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Sari 0:04
I'm Sari Kimbell and I've done just about everything in the food industry. I have helped hundreds of packaged food business entrepreneurs and now I want to help you make your delicious dream a reality. Whether you want to be successful at farmer's markets, online, or wholesale on the store shelves, Food Business Success is your secret ingredient. I will show you how to avoid an expensive hobby, and instead run a profitable food business. Now let's jump.

Welcome back to the podcast everyone. So good to have you here. And this topic, I know that this episode is gonna get a lot of downloads because the few YouTube videos I have put out there on co packing, have gotten a ton of downloads. So this episode is definitely going to be a keeper if you're going into manufacturing or working with a co packer. So I'm excited to welcome my guest today, Andrea Blau. And she is the owner of AVA manufacturing. And Andrea has over 20 years in the food service CPG industry, which you don't look that old, I question 20. But she has spent time extensively in supply chain quality and operations. And she did not put very much in her bio, but I'm gonna just say that she is a pleasure to work with. And she knows her stuff. And she's just kind of a badass. So welcome, Andrea.

Andrea Blau 1:39
Thank you.

Sari 1:41
Really excited to have you on this episode, you and I have been working together on a number of projects together and you're here in my area in Denver. And I'm so grateful that you are here because you have helped my my life be easier and my clients lives. And so we're very grateful to you and that you started a bat. Can you just tell us a little bit about why you started AVA? Which isn't that old? It's it's a young, young manufacturing company.

Andrea Blau 2:11
Yeah, it is. And AVA is only just turned one years old recently. But I started AVA really with one idea in mind. And that was to make sure that the question of what do I do, if people tell me I don't have enough volume could be solved. I think that I've watched this industry and a lot of success stories happen in the past of my career, to know that everyone deserves their shot, and that we're not going to grow and expand the better for you categories without getting those brand owners out of the test kitchens and out of the commissaries so that they can really focus on how to sell and market their product and kind of stay in that lane and let those of us who know and understand the importance of quality and consumer safety take take our reigns. That to be said, as long as I've spent my career and co packing it's been more about unless it's 5000 pounds, 10,000 pounds, 20,000 pounds, we don't want the project. And there needed to be a solution. There needed to be a co Packer out there that wanted to help make sure there was a place where everyone felt like an equal sized fish instead of being a little fish in a big pond.

Sari 3:34
Yeah, I love that you created AVA I was at your one year party and there was such a great story behind it with you and your siblings and your whole family was there's so fun. And, and we're gonna get into the specifics in general about co packing, but I just want to say I like the business you have created is really special and your employees and the way you value your employees is really something unique. So yeah, thank you. You really value your employees.

Andrea Blau 4:06
Definitely. I really do. And I think that, you know, I I am not just the person that says I'm the bottom of the organization. I really do keep my team members and and my staff above me because I think that at the end of the day, they're really the ones out there doing the hard work. It is hard work to be a small business owner. It's hard work to run a company, but it's it's still nothing by comparison to what they do every day.

Sari 4:35
Yeah. Oh man. So thank you for doing that. And just so you guys know, AVA is a dedicated gluten free facility and a peanut free facility but they take clients from all over the country as long as you meet those qualifications and I highly recommend calling calling Andrea up and and seeing if it's a good fit. But let's just talk about co packing kind of, in general, anywhere people are at. And I do love that you're trying to bring it down to work with smaller producers. I know I've had a number of clients who have transitioned over to working with you, which is super fun to see that. But But when is the right time for a manufacturer or somebody who's making their own product, either cottage food, or they're in a commissary kitchen, when's the right time to start looking at a co packer?

Andrea Blau 5:29
You know, I think the right time, in my opinion is really based on who you're reaching. And what I mean by that is, farmers markets are kind of that that fun and safe space where you have an expectation of that homegrown feel. And I think that's completely appropriate for brands that are introducing themselves into a community or even a state. But I think beyond that, when you are having that opportunity to talk to someone in the retail world, and or going to put even products up on Amazon, your own Shopify, that's the right time to engage a co packer and or even a consulting group to help you understand whether it's your time. When liability grows for yourself in your company is the right time to make sure you have the appropriate team. And you can make those transitions from not only the most efficient from cost, but efficient from avoiding some of those mistakes, making labeling errors. Making oopsies we cross contaminated something now we have to throw away all this product because I'm in a shared space. I think anytime you're you're branding and retailing, anything with a UPC really need me to be speaking with a manufacturer.

