Good Love Foods Instagram & IGTV
Tuturu Botanical Coffee Instagram & IGTV
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 in!
Get ready to be inspired on this podcast today. I am so excited to welcome two of the graduates, shall we say, from Food Business Success, although really their journey is just beginning but I worked with Eric and Channelle to help them bring their product to life inside the program. And this is just the highlight of my work that I do to be able to bring on guests who've listened to the podcast just like you are doing now. And then bring them on as people who've actually started, so hopefully this could be you one day as well. If you are thinking about finally starting, launching that packaged food business in 2022, I'm going to do a quick plug here before we get started to jump into register yourself for the Whip Up Your Food Business Workshop live on January 18. You can also get the replay, go to foodbizsuccess.com/start. Alright, let's go!
Welcome back to the podcast everyone! This is such a special episode for me, I love it when I get to interview Food Business Success clients, people who've gone through the program, have lived to tell the tale, have launched their product, and are in it. They have done the hard work of launching and now actually have a business, which is really when all the real work begins. But I'll help get you there! So I am so excited to welcome on two Food Business Success graduates. Channelle Young is here of Good Love Foods. And then we also have Eric Weshinskey with Tuturu Coffee. So both of these guys just launched in the last few months. In the fall I think for Channelle and then just a couple of months ago, maybe two months ago for Eric. So first of all, welcome both of you. Thanks so much for your time today.
Yes, thank you for having me. Us.
Yes, thank you, Sari.
Yeah, so Channelle, I'm going to start with you. Let's see. So you are of course the founder of Good Love Foods. And your Good Love Foods is a celiac safe, gluten-free company specializing in frozen, ready to bake goods. On top of starting your business earlier this year, you're also about to graduate with an MBA from the University of Denver. You're an experienced project manager and while you love to plan for everything and take risks, you have used all of these mistakes as an opportunity for growth. So when you're not producing gluten-free Good Love Foods goods, you can find Channelle taking her two dogs on walks by the river, painting murals, going on scenic mountain drives with your partner Justin. I can't believe you can do all of that.
Well, when you say it, it does seem like a lot and it really is. But there's some downtime in there, too.
Of course, it's not all flour everywhere, baking goods. And then Eric, we were just talking about how to introduce him but it's so fun that because I was teasing him that like he's a gamer by day but a coffee lover. I guess coffee needs to support it as well. So Eric has been, he's worked for a CPG, working with CPG brands as a research manager before getting into coffee and he's a coffee aficionado so he created this amazing botanical coffee blends. So they are flavored coffee which when I first heard it, I was like I had like flashbacks to the 90s when like hazelnut coffee was all the rage, right? And like it kind of gives me a shatters, but Eric is flavoring these coffees with natural ingredients. I've tried the cinnamon vanilla and I'm drinking the lavender fields today. So these coffees are delicious. So do either of you want to expand on your bio before we get to the questions? Things people need to know about you?
No, I think the only thing I would add is, I love the comment you made about flavored coffee reminding you of the 90s because I think that's just so much how I have always viewed flavored coffee as being kind of this dated products, and the flavors and packaging and all of that. And why I was so excited about the idea for Tuturu Botanical Coffee was this idea of infusing real botanicals into the coffee to provide that flavor rather than it coming from what we know as a natural flavor or as an artificial flavor, which are many times created in a lab. So seems really simple of an idea like mixing something like a real lavender bud with coffee, but that's really what the inspiration was behind for me.
Yeah, and I just took a sip and it's nice. I was very curious what the lavander taste like, I definitely wanted to try that one because I sometimes love lavender things and then sometimes I'm like, no, that wasn't good. But this is nice, it's got just a little floral up at the front and then it's just good coffee. And then I also do have a plate of biscuits that I baked earlier. And I've been trying not to eat them but there's already like five bites taken.
Don't resist. They're amazing.
So good. Yes. And I'm gonna hold up. They're watching me hold this up, too. So here's Good Love biscuits or Good Love Foods, they're biscuits. So actually, that's a great point. So Channelle tell us a little bit more about why, I mean, I know the why, but tell people why you created Good Love Foods. Like, you know, I always say you gotta have a really strong why because this isn't like an easy thing to do. It certainly wasn't easy for you.
Yeah, you know, gluten-free, not as any sort of fad diet, but because it's like, because of a celiac diagnosis or any other sort of auto immune that requires you to eat gluten-free, it's already hard on its own. So my husband, my partner Justin, is a celiac. And when we first met, I had no idea what celiac disease was, what gluten-free was. It was way back in 2008, there was a very, very little product out there. Fast forward a couple years and I was tested and I have the markers for celiac disease. So even though we were together, and I baked and started, you know, cooking gluten-free, I wasn't always a 100% gluten-free and now I know, you know, I should be and I had those feelings, those negative reactions. And just through this whole entire journey, I love going to the grocery store and finding products that were safe was the biggest thing. Because especially when gluten-free first came out, it was very fad, it was very much a marketing angle. But you would read the back of the packaging and it would said manufactured in, you know, a facility that processes wheat and other things, and that's still not safe. So my desire to create a product to kind of bridge the gap between safety and having a product that did all of the work for you so you could still have a home baked product without having to do, you know, all of the hard work. So I've done the hard work for you. You can still have the fresh baked gluten-free product and you can feel safe and comfortable in your own home that you're having something that won't get you sick.
