You might recognize Tony’s Chocolonely by its quirky labels and comic font logo. Behind the Dutch brand’s playful vibe, however, is a profound mission to end the use of child labor within the cocoa industry. Ynzo van Zanten, the company’s Chief Evangelist, spoke about how Tony’s has navigated the development of a premium brand while staying focused on its overarching social mission.
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Simon Sacal, founder and CEO of innovative food platform Solely, spoke about his background as a food entrepreneur beginning as a teenager and how his career culminated in the development of the brand. He also explained why the company’s strategy and focus is “exactly the opposite of the easy way,” and why Solely doesn't launch a product unless it identifies “a huge advantage” over a competitor.
Gabrielle Union, Maggie Patton and Alex Buckley, co-founders of better-for-you kid’s snack brand Bitsy’s, spoke about the company’s mission to make nutritious snacks accessible to all families, communicating the brand’s healthy halo to children and parents, why asking for help has to be a priority for entrepreneurs and how the food industry can work together to mainstream healthy food for kids.
Greg Fleishman, co-founder and CEO of clean label baking mix and snack company Foodstirs, discussed how the brand has adapted to a new consumer environment, explained how to manage and enhance relationships with retail buyers, why it’s critical to leverage every resource at your disposal during the pandemic and why consumer communication is the one thing that keeps him up at night.
This special episode of Taste Radio features highlights from interviews with six entrepreneurs who joined us on Taste Radio during the first half of 2020. Our guests include Siete Family Foods co-founder and CEO Miguel Garza; Nick & Elyse Oleksak, the co-founders of Bantam Bagels; Miyoko’s founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner; Ben Van Leeuwen, the co-founder and CEO of Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream; Orgain founder and CEO Andrew Abraham; and Gail Becker, the founder and CEO of Caulipower.
Emily Kanter, co-owner and CEO of Boston-area natural products retailer Cambridge Naturals spoke about the history and evolution of the retailer and the factors that determine its unique product selection. She also discussed how she develops relationships with brand owners, evaluates emerging trends and why Cambridge Naturals was one of the first area stores to carry CBD-infused products.
Jim, Jake and Jordan DeCicco, co-founders of surging “Super Coffee” brand Kitu Life, explained why success is as much about avoiding the wrong moves as it is about making the right decisions. They also discussed the role of mentors in steering strategy, adjusting their management style to meet the needs of an evolving workforce and their perspective on raising capital and aligning with strategic investors.
This edition of Taste Radio Insider features highlights from interviews with six entrepreneurs and experts who joined us during the first half of 2020, including TRUFF hot sauce founders Nick Guillen and Nick Ajluni; Anouck Gotlib, CEO of Belgian Boys; Nona Lim, founder/CEO of Nona Lim; GT’s Living Foods founder/CEO GT Dave; Ashley Thompson, co-founder/CEO of MUSH; and Lee Robinson, director of dairy and beverage for Whole Foods Market.
Henry Chen, founder/CEO of SPI West Port, the owner of ALO Drink, ALO Snacks, Jen Collagen and Woodridge Snacks, spoke about the importance of staying true to the company’s core focus, who he views as the ultimate industry gatekeeper, how the company strategizes around retail placement and the key element entrepreneurs can’t overlook when scaling.
Chuck Casano, founder of Pitaya Foods and HiTouch Distribution, spoke about navigating the food industry on two fronts, how a social mission guided his foray into entrepreneurship, the failure that propelled his decision to launch HiTouch, the elements of successful brand relationships and being on the front lines of food distribution during the pandemic.