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Full Transcript

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 in!

Sari 0:39
All right, everyone! Welcome back to the podcast. I have a very special guest today. I've had Jordan Buckner on the podcast today. And Jordan is on a mission to help food and beverage companies build successful businesses. And he launched foodbevy.com to create a pipeline for companies to grow from startup to scale by reducing the resource and network gaps. Jordan previously co-founded TeaSquares and he's a fellow CPGer and business founder. It's a line of superfood energy bars designed to help people stay focused and alert so they could achieve their passions. So welcome, Jordan. Thanks for being here.

Jordan 1:20
Thank you so much, excited to be here.

Sari 1:22
Yeah. I love it that you, you know, there's no wasted energy, right? Like no wasted experiences. You were a founder and created this awesome brand. And then you use that knowledge and all of your learnings and you're basically like, I want to help people be more successful. So tell us a little more about that journey.

Jordan 1:45
Yeah, definitely. So yeah, I've been in the food and beverage industry now for over a decade. And actually, a lot of people tell me, you're asking me like, why I became an entrepreneur, it's actually genetic. Both my parents are entrepreneurs. And so I always knew I was gonna be on this path. But as you just mentioned, most recently, I've been running foodbevy.com where I help beverage founders, and got here from my own experience as a founder running TeaSquares. And that was amazing, chaotic, fun journey. It just riding the roller coaster. And that was my first CPG product that I launched at no idea what I was doing when I was doing so. And literally like googling every single day, trying to figure things out. I always tell the story that we made our first package, we actually launched the brand, had a meeting with whole foods, like two months after even creating the company. And had no idea how to make a package. So I like, went on Amazon, order some like stock bags from Amazon, went to FedEx and like printed out labels, like Avery label paper. One of our partners is a designer and so he like threw together a label. We're just like, looking at like, what's the nutrition label, how to make it. Came across this great resource ReciPal.com which I still use and recommend today but just like randomly found that to create a nutritional label. So totally hacked that thing together, right? And then just like every day was learning through. It was like trial by fire, learning from the mistakes and finding opportunity. So yeah, it took you all that experiences like, okay, there has to be a better way when you're starting a brand and how to actually grow through those first three stages. So that, you know, you don't have to learn everything by making mistakes on your own.

Sari 3:30
Right. I mean, where was Food Business Success when you started? That's why.

Jordan 3:35
You know, exactly.

Sari 3:37
You needed to find me at that point. But now, but then you wouldn't have this great experience that you brought with you to start your next venture. And tell me, so where is TeaSquares now? Like, is it still exist? Is it? Have you decided to end that? Where is that at?

Jordan 3:55
Yeah, so TeaSquares, there's lots to the story. But essentially, we pivoted to focus on selling the corporate offices, which is a great incredible business until you hit a global pandemic, and all of our customers stop ordering overnight. And essentially, because of that, we suspended the business and so we're no longer making or selling TeaSquares.

Sari 4:18
Okay. Yeah, it's funny. It's like you pivot and then you're like, oh, wow, pivot. Unfortunately, did not pay off going in the right direction. But you know, even in grocery, all of those Grab and Go energy bar products really struggled for sure. Because everybody was eating at home now. They have nowhere to go.

Jordan 4:37
Yeah, they definitely did. Yeah, it was really interesting just to see how different categories fared and what results from companies but yeah, like consumer behavior changed drastically over the last couple years as we've all personally experienced.

Sari 4:53
Love it. Well, it's interesting. I'll use this kind of as I was thinking about your podcasts interview and I was on your podcast recently. So we'll definitely tell people where they can go find that as well. And you can listen to Jordan interviewing me turn the tables here. But I recently just connected with you on LinkedIn. I've been following you for a while, getting your emails and kind of like, I don't know, what's he doing over there. And in some ways, you know, in some ways, we're competitors. But in a lot of ways, we're not. And I think one thing I love about this industry, and I'll just say this for any packaged food businesses out there listening is like, I just was like, what the heck, I'm just gonna reach out, introduce myself, he could tell me or like, you know, like, no, thanks I don't want to talk to you. Even when we're in the same space and, you know, potentially competitors, I just think that this space is pretty welcoming. And like, everybody really wants each other to, you know, be successful and thrive.