Yeah, so good.
And it's tasty.
Yeah, I was gonna say, which is very important because sometimes people, gluten free gets deservingly a bad rap sometimes because sometimes it's like eating cardboard but these are amazing. They're delicious. By the way, helpful hint, I actually baked just one of them in my air fryer and it turned out great.
Yeah, I've had a couple of customers do that, too. So really excited. I had to try. I don't have an airfryer yet, but go for it. If you want to try it, please do.
So you started with the biscuits, the plain biscuits and then you just added cinnamon rolls, right?
Right before Thanksgiving, we launched the cinnamon rolls. It was very scary at first but they sold out within the first two days, which blew my mind. It was so so exciting. Before I launched the biscuits and before I launched the cinnamon rolls, I did a very, very soft launch where anyone who was following me, the brand or website, they would reach out to me and they would be able to get some samples. And so based on that and based on their feedback, I would then create a product for market, and then from there, I would just kind of fly by the seat of my pants and just launch it. So that's kind of what happened with the cinnamon rolls and they've been a huge hit.
Yeah, sometimes you just got to start before you're ready. However, we do want to be sure that you are legal and have everything set up. So when you join Food Business Success, I think it was kind of last spring, maybe late. Yeah, late winter, early spring. Where were you getting stuck? Because you had this idea, you've been making them in your home, you kind of started some social media around it, I believe.
Yes, I have a background in design and marketing. And so I love, I've always been working for the brand, I haven't been the brand. So I spend a lot of time trying to really develop who I wanted our brand to be. But then while still working on the product, which is, you know, the biggest part of starting a food company. And so I think the biggest part for me, the biggest hiccup was trying to find a space that I could produce and that was a hundred percent gluten-free. So with your help and with some just random connections, I was able to find a kitchen. And that's really what helped me get a foot in the door, was finding a kitchen that I could rent from a commissary space that was zero gluten, zero wheat in the entire place. So that was really what helped.
Yeah, yeah. So we spent, we had some one-on-one calls, I know you dug into the modules. What did you find the most helpful when you were going through the program?
Initially, I just loved having, and before I even started the program, all of the resources and the checklists that you had available on your website for free, I kind of went through those, started going through the motions. And it was helpful on the admin side and just kind of as a project planner, like just getting all my ducks in the row. But then when I needed to get to the nitty gritty, I was like, alright, I'm committing, I'm going to start this program and really just start to figure out what I need to do. And then just started marking things off the list and going through all the modules and loved all of our video calls because it help keep me on track because I can procrastinate pretty bad. So having you on the calls and being able to share my milestones or share any issues I may be having. It was just great to have that kind of support system as well.
Yeah, well thanks. It was fun. And I think for both of you guys you really took ownership of like I'm joining the program and then I'm starting, and I'm scheduling the calls and we're doing this. And I'm gonna use this time and use this investment as a way to hold myself accountable, which I think is how you make programs work best for you. I certainly have bought programs where I'm like, oh yeah, I forgot. You both really jumped in and said no, I'm making this happen. I'm giving myself a timeline, I'm like, I'm committing to this. And I think, you know, we went over like your labels and you are well along the way with your branding. And just you guys have definitely got it well both of these guys are so great, but you got to go check out, you created this little celiac, little character as part of it. You just have such phenomenal branding that I think really fits the vibe that you're going for, right all of the pieces that you wanted to portray in this brand so congratulations on launching. When was your official launch date?
Thank you, I believe it was actually in July, mid July when I did a very soft launch on the biscuits but really kick things off in August when I got my professional packaging for the biscuits.
And you got pre-printed packaging which is so fun. But I love that, you know, I encourage you to like start small like test it because I'm sure you made some tweaks and changes from that initial packaging that you first had.
Yes I had and always, always, always have multiple people check your work. I come from the marketing side of things, and before printing anything before you go to your print shop and say the proof is ready, just like for, you know, third or fourth person just be like alright you know one more person double check everything because you never know because then you've got, you know, 4000 packages that you're going to have to fix or not be able to use. That's a very expensive mistake to make.
Yeah, a hundred percent. So you officially launched and then just to finish that story, where do you sell to? Like who are your main, what's your main sales channels?
So I think early on when we're first discussing, I just had big goals, big views, which is good, it's a good thing, but you help to wrangle them in and start small and branching out. So at first, wanted to hit the ecommerce and just really just start shipping, you know, throughout the US. But started very small, started locally, a couple of places here in Denver, Westminster, you know, nothing too far out from little to where I'm based. But then just organically through word of mouth that spread beyond that. And so now, I deliver within a 25 mile radius of Denver, I just recently launched in the Springs where my production kitchen is. And so delivery and pickup is available there and delivery down there, as you know, Manitou Springs and about 15 mile radius of our kitchen. And then just officially launched shipping finally througout the US two days ago. So just branching out from there and nothing in distribution yet. But that's kind of my 2022 goals.
