This episode features an interview with Oded Brenner, the founder of both Max Brenner, an international chain of upscale chocolate-centric cafes, and Blue Stripes, a unique brand of food and beverages made from upcycled cacao fruit. Brenner spoke about his unconventional approach to entrepreneurship, why he believes that “there will always be a place for the niche,” why he embraces ideas that would commonly be perceived as mistakes and his definition for the ultimate form of success.
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Ryan Close, founder of on-demand cocktail machine Bartesian, which today completed a $20 million funding round and added actress Mila Kunis to its advisory board, spoke about the company’s breakout success, why overconfidence was helpful early on, how B2B sales were key to its initial funding strategy, communicating long-term value to customers and how Close assesses opportunities to scale.
Mason Dixie Foods founder and CEO Ayeshah Abuelhiga spoke about how the combination of her family’s history in the food business along with the impact of bias and inequality in her career prompted her foray into entrepreneurship, how she prepared for and managed meteoric growth and why she’s calling out antiquated ways of doing business in the baking industry.
Brandon Schwartz & Lawrence Cisneros, the co-founders of innovative ready-to-pour cocktail brand DRNXMYTH, spoke about how they navigated a complex web of regulation, supplier partnerships and packaging technology to achieve their vision for the products and how they surrounded themselves with investors that understood the impact of technology within an emerging category.
Mike Fata, the co-founder of global hemp foods producer Manitoba Harvest, spoke about how his interest in nutrition and healthy living led him to hemp, overcoming government-led and generational disinformation about the crop, why he laments not seeing greater potential for the company early into its development and where he drew inspiration for confidence as a CEO.
The co-founders of Bomani Cold Buzz, a brand of alcohol-infused cold brew coffee, spoke about how, despite launching at the outset of the pandemic, it persevered through preparation, planning and purpose, including why aggressive cold-calling was critical. They also discussed their thoughtful approach to surveys and focus groups and how they convinced investors and advisors to believe in their vision.
Taste Radio: The Skill That Helped This Pioneering Entrepreneur Build Plated Into A $300M Company… And Another In The Making
Nick Taranto, the co-founder of pioneering meal kid company Plated and beer alternative brand HOP WTR, spoke about why storytelling is the key to any successful company, how his experience in the Marines and at Harvard Business School influenced his perspective as an entrepreneur and why he’s bullish on Bitcoin and sober-curious lifestyles.
Starr and L.A. Edwards, the co-founders of vegan dip brand Bitchin’ Sauce, spoke about how consumers respond to the brand’s quirky name and why they’ll never change the primary elements of its packaging, how they landed a deal with Costco early into the brand’s development and why they believe that owning a production facility has given them an advantage when working with retailers.
Bill Shufelt, the co-founder and CEO of non-alcoholic beer maker Athletic Brewing Co., spoke about the critical importance of market research, how he dealt with consistent rejection from beer industry professionals and why he believes that “drama is so unproductive.” He also discussed how he planned for and is managing explosive growth and how he evaluates strategic partnerships.
Organifi CEO Mae Steigler spoke about the origins of the powdered juice and supplement brand, the company’s impressive DTC business and how she and her team crafted an effective consumer acquisition and retention strategy. She also discussed how Organifi scaled while being bootstrapped and how daily huddles and employee empowerment are key to the company culture.