eric has combined his experience and interests in design, architecture, environmental conservation, and food.

Eric has experience in designing projects for informal settlements abroad, including working with the Kounkuey Design Initiative in Nairobi to build sanitation blocks and a playground, along with public housing concepts with Gensler in Thailand.

After working abroad, Eric came home.

He co-founded OpenDoor, a collaborative living space currently in the Bay area.

He also built a beautiful and functional smart growing machine, ROOT. Grow your own fresh foods, medicinal herbs and flowers with the swipe of a finger.

If you are interested in indoor growing or would like to learn about coliving spaces, this episode is for you:

  • Eric's influence from his childhood
  • Work/life balance
  • In the U.S., are we defined by our work?
  • The appeal of collaborative living
  • How OpenDoor works
  • Why attention to detail and design create experience
  • The amazing ROOT machine
  • Matt makes a shameless plug for the coconut
  • Will indoor growing ever produce a higher percentage of our crops than traditional, outdoor agro?

 

Selected links from the episode:

ROOT Landmark Open Door Immigrant Inc Your Money or your Life Email Eric

Ep122- Local Empowerment + Alternative Sales Channels - Kim of Cureate
39:51
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 39:51
Ep122- Local Empowerment + Alternative Sales Channels - Kim of Cureate

You don't HAVE to follow the cookie-cutter retail sales model. An entrepreneur can feel powerless when they are 100% dependent on one or two large grocery buyers for the success of their food startup.

Hotels, catering, and local cafes are a few examples of local businesses that may be interested in carrying your brand. But they need a way to find out about your product.

Kim Bryden is doing just that with Cureate Connect. She has a network nearing 250 food startups in DC and Baltimore with access to D.C. and Maryland businesses interested is local sourcing.

For over 10 years, she has worked in the food and beverage industry from government to Whole Foods retail management, to food+tech start-up. We talk about:

  • Kim's diverse background in the food space
  • Lessons from Whole Foods and EMERGE
  • What is SHRINK? and creative finanical costing
  • Community learnings from issuing D.C. liquor licenses
  • Why success is often misunderstood
  • Working with the legendary chef José Andrés
  • Measuring the impact on local economies
  • Why we need Wikileaks for the food industry
  • How Cureate Connect warks
  • The meaning of Cureate
  • Connecting high-level messaging with tactile details
  • Mistakes that food startups make
  • Operating from abundance
  • Two types of food entrepreneurs and how to interact with them

Selected links from the show: Cureate Cureate Connect (If in D.C / Maryland - sign up!!) Kim Bryden #FoodPorn School of Food Minibar by José Andrés Adobe Creative Cloud

Ep121- Perfect Fuel, Perfect Mentors, Perfect Acquisition - Nicolas Warren
44:52
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 44:52
Ep121- Perfect Fuel, Perfect Mentors, Perfect Acquisition - Nicolas Warren

"I attribute my success to my numerous beloved mentors and getting up early in the morning to play and work harder."

Nicolas Warren is relied upon for action, leadership, strategy, sales, energy, and smiles. Learning, competition, and positivity are driving forces in his life.  

He has significant experience in several capacities across multiple industries including tourism, food /hospitality, computer/software tech, marketing, and advertising. 

Nicolas recently sold his dark chocolate energy bar company, Perfect Fuel. We reflect on his 6 year journey. How did Nicolas get to where he is today?

  • Thoughts on nutrition
  • How to find and utilize mentors
  • Why were they acquired by America's #1 meatball company?
  • What he would have done differently
  • Why Perfect Fuel was attractive to be acquired
  • Cross-merchandising and shelf displays
  • Making your product into a platform
  • Advice for creating a brand new concept
  • The importance of customer feedback
  • Analysis of another great brand: Perfect Bar
  • “Don’t bootstrap your business.”
  • Nicolas's next adventure
  • The way he likes to learn

Selected links from the show: Perfect Fuel @nicolaswarren Home Market Foods Perfect Bar

Ep120- Pro Tips from the All-Stars of Food
07:44
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 07:44
Ep120- Pro Tips from the All-Stars of Food

Happy thanksgiving to all! In this episode we pay thanks to and learn from the all-stars of food. Learnings from five of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs in the game:

Tim Joseph of Maple Hill Creamery (episode link)

Tim Heydon of Shenandoah Farms (episode link)

Susan MacTavish Best of Living MacTavish (episode link)

Andrew Chae of YinYang Naturals (episode link)

Seth Goldman of Honest Tea (episode link)

Selected links from the episode:

The War of Art and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield:

If these books don't provide the necessary motivation to work, to become a true professional then nothing will...

Read both, but start with The War of Art.

Ep119- How to Change the World via Food with Tim West
38:38
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 38:38
Ep119- How to Change the World via Food with Tim West

Recognized as one of Zagat’s 30 under 30 in 2013, Tim West is a Slow Food chef turned Social Entrepreneur. He is a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate and grandson of Arch West, the inventor of Doritos®.

Tim cut his teeth in the the kitchens at The St. Regis Hotel in New York and the Facebook headquarters in California before entering the world of entrepreneurship.

Tim co-created The Food Hackathon + Forum as a business plan competition and alternative educational experience to encourage entrepreneurs to work on more meaningful problems and to expose corporate teams to a more collaborative and inspiring working methodology.

We had a great conversation about the future of food and how to get involved:

  • How Tim became a chef
  • His family's past food experience
  • Definition of "Slow Food"
  • What is wrong with food today?
  • Tim's realization "that he can feed more people with a cell phone and a computer than a chef knife and a flame."
  • True cost accounting
  • How do we change the food system?
  • What is a "hackathon" and why is it important?
  • The Startup Bus Competition
  • How to win business plan competitions
  • The art of the pitch
  • What Tim learned from his time at Facebook
  • Thoughts on "digital discipline"

 

Selected links from the show: Food Hackathon Tim West - iFTF Profile Learning From A Banana Tycoon Tim's Ted Talks: Cultivate Innovation and Hacking: Food for Thought Camp Grounded - Summer Camp for Adults A Taste of Generation Yum StartupBus Guy Kawasaki - The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch Tim West - AboutMe Terra Madre Future Food Institute

Ep118- Do You Need a Food Broker? Andrew of YINYANG NATURALS
39:23
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 39:23
Ep118- Do You Need a Food Broker? Andrew of YINYANG NATURALS

He is the founder of Yin Yang Naturals, a food brokerage focused on the natural retail channel.

Andrew Chae worked in his family’s food manufacturing business since his teenage years. In 2004, he oversaw the organic certification of two production facilities, and built a new Asian organic brand, Ohana House, from the ground up.

Ohana House went national with distribution into all Whole Foods and other major natural chains.

Andrew also oversaw the entry of Ohana House into Costco and initiated private label opportunities with Trader Joe’s.

In 2008, Andrew started Yin & Yang Naturals. He discovered a passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

Taking a product from concept, to store shelf, to someone’s kitchen shelf provides an unmatchable level of both personal and professional satisfaction.

Some brands that Yin Yang Naturals works with are Coconut Bliss ice cream, Harmless Harvest, Maple Hill Creamery, and Uncle Matt's. Yin Yang also helped launch EPIC bar, REBBL drinks, and Temple Turmeric.

Andrew is highly skilled, experienced, and successful. He drops serious knowledge for food startup founders: 

  • Life in Hawaii
  • Showing up as a rookie to ExpoWest
  • Definition of a food broker
  • What food brokers do from sales to the shelves
  • Why use a broker instead of a full time sales person
  • On selling a private-label to Trader Joe's
  • Keys to selling at Trader Joe's
  • When it comes to sales, followups, inventory, etc with distributors and stores, where is the responsibility with the food brand and when is it with the broker?
  • What questions to ask a broker when shopping for one
  • Qualities YinYang looks for in a food brand
  • Retail is about detail
  • Why flavor wins in any launch
  • Tips for buying machinery
  • What is happening in the industry right now?
  • How has the industry changed over the past few years?

Selected links from the show: YIN YANG NATURALS L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food

Ep117- $$$ for American Food Startups - Adam of Kiva
44:01
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 44:01
Ep117- $$$ for American Food Startups - Adam of Kiva

Featuring cameos from Keely Gerhold of Tinyfield Roofhop Farms and Corey Wood of Elixir Kombucha.

My favorite charity*, Kiva, is a micro-finance platform based on Nobel-prize winner Muhammad Yunus's Grameen Bank. 

On their platform, over $924,000,000 has been lent to over a million borrowers in 82 countries from over a million lenders!

Kiva's awesome international work has a lot of publicity. But small U.S. businesses can also receive loans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest!

We talk with their US Digital Marketing Manager, Adam Kirk. Plus, we hear from two startups that benefitted from a Kiva Zip Loan.

This episode was so much fun and a great way to learn about low-interest money for your startup:

  • Life in Albania and how it helped shape Adam's career
  • How to get a 0% interest Kiva zip loan for up to $10,000
  • After a successful kiva loan what other funding platforms can we look at?
  • Why food startups do well on Kiva
  • How to use social impact to get loans at your favor
  • Essential crowdfunding tips

*Our company has already made 38 loans to Kiva borrowers in Colombia and Peru.

Start a Kiva Loan Application Elixir Kombucha (Elixir Instagram) Tinyfield Roofhop Farm (Tinyfield Instagram) Tinyfield Kiva Video Adam Kirk on LinkedIn Square Capital Mission Economic Development Agency Urban Solutions Scrum Methodology Episode 88 – How to Crush Kickstarter & Business – Lisa Q. of NOMIKU Elixir Kombucha Kiva Loan Tinyfield Roofhop Farms Kiva Loan Tinyfield Roofhop Farms Indiegogo Campaign Peshkopi, Albania Banker to The Poor by Muhammed Yunus Nichols Industrial Art Strong Rope Brewery Amazon Smile Masters International Reach out to Adam

 

 

Ep116- International Biz, Patents, and Bed Bugs - Karn of Terramera
30:34
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 30:34
Ep116- International Biz, Patents, and Bed Bugs - Karn of Terramera

In this episode, we talk neem oil, biology, and international business with the founder of Terramera.