Sari 6:54
Yeah, there's so much I mean, I know I have people who want to hang on to that manufacturing piece, because that's kind of their thing that they love. But when you start really scaling up, there's so many liability pieces. And we just had Lauren who's an attorney on talking to us about trademarking and some of those FDA pieces as well. But I mean, you as a co packer handle so much of that food safety piece that often gets overlooked. Unfortunately, fortunately, and the labor, you know, I know you offer feedback on labels, at least, and whether or not is their choice, but yeah, when you start going in grocery stores and, and that kind of thing, it's really an Amazon and growing your business. I think that's great. And it can also just help you with your scale, right and getting your cost of goods sold down so that you can compete on a on a grocery store shelf. I think that's actually a big myth is that I have a lot of people come to me and say it's gonna be more expensive to work with a co packer. And I said, No, no, actually, that's not the case. It's more up front, because you're buying more pieces. But the price per unit, I mean, I've only ever seen it go down. So yeah, pretty hard.

Andrea Blau 8:18
I would agree with that. Yeah, and I think that, you know, myself included, probably at some point in time, yourself included, small business, small brands, they don't really always take into account the value of their own time, and what they're really worth to the company. You know, unless you can actually write yourself a paycheck out of it. It's hard to capture that. But again, it's not co packing versus the rent of a commissary kitchen for one hour. It's it's the time and an effort and the sweat equity that you you're putting in there to that carry a value.

Sari 8:55
Yeah, I never sent. And so a lot of times, you know, the first thing that happens, especially if they're on their own, they start calling around like they Google, you know, always ask me like, how do I find co packers? Like, there's not one great resource. To my knowledge, I've pieced together a number of different online databases and sources into into the pro my program, but Sure. How do people normally find you? Is it just through googling around?

Unknown Speaker 9:28
And most of my Yeah, most of my clients are referral based. And I happen to just be very fortunate in that way. And that being said, You know, I think there's a lot to be said about people's own own network. So you refer me a lot of business, which I'm grateful for. But you know, beyond that, there's there's a power in someone calling me like you mentioned, I'm gluten free and peanut free. It's okay if someone's still calls AVA I'm going to probably help them find the right co packer if I can't exactly match their, their profile. So, you know, I wouldn't, I wouldn't encourage brands to cut themselves short on who they call initially. When you find the right companies, they're going to be willing to help you just just be out in the industry, even if it doesn't end up being their business.

Sari 10:19
Yeah. And a lot of times, then we get I get the feedback of like, well, I call all these places, they're not getting back to me, do I keep out, you know, hounding them, or I keep going after them. Or they get back to me and like their minimums are giant? Yeah. Like, is I like 5000 pounds or 10,000 bars at a time. Yeah. Any suggestions? Or do you encourage people to just keep trying? Keep, keep?

Andrea Blau 10:49
I encourage people to basically yes to, I would never encourage someone who's going from farmer's market to Natural Grocers, maybe called me and said, they want to look at my product, I wouldn't encourage them to, you know, call the biggest coal manufacturer in the United States, that's clearly not appropriate, and would be a waste of their time. But if you, again, stay within your own network, find other companies that are about your size, they're likely to connect you with someone. Again, if it's not a right fit, they'll connect you with someone else. But you know, to advocate for the brands, if you call a co packer or email and the first question out of their mouth is what is your volume? I wouldn't spend time talking to them? Because that's not going to be a fit partner. In my opinion, it's a very evident tell of a company who is only interested in themselves their their bottom line before they're interested in your your product and and your growth strategy. Yeah.

Sari 11:51
Which such a great segue into creating a great relationship with a co Packer. I mean, I could liken this to a marriage in some ways. You are very intertwined with your co Packers. So what are some tips about creating a great relationship that you found?

