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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 0:38
Wecome back to the podcast. This one, so special to me and I just love interviewing my clients and people who have finally launched their dream and sharing their story and the journey of what it took to get to this point. The journey continues, of course. I'm going to tell you that Ryan was such a good sport. Our interview was scheduled for the day that they decided to deliver my fridge, which some of you guys know, from previous podcasts that it was going and finally went. And so, I was very excited to get a new fridge. But it was very bad timing. And he was a great, great sport where we had to pause at times. And I think I got all of it, the most of it out. There might be a little bit of background noise as the guys were trying to remove the doors and squeeze it back in there. And ultimately, it didn't fit right away. And then I had to go and remove the baseboards. I did a whole story on it, which was so funny. It was actually a very good metaphor for entrepreneurship, as well. And a quick reminder that the Create More Time Bootcamp is coming up very shortly in June. And you have one more week to get yourself inside Food Business Success to get access to our live calls. Weekly we're gonna have four calls. And you'll hear Ryan talk about his experience inside the group, inside Food Business Success. So if you want to get all of the group access, all of the video modules, tools, and access to the Create More Time Bootcamp, this is the time to get inside Food Business Success. All right, on with my interview with Ryan Hussey of Pup And The Pepper!

Sari 2:36
He started his business, I was actually looking back at our calendar. We started talking in July 2020, we had a phone call. And then, and then we pick back up in spring of 2021. And here we are in spring of 2022. And now we're welcoming you to the podcast. So welcome, Ryan!

Ryan 2:57
Thank you so much, really great to be here.

Sari 2:59
I'd love for you to just tell us a little bit about your journey from the time because it was fun. I was like, okay, summer 2020, things were a little going on, right? But like, what was going on kind of before you made that call with me. And then it took you, you know, another nine months to pull the trigger. So share a little bit about that journey at the very beginning.

Ryan 3:23
Sure, absolutely. So, you know, cooking and food has always been something extremely important in my life, love to share it, love to, you know, create new things, have dinner parties with friends. And I've been doing that for quite a few years. And I've always wanted to do something, I knew that I wanted to do something in the food area, and I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do. So, you know, I think it took quite a few years of thinking, you know, what I really love, what really sounded, you know, exciting, what my passion was for it. And something that I've always loved were sauces and condiments. So throughout my cooking years, you know, I would experiment with different recipes and have my friends and family and other people try it. You know, it just got to the point where I was like, hey, maybe I could possibly get into this or you know, start selling it. You know, my background, I have started another business way back in the day so I think I've always had that entrepreneurial spirit.

Sari 4:23
Didn't think I knew that.

Ryan 4:24
Yeah, so when I graduated college, I started a multimedia company. Long time ago. So yeah, so I've always held that, I've always enjoyed working for myself, being able to create things that other people can enjoy. Share that experience with everyone else. So, you know, I think leading up to where I was in my professional career, you know, I was thinking that maybe it was time to take a pause and try, you know, going for something that I was extremely passionate about which is food. So you know, like you had indicated, we had spoken in 2020. And, you know, I had been searching for a while because I wasn't sure exactly how to make that initial leap. I had been doing a lot of reading online and, you know, watching a bunch of videos and, you know, happen to find you. So, you know, as I was watching your videos that with all the others that I had seen, I had really liked what I'd heard. So I definitely wanted to contact you and talk to you about, you know, what's next. So, I think with our initial call, you know, you and I had a very frank discussion about what it takes. And I don't think, you know, obviously, it took nine months after that, but I wasn't ready at that time, I think, you know, it's entails a lot. And I just was, you know, in my career pretty deep. So it's like, well, how can I do this? You know, in the next, like year or two, how can I set myself up for success? So I think, you know, you and I spoken a few times or a couple times, and you were like, you need to do it when you're ready. So.

Sari 6:05
Yeah, I never want to push people into this. It's too hard of a business and it's going to have too many challenges to me like, you know. If you're not ready, you're not ready. So I love that we had that. I like to say like, I would rather be honest with people and, you know, hopefully not kill their dream, but at least be realistic, so that you can come back ready.

Ryan 6:27
Absolutely. I think that it was extremely beneficial and helpful to kind of shape where I needed to be in order to, you know, go after what I wanted to see in my business. So I think that was a great way to kind of push myself to say, okay, if I want to do A, B, and C, I need to get all of this in line for me to either pause my career or see if I can do it, you know, in conjunction with what I was doing previously. So yeah, so I took that time to really figure out what it was going to entail and what it meant to me and what passion that I had, and how that was going to move forward. So.

