Taste Radio Insider Episode 66

Next Level Advice On Investment, Goals, Profitability & More


This special edition of Taste Radio Insider highlights actionable insights and advice from interviews with six founders, creators and investors who joined us on the show during the second half of 2019. Our guests include Zico founder and Powerplant Ventures co-founder Mark Rampolla; Zoe Feldman, the director of the Chobani Incubator; Rick’s Picks founder and CEO Rick Field; Mike Cessario, the founder and CEO of Liquid Death; Harbinger Ventures founder Megan Bent and Chris Kirby, the founder of Ithaca Craft Hummus.

In this Episode

1:28: Mark Rampolla, Founder, Zico; Co-Founder, Powerplant Ventures We kick off the episode with Mark Rampolla, the founder of Zico coconut water and the co-founder of plant-centric CPG investment firm Powerplant Ventures. In the following clip, pulled from our interview with Rampolla in Ep. 53, he discussed how he sets and reviews long-term goals, why it’s critical to write them down and look at them daily, the importance of thoughtful communication and alignment with employees and colleagues and why daily huddles are key for highly effective organizations.
9:18: Zoe Feldman, Director, Chobani IncubatorNext up is Zoe Feldman, who is the director of Chobani Incubator, which invests in and supports purpose-driven, early-stage companies. We spoke with Feldman for an interview featured in Ep. 63, and in the following clip she spoke about how she’s using her voice and platform to support marginalized communities and shared the advice she has for brand owners and executives that might be afraid to have “the diversity conversation.”
15:10: Rick Field, Founder/CEO, Rick’s PicksLet’s continue with Rick Field, the founder and CEO of premium pickle brand Rick’s Picks. Field joined us in Ep. 42, and in this clip he urged potential and early-stage entrepreneurs to understand the minutiae that comes with building a food brand, why it’s not a part-time endeavor and why he describes entrepreneurship as being an “army of one.”
19:23: Mike Cessario, Founder/CEO, Liquid Death  — Next is Mike Cessario, the founder and CEO of Liquid Death, a canned water brand whose heavy metal vibe and edgy marketing has generated considerable online buzz and attracted funding from a range of prominent investors. In an interview from Ep. 51, Cessario explained why upstart CPG companies must stand for something, the importance of conveying “small,” why customer acquisition is about getting people to “invest in your brand” and how to establish proof of concept for an untested idea.
27:16: Megan Bent, Founder & Managing Partner, Harbinger Ventures — We continue with Megan Bent, the founder and managing partner of Harbinger Ventures, a specialized investment firm whose mission is to provide growth equity and strategic resources to the next generation of female entrepreneurs. We spoke with Bent in Ep. 64 and in this clip, she explained how Harbinger vets potential portfolio companies, the “trifecta” that she looks for in growing brands and why she encourages entrepreneurs to establish a “common language” with potential investors.
34:40: Chris Kirby, Founder/President, Ithaca Craft HummusWrapping up this episode is Chris Kirby, the founder and president of fast-growing brand Ithaca Craft Hummus. In this clip, pulled from an interview featured in Ep. 55, Kirby explained how he identified white space in legacy food category, why carefully crafted success stories have been key to landing placement at new retailers and why he advises entrepreneurs to be “very intentional about what you’re spending and why.” 

Also Mentioned

Zico, Chobani, Rick’s Picks, Liquid Death, Ithaca Craft Hummus