Great. Congratulations on the shipping. I mean, anytime you're dealing with a frozen product, it gets a little more interesting.
It's been, so this first round that goes out, I did all of the research I could and planning and testing. So I just kind of said, alright, be free. I hope it arrives to you and how it's supposed to, frozen. And I'll just have to go from there.
Yeah, I love it. All right, so Eric, let's talk about why did you start this coffee company? Why on earth did you want to do this? You have, you know, you have a busy life as well, you've full time job, a full life. And by the way, both of these guys are both in the Denver area, which is super fun for me to be able to, you know, be closer to them. And I've met Channelle in person, but I work with people all over the country.
Yeah, it's an interesting story. I've known I've wanted to start a food business for a while now. As you mentioned, I worked as a research manager supporting CPG brands for over four years. And I didn't, that was a job that was kind of like a dream job for me at the time and something that I was really passionate about, and still I'm really passionate about. Food is something that our days are centered around and I've just for whatever reason, I've always had this fascination with food and different brands and that person in the grocery store who's looking for new products and spending more time than they need to. So as a teenager, this is like my first memory I have, tried to make my own gum using like tree sap and natural flavors. So this has been a long journey. That idea did not pan out, thankfully, for the best. And I've kind of just been over time trying to find out where I want to go with this and what I want to do, and there's been many ideas that have come up, some food related, some non food related. And I've found that I just wasn't passionate enough about them. A few months would pass by and I would, you know, run up into a barrier or many barriers that would just prevent me from further exploring the idea. And I wasn't wanting to really go after idea that clearly I wasn't passionate enough about so just trying to find that patience with myself. And eventually in January this year, I came up with this idea for botanical coffee after looking through my pantry and I had some cacao nibs and I don't know where the idea came from but I was like, I wonder what this would taste like if I blended it with some coffee. And I really liked the subtle chocolate flavor that it provided. It's one of the flavors that I have available today. And then just kind of figured where can I take it from here and trying to figure out, you know, what different flavor combinations would work. Went down so many different rabbit holes in terms of where I would take the brand. But unlike all the other ideas I'd come up with in the past, I just got more and more excited as more time went on. And it was something that I told myself that this is the idea that I want to pursue. And yeah, I launched back in October so it's still pretty recent but really excited to finally get to this point where I have something, a product that I can show off and sell to people, and it's been a really fun journey so far.
Yeah, I remember us talking before you joined the program and you were like hesitant to tell me what it was. Like, okay, but at some point, I will need to know. And you should share this with people. And here you are, you joined me.
Here I am. Yeah, it's always been something that I've been cautious about. But something I've learned over time to just be more open, I think you so oftentimes just want to withhold information out of, you know, a fear that someone might take your idea or whatever it might be. Put in reality, everyone's thought of these ideas before. And what I've learned is it's the people who will invest the time and energy into kind of seeing that dream through and that's what matters, and you're actually doing more harm than good by not opening up to people in terms of networking as well. So it's been a learning experience for me over the past year for sure.
Yeah, I love that you said that because I would say, I don't know, wait, I'm curious actually, I want to hear what you think your biggest sort of challenge or obstacle has been in the getting to launch? But I know that's something you and I have talked about a couple of times, and this is a question that comes up a lot with people, they're like, I have this great idea, but I'm scared to share with people maybe because, like you said, fear of somebody taking the idea, copying it. I mean, you know, there's no shortage of gluten-free baked goods out there. It's probably like, yeah, I'm not too worried. You know, botanical coffees, I hadn't really heard of that before, there may be some other people. But I always say like, ideas are cheap, right? Anybody can have an idea. Great, make that at home. That's your like, get the recipe on Pinterest, right? And make it at home if you really love it, but the willingness to put in the risk taking, the investment of time and money. And just, you know, the failures, the trials, the resilience, that's the magic that actually creates the business, not the actual product itself.
Yes, I would 100% agree with that. I think like I mentioned, I went down so many different paths of where I wanted to take this brand. I knew, after a couple of months that I wanted to do this idea of incorporating real foods, real flavors into coffee. But believe it or not, I ended up coming up with like, five different variations of what that idea might look like. And I'm generally just a very indecisive person. So that was one of my biggest challenges was not being able to focus in on just like one idea and one concept and just constantly being like, oh, what about this? Or what about this? And it held me back quite a bit in terms of, once I was able to commit to the idea of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to take the brand, is where I felt like I was making a lot of progress and accomplishing things. Whereas up until that point, it was just like, felt like spiraling for quite a while.
Yeah. So do you think that was? I mean, once you join the program and you committed, what do you see is your biggest obstacle that you came up against?