Their products can increase crop yields over conventional and current organic pesticides, bee health and public health applications  by harnessing the power of natural plant defenses and innovative chemistry.

Checkout their PROOF® Spray at Walmart and Target.

This is important stuff: Karn Manhas recently traveled to Washington to talk with the Obama's about it! And have you ever had bedbugs?

Karn has a background in Biology and Law. He is incredibly bright and charismatic. So it is no surprise that his company is thriving. We dig into all sorts of cool stuff:

  • All about the Neem tree
  • What Terramerra is at its heart
  • Explaining their technology in layman's terms
  • The problem with many of today's bio-pesticides
  • How to ensure integrity in organic farming
  • Tips on doing effective work with government entities
  • Resources for receiving government aid
  • What it is like to do business in India
  • Future of organic certification
  • How to incentivize companies to work with Terramera

Selected links from the show: Neem (Indian Lilac) Terramera About Terramera

 

Ep115- Baking up a Business - Marlo's Bakeshop
32:25
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 32:25
Ep115- Baking up a Business - Marlo's Bakeshop

Marlo Giudice landed in San Francisco by way of New York City and years of work in relationship management at digital marketing & Ad Tech companies.

Once relocating, she quickly realized that her passion actually lay in baking and enrolled in a professional pastry education program.

Today, she has expanded that recipe and Marlo's now sells five flavors of the contemporary twist on traditional biscotti across 10 SKUs.

We had a great time talking about biscotti, the ups and downs of being entrepreneur, and food business strategy:

  • Turning a family recipe into a business
  • What motivated her to start her own food brand
  • How Marlo transitioned from a digital marketing job to starting a bake shop
  • Soft-baked biscotti
  • The high's and low's of entrepreneurship
  • On selling online and importance to the brand
  • Amazon Fresh and Amazon Payments
  • Coffee shop distribution
  • Alternative channels to grocery

Selected links from the episode: Marlo's Bakeshop Marlo's Bake Shop on YouTube Kiva Zip Loans Marlo's Kickstarter The Sweet and Salty Podcast Reach out to Marlo

Ep114- Startup Resources @ The Indie Food Hub – Corey Hill
24:38
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 24:38
Ep114- Startup Resources @ The Indie Food Hub – Corey Hill

“Any time more than two people mention something, you know that it is something to consider.”

Corey Hill is the founder and CEO of Indie Food Hub, a resource providing services to small and medium sized food businesses. He is driven to change the food system for the better, creating greater access for independent producers.

Indie Food Hub is in the bay area and recently launched Vittle Bus to help food startups with one of the two most difficult problems: delivery logistics.

The other is money, which will also be discussed in detail. Corey is passionate about helping people like you, the listener:

  • What is the purpose of Indie Food Hub?
  • How do you consolidate the wide array of resources for food entrepreneurs?
  • How do I interact with IFH as a small food biz entrepreneur?
  • Corey’s favorite food startup resources
  • Water rights, The Big Short, and the precarious future
  • Ideas on how to raise funds for your food business
  • Vittle Bus – one of the brands under the IFH umbrella
  • Stories from a childhood in Germany
  • His experience as a freelance journalist
  • Human frights, fracking, and the issues he is passionate about
  • Corey’s favorite novels

Ep113- The Timeless Art of Social Dynamics - Susan MacTavish Best
40:30
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:30
Ep113- The Timeless Art of Social Dynamics - Susan MacTavish Best

"I've made a lot of people wealthy, but what about me? What do l love to do?"

Susan MacTavish Best creates interesting and engaging salons that have brought together some of the most creative minds of this century, from Tim Ferriss to Michael Pollan to food companies like Hampton Creek. The salons cover topics ranging from LSD to the future of death, and more.

Susan also has an all-encompassing lifestyle brand, Living MacTavish. It is not unlike Martha Stewart, but well, more accessible. And not a perfectionist. Martha Stewart meets the Royal Tennenbaums.

The art of casually bringing together our friends has been lost in this era of texting, social gaming, tweeting, IM’ing, and frenetic scheduling

Understand: strategically executed events, dinners, and salons can be used to make contacts, promote your food brand, and get deals done. Add this to your skill set. We cover a wide array of topics in a fun interview:

  • How she "cold-emailed" Michael Pollan and got him to show up at a salon.
  • Tips on putting together a guest list
  • Getting over the fear of attending a party alone
  • How to get people to show up to your event
  • Social dynamics party tips
  • Making a lasting, favorable impression
  • How to foster introductions at a busy event or party
  • Embracing imperfection
  • Why Susan started Living MacTavish
  • A common characteristic among elite performers like Tim Ferriss and Chris Sacca
  • How to fit in when not drinking
  • Using wigs and masks for events
  • How to choose a topic for a salon
  • How to create the right "vibe" for an event
  • Why the back of a bar or restaurant is not the ideal location

Mentioned in this episode: Living MacTavish Best PR Living the Lab Expert advice for your best end-of-summer fete This entrepreneur wants you to eat, drink – and party! – just like her A high-tech high: Wearable gives you good vibes Quid Pundits Vs. Machine: Predicting Controversies In The Presidential Race

Ep112- Start a Food Brand Your Way - Ryan Florio of Inca Tea
36:05
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 36:05
Ep112- Start a Food Brand Your Way - Ryan Florio of Inca Tea

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”  -Hunter S. Thompson

He took an adventure against doctor’s orders and it changed his life.

Back to another Ohio startup (what up LeBron!), Inca Tea does not disappoint. As you'll learn today, Ryan Florio is a contrarian thinker. He does not take things at face value, which gives him an advantage in business and life.

The story of Inca Tea began when Ryan and his friends hiked a treacherous Peruvian mountain trail with the help of their Sherpa Edgar.

Edgar introduced them to an amazing Ancient Tea recipe combining boiling water, freshly cut apples and Purple Corn, which Peruvians consider a super food that fights against a host of medical conditions.

Upon Ryan’s return home to the U.S., he quit his job, cashed in his 401K, took a second mortgage out on his home and started a company called Inca Tea, the first U.S. company to use the ingredient Purple Corn.

In addition to winning several awards throughout the state of Ohio, Inca Tea’s sales continue to climb at big-brand stores around the country (like Bed Bath and Beyond) and online orders continue to come in from all over the world.

We share Ryan's journey and offer tips for food startup founders who want to do things their way:

  • How his childhood shaped his values and outlook on life
  • Ryan's previous entrepreneurial adventures
  • What Ryan has learned from sourcing
  • The healing properties of Purple Corn
  • Going "all-in", the mindset and stress management
  • Food marketing on a shoe-string budget
  • Starting a kiosk at Cleveland airport
  • The importance of building relationships and saying thank you
  • Taking online sales from $1900 to $30000 over 42 states and 7 countries
  • How he develops flavors
  • On attracting and retaining cusomers
  • A day in the life of Ryan Florio
  • When to sell your company
  • Future plans for Inca Tea

Selected links from the show: Inca Tea Inca Tea Cafe The War of Art Robert Thurston Coffee Episode

Ep111- Creating a Food Commodities Exchange - Kellee James of Mercaris
34:39
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 34:39
Ep111- Creating a Food Commodities Exchange - Kellee James of Mercaris

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." - Steve Jobs

Kellee James exemplifies this quote. Looking at her experience, one can connect the dots and trace why she was able to start a food commodities exchange.

Mercaris allows buyers and sellers of raw commodities to meet and trade online. Customers include Whole Foods Market, Michael Foods, Perdue Farms, and others.

They make it possible for "everyone in the supply chain, from farmers to food manufacturers, to track prices, volumes and other statistics for organic corn, or non-GMO soybeans."

Prior to Mercaris, Kellee spent five years at the Chicago Climate Exchange(CCX), the first electronic trading platform and registry for spot, futures and options contracts on carbon, sulfur, clean energy and other environmental products.

In 2009, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow where she advised members of the administration on environmental markets.

She has also worked with coffee farmers and commodity banks in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. She was named by both Black Enterprise Magazine and Crain's Chicago Business Magazine as a '40 under 40' rising leader.

Learn the ins and outs of Kellee's life and company:

  • Her aspirations to be a pro athlete and how she adjusted
  • Why politics and government are two different things
  • What she learned from politics
  • Limitations of the futures market
  • "Every single contract that is traded on our platform results in the physical delivery of the underlying commodity."
  • Why didn't an exchange like Mercaris exist 10 years ago?
  • How they assemble their data (very cool!!)
  • What she learned working with coffee farmers in Honduras
  • How the company attracts farmers, grain mills/elevators, and retailers
  • "Identity preservation" in commodities
  • The auction strategy: standard vs. reverse auctions
  • The commodities she wants to add in the future

Selected links from the show: Mercaris Kellee James on AngelList The Rogue Traders Foods: Facebook | Instagram Direct Origin Trading

Ep110- The Food Truck Episode - Bob and Richard of M+R Specialty Trailers
22:44
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 22:44
Ep110- The Food Truck Episode - Bob and Richard of M+R Specialty Trailers

Richard Willis and Bob Pierson saw the trend of food trucks before most. From their website:

"The Macclenny based company is cooking up a thriving business of customizing food trucks and trailers. They have capitalized upon the public’s insatiable appetite for mobile food, the steady online buzz, and the testimonies of satisfied customers – nearly tripling their annual revenue to $1 million within the last year.

Fed by reality television shows, social media, and a demand for increasingly creative trucks and food, the nation’s street vendor market has grown into a $1 billion industry."