Jordan 6:01
I totally agree. I'm glad that you brought that up because I am completely all in on collaborating with each other. I encourage brands to collaborate with each other all the time even if they're seemingly competitive. Because at the end of the day, right, like, there's thousands of people or tens of thousands of people in this industry that really need help, and that one person whose going to help and help everyone. And so we all need to come together. And the more we're able to serve the audience, the better. And, right, like working in this industry, meeting founders and knowing how deeply personal people's stories are, there's a lot of relationships that are built in this space. And so it's just a very friendly open, giving community, which I love so much.

Sari 6:46
Yeah, yeah, I'm so glad we connected. And it was just kind of like, okay, well, what could we collaborate on? And maybe there's some overlap but maybe there's places. And so I actually joined foodbevy.com and so, I'm now a resource inside there. And so I'd love for you to talk a little bit more about the resources and like what you've put together and why you feel like they're important.

Jordan 7:10
Definitely. So FoodBevy started off really to like fill the network and resource gap for founders and what I mean by that, right, so this story that I gave, starting out, trying to figure out how to build your business. We've put together a list of articles and webinars on how to, you know, have the design packaging, how to design sustainability into your business, and all the things that you need to know. So you can get kind of a quick crash course on those things. But then we also curated a directory of industry experts so that if you don't have the time, energy, or expertise to do it yourself, you can bring on someone else to really help you on the way. And you know, one thing that, on our first year last year that we were really kind of building up FoodBevy, we realize that having kind of access to tons of resources is kind of a great first step. What we're actually building on this year is helping to facilitate better relationships, right? So we're all in this, like, we're pandemic world right now. We're like, we're kind of seeing some people but not seeing others. We're all meeting each other over LinkedIn. But how do we form these, like friendships and connections virtually? And so I'm actually doing a lot of work, kind of connecting, and almost as a matchmaker. You know, connecting founders with other founders. Connecting founders with partners and experts that can help them on their journey, and even connecting our community of industry experts with one another as well because there's tons of ways to collaborate also. So I always say like, you know, encourage people to join FoodBevy if you're like looking for more like practical, tangible resources to grow. If you're looking for like, how do I build my Facebook ads successfully? How do I hire an agency to design my website? Who should I hire? Like those kind of tactical things are really great in our community.

Sari 9:00
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I heard recently a really great concept about kind of, if you think about like, okay, where you are here like this, where you are today. And then you have where you want to go in your business, whether it's to start the business or grow the business. And then there's this gap, right, and you talked about the resource and networking gap. But there's a gap there and then we start to build a bridge of the how of like, how do I do it? How do I take, you know, what are my next steps? But what they said next really was like, oh, they said, don't always look to the how, look to the who, right? Find the who, like who's gone before you? Who can you lean on? Who can, you know, help you? Like, don't always just look for the, I think sometimes we stay in our bubble and we're just like, I'm going to google it. I'm going to Google to death, right, or read and it's like very passive but like actually I think that who is actually potentially more powerful than the exact steps, right? It's like.

Jordan 10:06
Yeah, you know, it's definitely this, this double balance because a lot of times founders will like start the business, there'll be like in their kitchen or behind their computer, and they don't talk to anyone. And they're just kind of reading articles and not talking to customers, not talking to other founders, not talking to other experts, and they oftentimes like feel a loss or get to steps into like, okay, why isn't any of this working? And one thing that I learned early is that, you know, pre pandemic, I always tell people, like, you have to step out from behind your computer screen. You can't build a business sitting behind your computer the entire time. You have to get into the world and meet people. And now it's a little bit different, but you still have like, reach out to people. You know, one thing I always tell founders even is to, your first 100 customers, you should call every single one of those first 100 customers, right? Like to understand how they found you, why they bought your product, what they like, what they don't like, and what there were to improve. And that will pay kind of dividends going forward because taking like 5-10 minutes to meet someone who's supporting your company, one, like you'll benefit as a founder but then also, a lot of times, they'll become like loyal customers and advocates for you throughout the lifetime. How many times do you say like, the owner of a company reached out to me personally, and wanted to hear what I had to say, right? That's really powerful. And so I think, you know, just even like reaching out and forming those human connections, makes a huge difference.