Definitely what I just mentioned, just like indecisiveness. And I think one of the biggest benefits that I got out of the program and in working with you was to help me with some of that indecisiveness. My boyfriend is somebody that I'm constantly, you know, bouncing these ideas off of, he was getting quite frustrated with me and just like, just make a decision already. So it was just really refreshing to have someone who has experience in the industry to get professional advice on with different ideas that I was considering, and really just helped me focus and narrow in on where I wanted to take it. And, you know, I remember in our first call, I can't exactly remember the roadblock that I was running up against, but it was something that I had been thinking about for a couple of months. And you were immediately able to tell me, this is what I think you should do and I think that was the biggest benefit to me is having that voice and having that expert advice along this journey, because there's a lot of decisions that need to be made. One, like I mentioned, it's my biggest opportunity area and something that I feel like I've made a lot of progress in the past year.
That's awesome. Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. Because I do think that's the real value of a coach and is, you know, combining the expertise with coaching, where that's just part of entrepreneurship, you're gonna have a million decisions. And it's not that the decisions are necessarily wrong, like you could go down, you know, it's the Choose Your Own Adventure. But let's look at the pros and cons of each one. And then really, it's just, you know the answer that you want to do, I just help you. I just help bring it out of you and then we make a decision. And now that decision is made so you can keep moving forward. And so, I really think that's a huge value of a coach myself, but I definitely use my coach in that way as well to keep me moving along and make decisions because it can be really overwhelming when you're like, but I could do this and then now it'd be this and then this and this.
I went through the same thing too, Eric. I mean, it's fun, especially when you have experience with CPG or marketing, or you have so many ideas that you've probably built up throughout your career. We have a whiteboard that no idea is a bad idea. But if you have that moment, we're like this could be something just write it down. So you have this, you know plethora of ideas you could work off of, but you just need to start with one and not get sidetracked by the other ones could have eventually you can probably add them on or, you know, add a second line or something like that, but you just kind of have to hone it. But all ideas are fun. So I always suggest just writing them all down because you never know when you're gonna use them.
Hundred percent, yeah. Big filter and then, but then when it comes to action, we have to just let's choose one or two, right? And so I think for both of you and a lot of my clients, it's like, let's just decide, we're gonna decide on we're gonna go ecommerce, or we're gonna go wholesale, or we're gonna go food service, or we gonna go direct to consumer. And then you can layer it on, right, but it's too big of a bite to go all of it, right? You want to get really good at doing one thing and then add on. So I love that. And then Eric, tell us where people? You're just on ecommerce right now, right? That's where you launched and are staying for now?
Just on ecommerce right now. So trying to build a brand up through. Instagram is the primary focus but exploring other avenues like TikTok as well. But yes, you can find online at tuturucoffee.com.
Yeah, we'll definitely put all of your links for both of you guys in here. And then Channelle you're at goodlovefoods.com, right? I'm still like how did she get that name?
Seriously one of those epiphany moments when, I didn't share this earlier, but I was in event production and design before this and work with a lot of brands and experiential marketing. And of course when COVID hit, when I first started working with you, and when I started school again, I just cannot do something. I was furloughed and then eventually laid off because all of our events were canceled. And it was towards the end of 2020 where I was just like, I was in a deep dark depression because I just didn't feel like I was doing something with my life. And I just, I wanted to feel passionate about something and I always wanted to start a business and it was in the middle of the night and I just had one of those "good love". Why does that sound? Okay, you know what, I'm gonna write this on my board. I'm going to start a company and I'm going to and I don't think even in that moment I knew was going to be food manufacturing. I just was like, Good Love. That feels to me like that's what I want my brand to be about. And so I wrote on my board the very next day, I looked for the domain, it wasn't taken so I bought it immediately. And then I went to the social channels before I had any content, snagged up all Good Love. So across all the channels, it wasn't take yet and I was like, okay, great, it's meant to be. And then I decided after that what my company was going to be, but in the moment it was all about the name.
I know, wow. Sometimes lightning strikes because usually the name is one of the hardest things to get especially a name like, I just can't believe that wasn't taken so. And where did you come up with Tuturu?
Yes. So Tuturu was through a lot of exploration of different names, I think I had come up with a total of like 10 different names that I was excited about however Tuturu was one of the two or three that I was secretly most excited about. And I decided to kind of send out a little survey to friends and family, mostly friends who were within the target market of who I was designing this product for. And just kind of like sent them the list of the names and I was like, which ones stand out to you, if any, and Tuturu was the one that was towards the top. And that's primarily where it came from. It has a special meaning to me in that it means real in Maori, which is the indigenous language of people of New Zealand. I spent six months in New Zealand and so became very close to the culture and the people in that time and the studies that I had there. So that was a kind of a secondary purpose and meaning to me to like behind wanting to choose that name over some of the other ideas that I had.
That's so cool. I hadn't heard that before. I love it. But it means real to like it all. All works. So, so great. Eric, tell me about your journey in the branding process. I know you worked with your own graphic designer. How did that kind of flow for you? I know we had a couple back and forth sessions where we had to deal with FDA compliance. But yeah, how was that process going through branding for you?