Tune in to learn:

  • What are the keys to Bob and Richard's success?
  • How much does it cost to start a food truck or food trailer?
  • What traits to successful food truck owners share?
  • How has the industry changed over the years?

The M+R Recipe: 1 – Seasoned business owner with construction experience 1 – High-potential business partner proficient in computer-aided design and online marketing 1 – SBA-backed loan from community credit union Cook in pre-heated food-truck industry. Serve to customers across the country.

Selected links from the episode:

M&R Specialty Trailers + Trucks "Pimp my Food Truck" Youtube Channel

Ep109- The World's Smartest Coffee Machine - Roderick of Spinn Coffee
25:36
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 25:36
Ep109- The World's Smartest Coffee Machine - Roderick of Spinn Coffee

"After the tour, I started meeting with him regularly to do Harley trips, and over a bottle of whiskey we both talked about doing something together, starting a business ... Let’s make a coffee machine that’s connected, that uses your patent."

If you're into coffee, you may own a variety of equipment: grinder, coffee dripper, french press, an expresso machine .. what if it could all be replaced by one, smart machine?

Roderick de Rode is making it a reality with his Spinn machine. (Check out the video)

He got his first investment at Rockefeller Plaza; an investment banker there gave him $25K.

In the past, Roderick has successfully built and managed $100M+ businesses in hardware, software and online services.

We talk about the machine, entrepreneurship, and, of course, the second most traded commodity in the world, coffee:

  • How they evolved the idea from a patent into a soon to be retail machine
  • The downside to Keurig machines
  • The second and third wave of coffee
  • Why the machine will sync with local coffee roasters
  • The upcoming crowdfunding campaign
  • Why hardware is .. hard
  • A brilliant gamification strategy for their audience (take notes)
  • The invaluable learnings from their hardware advisory team
  • Looking back what he would have done differently
  • Roderick's advice for food startups

Selected links from the show: Spinn Coffee PCH International highway1.io Juicero

Ep108- 80 farms, 6000+ stores in 7 Years - Tim of Maple Hill Creamery
40:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 40:41
Ep108- 80 farms, 6000+ stores in 7 Years - Tim of Maple Hill Creamery

Tim Joseph had no farming experience. He had never even milked a cow. In 2004, he received a fast education when sixty-four cows stepped off the trailers onto his land.

Thrown into the fire, Tim and his wife Laura started selling milk while Tim worked a full-time corporate job from home. In 2009, they went "all in", opened a storefront and transitioned to making dairy products, like yogurt and cheese. And the company started to grow..

Over a two-year span from 2011-2013, Maple Hill Creamery went from being on shelf in about 600 stores—mostly independents in the Northeast—to over 6,000 stores, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Target, Walmart, Ahold, Safeway, Natural Grocers, EarthFare, and many others.

Tim is also committed to building the Maple Hill Milkshed, the community of nearly eighty 100% grass-fed dairy farms in New York. A fun, incredible success story. I had a lot of questions for Tim:

  • Working from home and dairy farming on the side, how did you manage your time?
  • How did you make the transition from conventional dairy to organic grass-fed dairy?
  • How did you manage the fear of stepping out and doing something different?
  • What’s a day like on the farm? Cow milking 101?
  • Why does grass fed dairy make sense?
  • What was the initial response to "grass fed dairy?
  • How did you manage growth from 600 to 6000 stores?
  • What were the keys to such rapid growth?
  • How do you view trade shows from a P/L perspective?
  • How is yogurt made? What about Greek yogurt?
  • When is it time to go "all-in" with your food startup?
  • What questions do you need to ask yourself?
  • Will you hire robots to milk cows? (note: this is already happening!)

Selected links from the show: Maple Hill Creamery Pennsylvania Certified Organic This is Maple Hill

 

Ep107- Entrepreneur, Innovator, + Farmer - Tim of Shenandoah Growers
28:20
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 28:20
Ep107- Entrepreneur, Innovator, + Farmer - Tim of Shenandoah Growers

Tim Heydon started at Shenandoah Growers via an unusual route: along with a few classmates, he wrote a case study on the company while doing his MBA nearby at James Madison University.

This was 1998. Tim joined the company as CEO and has grown Shenandoah into 350 employees across 300,000 square feet of growing/packing facilities in Virginia, Texas, Indiana, and Georgia.

Today, Shenandoah is the leading organic herbs supplier in the Eastern United States.

How did they get here? To start, Tim is a fantastic leader. People like to work for him. Listeners will pickup on this quickly. Strong on innovation, culture, and vision, we talk about the ins and outs of Shenandoah and the keys to their success:

  • Why Tim decided to join a herb company with no prior experience in agriculture
  • Keys to their impressive employee retention rate
  • On staying afloat in the often harsh and unforgiving agriculture market
  • Their amazing content website - FreshHerbs.com (check it out!!)
  • Cutting edge technology and how it helps their bottom line
  • Keys to developing retailer/buyer relationships
  • How they plan to transform the food system
  • Why the BIG opportunities are in logistics

Selected links from the show: Shenandoah Growers FreshHerbs.com

 

Ep106- The Grocery Shopper 2.0 with Sam of the Sage Project
31:07
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 31:07
Ep106- The Grocery Shopper 2.0 with Sam of the Sage Project

In today's interview we talk about the paradox of choice and the power of data.

As Sam Slover mentioned in the interview: "If you think of a grocery store with a huge aisle of 60+ yogurts to choose from, but each of those yogurts has a slightly different (nutritional) profile", how do you choose the healthiest yogurt to eat?

Sam's company, the Sage Project, is working to make in-store recommendations based on your dietary needs and help to decipher product transparency to the end consumer. Food product labels have it's limitations. Think of a "smart wikipedia for food data".

What do "all-natural" and "made in small batches" mean in terms of nutrition and the preparation of a food product?

They are working with a number of retailers in Whole Foods to bring the project to reality. Listen and learn how a data-driven company is on the path to transform our shopping experience:

  • Personalized nutrition - why it matters
  • Sam's personal journey and how the idea for Sage came about
  • How self-tracking has had a positive impact in Sam's life (see Wrap Genius)
  • The positive benefits of personal tracking
  • How we can get started on data tracking
  • Why transparency and nutrition can be overwhelming at a grocery store
  • Buzz words and the confusion of customers
  • Ways for food startups to get involved
  • Empower consumers to be healthier

 

Selected links from the episode: The Sage Project Wrap Genius The Rational Optimist Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling

Ep105- 8 Minute Intro to AI and Food Startups
08:25
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 08:25
Ep105- 8 Minute Intro to AI and Food Startups

Self-driving cars, IBM's Watson, and Google's search algorithm are just a few examples of AI (Artificial Intelligence) .. it is already here. And it is rapidly becoming a bigger part of our lives. AI will change food.

Listen to this quick overview as a starting point for AI Awareness, how you can start thinking about AI business ideas and some examples of AI in food startups. We'll interview some of them in the next few weeks.

Don't worry, you can learn about it even if you're not technically inclined.

Photo Credit: CC Sarah Wheeler

Selected links from the show: Inevitable by Kevin Kelly Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Stuart Russell Nuritas ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AGRICULTURE. PART 1: HOW FARMING IS GOING AUTOMATED WITH ROBOTS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AGRICULTURE. PART 2: HOW FARMING IS GOING AUTOMATED WITH ROBOTS

Ep104- Editorial and Social Content Tips from a Food Freelancer - Kristen Hawley
21:23
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 21:23
Ep104- Editorial and Social Content Tips from a Food Freelancer - Kristen Hawley

Kristen Hawley is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor focusing on chefs and restaurants + digital and social technology. Like a lot of freelancers, she leads a fascinating life.

She has worked on creative projects with OpenTable, the National Restaurant Association, TechTable Summit, SF's Nopa restaurant, SALIDO, Upserve, and more and has a background in traditional magazine publishing (Country Living, Delish).

In 2013, she started the Chefs + Tech newsletter to share news, ideas, and trends in the restaurant+tech space combining her love of lifestyle, food, and restaurants with an understanding of the current technology landscape.

And her newsletter has an unprecedented open rate of over 50%! It has opened up opportunities for her in the ever-evolving digital content and communications space. Kristen answers host and listener questions:

  • What makes an interesting story?
  • Why does a great story become mediocre after 6 months?
  • How do you standout and be a leader in your industry?
  • What is the best way to start a content strategy for your food startup?
  • Does an article or mention in the New York Times matter in 2016?
  • What questions can I answer about my food biz that will create valuable content (Hint: don't forget the small stuff!)?
  • How do I educate my audience about why my product is better than the competition in a ethical way?
  • What was it like working at Twitter?

Selected links from the show: Chefs + Tech Kristen on Twitter Pop Sugar Tech

Ep103- Mental Models for Prosperity
10:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 10:41
Ep103- Mental Models for Prosperity

85 dollars is the most I ever paid for a book. Not a textbook, but book. I had to have it.

And it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am a better thinker and food entrepreneur because of it.

The most important takeaway from the book was the importance of having a latticework of mental models in decision making.

Mental models are the key concepts from main disciplines you'll need in business - psychology, economics, finance, physics, evolution (biology) accounting, marketing, etc.

In less than 10 minutes, I explain the why and I share my four favorite mental models.

This can be a game changer for your prosperity/performance. I encourage YOU to follow the steps below to begin your masters in mental models. I have to say it is quite fun.

First Read: Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Then, review these two lists of models: Creating a Latticework of Mental Models: An Introduction

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

Finally put together a list of mental models and create flashcards to study:

Anki - Friendly, Intelligent Flashcards

Cover Photo Credit: CC Photo by “Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Munger quote” User TEDizen

Ep102- Strengthening Communities in the Amazon + Ohio - Evan of Peaceful Fruits
27:08
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 27:08
Ep102- Strengthening Communities in the Amazon + Ohio - Evan of Peaceful Fruits

Evan Delahanty is one of the few people I know who has lived in the the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. I mean taking a canoe 3 hours UP river. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname, he learned a language that only 26,000 people speak (Saramaccan)!