Sari 11:30
Right, and, you know, people might be like, well, it's, you know, it's hard to meet people or whatever. But like, because of the pandemic, I mean, a lot of networking organizations all went online, right? Or people are starting to meet in person again. I'm the president of Colorado Food Works here in Denver, we have Naturally Boulder, and there's so many, you know, the Naturally Network and a lot of them are virtual. So anywhere you are, you can join in and you know, join in the conversations. And like you said, LinkedIn. And yeah, it's scary sometimes to put yourself out there. But,

Jordan 11:33
You know, I mean, even these two extremes. You know, I like home, I have a young kid at home. And so I'm not doing like any traveling out much, or going to trade shows, or anything like that this year. But I'm connecting to at least two or three people every single day. Yeah, part to nurture my role.

Sari 12:22
Just like what I did with you, right? Let's reach out on Linkedin, say hi. Like, what's the worst that can happen? They just don't respond.

Jordan 12:29
Exactly. And then on the other end, I don't know if you follow up Parker Olson from Forij, new like granola company, but he is out every single day. He's actually created a custom design van. And he's traveling across the country. He's like living out the van, is really cool thing. And he's doing like demos and store sell ins every single day. And he's, you know, he's comfortable, like meeting up with people, traveling the country. And so he's like, literally meeting someone new every single day out in the world. And so like, those are the two extremes I like to say. There's lots of room in between and both are successful.

Sari 13:05
I love it. I love it. Well, let's shift gears a little bit and kind of use your expertise. One thing I love about you and I really respected and something I tried to do as well is like you're very open, transparent, very vulnerable about your experience with TeaSquares and like, you know, I think even today's email was something about losing. What was the title? It was something about your distributor.

Jordan 13:26
Yeah, I think we had, we were working with a national distributor and they charge back like 30% of everything that we sold to them. Which we had to pay for and loss product was the whole thing.

Sari 13:46
Yeah. So I love that you share those kind of like behind the scenes, like it's not just like, it's amazing, let me help you, right? But like you're helping people grow and develop and by sharing your experience and learning, hopefully, not during the hard lessons you did. So talk a little bit about finding that right product market fix. I know you talk a lot about that with TeaSquares as a lesson learned. So share some of your knowledge, insight from that.

Jordan 14:15
Oh my gosh, product market fit is one of the favorite things that I like talking about and then a new thing is company fit. So with product market fit. You know, a lot of times founders will create a product because of some personal experience, right? So with TeaSquares, I created it because I was back to working on previous business before that, wasn't eating well and was drinking like a ton of coffee. And so I was looking for a product that gave me energy and also I can snack on, right. Like it was a very personal experience. I was like, oh, this is so cool. And formulating in the kitchen, like created some really cool stuff, I was like, the whole world has to try this! And what I learned along the way is that unfortunately, you know, like it's good to be passionate about your product. But just because you create something doesn't mean there's enough people in the country that will also love it in a way that will create a sustainable business, right? There's always going to be some other people who love the product. But it's tough to really hit on what's the right thing that the larger kind of consumer base or even the niche is looking for in order to, in order to like really build a thriving business from it versus just a hobby business. And so that was one of the biggest hurdles that we had to overcome. Where as I mentioned, like we created our first product, called them tea infused energy bites. I can tell you zero people have ever thought about buying a tea infused energy bites. I never even thought about buying a tea infused energy bite before making our products. And so we kind of went to grocery stores and facing an uphill battle because we had to overly educate people on what the product was, why they should eat it, and how to fit it into their lives. And whenever you hear education, just think money. It takes a ton of money to change consumer behavior. But then people on the other side say like, oh, I don't want to build like a "me too" product. So where's the balance? I think the key is finding something that, finding a larger mission and purpose that you're really passionate about. And then creating a product that fits within there, understanding what needs consumers have in the market even if there's a certain niche or consumer group that you're serving, and really cater to them and make sure there's a sizable enough audience. And then, what I always say is, find an existing product that people are consuming or that they love, and add one or two points of differentiation max to your product to make it really stand out, right. And so, for instance, one of my favorite examples are Kind Bars when they first launched, you know, before that there were things like the granola bar that are packed with sugar and the hellos are official ingredients in there. And what kinda did is say, hey, we're going to take something people love, granola bars, and we're going to make them with whole real ingredients like whole almonds and nuts, right. Is a very, it was one additional step. It wasn't something completely innovative yet now they're, you know, multibillion dollar company. And so that's why we say for entrepreneurs, like ground your product in existing consumer behavior and then build your loyalty based on the mission that you have in the world.