Yeah, branding was interesting. I guess I'll start with like the packaging because one thing I haven't mentioned yet is how sustainability was the big focus for me in branding. So I use 100% compostable packaging, the label's compostable as well. I did a lot of research. This is one of the many rabbit holes I went down in terms of why compostable made the most sense over something like a recyclable bag. Unfortunately, coffee bags, most are not recyclable due to the different materials; there's paper, there's oil, and you can't separate them so they can't be recycled. So most have to end up in the garbage. And then started my search of, is there an alternative option that is more eco friendly, and I came across compostable bags. So that is kind of where I first centered and started my branding around. And then from there, I knew that I wanted to create like a very colorful, lively, energetic brand. And those were kind of some of the keywords that I had mentioned, I also I think I use the word Instagrammable a couple of times, and did a lot of research in terms of different designers that looking at their past work that might align with the design aesthetic that I was thinking, I might want to take the brand with. I use the worksheets that you provided, which were extremely helpful for me to kind of help explain my vision to the designer on what I was looking for. She did such an amazing job, what was really important to me was leaving really open ended in terms of what I was looking for. I didn't want to restrict the designer in terms of like, I want this, this, this, this and this. So I sent over different like branding guidelines and designs from the worksheets that I was thinking of where I wanted to take the brand, and then just kind of let her run with it. And I was just really happy with the way things turned out. I think it was because I had that trust and seeing like some of the past work that she had done and hearing like her vision for where she wanted to take it, made it really easy for me to just kind of hand over the reins entirely to her to to design it.
Yeah, that was great. And then yeah, we did some back and forth just to make sure it was up to FDA compliance, a few things that I love, because when you when you work with a designer that's not in CPG, they're just designing beautiful, beautiful labels. But then we have that pesky little FDA thing that says, things have to be a certain size or in certain places so.
And that was incredibly helpful to have that session with you. Reviewed the label because that was not something that I had really put a lot of emphasis into. I was like, wow, these labels look beautiful. But no thought into oh, the size of the text in the bottom left corner needs to be this large or anything like that. So that was really helpful to review that with you before spending all of that money in printing a large quantity of the labels.
Yeah, great. What about you Channelle? What was your, I know you, you know, you have a background in marketing and some design work already, but you worked with an outside designer as well, right?
Yes, yeah. She was actually a former colleague of mine as well in event design and absolutely fabulous. And immediately when I started going through the process myself of figuring out what I wanted my brand to be about, what the keywords, what were our vision and our mission, like, I knew I just wanted to hire her. So that was like, my first big investment because I just really wanted the brand to speak for itself. You know, and I love playing around with that. And I really wanted something that I could, you know, since I'm like, Eric, you know, we just launched and so we're short on resources. So everything that we do when it comes to design or social media, you know, we have to ensure that we can do it ourselves, you know, without messing design up. So I wanted it to be something that I could play around with on my own. But yet went through kind of like a discovery process as well, I talked about our target markets and we created some personas, did a whole mood board created, you know, all of our brand colors. And just at the end of the process, I had this beautiful, very well developed brand guide which has been helpful for me because I think, especially when it comes to social media, you you want to convey, as a new brand, you want to convey who you are succinctly. You want it to be clear, you want it to resonate with the right target market, with the right influencers. And so just making sure it all looks cohesive, too. But that was my favorite part. I absolutely love graphic design. And I'm just playing around with packaging, and I had a blast.
Yeah, yeah, because you did such a nice job. And she did such a nice job. And I actually want to talk to both of you guys about social media because that's something I get all the time. Questions about how to do that, you know, when you are a solopreneur, you're both bootstrapping, like I said, you know, neither of you have like endless resources, you made an investment in my program, you made an investment, obviously, in some branding and marketing to get you started. And obviously, you made investment in the licenses in the kitchen and some of those pieces that you needed, as part of the legal part of your business. But tell me about, maybe start with you Channelle, because you definitely have a background with social media and kind of experiential marketing, as you mentioned. But I'd love to hear kind of your tips or tricks. Any advice you can give to people when they are just doing it themselves, and kind of where you've invested money in, things that you've used to make your life easier. And because your social media is amazing, it's really fun.
Thank you. It is, it does take some time. I mean, you just have to be on top of it. And so far, it's been organic in terms of reaching out to people to or, you know, in terms of followers, like in the beginning, I didn't really invite anyone to try to like my page, I kind of just like launched out there and you know, did the hashtags, research some of the specific hashtags that were specific to the local area, but also, you know, of course, like celiac, celiac life, gluten-free any of those, like buzz, key hashtags that I could use, and just started really, really minimally at first just to see what would happen. And it's grown. And so I would say what's helped me the most is invest in some of those designs. If you're not tech savvy, or even design savvy, I still highly suggest investing in, you know, a website like Canva, or any of those other kind of social media platforms that have templates for you, because they make your life so much easier. And again, you can make your posts look cohesive, which I think is really important. I think that would be one of the biggest things for me in terms of like what you could invest in. And also, you know, set aside time and the specific days that you want to do your posts. So again, they're also cohesive and whoever's following you kind of knows your cadence of when you're gonna post something. And then unfortunately, do have to be pretty regular about it but you just have to set your own schedule and kind of just like stick to it if you can.
Yeah, well, you've really done a nice job of blending like putting yourself out there, like you're definitely the face of the brand. Did you invest in some professional like a photographer to come in? I know at the very beginning, you have some branded like an apron and some things and you had some photos of yourself taken.