After completing his mission, he was looking for a way to stay in touch and help the community. He choose Açaí as the vehicle to accomplish that.

Evan founded Peaceful Fruits, a snack company that makes delicious organic fruit snacks that create jobs for people with disabilities in Akron while helping to protect the Amazon Rainforest. I LOVE how he is helping two distinct communities!!

Peaceful Fruits is currently in about 50 stores and working hard to scale up. Evan shares his journey:

  • How he got his company off the ground
  • Sourcing in Suriname / wild harvesting
  • How to maintain consistency with an artisan product
  • The joys and business advantages of working with the developmentally disabled
  • All about Açaí, the superfruit
  • How to scale up when working in a remote part of the world
  • Why timing is crucial to success
  • When to involve a famous celebrity from Akron, Ohio (hint: he's very athletic)
  • The two types of people in the world
  • The Crowdfunding campaign coming up
  • Plans to scale up the company in U.S.

Selected links from the show: Peaceful Fruits Cleveland Culinary Launch Kuli Kuli Foods Saramaccan language Lebron James Foundation Cornell University Food Lab

 

Ep101- How to Survive (and Thrive) with Purpose - Seth of Honest Tea
35:11
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 35:11
Ep101- How to Survive (and Thrive) with Purpose - Seth of Honest Tea

Seth Goldman co-founded Honest® Tea in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. Thirteen years later they were acquired and are now a $160 million division of Coca-Cola.

Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling ready-to-drink organic bottled tea and Honest Kids® is the nation’s top-selling organic children/youth beverage.

The brands are carried in more than 100,000 outlets in the United States, including all Wendy’s and Chik-fil-A restaurants.

It was a long, tough, and fun road to get to where they are today. One of the best food business books I have ever read, Mission in a Bottle tells their story. I interviewed Seth about the book and he responded with sage advice for emerging food startups:

  • "I can't ask others to invest if I'm not completely invested in myself."
  • The biggest mistakes that almost put the company under
  • Why the company needs to shift and evolve along the way
  • Dealing with competitors inside the tent
  • "Creating a successful company depends on your ability to successfully two questions"
  • How to sign on and have success with distributors
  • Learnings from an unsuccessful run with Barnes + Noble
  • How he sold Canada Dry Potomac after 4 years of rejections
  • Why the "little things" add up and can make or break your company
  • "You have to win in New York" - Learnings from a Red Sox fan
  • On selling their company to Coca-Cola
  • How Seth managed a harmonious and prolific relationship with his co-founder
  • Negotiating shipping rates
  • The main problems he sees in advising food startups

Selected links from the episode: Honest Tea Mission in a Bottle (note from Matt: Read it!!) Coca Cola Venturing & Emerging Brands Ripple Foods Beyond Meat Calvert Investments American Beverage Association Bethesda Green

 

Ep100- How to Seduce and Succeed with Buyers
13:41
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 13:41
Ep100- How to Seduce and Succeed with Buyers

It's been almost three years since we started the show. Today we finally reached a milestone.  Triple digits!

All this time we have spent - interviewing experts, talking to listeners, and going through the trials and tribulations of a food startup ourselves - we have picked up a lot of ideas on how to succeed.

This knowledge needs to be shared. So I synthesized all of this feedback and advice into recommendations on how to get in front of buyers and sell to them over a long-term relationship. Enjoy!

Selected links from the episode: When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers

Ep99- Branding Packaging + Design 101 - Jordan and Fed of Hungry Studios
32:25
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 32:25
Ep99- Branding Packaging + Design 101 - Jordan and Fed of Hungry Studios

Over the last 6 months, we have had many listener requests for a packaging/branding episode. It took a while, but I finally found the experts.

Jordan Hill and Fed Pacheco met when in the design program at the University of North Texas. Upon graduation they took separate paths as art directors in different global ad agencies, working on global and national accounts.

A move to New York in 2014 reignited the spark to partner once again, and Hungry Studio was formed over the love of a good meal and the longing to make beautiful work.

They work with large and small food companies and help them with all aspects of branding, packaging and design. Hear their story and take notes:

  • What is a strong brand?
  • Experience with big brands and what they learned
  • Package design as it is related to branding
  • How to find your story
  • The role of brands in today's market
  • What is the value of great packaging design?
  • How to choose a designer/agency
  • Case studies on successful branding/design work
  • How much should you budget for design/packaging?
  • Purchase decisions at the shelf
  • Attention to detail - Touch points
  • What is important to know about food branding
  • Coming soon: Hungry Studio and Food Startups Podcast's digital guide to Branding, Packaging and Design

Selected links from the episode: Hungry Studio Community Coffee Builder's Tea Crepes and Delices FDA Packaging Guidelines

Ep98- Growth Stories from Blue Crabs to Boston - Sean of LeanBox
43:01
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 43:01
Ep98- Growth Stories from Blue Crabs to Boston - Sean of LeanBox

The original title was "Growth Stories from Blue Crabs to the Bronx to Brooklyn to Boston".. full of alliteration but a bit too long.  

Sean Butler has been slowly moving north through his life, adding skills and experiences.

The current stop of his journey is VP of Growth at one of the hottest startups in New England.

Sean joined LeanBox pre-revenue, and has grown with the company as it expanded from 3 to 42 employees in two years. 

LeanBox delivers customized inventories of meals, salads, sandwiches, snacks, and beverages to hi-tech refrigerators at 200+ companies in New England, including Uber, Amazon, and Microsoft. Cold brewed coffee, organic snacks, cold-pressed juice and more.

The million dollar question: with software, hardware, sourcing, logistics, and more, how are they able to run multiple businesses at once? We go behind the scenes:

  • Culture shock: moving from the country to the Bronx
  • Witnessing a shooting .. and moving to Brooklyn
  • On managing multiple businesses at once
  • Unusual tactics to get your foot in a door at a startup
  • Surviving their biggest mistakes in outsourcing and insourcing
  • How to get your food product approved by their buying committee 
  • Mistakes that food startup brands make
  • The unique pricing model - keeping it cheaper than Whole Foods
  • "We do really well in places where you’ve got to drive 15 minutes just to find somewhere to eat"
  • What's next for LeanBox

Selected links from the show: LeanBox Uber Boston Office Envy: LeanBox Literally Works out of a Mansion Hunts Point Market Kitchen Confidential Cultivate Ventures Eden, Maryland Chipotle Montreal

Ep97- Running a Startup on Two Continents - Eattiamo
21:02
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 21:02
Ep97- Running a Startup on Two Continents - Eattiamo

Pietro Guerrera and Filippo Lubrano reached breakeven in 2015 with their European venture. But they are thinking BIG. They recently launched in the U.S. with a new subscription box business model.

Eattiamo brings exclusive, gourmet Italian products to your doorstep. On the outside, the products are fantastic and the design is beautiful.

On the inside, like most startups, they are putting in serious WORK. Sourcing, importing, storage, logistics, marketing and sampling .. the hustle is on.Starting from scratch in a new country is not easy. Get the inside scoop:

  • Why they expanded to the U.S.
  • Life in New York
  • Communicating the value and telling the story of their food
  • Utilizing the international experience and diverse skill set of the founders
  • Italian Food vs “Italian American Food” 
  • How they plan to gain subscribers

Selected links from the show: Eattiamo Sourcing - The ROI Olive Oil Mill Chef's Table

Ep96 - IoT Produce Tracking and Startup Wisdom - Tom of Fresh Surety
22:55
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 22:55
Ep96 - IoT Produce Tracking and Startup Wisdom - Tom of Fresh Surety

Produce going bad is no secret: 50% of the shelf life is already gone before you can visually detect that the fruit has gone bad. Fresh Surety is working on solving the problem with "real time freshness reporting anywhere in the world for a few cents per carton."

It could really change the world. As we covered in the Bluecart episode, this startup is founded on 10X thinking.

Over the past 30 years as founder and CEO Tom Schultz has guided multiple technology companies from concept to liquidity event, including IPO, NASDAQ listing, and nine-figure exit. I recommend this episode to everyone:

  • Going through the process, concept all the way to exit
  • Being the senior guy among the young Food X startup community
  • How to correct your "bad ideas"
  • What Tom learned at Dole Foods
  • The concept behind Fresh Surety
  • Advantages of raising venture money
  • Tips for food startups after being in the game 30+ years
  • The two key points that must be proved to investors

Selected links from the show: Fresh Surety A Simple Explanation of The Internet of Things

Ep95 - NYC Startup Life and The Protein Hustle - Ryan of Protings
24:09
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 24:09
Ep95 - NYC Startup Life and The Protein Hustle - Ryan of Protings

Ryan Wiltse was working as a CPA. Common to many guests on the show, along with his cofounder, he realized that they wanted more than the status quo; a higher calling than the "cubicle finance life".

So they founded a healthy snack food company out of Brooklyn. Their first product is named ProTings, A vegetable snack with 15 grams of protein per serving. Ryan explains the "why" behind the product, the problem they solve and how they are growing the company:

  • Marketing at fitness and bodybuilding events
  • On nutrition label panels and balancing taste, ethics, and health
  • Distribution strategies for the company (You can find it at Wegmans!)
  • Usability advantages of their snack
  • The transition from full time job to startup mode
  • Making it work financially as a startup in NYC
  • Why Qwest nutrition has had phenomenal growth + success
  • The Food X Cohort - how it has helped the company
  • Raising capital and the future
  • Advantages of a finance/accounting background in running a food startup

Selected links from the episode: Protings Contact Ryan - contact Ryan. Qwest Nutrition Rabobank

Ep94- Changing the Menu Game - Jeff Hong of Bite
19:38
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 19:38
Ep94- Changing the Menu Game - Jeff Hong of Bite

"We've noticed that most restaurants don't put much effort into their menus, which is their most important tool for selling their food."

