When Marco Canora opened the first Brodo location, a takeout window housed within his acclaimed New York City restaurant Hearth, he believed he was at the forefront of a new category of sippable bone broths. He was on to something: the launch of Brodo sparked broad interest in bone broth, positioned to consumers as a comforting drink and a convenient source of nutrition.
In the following months, new bone broth cafes and packaged brands began appearing across the U.S. Yet while emerging categories often benefit from an expanding shelf set, Canora, an award-winning chef who’s helmed some of New York’s most admired eateries and been featured on several popular cooking shows including “Chopped” and “Top Chef,” has some misgivings about product quality. There’s a right way to make bone broth, he believes, one that involves patience, care and premium ingredients. It may cost more to produce at scale, but Brodo lives and dies by its high standards.
“I’ve always been the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ kind of guy,” Canora said in an interview included in this episode. “And as long as I’m enjoying the process, I think the most critical and the most important thing about the path is that we each pop out of bed every day and we’re excited and proud about what we’re making.”
That principle has guided Brodo’s development since its launch in 2014. The company has expanded to six retail storefronts in New York City — all profitable, according to Canora — and distributes frozen bone broth in quarts and pints to independent and chain retailers, including Whole Foods, across metro New York.
As part of our conversation, Canora and Brodo CEO Andrew Garner discussed the origins of the brand, how timing and location played into its early success and the company’s foray into packaged products. They also spoke about Brodo’s consumer education strategy and why Marco believes that the steepest part of the learning curve in the business of consumer packaged goods is also its most frustrating.
In this Episode
|2:04: Marco Canora, Founder & Andrew Garner, CEO, Brodo — Canora and Garner sat down with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif for an expansive conversation that began with Canora’s background as a chef, how his unhealthy lifestyle led him to bone broth and how Garner, a former health care and Coca-Cola executive, joined Brodo as its CEO. Canora also explained why he describes Brodo products as “beverages” and not “soup,” how the company communicates its value proposition to consumers, determining the right format and package size for the brand and how he attempts to use his influence as to support the development of better-for-you food brands. Later, Canora and Garner discussed the role of Brodo’s storefronts as a gateway to its packaged products, the challenge of merchandising in the frozen food aisle, why Canora laments traditional routes to market, the impact of growing interest in plant-based diets on Brodo’s business model and the dream scenario for the company’s future.|