Yes. And so similar with my graphic designer, I knew my photographer, well she's actually my best friend. So I think a small startup, you have to leverage the assets and your network that you already have. And it's great because it's awesome when you get to work with someone that you know. So that was really fun. My best friend just started doing her own photography business. So she took some professional shots of me. And they've turned out great. So I've been able to use that in my marketing materials as well.
Yeah, I saw you just did another one for Thanksgiving, too. So that's fun. So I think having a couple of really good photos, I mean, you don't need a huge library of photos. But getting a couple of you as the founder with the product. I love that you invested in like an apron that says Good Love Foods, and you have some swag. And then yeah, I love Canva.com. And having your designer give you some of those elements separately. So like the rainbow, for instance, right? Like you're kind of horizontal rainbow. So you can like put those over photos and add a little pizzazz to them.
Yes, well, and then I'm sure this is the same for Eric as well. But when you have a seasoned graphic designer, you know, they'll know exactly how to crop your images, your logos, so that you know exactly what platform to use them in. So I think, if you're working, if it's your first time working with the graphic designer, you know, ask them for everything kind of like in sub folders, like you've got your brand here but then all of your logos for social media can be in one folder because they're all formatted correctly for for those specific platforms, or, you know, your website photos, things like that, and it will make your life so much easier. So you don't have to think about it. Or worry that you, you know, messed up the formatting somehow.
Yeah, as you stretch it, right? What about reels? How are you doing on reels?
I've got a couple going. I think I've got only about six so far. So I think one of my 2022 goals is going to leverage the reels and possibly do TikTok. We'll have to see what Eric is gonna do. I feel again, I feel a little bit old to be on there. And I know it's a kind of joke going around but you never know. So I've got really good ideas for some videos, some, you know, recipe kind of vlogs. And we'll see what happens. And I've got to definitely invest in some proper, I guess, video tools, though, as well. Yes, a whole nother set of things.
Yep. Yeah, it's just a new a new thing to learn, a new thing to add and layer in. But I love that. Thanks for being, thanks for being real with us. I mean, you're very charismatic and personable. And I'm sure a lot of people are like, what how does she have a problem with doing reels, but I know it's something we've talked about. I'm like, you'd got to do it. You're like, but I don't want to. I don't want to do the video. That's alright.
I think, you just think too hard about it too. Like you. It does require editing. And in the moment as well, if you're trying to do it, you've got to kind of think through those things. But you can plan ahead and try to have an idea for your video first and then it'll, you know, come out the way you want it. But it's not, it's never going to be perfect. So that's kind of the joy of those types of, I guess videos, social media. It can be really organic and you take the good with the bad.
Yeah and sometimes the dirtier and like less, I mean, within reason, right? The mind is smart. But people like the kind of raw behind the scenes out there. So, all right. Well, Eric, talk to me about your social media Instagrammable logo, branding. And I know you have some help. You're working with somebody that's helping you as well.
My sister has been helping, she loves social media. She's on YouTube, she's on TikTok. She's on all those things. And she just was really excited about the idea of like helping with the Instagram. And so she's been amazing because that is not my strong suit. So it's been great. I would say, I really to what you were just saying Channelle with like, I'm definitely been a little bit afraid like post reels too, and have been hesitant to launch on TikTok and whatnot. I think for me, one of the internal dilemmas I've been having is I don't feel like I represent who my target customer is. And so in some ways, I feel like I might be turning off potential buyers, if you know, they see me as the creator of this product who doesn't represent who I think that this product is most exciting to just from like, who I've talked to and the research that I've done on it. So I think that's a bit more of an internal struggle, I'm realizing that it is something that probably matters. But it has prevented me, I think, from putting myself out there a little bit more on as being like the face of the brand and whatnot on social media. So definitely something I'm going to work on as well for 2022 goals. But yeah, Instagram has been the primary channel that I've been focusing my time and attention on, I think, for me, what's been most interesting is trying a bunch of different things and seeing what works and what doesn't. I've tried reaching out to micro influencers and sending them free product in exchange for a post, I will say, from probably the 20 different free bags of coffee that I've sent out, it hasn't resulted in a whole lot of return, I think I've gotten one sale out of it. However, it's definitely generated some buzz which has been good. So like that is an example of something that I've been trying, I've kind of pulled back a little bit recently and invested my time and energy into other things, but something I might further explore later down the line. I've been experimenting with like Instagram ads, which has been interesting. Starting with like a very low budget, I think I'm spending like less than $20 a day just trying to learn different audiences to target. And I definitely have not mastered that. But I'm learning and definitely something I want to invest more heavily into next year as well. So that's primarily been my strategy. I think one of the biggest learnings I've had from my social media strategy was, for whatever reason, as much as you tried to temper my expectations, Sari, I thought that, you know, once I get this out there, it's just gonna, you know, I'm going to have hundreds of followers on Instagram and I'm going to be so busy not like fulfilling orders. The idealistic goal and in our minds in terms of what's going to happen once we launch is not what happened and I don't think is realistic for anyone unless they have like an existing audience of people who are like excited about buying something. So I think that's been very challenging realization to like, okay, you really have to start from zero. I think we're at like, 75 followers on Instagram right now. And it's not as easy as maybe I thought it would be. But that's been a really good realization to have and has meant that I've been spending more time on figuring out how to perfect that recipe.