Bite was founded in 2015 by two friends who set out to transform the way restaurants sell to their guest experience. They offer restaurants digital menus that can be easily updated, are more visually appealing, and do a better job of explaining the entrees.

I learned a lot in this interview. Jeff educates us on their mission and strategy for getting Bite into thousands of restaurants nationwide:

  • Communicating the unique value proposition
  • What is most important in selling new clients and more importantly KEEPING them.
  • Learnings from the sales/marketing process
  • Understanding exactly who your customers are
  • How they scaled their solution to offer Bite remotely anywhere in the country
  • On being a disruptive company and overcoming the resistance to change

Ep93- Problem Solving Lessons From The Last 10 Guests
12:20
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 12:20
Ep93- Problem Solving Lessons From The Last 10 Guests

Hey FSP Community. The last 10 guests have a common theme. They solved either their own problem or a problem they saw in the world. I share my thoughts on each. This is a great refresher episode and a way to start exploring the last 10 guests. Have a listen!

Selected Links From This Episode:

Episode 92 – On Becoming a Rockstar Social Entrepreneur – Lisa of Kuli Kuli

Episode 91 – Breaking the Rules to Better a Supply Chain – Karl of Direct Origin/Swillings Coffee

Episode 90 – “Will you help me bring this fruit to the US?” – Linh and Myron of XOI Company

Episode 89 – Building a Community in NYC – Ashly of Barley + Oats

Episode 88 – How to Crush Kickstarter & Business – Lisa Q. of NOMIKU

Episode 87 – American Hemp, Activism, and Life on the Bourbon Trail – Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America

Episode 86 – Natural Prophets, Whole Foods and Advice for Millennial Food Entrepreneurs

Episode 85 – How to Build a Brand Using Art, Values, and Experience Design – Jody Levy of WTRMLN WTR

Episode 84 – How to Create Impactful Editorial Content – Jeffrey of The New Food Economy

Episode 83 – Making Shrimp Great Again – New Wave Foods

 

Ep92- On Becoming a Rockstar Social Entrepreneur - Lisa of Kuli Kuli
22:06
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 22:06
Ep92- On Becoming a Rockstar Social Entrepreneur - Lisa of Kuli Kuli

Roughly six years ago, Lisa was in the Peace Corps in a remote village of Niger. Eating a limited vegetarian diet, she was feeling malnourished. On discovering the superfood moringa, she solved her "sluggish energy" problem. And she decided to use moringa as a vehicle to solve problems for others.

Fast forward to today, her company Kuli Kuli foods is a thriving business making a positive social impact in West Africa and Haiti.

Before Kuli Kuli, Lisa wrote political briefings for President Obama in the White House, served as a United Nations Environment Programme Youth Advisor and worked at an impact investment firm in India. Lisa shares her story:

  • On a life of service and becoming a social entrepreneur
  • Why she mentors young women entrepreneurs
  • Social impact in the non-profit sectior vs "business"
  • Life in Niger
  • Limitations of the non-profit sector
  • Turning Moringa into reality
  • The quality control of unknown superfoods in the US market
  • Obstacles she has had to overcome

Selected links from the show: Kuli Kuli Foods Cheryl Sandberg Peace Corps

Photo Credit: Kuli Kuli Foods (link)

Ep91 - Breaking the Rules to Better a Supply Chain - Karl of Direct Origin/Swillings Coffee
20:21
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 20:21
Ep91 - Breaking the Rules to Better a Supply Chain - Karl of Direct Origin/Swillings Coffee

For every 20 lots of coffee Karl tastes, only 1 makes the cut for his final container. A direct trading coffee company requires work. It's not just visiting beautiful coffee farms.

Karl Wienhold has some stories to tell. He frequently has to take longer routes to coffee farms to prevent contact with leftist guerrillas that have plagued the country for 60 years.

My favorite story is Karl's effort to change a supply chain and involve rural farmers in Colombia. Learn about international trade and specialty coffee:

  • How he learned the craft of selecting and cupping coffee
  • Explaining the economics of coffee to the end consumer
  • Breaking the rules, a few things that he does different
  • Selling in the US, but living outside of it
  • Avoiding guerrillas on Karl's coffee travels
  • Defining direct trade and vertical direct trade
  • Shade grown coffee and the environment
  • The man, Jack Swilling (see his bio below)
  • On "coyotes": intermediaries and their effect on the coffee and farmers
  • Working through the El Nino catastrophe

Selected Links From The Episode: Direct Origin Trading Swillings Coffee Jack Swilling

About Jack Swilling: "Swilling was a teamster, prospector, mine and mill owner, a saloon and dance hall owner. He also was a visionary, a canal builder, farmer, rancher, and public servant. All of this was accomplished while he suffered from periods of excruciating pain resulting from major injuries he suffered in 1854. He took morphine to assuage the pain, which led to dependency problems for the rest of his life."

Swilling founded the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Ep90 - "Will you help me bring this fruit to the US?" - Linh and Myron of XOI
29:37
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 29:37
Ep90 - "Will you help me bring this fruit to the US?" - Linh and Myron of XOI

The title of the episode is a question from Bkrong, an Ede (ethnic minority group) farmer from Vietnam. Bkrong was also the host mother of Linh, cofounder of XOI company.

Linh Tran and Myron Lam met on a 2013 trip to Vietnam on a research grant from Brown university. There, they discovered the Gac fruit growing in Bkrong's backyard.

Upon further research, they realized Gac fruit was packed with beta-carotene and lycopene; a new superfood was born.

How could they bring the Gac fruit to the U.S. and include the Ede in the process? This episode tells their story:

  • The challenges faced by the Ede
  • How the idea was born
  • How to introduce an unknown fruit to the U.S.
  • Tackling ethnic inequality via social entrepreneurship
  • Changing the supply chain
  • All about the Gac fruit

Selected links from the episode:

XOI Company

XOI IndieGoGo Campaign ($34,611)

Gac Fruit

The Ede People

Tessa Stuart Author Page

 

Ep89- Building a Community in NYC - Ashly of Barley + Oats
24:20
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 24:20
Ep89- Building a Community in NYC - Ashly of Barley + Oats

Ashly Yashchin created Barley + Oats to solve a problem. She was pregnant and worried about her baby's health. So, she learned and practiced a healthy pregnancy diet.

9 in 10 women are micronutrient deficient, affecting their fertility, pregnancy and postpartum experience. Ashly is quickly establishing herself as an expert in the space. But first she had to become accepted by the community:

  • Detailed customer profiling
  • How to develop community trust
  • Putting on successful events
  • Understanding your niche
  • Mom sourcing
  • Mom bloggers
  • Logistics and bike messengers

Mentioned in the episode:Barley + OatsDemeterBarefoot BlondeUber RushPremium Rush (the movie I couldn't recall)

Ep88- How to Crush Kickstarter & Business - Lisa Q. of NOMIKU
22:06
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 22:06
Ep88- How to Crush Kickstarter & Business - Lisa Q. of NOMIKU

NOMIKU was born from two successful Kickstarter campaigns that totaled over $1.3 million and have thousands of units in homes and restaurants around the world.

Lisa Q. Fetterman, the co-founder and CEO, is equally gifted and inspiring.

She launched the first home sous vide immersion circulator machine on the market. Yes, you've tried sous vide cooked food even if your not familiar with the term. I wasn't. Top restaurants, Chipotle, they all use this cooking method.

Lisa has been featured in Wired, Make, CNET and Forbes, and was named on both Forbes and Zagat Survey’s 30 Under 30 lists for her pioneering work in the food space.

Her book Sous Vide at Home is available on preorder from Amazon now. On top of all that, Lisa is a YCombinator graduate, where she worked on the app Tender.  Lisa takes us to school:

  • How to put on a successful Kickstarter
  • On moving to China to produce their product
  • "Every night I met 5 new people for real"
  • Makerspace/Hackerspace - where the gadget was born
  • "What humans yearn for is truth and what tastes good. And the old way of food doesn't do that, because you don't have control."
  • Participating in YCombinator
  • Writing a best-selling book
  • Creating the Tender app

Selected links from the episode:

NomikuYC-Backed Nomiku, Maker of An Affordable Sous Vide Machine, Gets Into Software With Tender AppLisa's Crowdfunding CourseRaising over $1 milion on Kickstarter, graduating from Y Combinator and being married to a co-founder — Lisa Fetterman, CEO of Nomiku, produces sous vide cooking applianceSous Vide At Home

Ep87- American Hemp, Activism, and Life on the Bourbon Trail - Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America
39:15
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 39:15
Ep87- American Hemp, Activism, and Life on the Bourbon Trail - Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America

Chad Rosen is nicknamed "Hemp Man" in New Castle, Kentucky. A California transplant, he is spearheading the movement for industrial grown US hemp.

Watch the video (and support) his IndieGogo to learn why hemp is so important to the economic, environmental, and nutritional future of the United States.

U.S. legislation is severely restricting the hemp movement. But not for long. Chad is on a mission for federal change. And it starts in Henry county, Kentucky which is on its' way to becoming the agricultural center for the hemp crop in America.

If you're interested in starting a movement and/or becoming an activist, learn from Chad:

  • Why hemp is a game changer for the US on economic, environmental, and nutritional fronts
  • The history of Kentucky in hemp agriculture
  • Moving from Cali to a town with 5 baptist churches and 800 people
  • Legislation problems in the US current shortcomings and restrictions to success
  • How to talk, dress and solicit permits from the DEA
  • Making a superfood available for all, not just the wealthy
  • 100 amazing facts about hemp, including Thomas Jefferson, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mercedes, and BMW

Selected links from the episode:Hemp Foods AmericaSupport Hemp Foods America on IndieGogoThe Hemp ManifestoSunStrandsRules for RadicalsHemp History Week

Ep86- Natural Prophets, Whole Foods and Advice for Millennial Food Entrepreneurs
35:48
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 35:48
Ep86- Natural Prophets, Whole Foods and Advice for Millennial Food Entrepreneurs

This is the history episode you have to listen to! Joe Dobrow wrote the textbook on the history of the natural foods industry: Natural Prophets. He masterly weaves U.S. history and the natural foods industry history side by side.