Sari 17:27
Yeah. Oh my gosh, I have so many thoughts, so many questions. I think it's so true. I mean, I talk about that in Food, Business Success all the time in our group calls where people will come and they're like, I have this product and they're really excited about it. And I always say like, well, I get it like another granola, right? Then you're just one more granola on the shelf. Now you have to figure out how you stand out versus like, I mean, I've had some pretty out there products that I'm like, ooh, I don't, like you said, I say, well, you're gonna have a lot of education. But like you said, education means money. So do you have a large deep pocket to educate people? And in order to reach them, it's gonna take money. So it's so true. And it's like, it really does. It is product dependent in so many ways. I mean, I tell people like they're like, but what's my path? What's my business model? How am I going to be successful? And it's like, if you're a granola, that's like, like all other granolas, you're gonna have a very different path. And like, if you're kind of this out there next level thing, or somewhere in between, right, or dairy product versus a frozen versus.

Jordan 18:39
Can I say my one secret to running an easier business? Not easy business, but easier business in the food space. And it's the number one thing that I find that differentiates those quick successes versus the companies that take 30 years, or they even go out of business. And I call it riding the wave. So you want to ride the wave of consumer behavior. Where it's going and something that's quickly accelerating. And it has some staying power. The most recent example that everyone's kind of familiar with is, for one of them is keto and then move towards, you know, low carb, low sugar, right? And so, keto on its own was based on, you know, some other things. And the specific very niche audience was really dedicated to it. And so there's extremely high word of mouth. And there's high virality to people curating it. But it was also based on just very simple macro ingredients, low carb, low sugar that would have been popular in dozens of other diets. And so any brand that launched with a keto product, almost was able to do a million dollars in sales their first year, even if you launch a keto brand now, the trend has kind of leveled off a little bit in terms of growth. But if you have a product that's really based on something that's simple consumer behavior, cookies, chips, something that's already people are eating, you're able to almost ride that wave of the consumer adoption. If you're entering a market that's already kind of flatline or there's not a push towards that, whatever that differentiation piece is, it can still be successful, it's just going to take a little bit longer.

Sari 19:12
What would you say cuz you're working, you know, you threw out a million dollars in your first year and my people are probably like, what? I'm like 10k my first year and I'm feeling really good. So how much money do you think it takes as an investment? Like, what's the ratio of you're going to do. Sorry, this is not on script at all. So I'm curveball, but what's the ratio? Like if I want to do a million dollar business, what's my investment like? What do you tell people?

Jordan 20:50
So I just actually did a survey and I'll share the link with you in terms of how much founders have invested in their brands internally, our 2022 CPG and your brand report. And what we found is that companies or individuals are investing 20 to $100,000 in their business to get it to the point where they're doing about 250 to $500,000 in sales. And so, not unreasonable. But those are also companies that taking a slower approach, right? They've been maybe doing this now for two, three years in order to get there. There are other brands I know like Mark Samuels talks about this a lot where like, it's like, if you want to grow and have any chance of having staying power, you need at least 2-3 million of investment in your first three years to really make it beyond that point. Because in order to grow nationally and to have the marketing sales support to build your infrastructure, it takes a lot of money to do so and to build a team. That said, there's a lot of lifestyle businesses where you're able to be successful with lower upfront investment but everything as we know it- costs, ingredients, packaging, design, marketing, sales, sales support, and the like.

Sari 22:08
Yeah. So fascinating. Yeah, that's probably about the number I would have thrown out too. And I always say, like, I always give people the magic number like for me, the work I've done is around 250. And sales is kind of where you start to be like, oh, I can pay myself. There's some profit here. But you got to make a big, there is an investment to get to that point. But to your point, like what you just said, I mean, I think what we're talking about is a very like national scale brand where you're like, I'm going to go into my regional grocery stores, and then I'm going to go and, you know, national and distribution and all those things. And I do think that there are other ways to do it, right? Whether it's Amazon or just, like I said, riding a wave, sometimes you catch a wave or, you know, you're in the right place at the right time and there's an influencer, and there's Oprah talking about you. You just like, catch some piece of you know, good fortune that sort of, you can do an online business or, you know, some direct to consumer delivery. I mean, there's other models for sure, it doesn't have to just be that grocery model.