Andrea Blau 12:13
Yeah, I think that there's value in trust. And it's difficult, just like at the beginning of any relationship to to have that foundation, it's never difficult, though, to be able to tell if you're going to be able to build it. And I would say that goes, for me in the CO packing side, it goes for the brands. You know, it's it's, to your point, it's a lot like not just a marriage, but you know, that initial dating period, I would say, is kind of when you start betting co packers. It's really more about is this someone that I really can trust, that should really be top of mine beyond the price beyond the Can I need a volume commitment? If it seems like an organization that's trustworthy, and not just because they may have a name or may have been referred, you have to get that gut feeling from your initial conversations with them.

Sari 13:06
Yeah, good. Yeah, it really is about the trust and, and, you know, understanding that it needs to be a win win, too. Right? Like, like it. I know, you've pushed back sometimes with me, I'll send you an NDA. And you're like, nope, this like, this needs to be mutually beneficial, or, I mean, you've taught me so much, and I appreciate your he just taught me how it is and then I go figure it out. But understanding that like, you know, the co packer needs to make money in this and you're the manufacturer, like it needs to be a win-win. And so going into it that way, I think is a great from especially from the client end and that not all co packers are just greedy trying to take your money.

Andrea Blau 13:53
Yeah, you know, one of the things I hear a lot is that brands have to have a certain amount of money for marketing, spend more for promotions, for advertising, things of that nature. And that's, that's very, very important to a lot of companies, I would also say that you have to understand where you're putting your money. So if you're going to go with just flatline, cheapest co packing you can find you're probably not going to be happy with the quality of your product and all that marketing funding will have gone for nothing anyway. So you know, I would encourage people to look at their budgets, really take a look at what their spend on quality is versus their their spend on marketing.

Sari 14:34
Hmm, yeah. Cuz you want people like, people will keep coming back if the quality is there. Right, like right at one time, and then you got to keep spending a lot of money to go get new customers. Yeah, yeah. So tough situations come up and co packing all the time. Now we're dealing with much larger batches. Well, I guess actually, let's back up and talk first of like what can people expect on that like onboarding process? I think you do a great job with this. But kind of, you know, they've dealt with like, okay, your minimum order quantities, we kind of got some of that initial stuff out of the way. But what what can I expect next?

Andrea Blau 15:18
I think that the first thing that should be agreed upon, you know, maybe beyond an NDA, before any legal documents are signed is, at minimum, a benchtop sample. It may be even a half size of what the commercialized batch will look like. But it's really more about presenting product that's fit for the co paackers equipment, and deciding whether you're okay, signing off on that as the brand. And then I would go on to essentially a pilot run, not to be confused with production. You know, we can hope that pilot runs turn out to be sellable product, but maybe the seller, sellable product goes to a smaller marketplace, or, you know, out to family and friends for some feedback and things because you have to not just love it yourself, your your standard consumer base, and a lot of small companies utilize their family and friends for that need to take a look at it too. All those things should really be in the works before we are talking about contracts and things of that nature. Because you really can't, you can't take it back unfortunately, if you just go first production right off the bat, and cross your fingers for sell goods to a store. So that's kind of the other thing through the onboarding process. Some co packers will, some co packers won't offer their opinion on labeling and depending on your product, it may be absolutely necessary. For example, if you had a USDA product, the co packer obviously carries that liability a lot more under a USDA plant than the standard FDA plant. So label review should be done. That's mutually beneficial to everyone. It is not ever the case that I would say to a company unless there was a food safety issue with the label, a mis-declared allergen something of that nature that I would force their hand at changing it before they could ever come here. But it's it's a good idea to make sure that you've had multiple and at least one legal set of eyes on those those types of things. That should all be kind of the the grace period, the onboarding process, as much as you can, if you're local to the co packer you're looking at, I would, again, ask them if you can participate in these things. I know the last year has definitely been different for everyone. But backing all of the past 15 months out, I would say that's also another tale of of who the co packers going to be and what kind of partner they're going to be if they will not let you in their doors. That should be a red flag for you. Whether it's just minimally for a tour, or participation in a benchtop or or pilot production, you know, we we are out there, those of us that that will allow that. That to be said if those doors are open for you be respectful of their rules and their standards in the facility. You know, but things like taking pictures and and what to wear, ask those questions of them if they're going to let you into the facility first.