Sari 7:09
That why is so important to people. You gotta have a strong why as we will talk about a little bit later, right? That the why will carry you through some of the challenges that you experience. So you circle back. And if you don't, hopefully, you don't mind me sharing that you were a professional recruiter. So you had like, you know, a real job, and you were doing your career and all of that, but you did something kind of unusual, where and I love this that you said, I'm going to save up and I'm going to, you know, do my business full time. What was that like for you? Because a lot of people I work with kind of do this as a side hustle. And then they're working towards leaving their job. But you did it the other way around so what was that decision like?

Ryan 8:00
I'm not gonna lie, it was a little terrifying.

Sari 8:03
If you weren't terrified, I would be a little bit worried. I'd be like pyscho bells!

Ryan 8:12
So, you know, I saved, you know, I just I figured out like, with our discussions and kind of the cost analysis of everything, trying to figure out what it was going to take, you know, how it was going to, you know, pay bills and do all that stuff. And I just made that conscious effort to make sure that, you know, I was able to save enough that I could pause my career for the time being, and kind of see where that got me. So, yeah, it was not, you know, going from health insurance and a paycheck and neither, you know, like I said, it was quite scary. But I think the passion that led me to do that was strong enough that I said, well, this is what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna put my mind to it and go for it. So, you know, I look forward to hopefully a fruitful, but I always can, you know, fall back or go back to two other things as well, if necessary. That's what I choose.

Sari 9:15
I mean, worst case scenario, you go back, I mean, become a recruiter again, or do something else. Like, you know, I think sometimes we fail to look at like, well, the worst case scenario is what I'm doing already right now. But you got prepared, which I love that you spent that time getting prepared mentally and, you know, financially and emotionally. All of that things. I'm sure, yeah, I know you've been a longtime listener of the podcast, so hopefully some of those episodes of mindset can help along the way.

Ryan 9:51
Absolutely, yeah, and I think that was the big thing like with our initial call, there's just so much to think about before embarking on a journey like this.

Sari 10:01
Really, it's courage, right? Like you all should be afraid of starting something new, it's a new thing, right? If you're gonna start anything new, and especially entrepreneurship, and it can feel risky and scary, but this is really like where courage comes in. And so, you dug deep and found your courage and you went all in. And so you decided to, looks like we started back again. We started talking in like April of 2021. And then you decided to work with me one-on-one to go through the process. And so we worked. We did your branding with Christopher, which is amazing. Maybe just tell us, I guess I didn't really cover that in the opening. But what exactly do you make, and tell us a little bit about the brand and where you're going with that?

Ryan 10:54
Oh sure. Yeah, absolutely. So we are a hot sauce company. Started about a little over a year ago. While I was trying to think of kind of a concept, part of my, you know, when I'm out in my career and at work and everything, one of my big things is always trying to give back in some way. Whether that's volunteering at soup kitchens, whether that's, you know, cooking meals for friends, it's sharing the experience, being a good steward of your community, trying to help those in need. We have a love for animals. We have a lot of friends with animals. So as I was trying to come up with a concept, we had a COVID puppy. So we got a puppy during the COVID. Her name is Eleanor, she's a corgie.

Sari 11:44
And if anybody knows me, I have a huge thing for corgie so I just fell in love with you and the project immediately. Because Eleanor was involved.

Ryan 11:58
Yes. So she is a very big part of our company. She is so, you know, I was thinking about it. And I'm like, wow, you know, we could really do something giving back to the animal community. So Pup And The Pepper was formed, kind of a plan words there was kind of fun. And then kind of our core mission is giving back to animal charities and rescues. Right now we're starting local. So we're partnering with a couple of different ones. One for the month of May, you know, as we sell we'll give a portion of all our proceeds to the different charities and rescues. So we offer three hot sauces, three different flavors. My goal was to make the hot sauce more approachable. You know, I like vinegar. It's not my favorite as kind of the front note of anything. So I wanted to be a little less vinegary. I wanted the heat to be approachable. I still wanted it to be spicy. I myself am a heat seeker. So I do love the, you know, burning my mouth. But I know that a lot of people are not quite as fond when they have hot sauce. So you know, I had been working on recipes for quite a few years and I came up with three. I kind of friends-sourced, crowdsource, did some testing. I think I sent you probably like 20 samples.

Sari 13:24
And I love, my favorite's the Paw Paw Peach, the Habanero Paw Paw.

Ryan 13:29
Awesome. Yeah, no, I think that's the probably one of the most unique one.

Sari 13:33
The best on shrimp tacos.

Ryan 13:35
Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Sari 13:36
So you have your three flavors and I know you have plans for future products. I love that, you guys, you have that mission of giving back. And I know you're, I think that that's really important, especially when we're it's like, how do you distinguish yourself? There's a million hot sauces out there, right? And so I think some ways that you've been able to distinguish yourself is the flavors, right? Like they are really approachable. The Paw Paw Peach is kind of interesting, you know, it's different. Oh, what's that? It's not just like, another mango. Another mango hot sauce. The Eleanor's Everything is so wonderful, right on, like just a nice red sauce. But then you also have like the branding, really I think sets you apart. Do you get a lot of compliments on the logo and the branding?