Jordan 23:23
Oh, I totally agree. And I'm a huge fan of that, right. So TeaSquares, we ended up leaving most of grocery and going to corporate food service and selling there, which is great at that time. But I really appreciate you bringing the point about more than, you know, dozens of ways to build your business and finding something that fits for you. Because I think, as a society, we've been caught up in this venture capital backed startup mindset where we see these companies raising 5, 10, 20 million dollars or worth like hundreds of millions of dollars. And we think that that's become our new standard for what an entrepreneur is, when you realize that the majority of all of human history when people build businesses, like venture capital is very new. Most people are building businesses with their own investment, with bank loans, with building sales from customers. And that's a very sustainable business to do as well. And so I'm very focused on now helping brands get to a path where I call the minimal viable company. And some of the point like you mentioned, where you're probably doing about $250,000 in sales, you don't need to take outside large investment, maybe do a couple loans, maybe a little bit from like loans or friends and family and things like that. But where you're able to build a company that you own most of it and you're able to pay yourself, maybe your small staff. At that point, once you realize like, hmm, I don't feel like my company is going to collapse tomorrow, right? And you can think about, at that point, you kind of proven out like, you know, product market fit so that people are not just buying your product once but buying it over and over. You have some repeat sales. At that point, then you can think about how do I grow and accelerate that growth faster? Once you have a baseline because a lot of people in their industry right now are taking on large sums of investment without proving out product market fit and finding their velocity. And they get caught on the cycle of constantly raising money just to stay in business because their fundamental business metrics don't support it.

Sari 25:32
Gosh, it's heartbreaking. I'm having this conversation with a client right now. And it's, like, tearing me apart during that it's like, investment upfront, the keep it going to get to that level is, you know, it's great. So it's tough. It's a tough, tough decision you made.

Jordan 25:51
It is. Being curious to hear what you tell people too, because like, I hear from founders all the time, they're like, I want to start this business. I have no money to do it. How do I grow? Like how do I build my business?

Sari 25:51
It's yeah, I mean, it's a tough thing. I always say like, you know, we are blessed. We are fortunate to have cottage food in many states, and I, if your product just happens to fit within that then I think you can get started for pretty low investment. And I'm all for people trying it out. And, you know, educating and just seeing, I mean, they get to dip their toe in the water and see if they like it, if they want to keep doing it. If they're enjoying the journey as well as the sales and kind of build a baby business. I think with certain products, it's a lot easier to have a lower investment. And then certain products are just like sorry, this is a high investment. Yeah, this is a high investment product and you know, do you have the capital to fund that and get it going and launch? I mean, I'm so curious like, how on earth did you. I know people are like wondering this, how did you get a meeting with whole foods when you didn't even have a package? You're making avery label.

Jordan 27:04
Luck. Pure luck and timing, because so for Chicago, you're building business there. And at the time, wholefoods was opening three new stores on the south side of Chicago and they were looking for minority owned companies to bring products in. And so, got the meeting through our neighborhood development, or business or Chamber of Commerce. And so we're able to get a business from them, they are inviting companies in. And we actually missed that opportunity. I think like two months before we start, they were just thinking about it. And we heard like Whole Foods had a meeting. So we missed our chance to like really have that meeting with whole foods, but then they had another one. And so we launched in one store and then expanded that and continued building throughout the Midwest region. But it was lucky timing and just being the right place, the right time. Very clear on that.

Sari 27:56
What I mean, there's that quote, right, luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparedness. Now, one could argue you weren't quite prepared but you were hustle and resourceful enough. You're like, I'm gonna go!

Jordan 28:07
Exactly. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm not gonna do it. Give me like five years, then I'll be ready, like, do what it took to get there.

Sari 28:14
Yeah, I love that. Oh my gosh. Such a good conversation. So the other thing we're gonna talk about is just I love this concept of beginning with the end in mind. And sometimes I talk to people about what, what's your yeah, what's your end goal? Like where do you want to go with this? And it's like, they don't really know, they have no idea. But I usually just say like, tell me like your one year? And then what's your like, three to five year goal, you know? And so I'm curious, what do you, what? How do you encourage people? What's your take on starting with the end in mind?