Sari 18:27
Yeah. Good. Great tips. And I know you've been very generous letting me come in and doing lots of Yeah, that's a test runs and, and I should just we should reiterate that they are test runs, and they don't always work out the first time.

Andrea Blau 18:43
That's right.

Sari 18:45
And oh, so I know, chocolate chips. Thumbs up, we're happy with chocolate chip cookies. Good after several attempts, so and and some co packers do charge for those test runs. So just be aware of that, that there may be a test run that benchtop sample run fee where we're just making sure the equipment works and like it's all gonna work with with that co packer and their ingredients. And then do co packers in general kind of generally helps source ingredients or have you seen it go a lot of different ways.

Andrea Blau 19:24
I you know, I've seen the models go different ways. I think that a couple of years ago, there was a book that got published on Amazon about co packing and I bought it and immediately threw it away because I was so upset with it. It was so ridiculous. But you know it it's it's the one thing that was stable about it was there are three types of co packing really. There's the full A to Z, the turnkey solution where your expectation is the CO Packer does all of it. And there's the tolling model where you as a company you want to be organizing your own supply chain and, and planning, you know, your own production, so on and so forth. And all you're doing is basically outsourcing the label labor to a co packer. And then there's kind of the hybrid, where you may have a tolling agreement with your co packer, but from a commodity standpoint, it makes the most sense for them to be buying certain things because of their volume abilities. And, you know, there's an in between there that a lot of people if they ask, can find,

Sari 20:29
And then sometimes co packers, like, like yourself, have some extra add on services. And I love that you guys offer the kind of three PL model where you're able to ship using someone's Shopify account. So I haven't seen that very much, though. So thank you.

Andrea Blau 20:48
Yeah, you're welcome. Yeah, I don't know that many co packers out there are doing it. I know, one of the reasons I am doing it is because I've worked with them for a couple companies that refuse to do it. But you know, it at the end of the day, me as a co packer, I'm doing a full analysis on how successful my brands can be. And it's not beyond my time. Of course, with an affiliated cost to say, instead of paying freight from my facility to a three PL, and the three PL wants a storage fee, a break case fee, a shipping fee, a label fee, for probably, you know, traditionally what brands could pay at a three PL, you know, marginally at AVA, and hopefully more co packers will be open to that option in the future because it is appropriate again, at a small a small brand, a small base to to help your companies along so that if they grow and have the cost to sink back into some of those other important pieces, then we all win in the in the end. That to be said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for three peels and several colleagues out there that run them. They those are absolutely appropriate when you are, you know, shipping hundreds and hundreds of Shopify or Amazon or whatever the case may be orders a day. They are also a very necessary piece of our business and the supply chain. It's just it's tough for some of the smaller brands to find that accommodation.

Sari 22:22
Yeah. So good. All right. So let's talk about the tough situations come up, you you know i as the brand, I we've done the pilot run, we've done the benchtop. You we signed a contract and it's like I basically said, Okay, here's you know, you have all the things and then you as a co packer are going to, you know, you organize it with your staff, I don't even know how you do all of that. Especially because AVA does a lot of different products, right? I mean, everything from baking to we're doing butters do I review just sauces like you have a lot of different qualities. Some, some co packers are very much just like we only do sauces or we only do baked goods. But in any case you you're organized at all you have the process and the plan. And then there's a QA issue, right a quality assurance issue or something that the client doesn't like, like what? How do we go about navigating that? What's the best way to handle that as the brand?