Joe served as the head of marketing for Fresh Fields, Whole Foods Market, Balducci’s and Sprouts Farmers Market. The inside look at the industry educates us on where we've been and where we're going:

  • What the baby boomer natural foods titans were like in their late 20's/30's
  • Visionary and Whole Foods founder John Mackey - king of the industry
  • Why someone starting a food business should read Natural Prophets
  • Whole Foods's "Libertarian Philosophy"
  • Learning to compete from John Mackey and Michael Jordan
  • The natural foods industry enormous if not underreported influence on Silicon Valley
  • MBArk - Joe's program to steer MBA's towards social impact businesses

Selected links from the show:Natural ProphetsMBArkSilent SpringMo Siegel/Celestial SeasoningsStonyfield FarmThe Purpose CollaborativeAbout Joe Dobrow

 

Ep85- How to Build a Brand Using Art, Values, and Experience Design - Jody Levy of WTRMLN WTR
26:04
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 26:04
Ep85- How to Build a Brand Using Art, Values, and Experience Design - Jody Levy of WTRMLN WTR

Jody Levy knew she was going to be an artist in 3rd grade when she got into the flow state painting a Georgia O'Keefe piece. Fast forward to 2016, her watermelon water drink WTRMLN WTR (website) will be nationwide in 7500 stores this summer. Cold pressing 14 million pounds of watermelons in 2016.

Last month, many of the Denver Broncos drank it before they went on to upset the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. How have they achieved success so quickly in one of the hardest industries around?

This episode will help you to think deeper about your company's branding and marketing. I credit a lot of Jody and her team's success to their comprehensive understanding and execution of experience design. You'll learn how to apply the concept to your food project and more:

  • How to think about storytelling
  • Experience design - how to pickup this invaluable skill
  • Brand ethos - tactics vs strategy
  • Why are there no vowels in the brand name
  • How they select their wellness experts
  • Utilizing waste melons (think Hungry Harvest)
  • Growing watermelons in Puerto Rico!
  • Appealing to the senses with your product
  • What is YOUR emotional connection to watermelon?
  • The corporate office in Manhattan - what's it like?

Selected links from the episode:WTRMLN WTRDenver Broncos

Ep84- How to Create Impactful Editorial Content - Jeffrey of New Food Economy
21:21
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 21:21
Ep84- How to Create Impactful Editorial Content - Jeffrey of New Food Economy

Jeffrey Kittay is a native New Yorker who spent time in the academic world as a journalism professor @ Columbia University.

Later, he worked as a publisher. Four months ago, he decided to start his own e-magazine: The New Food Economy.

I love the content. It is aimed to help entrepreneurs like us create change as part of the "food movement". We discuss:

  • The art of helping food entrepreneurs with actionable advice
  • How to create great long-form content
  • How to find (and tell) interesting stories
  • What is the online publishing business like?
  • Certification nation!!
  • The triple bottom line
  • Why "everything in business is personal"
  • How to find journalistic talent.

Selected links from the episode:

The New Food EconomyJeffrey Kittay BioWhat can open-source do for the food movement?In Maine, a farm-to-campus revolution?Verdict: in Maine, Big Food Service wins againWelcome to certification nationContact Jeffrey

 

 

Ep83- Making Shrimp Great Again - New Wave Foods
25:59
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 25:59
Ep83- Making Shrimp Great Again - New Wave Foods

I'm so proud to have Dominique Barnes and Michelle Wolf on the show. They are the founders of New Wave Foods. They create seafood in a lab not the ocean. Their first product is recreating shrimp using plant proteins and marine algae. This interview blew my mind.

Fresh out of IndieBio, a biotech accelerator, and a $250,000 grant, they are currently raising capital with investors. Their first customer: Google. The lead vegan chef at Googleplex put in an order for 200 pounds.

The environmental and social issues of commercial seafood production are numerous and serious. It is precisely what makes New Wave so important. Listen to their story and be inspired:

  • The why behind New Wave Foods
  • Getting the shrimp texture and nutritional profile right
  • Demo day @ IndieBio
  • Fundraising, marketing, and their blueprint to grow the company
  • Stopping slave labor + shrimp fishing
  • The muscular structure of a shrimp
  • Why marine algae is amazing
  • Behind the scenes of the day-to-day @ New Wave Foods
  • On being founders AND roommates

Selected links from the episode:New Wave FoodsIndieBioWhy Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular MindSarcomereGoogle

Ep82- Jess Jackson, California Wine, and Laws of Power
10:29
2017-09-22 23:41:06 UTC 10:29
Ep82- Jess Jackson, California Wine, and Laws of Power

One of the most formative biographies on food and business that I have read is A Man and His Mountain: The Everyman who Created Kendall-Jackson and Became America’s Greatest Wine Entrepreneur.  

Jess "Stonestreet" Jackson passed away in 2011. A self-made billionaire, he was vital to the transformation of California wine and was a champion in horse racing.

Using concepts from the legendary strategist, Robert Greene, I analyze the key traits and power laws that Jess Jackson followed. They allowed for him to build a wine empire. Enjoy the show:

 

Selected links from the show:

A Man and His Mountain: The Everyman who Created Kendall-Jackson and Became America’s Greatest Wine Entrepreneur.

Robert Greene Author Page 

Jess Jackson Dies at 81, a Wine Grower With a Taste for Thoroughbred Racing

Photo Credit: Under Creative Commons 3.0 - User:Packyourlunch

Ep81- Elevating the DC Food Scene - Caesar Layton of Cultivate Ventures
28:38
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 28:38
Ep81- Elevating the DC Food Scene - Caesar Layton of Cultivate Ventures

Cultivate Ventures is changing the Washington DC food scene. They invest time, money, and expertise into promising startups in the DMV.

A few years ago, Caesar Layton, the founder, was commuting to South East Asia as an agricultural economist. After poor customer service from an online grocery, he sent an email to them and got called back by the founder. A few months later, Caesar invested in the company and took over as the CEO.

Today, his firm is investing and advising. Wheeling and dealing. They are betting everything on the under-appreciated DC food scene. Caesar shares his story:

  • The survivalist skill set (developing skills on the fly)
  • The value-chain appoarch
  • time = relevance | relevance = access | access = opportunity
  • “Capital is never enough”
  • “your business is not that great and you’re not that smart” 
  • Focus on the non-sexy
  • Learning from failure

Selected links from the show:Cultivate VenturesRelay FoodsCultivate Ventures Bets Big on DC's Food SceneDAIBoratKick IncubatorSeeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Ep80- The Hustler's Mindset (How to Dominate) - Anthony Rodriguez
38:10
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 38:10
Ep80- The Hustler's Mindset (How to Dominate) - Anthony Rodriguez

Anthony Rodriguez is the founder of Lineage Interactive, A mini ad agency meets a production company. They work with Anna Rawson, David Ortiz, Chris Culliver, Amare Stoudemire, Diplo, Nas, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Amare Stoudemire, 8 pro sports teams, and many other athletes, musicians and actors.

Lineage formally started 12 years ago with athletes who were struggling to get off the court income. He has been honing his craft since he was a kid, helping his parents build a cosmetics business that got into big box retailers like Target and Walmart.

While he maintains a low profile, Anthony is a power player in digital media for artists. He's proud of his "old school" mentality around building a business that provides real value. I had a great time speaking with him and there is so much we can learn to become better entrepreneurs:

  • How to operate in world that it is out of control
  • The short term mindset epidemic
  • On pain tolerance
  • Advice for those who want to start multiple projects at once
  • Problems young entrepreneurs face..
  • “Getting bored is more lethal than getting distracted.”
  • Managing willpower and energy as you get older
  • Finding the right types of mentors
  • Anthony's businesses that didn't work out
  • Working with smart people who are unsuccessful
  • What selling is really about
  • How to work with celebrities (who are different from us normal people)
  • How to connect with celebrities with zero connections
  • Selling a TV show for Henrik Lundquist, The Mask with guests like Jeff Gordon, Michael J Fox, DJ Tiesto.
  • His daily routines and habits

Selected links from the episode:Lineage InteractiveThe Mask with Hendrik LundqvistAnna RawsonNew York Knicks

 

More about Anthony Rodriguez:

As the founder of Lineage Interactive, Rodriguez has ideated and produced creative content and strategy for some of the world’s biggest athletes, musicians, teams, and brands. By acting as the creative liaison between Fortune 200 brands and clients, he's able to bring them genuine and captivating digital content that their clients will love and share. His work is seen by millions on television, the web, and mobile platforms every month. Rodriguez is also the acting content director for five different charitable foundations.

Lineage Interactive is made of up three branches; digital marketing services for athletes and musicians, content as a service for Fortune 200 brands, and a production house that produces original content custom-tailored for all formats. Our DNA is rooted in agency work with athletes, teams, and brands. We are storytellers by nature and are responsible for communicating with over 41 million social media accounts daily. Because we actively manage a multitude of clients’ social platforms, we have a robust understanding of what content generates interest, engagement, and sharing.

 

Ep79- How to (really) Utilize Your Network - Sophie of EatPops
29:13
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 29:13
Ep79- How to (really) Utilize Your Network - Sophie of EatPops

She dreamed up EatPops in 2013 while studying for the Bar exam, becoming frustrated by the lack of healthy snack (and dessert) option. In 2014, it became a reality. EatPops is now in over 300 locations throughout the country, including stores like Fairway and Whole Foods .