Jordan 28:46
Yes, so I've learned a lot about this in terms of what it actually takes. And to be honest, I feel like most people don't get a good sense of what that journey looks like until they've been in the space before and succeeded or failed, right? Because they have no reference point of what that is. And so I see a lot of second time entrepreneurs or third time entrepreneurs like really feel like, okay, now I get it. So if you're a first time entrepreneur and you're entering this space, it's like, I think the core question is your personal why. Why did you start this company? Why are you doing this? And what do you hope to achieve? And be as clear as possible on like, how to, that is like what your priorities in life are? How do you want to spend your time because running any business is really difficult. And especially in the food business, it feels so draining because people are so positive yet a lot of times the money just isn't there. And so you feel like you're on two ends of the emotional spectrum every single day. And so be really clear with your purpose and your reason why, right? A lot of people start a business because they have like a product, they experience a personal difficulty. Maybe they don't like their day job, and they want to like be their own boss. But most times entrepreneurs without spending way more time working than you would if you had a day job that you maybe sorta like. And so, whatever your goal is, build a business around that. And make sure that you're working with customers that you want to work with. You're working with partners that you are happy with. You find your community. Because that's what's gonna really make you successful. It's hard, you get beat up every single day in this industry. And so it's important to stay true to your why and build a business that gets you to your why, because most people, they'll say, like, I want to build this into a national business, and I want to be selling at Walmart and at Target. And then the reality of actually selling at those stores looks much different. And it often doesn't align with that whole idea of like having your own business and being your own boss and having more time to spend in your family. Like a lot of times those don't align. And so it's important to build a business that then aligns with your why.

Sari 30:59
Yeah. It's really good. I mean, I do think it's really possible but I think people have to be willing to check. They're kind of there. Especially if they've never been in this industry, like check their ego at the door a little and be like, this isn't gonna happen overnight. There is no overnight success, right? I met Elizabeth of Purely Elizabeth, but that fancy food and we were chatting, and it's just like, people love to think of her as like, oh, you're this amazing overnight success. I was like, no, this is a 12 year journey.

Jordan 31:32
Right. You only heard about me in the last like, three, four years. But it was forever.

Sari 31:38
Exactly. And so I think that there's, people want that success really, really quickly. And it's like, no, this is a layering process. And this is a learning process, and you're gonna make decisions in your business and that you're like, this is really fit with my values? Does this fit with why I started this business? And do I really want to keep going down this? Or do you want to pivot? You know, like you guys did. And clearly, would you say that was accurate for you that that retail area just wasn't aligned with your values.

Jordan 32:12
It's an uphill battle. We did not have product market fit in retail. We are get product off the shelf, our velocities were low. People had no idea what their product was, it was hard to figure it out when you're selling in food service, like we had product market fit their repeat rates were really great. We're expanding really quickly. And so we definitely got there. But a lot of times, it also takes you like sometimes firing clients, you know, firing partners and moving people that are going to support your business. I always, at a previous boss who had to saying she said, you always want to turn up the game and turn down the pain, right? Like work with partners, work with the willing. If you're chasing a buyer, they're not getting back to you and they're just being a jerk to you, they're gonna be a jerk for the rest of that relationship unless you're just making them a ton of money. So like, don't waste your time on people that don't want to be bothered with you. Work with the willing. You know, even on the investor side, when we were raising money. We raised in two rounds for TeaSuares. I had to do about 100 meetings with investors. Most of them were like nice but there were a bunch of maybes. The two investors that came in and support the business, it was yes after the first meeting, right? Like it was very easy. None of the investors that I talked to, they're like, oh, check in with me in a couple months or a year, we'll see how things are going. None of them ever invested. It was only the investors who said yes after the first meeting. And so work with the willing. If someone's not willing to support you, move on, don't waste your mental emotional energy on it.

Sari 33:43
Ah, it's like, I'm gonna like frame that. That's great quote.

Jordan 33:48
Those were like 10 years ago, I've been using that every single time.

Sari 33:53
Yeah, what a great concept. So I'm curious if you had to do it all over again, would you try to go launch directly into retail? Or would you have slowed it down a little and tried to kind of do I mean, it was a different time. It wasn't? What year did you guys launch?