Yeah, thanks for sharing that. I think you hit it. You know, you touched on a couple of really key points there about. I love that you just talked about a lot about experimentation and testing because that's how social media is, people think there should be like one thing, one magical thing, but it's experimenting with hashtags. It's experimenting with, you know, different kinds of videos or different kinds of posts and content and photos and movement or not, or people or not, right? We've talked about all that. And then when you get into ads, that's a whole other level of experimentation. So I love that you are coming with it, at it with an attitude of like, let's just see, let's just try this, you know, small budget. Let's see. Let me tinker over here and then we'll change one variable. Try something different. Yeah, I mean, you're in a space that's crowded, right? Coffee. It's a little bit of a educational piece that you have to educate people around. This isn't the 90s hazelnut coffee which honestly I think would make fantastic reels about like, remember, you know, like remember that, right, like the decaf, hazelnut that was served on all of my grandma's holiday party. So almost like contrasting, right? The old school with the new school or what you're doing, you know, and you just never know what's gonna go viral. It's gonna hit and who's gonna see what, right, so you just have to keep trying.
Yeah, I agree. And I think that's one of the exciting things about TikTok is that the opportunity to go viral is so much greater than something like Instagram, at least in my experience so far, and so that's something that I'm excited to experiment with more in the New Year.
Yeah, that's exciting. All right, let's talk about. So we don't have much time left. But I'd love to hear kind of what you're, where you're going with this as you layer on. And, you know, you both have mentioned some goals for 2022. But, Eric, what are some of your goals as you look ahead to the new year?
Yeah, I think one of my first goals is to well, I've started this as an ecommerce brand, not limiting myself to entirely being an ecommerce brand but exploring more local small distribution options. You know, like Channelle mentioned something, it may not be like a retailer, but could be something like a floral, a florist shop, or selling botanical coffee. So something like that. Not really narrowing myself as much as I have. I definitely see ecommerce as being the my main growth channel going forward. But I think I'm excited about expanding kind of how I'm thinking about that and how I'm planning on presenting the product as one thing and then another thing that I've also hit on already, but just new social media channels. TikTok, I don't think Etsy is classified as a social media channel but that's something that I've recently been exploring and have launched an Etsy page just to kind of see where that goes. And so again, to the point of just experimentation, that's really going to be my focus going into the new year.
I could see Pinterest too being a place. Yeah, love it. What about, I've been encouraging you to do some product variations.
Yeah, definitely something that, so right now the coffee is a ground coffee and the reason for that was in order to ensure that you know, for example, the cinnamon vanilla, making sure that the vanilla doesn't sink to the bottom of the bag, but you have a consistent flavor of cinnamon vanilla in each cup that you make, which meant that the coffee needed to be ground. So that's definitely one limitation that I've run into with my test, like testing and development of the product. But I have five or so different formats of this product that I've tested in the past and I'm looking to potentially bring some of those back and sell them alongside.
I love it. And Channelle, what about you for 2022?
Besides getting your MBA.
Besides finally finishing the the first ball I had which is almost here, it'll be March of 2022. So I can't come soon enough but I have enjoyed my entire time in it, for sure. And it's obviously it helped me as well on the business side of things with this as well. So it's worked out but everything's been organic. I haven't really, I've experimented like Eric has with a little bit with some, you know, some ads here and there and Facebook and Instagram, but I haven't really had any sales goals. And so for 2022 specially at the end of the first quarter, I really want to hit the ground running pretty hard when it comes to distribution and getting some my first wholesale accounts. I've got a couple in the works. So until I won't share anything until contracts are signed but that's really exciting. And you know just working on expanding my product line to what I originally wanted was three core products, so the the biscuits were first, then the cinnamon rolls, and now I'm working on the puff pastry. And all three things are very hard to find in the gluten-free world. And so once I get those launched, you know, I want my direct printed packaging as well for both of those and really just focusing on those sales and growth.
Is your goal to do this full time after the MBA?
I love it.
Full time. I want to go full force on this. I feel very passionate about it. I had that moment, I think it was last week or something. Or maybe it was the week that I launched the cinnamon roll where I was in the kitchen in the production kitchen, and it's a very, it's a very labor intensive process. Baking is already, but when you add in, you know, having to heave, you know, 50 pounds of dough onto a table, you're kind of like, what am I doing with my life? And but it was that moment that I'm like, you know what, people are buying my product. And this was what I have always really wanted to do in my life. So I had that, like, I felt sad for a minute that I was, you know, putting some labor into it, but then I was like, but you know what, this is what I'm passionate about. So I'm actually really happy.
Yeah, I always look at it like life's 50-50. And if you think that, you know, getting your product launch is gonna make you happy, I have news for you, like it will last for a sec, you'll be like yey, then you're like, oh no, I'm heaving 50 pounds of dough.
Got to fulfill all these orders but you know what, this is what I signed up for and I'm really happy to be here.