Andrea Blau 23:30
Sure, I think that it depends on a couple of things. And step one of that process is taking a look at it and understanding between yourself and the co packer what the problem actually is. And what I mean by that is there could be a food safety issue, which is, is and should be a hard stop for most people that it needs to be addressed as such, then there's a very different quality issue. An example of that would be maybe the shape of something isn't necessarily what we like. But at the same time, that's not a food safety risk, the shape of a now if you wanted a circular cookie, and you ended up with a square, then sure your co packer made a mistake, but it is it unsafe. Is it inedible? Should it go to waste? Probably not. And we should talk through what the right step is of how much of it were really willing to release and how much of it we could potentially donate if that's what needs to happen. And or which is actually the problem I hear most. It is not a quality problem at all. It is an opinion. Meaning it may be the fact that it's a little bit too sweet is not something you want to say to a co packer when there's only a certain amount of sugar and sweeteners that go into formulas and they've likely been signed off on at that point, if a co packer can go to their batch records and say, No, this is what I made, this is what you had asked me to make, say telling someone that it's a little bit too dry or a little bit too sweet isn't really even a conversation. And that kind of brings me to another point that I really try to encourage small brands to understand. You have to be at the point in order to join a co packing organization where you are not making family recipes anymore. And that's hard for people to hear, because that's, for a lot of us a passion point. And we want it to be just the way your mom or your grandma or your you know, your grandpa, exactly how they did it is not how it's going to come out of a co packing facility, right, it's going to be a very, very kind of nod to where those recipes probably originally came from. But it that at that point is an opinion. If If I can't, as a co packer validate a quality or a food safety problem, then I'm going to ask you to go home and sleep on it. And call me back maybe when some of the emotion has has left the conversation. But outside of that, if it's a food safety issue, that's going to be qualified as an issue that either a raw material or a co packer supplying you has likely caused, then it's a completely different approach from the brand. If it's quality, I would talk through it just to avoid or mitigate food waste is not something anyone should ever encourage, if it's still sellable. And then, you know, kind of the opinion pieces is a different category that people just need to think through a little bit more and maybe make constructive suggestions for the next round.

Sari 26:50
Yeah, that's great feedback. I think that there is that piece around like we give you you know, we work through a process as a co packer like shape or size or, or something like that is a great example. And yeah, and then but then we're the whole point of a co packer is to become more efficient, to mechanize things right and have machinery, things that are going to we're going to remove some of those pieces around the little hand the handcrafted feeling, yeah. So that we can get our cost of goods sold down and compete and make a whole lot of product in a short period of time. So keeping that in mind.

Andrea Blau 27:33
Yeah, that's right. And I think the best way we we find that is to always go into your expectation of what the product spec is with a range. So it might be a 70 to 75 millimeter circle because it doesn't matter how good you are of a baker. If you're labeling something as small batch or artisan, or, you know, maybe one step above handcrafted, then you want some of that fluidity, you don't want it to look like a cookie cutter cookie every single time because it takes a lot of the personality out of your product. But ranges are always a good idea when it comes to quality specifications, again, I'm not referencing food safety in that. But you know, a range of light to dark, maybe providing your co packer with an acceptable color chart for a baked good, or, you know, deciding it's not just you can go up to whatever size fits in the package. If you say something like that to a co packer, they will do exactly what you said. But maybe you know, the allowance of 5-10 millimeters isn't really going to change product cost or product integrity.

Sari 28:47
Yeah. And if you want some of those extra hand touches and things, then then they're potentially available, but they will cost you more right? Because every time you touch the product more than there is an additional cost. So keeping that in mind as well. I think it's that's really helpful, I think so good for people to know. So what else? Should we definitely talk about touch on here that would be really helpful for people if they're thinking about moving into co packing.