Jordan 34:07
It was in 2016 to 2015 for TeaSquares. So not too long ago. If I were to do it again, with the same product, we definitely, I would definitely invest in ecommerce more. I think that was a little bit scarier because we weren't ecommerce experts, we're trying to figure it out. And it was easy to like lose a bunch of money on Facebook ads and not feel like you're making progress. And like retail kind of popped up. And so that's where we started the journey. So I think we will build a thriving kind of ecommerce business knowing what we know now in hindsight. But I also say, depending on your product, you want to be where your customers want to buy you, right? There's some products like beverage that a lot of people will buy, like grab and go at the grocery store or a convenience store and like that's where you want to be. There's other products, a lot of the ones I see now they're more like packed highlight adaptogens and ingredients that people are unfamiliar with, maybe ecommerce is going to be your main play because you have to do more education there. You can do targeted ads to reach people across the country versus being in a specific geography because that's another way to reach people. And so really just aligning your product in the category with where your market wants to purchase you.

Sari 34:07
Hmm, good. Really great. All right, anything, last words you want to add? This was juicy, meaty section with lots of good, good concepts thrown out there and really helpful.

Jordan 35:36
Yeah, I mean, last thing, I'll just say that I'm always here to help. I don't know everything. I don't know a lot of stuff. But I know a lot of people who know a lot of stuff. And so if anyone has questions, or is looking to help, or just throughout happy to chat with anyone about their business, and see how it can help and grow. But it's a fun space, you just make sure you keep your why front and center, stay focused on that. Build your business around it and success will come

Sari 36:05
I love it. Yeah, and success could look very different than what you thought it would at the very beginning. But,

Jordan 36:12
It might not be the $10 million exit in a year, it might take 20 years, it might, you know, be building a profitable business that can sustain itself. Exactly, right.

Sari 36:21
Yeah, yeah. And we get to define what success is, you know, it's easy to let other people define what success is. It's the $10 million exit, or it looks like x, you know, stores that on the shelves at whole foods or whatever it is. But I think something I've learned recently is like we get to, we get to define what success is for us every day, and then celebrate that. And then we can go after hard goals and big goals like a $10 million exit, but I don't want people that would just that's the only measure of their success. That's a long way to grind it out and feel like crap, you know.

Jordan 36:57
And when you look at. Exactly, right? Like I guess the other thing, I guess the last point is, enjoy the journey. You know, have a goal that you want to get to but your journey to get there should be fun and rewarding as well because that's where you spend most your time. You know, I've talked to founders who have exited. And the exit itself might be like a little bit life changing. But then a lot of times they're like, oh man, I wish I enjoyed, like I love the journey to get here. That was my favorite part not to exit.

Sari 37:25
And I wish I enjoyed it more. I wish I was in the moment more, right? Like I always tell people like savor these early days where you're like, I just launched the product and at a farmers market and like, if you keep going with those, you're gonna look back and be like, oh, man, that was so simple and easy and fun.

Jordan 37:45

Sari 37:47
Well tell the people where they can find you and how to hook up with you. And we have a special link just for Food Business Success listeners. And I'll put that in the link in the shownotes as well. But it's go.foodbizsuccess.com/foodbevy. And it's food and then B-E-V-Y, like beverage.

Jordan 38:13
If you have any questions, want to get in touch, you can reach me at [email protected] or find me on LinkedIn.

Sari 38:20
Yeah, you're really active on LinkedIn, get on your email list, you have great emails and posting on LinkedIn. So and you guys have a great social media too. It's fun to see all the brands here. You're given shout outs too, so, appreciate it. Well, I appreciate everything you're doing in this industry. And we're just trying to help, you know, the two of us as we're collaborating but also separately, like just trying to help people be more successful and whatever. Whatever their goals are, where that takes them. So I love that you're you're doing this. Thanks for that.

Jordan 38:53
Completely, I'm so happy that we're collaborating on this stuff and looking forward to working together more this year.

Sari 38:58
Yeah, absolutely. All right. Thanks, Jordan. Have a great day.

Jordan 39:00
Thank you.

Sari 39:01
And if you decide you want to check out and maybe become a member of FoodBevy, there are some amazing discounts that you get inside of there. And there's also a little industry discount for our CPG VIP program. So if you've been thinking about wanting to do that and use this special link, just for Food Business Success listeners, it's go.foodbizsuccess.com/foodbevy. All right, I hope you got so much out of this episode. It was a really great conversation, lots of gems and this. You might want to go back and listen again. Until next time, have an amazing week.

Sari 39:48
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 foodpreneurs. 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 foodbizsuccess.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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