Expo Bits, Bites… And A Ban. Plus, A Next-Gen Leader On Lessons Learned.


Back home and in the studio, the hosts shared additional highlights — and unexpected sights – from Expo West 2023, including introductions to several innovative and early-stage brands. Also, Ray Latif offered his take on the 2023 Seafood Expo North America and sat down with Mason Dixie Foods founder and CEO Ayeshah Abuelhiga for the first in a new series of interviews focused on lessons acquired by entrepreneurs at various stages of their respective journeys.

In this Episode

0:39: Listen Up, VIPs. Anaheim’s Best Parking Lot. Dr. Squatch vs. Mr. Mike. – The crew encouraged listeners to become Taste Radio VIPs and discussed the benefits that come with it, before chatting about Expo West sheen and bubble guts, Ray’s luxurious workspace (not really) and his apology to exhibitors. They also spoke about meaningful and touching interactions with Expo attendees, meeting new brands and founders at Startup CPG’s Alley Rally meetup, a superb wine-alternative brand and why Mike might not be welcome at a certain booth in a year’s time. Later, they also sampled reformulated versions of “big name” candy bars and discussed findings from a fish-laden trade event.
36:32: Interview: Ayeshah Abuelhiga, Founder/CEO, Mason Dixie Foods – We last spoke with Abuelhiga in March, 2021 following the company’s $6.3 million Series A funding round, which preceded the launch of its popular biscuit breakfast sandwiches. In the time since, Mason Dixie has experienced remarkable growth, with revenue up 300% over the past year, according to the company. It also launched a national partnership with Marriott Select Brand Hotels, where its grab-and- go breakfast items are stocked in over 3,500 of the chain’s locations. This past week the company  also introduced three new product lines at Expo West 2023: Liege Waffle Sandwiches, Liege Waffles and Ready-to-Heat Biscuits. In this interview, Abuelhiga discussed lessons learned from her nearly nine years as an entrepreneur, including those about raising capital, customer service, and sexism and bias in the food industry, among other topics.

Also Mentioned

Fishwife, Empress Hot Sauce, Resist Nutrition, Sunwink, Tahoe Artesian Water, Katrina Brewing, Kula Ice Cream, Funky Mello, Pocket’s Chocolate, Points, Wise Bar, Proxies, Acid League, Bokksu, Mason Dixie Foods, Trip, Taika, Centr, Agua Bonita, Gigantic Candy, Wixter Seafood, Thunder’s Catch, Barnacle Foods, Wild Legend