Andrea Blau 29:21
Yeah, I think that one of the things that's a particular passion of mine, and you already know this, I touched on it a couple of times in the conversation is what are we doing with imperfect product? Kind of back to that quality versus opinion standard is have you really thought about if you've developed a product, let's say that has trim, trim, meaning you lay it out in flat sheet though and then you're cutting off the edges. What are we doing with the edges? Because we as an industry as a community need to stop wasting. So can you develop a product off of that? A couple of examples I'll give you is, you know, turning broken food into some sort of crumb topping. Or maybe it's if we are manufacturing breads, and we didn't get exactly the right proof or the slicer broke down, can we turn that product into croutons, and maybe expand the expand the brand's profile, instead of just determining it as animal feed or, or waste, meaning the trash right away? Again, we do need to be supplying some of the farmers with their animal feed. But, you know, it's if it's good and viable product, is there something that we can do to really upcycle it? And maybe, like I said, end up with a product developed for the brand that they maybe didn't think about. So I always asked my brands within the first couple times we meet if it seems like we're, we're going towards that to to evaluate that and think about it for themselves. Otherwise, I'm going to come to you with three or four suggestions on on what I'd like done with it. Because I do think that that's the next, that's the next thing. Yeah, in air quotes, I guess is, you know, we've gone through this process of food safety auditing, you can't get into a major retailer at this point without being a GFSI or an SQF plant. The thing right after that was social responsibility. And, and, you know, maybe you and I are going to know each other for years. So you can come back and comment on this to me in a little bit. But I do believe that food waste initiatives are going to be the next requirement to kind of offset some of these problems we're having.

Sari 31:45
I love that. And I love that you even think about that. I have a couple of clients, she Yeah, she made some bread that was under proofed and or she did something to it. And she ended up turning into crew times. And it was right around Thanksgiving. And so it was a great use of use of that. But I think that's really, really great that you're even you're even thinking about that. I don't I don't hear that very often. I love it. And how much time should people plan on kind of this onboarding process? Does it usually take? Because I think there's always like, urgency like now I gotta go. So they how much runway? Yeah, I never do that to you, right?

Andrea Blau 32:28
No, um, I think that, you know, if I were putting myself in their shoes, kind of what should my expectations be? It really depends on how ready you are, right? So if you're coming to me, with an index card that has a recipe written on it, your onboarding process is going to take a much longer time, versus the brand that's already, you know, has their labels developed has their formulas finalized. And just to touch briefly, formulas and recipes are two very different things. Meaning, it's been commercialized or scaled to to a point maybe those are the companies that are transitioning from a small scale, you should anticipate anywhere from three to six months of a process, if you really want to do it, right. And you're just whether it's still an idea, or just a small scale product that you've been kind of hoping to expand, that's probably the right timeline. Yeah, as far as an expectation. That being said, if you are in a pinch, and you know, you run across the situation where, oh, my shared kitchen, or my commissary just shut down all of a sudden, and I have nowhere to go, there are co packers out there, if they're good at what they're doing that can help folks pretty immediately. But you have to understand that your bad situation is not necessarily our bad situation. And we, we want to do what we can to help but you have to be patient with the process. And kind of as soon as they say they need something, you need to come up with it. And you know, and then if they maybe go dark for a few days, you know, sit back and tell yourself, that's because they're trying to get all their other products off the line so that they can help me. You know, be patient. Be patient is is one thing, that it's it's your company and it's your brand and we get it as co packers that it's the most important to you. But unfortunately, when you join the co packing community, the other thing you have to keep in mind is everyone's brand is the most important and good co packers usually have multiple most imports to deal with.

Sari 34:44
Yeah, you're juggling a lot of other products. Yeah, but actually, I was gonna ask you to like how far in advance are you scheduling out production runs like, you know, should people be planning on like, letting you know like four weeks in advance? Eight weeks in advance before you can get them in or?

Unknown Speaker 35:02
Yeah, so that's kind of how Eva has found this solution. And I'm not giving up any secrets that people can't think of on their own. But what we have done is, if you're going to be one of the smaller volumes, to start, before you've had that opportunity to get product out there and grow four weeks is an appropriate lead time. And particularly if you're going to go with a tolling model, and your lead time is four weeks, the one thing you should change in your mentality is that those ingredients should be there two weeks well in advance of when they're planning to run. Because if they are not there, by that four week lead time, unfortunately, you're going to get bumped off the schedule, and it's not really reasonable to say, I know all of my ingredients are late, but I need to be back on the schedule ASAP. I think that is ASAP has become a funny term at AVA. Because if you're gonna say as soon as possible, then that really means you're giving me the liberty to do it as soon as I possibly can. And that may be six weeks from now. But be be more specific with what you're looking for, but then accepting of what is actually possible.