Sophie was recently named to Forbes 30U30 and is making dessert healthy with her fruit and veggie pops.  Noni, Acai, Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Vanilla, and Mango are among some of the ingredients you’ll find in her popsicles. We reflect on her foray into the food biz:

  • On asking for feedback
  • Biz dev partnerships with  SoulCycle, modelFIT and Lululemon
  • How to utilize your network
  • Dealing with rollercoaster moments
  • Building a support group
  • Why she still maintains her status as an active lawyer
  • Sophie's daily routines and habits

Mentioned in this episode:EatPopsEmail SophieSophie in ForbesBristol FarmsLazy AcresThe Art of LearningSweet GreenThistle

Ep78- A Life 180 into Healthy Baking Mixes - Lindsey of Cherryvale Farms
18:11
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 18:11
Ep78- A Life 180 into Healthy Baking Mixes - Lindsey of Cherryvale Farms

“I was doing entertainment P.R. in Hollywood — you know, celebrities and calls at 2 a.m. — and was, what should I say? Burnt out,”  (New York Times) .. That was 5 years ago.

Today, she runs Cherryvale Farms, currently in 1400 stores with their “Everything But The...” baking mixes. Lindsey Rosenberg and I had a fun chat about her story and she dishes out advice for our listeners:

  • What makes their baking mixes unique. Why they are the modern-day Betty Crocker
  • How she transitioned her career from Hollywood PR to a successful food startup
  • "Don't spend any money"
  • Advice for becoming (or not becoming) a Whole Foods national brand
  • How to pitch grocery buyers
  • On bootstrapping
  • Working with Dad
  • The D.I.Y. spirit (note from Matt: I have seen this characteristic in among many guests)
  • Why Cherryvale doesn't focus on trends

Selected Links from the show:Cherryvale Farms Small Food Brands, Big SuccessAbout LindseyChowhound ReviewHampton Creek (Beyond Eggs™)Cherryvale Farms Twitter

Ep77- The Art of Ingredient Sourcing – One Degree Organics
25:56
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 25:56
Ep77- The Art of Ingredient Sourcing – One Degree Organics

They showed up to ExpoWest 2012 with an idea: transparent ingredient tracing using proprietary software and creative film production. Today, they are nationwide in US stores with their collection of cereals, breads, flowers, and seeds.

Danny Houghton is the cofounder of One Degree Organics. He leads ingredient expeditions around the world in search of pure veganic harvests. Every ingredient comes with a video (see below) where you meet the farmers and learn how it is made.

I really enjoyed learning about One Degree, the veganic movement, and their unique business model: technology, media, and sustainable food. Danny sheds light on:

  • What is veganic?
  • The "why" of One Degree Organics
  • Leading world expeditions - fun sourcing stories
  • The gluten misconception ancient vs modern wheat
  • Organic's "dirty little secret"
  • Keys to success in a competitive space

"We only want to tell stories about ingredients we're proud to tell stories about." - Danny Houghton

Selected links from the episode:One Degree OrganicsOne Degree BlogReal SaltB.C.’s One Degree Organic Foods feeds veganic farming movementOne Degree Organic YouTube Channel (Check it out!Salt: A World HistoryWheat BellyKhorasan WheatVeganic Google Search

My 5 6 favorite One Degree Organic videos:Sumatran Treasure - Veganic CinnamonOn Colorado's High Plains - Organic Oats and MilletNutmeg and Mace - Discovering Siau IslandPeace and Purity - Missouri's Organic PecansAlquimia Farmers - ParaguayIndonesian Safari - Veganic Vanilla + Cloves

Ep76- Food Startup Lessons from our Last 10 Guests
14:33
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 14:33
Ep76- Food Startup Lessons from our Last 10 Guests

Our first episode of 2016. Let's revisit the wisdom for our last 10 guests. Use this episode as a recap of 10 food lessons. And if you here a lesson or guest that interests you. Check them out in the links below!

 

Ep75- The Unscalable Dirty Work for Success - Charlie Guo
26:00
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 26:00
Ep75- The Unscalable Dirty Work for Success - Charlie Guo

Charlie Guo started his first company at Stanford, left it, and did the famed YCombinator in Silicon Valley. While the startup fizzled out, Charlie learned a lot of lessons along the way.

He made some friends. Charlie interviewed startup founders from companies including DoorDash, ZeroCater, and Zenefits, and turned it into the book Unscalable. The founders share the behind-the-scenes "dirty work" to success. Working 20 hour days, managing 100's of orders in a simple excel spreadsheet, etc.. whatever it takes.

"These interviews pull back the veil on a much more eclectic mix of strategies and experiments, revealing the longer and less predictable road to success in Silicon Valley."

The book will be released January 19th, 2016 (Pre-order now: I read an advanced copy and it is phenomenal). We discuss:

  • Why Charlie decided to write the book
  • Behind the scenes at YCombinator
  • Develop an unscalable mindset in startup mode
  • "The costs of starting these businesses is plummeting, but the costs of building these businesses is skyrocketing."
  • The luck factor
  • How to deal with fast growth
  • Mythology of brilliant leadership and “overnight” success stories
  • Bootstrapping vs VC
  • Establishing a monopoly

Selected Links from The Episode:Unscalable The BookUnscalable - Amazon!Charlie on TwitterHow I Crashed and Burned at YCombinatorClassOwlDoorDashZeroCaterZenefitsGithubTiltFlight Car (Note from Matt: I remember reading about this a few years ago and was so excited. I forgot about it, but am looking to using it in 2016!)When Startups Fail: 99 Dresses

More about Charlie Guo

Charlie Guo based in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the heart of the world he portrays. A software engineer by trade, he has also founded two companies. While getting his undergraduate degree at Stanford, he founded the education-tech company ClassOwl.

ClassOwl partners with Stanford and other schools to improve student-teacher communication and productivity, and in startup-storybook fashion it was sold by Guo’s cofounders in 2015 to Branch Metrics. After graduation, he launched a second company, FanHero, which was accepted into Y Combinator, a prestigious startup accelerator program based in Silicon Valley.

His own experiences working to make his ideas fly exposed him to the inner workings of the startup culture and inspired him to reach out to a fascinating mix of tech founders to share their experiences.

 

 

Ep74- Inside the Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars - Martin Mignot
41:51
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 41:51
Ep74- Inside the Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars - Martin Mignot

Martin Mignot is a Venture Capitalist @ IndexVentures. A large VC firm out of London, their investments include DropBox and Skype, tools we use to make the Food Startups Podcast.

Martin is actively looking after Index's investments in Algolia, Blablacar, Capitaine Train,Drivy, Rad, Swiftkey, TheFamily and Deliveroo: an on-demand food delivery startup who just raised 100 million. The food delivery space is hot: over 1,000,000,000 USD was invested in 2014 alone.

We talk about his theses and predictions for the exploding sector from his article: The Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars (TechCrunch). Make sure to check it out before listening.

Note: We had a few sound quality issues on the episode. But for the insights from Martin, it was worth editing it the best we could and putting it live! Martin and I discuss:

  • Software vs On-Demand vs Meal-Delivery Startups
  • Uber's effect on food delivery logistics
  • What makes a great VC
  • Defining "fast food 2.0"
  • Why "managed marketplaces are the superior model for consumers."
  • Opportunities for chefs to join an on-demand network
  • Prediction: “virtual” restaurant chains
  • Robots and drones

Selected links from the episode:

Index VenturesMartin Mignot BioThe Billion Dollar Food Delivery WarsThe Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars (Rebuttle)Deliveroo Raises 100 Million as Food Delivery Service ExpandsDoor DashJust-EatgrubHubUnvalidated Learnings (Martin's blog)BirchboxRSP.FMThe Food Assembly

Ep73- Fear No Fruit - THE Specialty Produce Champs - Karen Caplan of Frieda's
29:16
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 29:16
Ep73- Fear No Fruit - THE Specialty Produce Champs - Karen Caplan of Frieda's

In 1962, Frieda Caplan introduced an exotic fruit to the United States, which she named the Kiwi. Fast forward to 2013, 62 million pounds of kiwi were sold! In the 50+ years since, Frieda's has played a part in introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables.

A documentary about the company, Fear No Fruit, was recently released telling their amazing story. I speak with her daughter, Karen Caplan, who has been the CEO since 1986. Tons to learn here:

  • How the documentary came about
  • Karen's tips on how to introduce a new product to the U.S. Market
  • On the California drought and resilience
  • How to separate family from business
  • Why farmers are trending away from grocery stores.
  • On effective management and creating a culture
  • "Specialty isn't a big % of business at a grocery store, but perception of the consumer " sets the tone and energy for the store!!”

Selected links from the show:FriedasFear No FruitAbout Karen CaplanUnited Fresh Produce AssociationPurple Kiwi Cookbook by Karen CaplanDocumentary asks consumers to 'Fear No Fruit'The Fancy Foods ShowThe Rational OptimistWatch Fear No Fruit on United, Qatar, and Emirates Airlines The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

 

Ep72- Transforming the Online Recipe Space: Yuni of Chicory
19:10
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 19:10
Ep72- Transforming the Online Recipe Space: Yuni of Chicory

Have you ever seen a recipe online that you loved, but never ended up making? Maybe you didn't have the time. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with some of the ingredients, and it would take too much effort to locate them. Chicory solves that problem with a one-click delivery solution of the ingredient list of a given recipe.