Ryan 14:27
We do. Actually, you know, I think it ties in really well with with our, it was pretty spot on with what we're looking for. So you know, I think there's really good reception I think, you know, tying in Eleanor's ears or profile with the stickers and everything really kind of seals the deal with branding so and and it's very vibrant. So a lot of people have commented that, you know, it catches your eye on the shelf or it's, you know, it's not really kind of a boring color scheme or whatever. So it's really nice.

Sari 15:04
We also chose different packaging too, which that was really intentional. And we went through, yeah, it's like, okay, we could do the five ounce woozy, but then everybody does. But yeah, why did you want to do a different kind of packaging?

Ryan 15:18
Yeah, you know, again, I kind of wanted to stand ou,t be a little different from what everyone else is doing. Most like you said, the five ounce woozy, you know, I tried so many different bottles and sizes, shapes. Caps was another story. So but I, you know, so many different caps. But I think you know, just the shape of the bottle, the look of it was unique to me. We went ahead and went with PT plastic, fully recyclable. It's much lighter for shipping, which definitely helps. So that was something that I was thinking about as well while I was selecting the bottles. But it was an interesting, it's been interesting.

Sari 15:18
Well, and we had a lot of work with that. Because, you know, we have, it's a certified food and so it needs to get up to a certain temperature. And so we've had to do, you know, it's great to change up packaging but it did make it more challenging and we had to, you know, research, like some bottles are thinner than others and pouring hot water into it. And does it shrink and melt at all? I mean, ultimately, you know, I think having somebody like myself to work with through those challenges, I mean, not asking you to like, toot my own horn here, but like, how was that? I mean, do you think you could have gotten through those obstacles?

Ryan 16:47
Taken a long time, I think. You know, with the support, you know, being able to be like, hey, this bottle just kind of sloppy here. And I mean, I don't know how many we tried, we probably tried like two dozen different bottles, I'm sure, but you know, that process along with the others just having, you know, you there to kind of be like, well, hey, what if we, you know, talk about this and look at this, because, you know, I was not, I didn't know that, you know, with the process authority and all that which you might speak about, like, you have to fill it at a certain temperature. So I was like, when I was filling it home, you know, just for, I mean, I would I would get it up to boil and then I would let it cool. Which obviously now I know, not how it works. I wasn't selling at that point. So that's good. But yeah, so it's just all these tiny, minut details that you just don't think about. And you continue to learn as you move forward. I mean, everyday has been a learning experience.

Sari 17:52
There's big enough surprises when you go into manufacturing without like, you know, we did a lot to mitigate. But then there were still surprises. So, you chose to, you wanted to go directly into co packing. And a lot of that was, I think, based on the product type, right? I mean, hot sauce is shelf stable, last a long time. There is that process authority piece and like the better process school that you would need to get as an acidified foods. So as we, you know, we weighed both options and kind of said, well you know, you have the expense of the kitchen and your time and the licensing and the, you know, the certification. So it made sense to go the co packing route. It's always good to think, you know, the best thing of working with somebody is just like that you can brainstorm and talk about, like it both sides and pros and cons and help make good decisions. So we got everything ready for, you know, we got the bottles, we got the branding, the label's done, and then we went to manufacturing. So you just want to tell us a little bit about what your experience was, and yeah.

Ryan 19:18
Sure, yeah, and I think just real quick, like the, you know, deciding to do the co packing route, you know, I love being in the kitchen and I love creating and I love doing that. I just, I felt like after you and I had discussed it, you know, weighing the pros and cons figured that you know, this would probably be the best way to get the product out to consumers quicker and a way that can be scaled faster. Seeing, you know, how many bottles that we initially ran, it was, you know, even for a batch of, for me it was fairly large. So but yeah, know the process, you know, I think once we, you know, decide on a co packer, I know that you had worked with a few in your area and that's kind of the route we went. So it's really, it's interesting because you know, you you have to scale the recipe, which is something that is not.

Sari 20:17
Nobody believes me!

Ryan 20:19
It's not just duplicating or doubling the recipe. It's a little more into it than that.

Sari 20:25
How many gallons did we run with Carlos?

Ryan 20:27
We ran 50 per sauce. So it was about 800 bottles per sauce that we ran. But even, I mean, it was interesting. So once, I was glad that I could come out there and be a part of the process and see how it works. Meet with Carlos and meet with me with a co packer. So yeah, I think, you know, again like, there's so many little things like the labeling, like we decided to put little stickers on top of the bottles which, you know, you and I sat there and did stickers while they made the sauce so, you know, there's so many little things that you don't think about necessarily as you're going into it, or you know, how it's going to happen. To me, I was like, oh my God, we're running this huge batch, what if it doesn't taste like what I, you know, wanted? So there was a little like, hesitation, or I was a little worried. But I think once we got in there and I could smell the sauce, and then we taste it. I'm like, oh, this is so cool. And you know, we had everything assembled and ready to go, I think. My gosh, it's just like having everything. Yeah, I don't know. It's just crazy.