Sari 36:22

Andrea Blau 36:24
If it's a brand that's, you know, further along in the process labels, ready things of that nature, I would say 21 days is is probably pushing it, depending on what kind of distribution paperwork or packaging has to be ordered. But it can be done.

Sari 36:36
Yeah. Well, and that's something I learned with another project is ingredient lead times can be especially the, you know, little flavor extracts or some of the more, you know, commercial ingredients, and depending on what it is, can take a long time. I think ours took six weeks, and we had to reschedule a couple of times like, Oh, I did not expect that to take so long to get here. So yeah, yeah. Something to be aware of. Yeah, definitely planning well in advance. So. All right, there's been so good. So what are some of your last pieces of advice for folks looking into moving into a co packing situation?

Andrea Blau 37:23
I think that one piece of advice I can give is that, you know, a lot of people need to be able to stay calm. You know, whether it's a food safety, a quality, raw material shortage issue, there, there is no advantage to overreacting. And there's, there's no reason to ever, ever, and I say this for all of us yell at your co packer. It's not going to get you very far, especially not here at AVA. So, you know, I think that, like any business, when you're starting out, it's easy to see it as you know, we've compared it to the likeness of marriage. I've compared myself as a small business owner of this being my second child. So we get it, we hear the passion behind what the need is. But you know it like in any other relationship. Unless we're going to be calm and work through it together, it's not going to work for anyone. And I think the only other thing you know, more life in general, is to just continue to be kind. I expect you to be kind to me, and I will be kind to you. But beyond that. If you're going to be with an organization like AVA, you also need to be as kind to the crew that that's working there. Because those are the folks again that are are making it happen for your company.

Sari 38:52
Yeah. I love how many countries you have represented by your employees. I love your flags.

Unknown Speaker 38:59
Thank you. Um, yes, there are seven countries represented across my crew. Yeah.

Sari 39:04
Yeah. That's a great, great staff. It's been a lot of fun. Getting to know them. They're very, very welcoming.

Andrea Blau 39:12
Yeah. Thank you.

Sari 39:15
All right. Well, I we will definitely put your your website link in the show notes and people can contact you if they want to check in with you and find out about so be a good fit. If the product that would meet the the quality of the specifications that you do. You're also certified. kosher, right?

Andrea Blau 39:41
Yes. And so AVA is an organic, kosher and gluten free facility.

Sari 39:47
Yeah. I love it. I love that you did those certifications. I know a lot of people are looking for those things. That's really great. Can we just like replicate you and put you in multiple other products, we need a USDA facility just like this.

Andrea Blau 40:07
Yeah, yeah, I think, let me get my bakery under control and trained off to some of my best. And then we'll go on from this one.

Sari 40:15
to USDA and then yeah, check with us in a couple years. I'll support that 100% All right. Well, thanks, Sandra. I really appreciate you being with us today.

Andrea Blau 40:29
Yeah, thanks for having me.

Sari 40:31
Wow, Andrea gave us so much good stuff in this. I hope you found that really helpful. And I know, not everybody is going to be able to find a plant like AVA or insert. She certainly doesn't do all the products I wish she did. But hopefully this gives you some great things to think about. And as you're going into creating a relationship with a co Packer that you have some more tools and some worth. You're just more aware and more educated about what it means to work with a co packer. I will also put the links for the co packing videos that I have done on YouTube that I think are also really helpful that go over some more of the pros and cons and things you're looking for when you decide if you decide to go into co packing. And until next time, have an amazing week.

Are you ready to start that delicious idea that you make in your home kitchen, or grow your existing packaged food business and take it to the next level? The most successful food business entrepreneurs have support, guidance, focus and accountability to help them make it happen quickly without wasting time or money. Plus, I think starting your packaged food business should actually be fun. Food Business Success is your secret ingredient to creating your food business dream. Please don't go this alone. Check out the private free Food Business Success Facebook group to connect with other foodprenuers, get your questions answered quickly, share your wins and receive special training and tools I only share inside the private community. Just search for Food Business Success on Facebook, or get the link in the show notes. Curious about how Food Business Success can help you? Head over to FoodBizuccess.com and fill out the application to see if you're a great fit for the program. Together let's make your food business dream a reality.

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