In this episode, we’re joined by Matt Weiss, the founder/CEO of RIND Snacks, who discussed his approach to building the skin-on dried fruit brand while maintaining his full-time job.
An investment analyst by profession, Weiss launched RIND in 2018. In our interview, he explained that, while he saw an opportunity to disrupt the dried fruit category with a premium brand, he was hesitant to quit his well-paying career and initially treated RIND as a “side hustle.”
He noted, however, that regardless of the time and resources he was willing to devote to the brand, “it was very clear [he] had to put my best foot forward.” With that in mind, he crafted a thoughtful business strategy that helped guide RIND’s development over the next two years.
“There really is an opportunity to develop and grow and get critical mass that doesn’t feel like you have to hedge your bets,” he said. “You don’t need a huge team to launch. You can rely and grow using a lot of outsourced partners in the beginning. And you actually can run a small business on the side for a finite period of time.”
Weiss’s planning has paid off: RIND is currently distributed at hundreds of independent and natural chain retailers across the Northeast and has a fast-growing online business as well.
As part of our conversation, Weiss spoke about how he evaluated RIND’s market potential and key point of differentiation and how he assessed the financial and opportunity costs of entrepreneurship. He also explains the benefits of launching a business later in life, the importance of open and honest communication with his employer while incubating RIND and why he believes in “relentless networking.”
In this Episode
|1:37: Chewing Chum, Skeletons In The… Cabinet? — The episode opens with the hosts chatting about the nuances of a new decade, how BevNET brand specialist Melissa Traverse enjoyed a saucy holiday and a new brand of fruit jerky with a fishy-sounding name. Later, they spoke about the learning curve for entrepreneurs new to the food and beverage industry, Melissa’s past experience working as a flight attendant (one of 34 jobs she’s had in her life) and why attendees of the 2020 Winter Fancy Food Show should direct message us on Instagram (@bevnetmike, @melissa_traverse, @bevtrayde).|
|15:00: Interview: Matt Weiss, Founder/CEO, RIND Snacks — Weiss visited BevNET HQ and sat down with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif for a conversation about the origins of RIND, including his grandmother’s role in its genesis and why he believed that the brand needed “to be distilled to a very simple premise and value proposition.” He also discussed the importance of having great branding and packaging out of the gate, why he viewed RIND’s first two years as its proof of concept phase and why, despite keeping his day job, he saw himself as working without a safety net. Later, he extolled the virtues of involving his family in the brand, the value of pitch slam competitions and why he urges colleagues to “be constantly learning professionally.”|