Yeah, so some sales mix, sales goals, possibly getting into distribution, hopefully getting and then I know, we've talked about manufacturing, is that something you think you're gonna pursue this year, kind of see how it goes?
I think it's getting to that point. So it might just be with my core product is, which is the biscuits. I think that if I was able to work with the co packer, they would be able to take my processes that I've implemented, and they would be able to create, you know, just as good of a product. And so I think that working with a co packer is big on the list for next year as well.
Yeah. So fun. So exciting for both of you guys. All right, I know we need to wrap this up. So I'd love for you to tell, share with us your best advice for anyone thinking about starting a business. This will be airing as we start rolling into 2022. And people are thinking about their goals and then making something delicious in their home kitchen. So Eric, I'll let you start, what do you think, what is your best advice for somebody just starting out?
I would say, one piece of advice that I have is don't let perfection stop you from launching your brand. That was a really difficult concept for me to grasp. And that I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect before I launched and I came to this realization after not meeting my initial deadline of when I was planning on launching the business, that I just need to aim for 80%. And that's something that you and I have talked about a lot as well. And knowing that 80% is good enough because the alternative is just continuing to circle around and around trying to get to 100%. And who knows how long it's going to take to get there.
What is it anyway? Right? What's, what is measuring it? Yeah, I love that.
I struggled a lot with this concept. But I'm in, in hindsight, so glad that I was able to get to a point where I was like, I know my website's not perfect. I know, the shipping materials that I'm using aren't exactly what I want to be using going forward. But I have something to ship and I have a working website. And so all of those other things can be perfected and worked on along the way. And that has been, that's been really a big thing for me in terms of who knows when I would have launched this brand if I was waiting to get to 100% because I don't know if I ever would have gotten there.
So good. Thanks for that. How about you Channelle, what's your best piece of advice?
I would say, you know, people have asked me friends, family, people that customers that buy from me that if I'm nervous if it will fail, or you know what will happen? What will I do if it fails? And honestly, you won't know unless you try. And that was really hard for me to get over the hurdle to begin with because I felt like I've always wanted to start my own company. And I took my own advice, I took you know, other people's advice when they say you know, you're not going to know unless you try and I just tried it and it's going along and it can get really scary. So I guess my followup to that is just, you know, find enjoyment in some of the chaos and the unknown. And don't ever think you're foolish for setting, you know, big goals. Just kind of, just go for it.
I always like to answer that, like follow the thread to the end like what if it fails? Right, Channelle? I mean, what if it fails? Like you would close it down and find another, find a job, right? I mean, I think sometimes we go to those work, I always go to a van down by the river somehow I'm, I found a van. Right. But I'm homeless, I have no friends. I have no family. But I think that's like the ultimate like, bad. Like, there would have to be a long road to get there. So. But I appreciate that. I mean, the fear is real, right. And you had to get over it. But I think it's easy for people to get stuck in the fear part of it. And it's like, well, what if you didn't do it? What's the fear there? If you didn't actually pursue the dream?
I like that question. I feel like that's a different way of framing it. So yeah, you could just be thinking about it and just kick yourself in the butt every time you think about it, that you should have done it because then someone else like Eric was saying, it's the ideas have already been out there. So someone else is probably already doing it by now.
Right, somebody wouldn't figure it out Good Love Foods at some point. Snag that. That's a great name. Well, I love that. Well, thank you both so much for sharing your journey and I appreciate being a part of the journey. And I hope that I get to continue in some way be a part of your journey, at least just cheering you both on from the sidelines. And I hope to see you in future group calls inside Food Business Success. And now you guys will be many, many celebrities. People join and be like I joined because of them. But we would, of course love to see you in there when you can as you grow your business and become one of those people that, you know, I'm sure you look to other people that inspire you at different stages. And now, now you're going to be one of those people to others. So that's so fun.
Hope so, that would be really cool.
It would, it's so weird being on this podcast. Like listening to this podcast was one of the things that motivated me to get over the hurdles of actually launching this brand and being like I can do this. So being here today is just incredible. And really appreciate the opportunity.
Oh, my pleasure. Oh, fun. All right, you guys, well, again, thank you so much. We're gonna put all your links in the show notes but go check out goodlovefoods.com and tuturucoffee.com. And you can go and check out their amazing products. Sounds like Channelle is now shipping nationwide as well. And of course Eric is. So go pick up some of their products, support them, and celebrate their journey. Alright, you guys have an amazing day!
Thank you, Sari.
Thank you so much, Sari.
Are you feeling inspired now? I know, I am. These two have been doing amazing things and it's been so fun to watch their journey. If you want help on your journey, Food Business Success will be opening very soon. In the meantime, you can jump into the Whip Up A Food Business Workshop that's on January 18. Just a couple of weeks from now. And you can go to foodbizsuccess.com/start. You can also apply for Food Business Success so that you will be the first to know when it opens up. So those are your best two options. Of course if you want to do one-on-one business coaching with me that's always an option as well. And if you want to do that, you can go to sarikimbell.com. Oh, wow. So good. Thanks for joining me today. Until next time, have an amazing week!
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