Yuni Samashima founded the company in his senior year at Colgate university. Two years later, they are getting millions of page views per month and growing. We discuss Chicory's adventure:

  • How Yuni leveraged opportunities in college to get to where he is today
  • Why online recipes are difficult to index and organize
  • How Chicory improves content for food bloggers
  • Landing a deal with the mammoth publishing company, Time Inc.
  • Why they analyze 100 million data points a day (natural language processing)
  • Why molecular biology matters
  • Modernizing legacy industries

Selected links from the show:ChicoryEntrepreneur Roundtable AcceleratorTime Inc.Food & Wine MagazineMichael Keriakos

Ep71- 10X Thinking via Democratization and Disruption - Bluecart
20:55
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 20:55
Ep71- 10X Thinking via Democratization and Disruption - Bluecart

Simplifying ordering for restaurants is a growing industry. Many startups are entering the space. This week's guest, Bluecart, stands out with a unique business model: it is free for everyone.

The company has a potential for huge growth precisely because there are so many small farmers, producers, wholesalers, and restaurants out there who's margins are so tight they could never afford this kind of technology otherwise.

This summer, they received 4 million dollars in investment and the Washington D.C. based company is taking off.

Jag Bansal, Andrew Genung and myself talk about the how and why of Bluecart:

  • What pitching VC's is really like
  • On relationships with their investors
  • How they chose the business model and their plans for monetization
  • Why they like having competitiors
  • Andrew's tips on content marketing
  • The importance of company culture

Selected links from the episode:

BluecartDan Norris - Content MachineWP CurveThe Halo Trust

Ep70- 6 Strategies to Become a More Effective (Food) Entrepreneur
13:31
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 13:31
Ep70- 6 Strategies to Become a More Effective (Food) Entrepreneur

This episode is a compilation of 6 strategies to become a more effective entrepreneur. They are utilized by top entrepreneurs and can help you get to the next level. Learn how to:

1. Define and amplify signal2. Have a growth vs fixed mindset3. Serendipity scale4. Active reading/discussion5. Get a business coach6. Skip the credentials (Doing things without permission)

Mentioned in the episode:

Carlos MiceliSebastian MarshallGotta Be Good TourOn ‘Being a CEO’ - What Scott Cook Wish He Knew When he Founded Intuit

Ep69- Michelin Guide in Less than a Year - Melanie Moss of Mini Melanie
18:21
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 18:21
Ep69- Michelin Guide in Less than a Year - Melanie Moss of Mini Melanie

Melanie Moss is a life long pastry chef. She started her own company last year along with sous chef Alex Hawkins. They create jewel-inspired pastries and sells them under her brand, MiniMelanie.

With clients like Spotify, BirchBox, Morgan Stanley, and lots of weddings, Mini Melanie is on fire. They were recently included in the 2016 NYC Michelin Guidebook. Melanie shares her experience:

  • What inspired the bling?
  • "Startups like to help other startups."
  • What are your hours like now that you work for yourself compared to working at a restaurant?
  • What Melanie learned worked under renowned Blue Hill chef Dan Barber.
  • On setting the table for an heir of the Rockefeller family

 

Selected links from the show:Mini Melanie (Instagram)Blue Hill @ Stone BarnsNegroni Week (Campari)The Rockefeller Family

 

Ep68- Jim Rogers: Skip the MBA and Start a Farm
21:25
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 21:25
Ep68- Jim Rogers: Skip the MBA and Start a Farm

It feels good repeating the quote to anyone close by : "Be very worried and buy agriculture". After all, I work in food. Yet, I didn't have a fundamental understanding of the concept. So I read his books and got Jim Rogers to come on the show.

Jim Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros in 1973, helping lead the fund to a 4200% return before “retiring” at age 37. He is considered to be one of the greatest investors of all time.

Jim has a really strong understanding of history and using it to bet on the future. We talk about:

  • "Soon farmers will buy the Lamborghinis and they will employ ex wall street guys who will drive the tractors."
  • The importance of food prices in world history and current social unrest
  • Why Jim's adventure and world travel were a key catalyst to his success
  • Key historical patterns in agriculture
  • How farmers can protect themselves in bear markets
  • Countries with agricultural opportunities that can be targeted on a limited budget
  • How to monitor political situations and be on the forefront for new opportunities
  • The custom Mercedes that Jim Rogers used to set his 3rd Guinness World Record
  • Myanmar, formerly known as Burma

Selected links from the show:Jim Rogers Official WebsiteRogers International Commodity Index®Street Smarts by Jim RogersA Gift to My Children by Jim Rogers

Ep67- The Maple Syrup Whiz Kid - Josh of Parker Maple
17:28
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 17:28
Ep67- The Maple Syrup Whiz Kid - Josh of Parker Maple

I met Josh Parker at ExpoEast. He got started making maple syrup at age 11. Fast forward to 2015 and his business is growing rapidly. After the conference, he has moved from 12 stores to 332 stores. All while being a full time student At Clarkson University. He isn't old enough to vote, but needs to higher 4 employees to meet the production needs! We talk about his life:

  • On running a food business as a full-time student @ Clarkson University.
  • Socialism in Quebec and how it's helping the US maple syrup industry.
  • The origin of maple syrup. How maple syrup is made. Maple water.
  • Using your age as a marketing and sales advantage.
  • How he manages his life as a college student and entrepreneur.
  • On seeking and receiving investment and advisors. 

Mentioned in the episode:

Parker Maple

Reverse Osmosis

Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program

Josh Parker on Glenn Beck

Ep66- Life Lessons from Bob of Bob's Red Mill
25:14
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 25:14
Ep66- Life Lessons from Bob of Bob's Red Mill

What a treat! Bob Moore and his longtime (and lovely) assistant Nancy Garner join us for this episode. At 86 years old, Bob is full of energy as he continues to manage a thriving company with over 400 employees.

I start off telling a few highlights of Bob's life as well as some defining character traits that I observed in his biography. Then, Bob sheds light on a variety of questions I prepared along with a few questions from listeners:

  • Pivotal moments in the course of Bob's life
  • Why Bob decided to open a mill
  • Bob's idea of nutrition and a healthy diet
  • Thoughts on intuition - “What I did was jump into something I didn’t know anything about. But I just knew it was the right thing for me to do."
  • About Dewey Sheets - Bob's mentor
  • Dealing with adversity - when the mill burned down
  • What Bob is reading these days

Selected links from the show:Bob's Red MillJohn Goffe's MillAdelle DavisPeople Before ProfitMilestones of AviationHow I Did It: Bob Moore, Bob's Red MillThe Allergy & Free From Show

Ep65- Global Promotion of an Ancient Grain - Doug Bice of Sorghum Checkoff
32:33
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 32:33
Ep65- Global Promotion of an Ancient Grain - Doug Bice of Sorghum Checkoff

Sorghum is a versatile grain.  Not only is it a superfood, but it serves for livestock feed and ethanol. It is an important part of diets in parts of Africa and India. It is also fermented into a popular Chinese liquor: Baijiu and used in KIND® bars and at one of Danny Meyer's restaurants in New York.

Doug Bice is the high value markets director at the Sorghum Checkoff, which works with sorghum farmers in USA. This was a really fun interview.  We talk about what they are doing to position the grain on a global scale:

  • Making a commodity useful: you are not working with one particular company, but every company. An interesting dynamic
  • Why Sorghum disappeared and why it is coming back
  • Their recent ad with Southwest Airlines
  • How to make an emotional marketing appeal to consumers
  • A marketing approach based on being a player and not #1
  • Competing againts commodities who have higher marketing budgets

Selected links from the show:Sorghum CheckoffNational Sorghum ProducersExtrusionSorghum Recipes

Ep64- A Guide to Moving Food Products on Amazon - Brad Forbush of Maivita
26:48
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 26:48
Ep64- A Guide to Moving Food Products on Amazon - Brad Forbush of Maivita

He left a billion dollar nutrition company with a revelation: "I can do better". Brad wanted to sell truly healthy foods that were backed up by a healthy process. An e-commerce and online marketing whiz, Brad helps companies sell online via Amazon and other channels. He also has his own brand: Maivita. Brad takes us to school:

  • The key decisions when you start selling online
  • Jet.com - why it matters and how they are going head-to-head against Amazon
  • Reasons you should start with Amazon
  • How to "pull" people towards your product
  • An unconventional strategy for building sales on Amazon.com

Selected links from the episode:Maivita (on Instagram)KiveyaThe Lean StartupAmazon FBAJet.comNatural StacksJet.com Gets Investment That Values It at $600 MillionWayfair

Ep63 - Real Deal Meal Delivery in SF - Ashwin of Thistle
21:00
2017-09-22 23:41:07 UTC 21:00
Ep63 - Real Deal Meal Delivery in SF - Ashwin of Thistle

Ashwin Cheriyan is a recovering corporate lawyer. Leaving New York @ age 30, he moved to San Fran and started Thistle: a leading cold-pressed juicery and food-delivery startup. Once a struggling industry , particularly with online grocery, food delivery is h-o-t today. On top of Thistle, Ashwin is an investor and advisor in startups. Listen to his story:

  • On the Kerala, India phenomenon, the highest literacy rate in the world.
  • How to know if you should stay in an industry
  • The inspiring Thistle philosophy
  • Ashwin's startup investing/advisory
  • The cold-pressed juice nutrition scam (watch out Apples!!)
  • Bonus: Suggestions for your business profile photos

Selected links from the episode:

Thistle.coCheck out Thistle's MenuThistle - PhilosophyWhy you Should Not Go to Law SchoolChargeModern Wheat

Ashwin's Skype Photo

About Ashwin:

Ashwin Cheriyan is an entrepreneur, recovering corporate lawyer and a mediocre surfer. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Thistle, a San Francisco-based cold-pressed juice and healthy food startup.

Prior to Thistle and WeGoFair, he spent 4 years in New York as an M&A associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he worked alongside senior management and cross-functional deal teams in collective transactions valued at over $100 billion. He received his A.B. in Economics from Brown University and his JD from The University of Texas School of Law.

He currently spends his energy working with, advising and investing in startups, suiting up in neoprene to surf the "world-class" waves of Pacifica, and enjoying the abundant culinary delights the Bay Area has to offer.