Sari 21:44
Yeah, and then, you know, again, there's so many surprises like it never fails, right? That when we do a run whether it's a trial or a full batch run because we didn't even do a trial with you. And part of that was that we were working with somebody who does hot sauces all the time. You know, your recipes were fairly straightforward, right? We weren't baking or doing some of those other things. So yeah, and he has an amazing team. So yeah, we did a lot to mitigate the surprises. But you know, you had to get all the ingredients there, all the packaging there. And then even still, right, because the bottles that you use have like an induction layer on them. And so Carlos didn't have the right machinery and wasn't working. And so we ended up having to yeah, hand sticker the caps, and then run the like, check every bottle and run those caps separately, like after it was all done through an induction machine. So good times, right?

Ryan 21:45
Yeah, and again, like with a bottle choice, you know, we went back and forth on seals, different types of seals. So it kind of just, everything comes together. And I think you know, even if, if it's not the perfect solution at the time, it's not like we ran 500,000 bottles on our site.

Sari 23:13
And you just ran a whole. How much did you run? Because, so that was, what month was that? November when you came out?

Ryan 23:20
Yeah, November 19th is when we launched.

Sari 23:22
Okay, so you came out in November of 21. And then, can you hear that? This is life. Remember that fridge I talked about? Well, it's here, getting installed. So we launched November, and then tell us about well, before we'll get into the next round of run, but tell us about the reception and like how did that, how did you launch? What was some of the strategies you did?

Ryan 23:55
Yeah, so I think, you know, so prior to the first run, I know that we had some really big issues with supply chain. So it kind of pushed our, you know, our run day out quite a bit because we kept waiting so along the lines of pivoting, we kind of decided that we would move towards a different cap. So we finally got everything assembled and it was fun and we launched on November 19th.

Sari 24:22
I also want to throw in there that expect your co packer to cancel at least once. Because I think, I had to make that terrible phone call to you because Carlos' team had been exposed to COVID and it was when the protocols and they had to shut down and get everybody tested and I was like, no! So again, anybody going to co packing just be flexible.

Ryan 24:25
Yeah. Absolutely.

Sari 24:37
We finally did get into production.

Ryan 24:54
We did it. So, you know, the reception was absolutely fantastic. I think in all honesty, our launch, the pushback, almost helped because it was around the holidays. So we had a lot more orders for like office gifts, things like that. And just I mean gifts in general. So I think it actually was a blessing in disguise that we kind of was had to push it, you know, out a little further. So we did, we had really good sales and on this is basically all online until I started approaching retail shops here and local in Indianapolis. So, no, I feel like, you know, things went really well to start. There's always that first initial push of sales, which is great.

Sari 25:49
Friends and family are amazing. And I'm sure you emailed everybody. And you had been working on your social media to that point, just kind of getting out there. And you know, you gotta use what you got. And you got the cutest corgi puppy. And she does have her own Instagram account by the way.

Ryan 26:11
She does. We are those people.

Sari 26:14
Eleanor was selling the sauce.

Ryan 26:18
Yes. So no, I mean, it's when you launch, I think, you know, it was that initial, like, oh, this is so awesome. Here we go. You know, and to now, there are just so many avenues that you can try to try to go for. And I think one of the things that you really kind of hammered and in was perfect was don't grow too fast. Like make sure you have the time and the product. If you want to accelerate your growth, like make sure you're strategic in your growth and how you want to do it versus just go out there and try and sell it to everybody because it sounds really like it's on, like, oh, I could sell all this stuff and make a ton of money. But at the end of the day, if you don't have the product to sell, then those places can be like, meh, nevermind, we're not going to do.

Sari 27:12
Yeah, it's always a balance trying to find that right growth strategy. And you had a great reception online and of course, it did wipe most, you know, you have that initial like super launch with friends and family and then you have a decline. And so, you know, riding that wave for a little bit, but then having the strategy of like, okay, now you're gonna get out and start talking to some stores but not too big of stores, right? And kind of being very strategic about it. So you don't overcommit, which is good, because then we had like, some delays with getting the next round of product done. So I guess just yeah, really quick touch on like your retail experience and where you're out there.

Ryan 27:53
Yeah. And honestly, I have zero retail experience. I just, I'm excited about my product. And I, you know, there are certain stores here locally and I want to expand more. But, you know, word of mouth is fantastic. Knowing people that know people in the industry, you know, has helped a little bit. And to really get our name out there and into some of these stores. So it's awesome. But I think having the courage just to go into some of these places were like, hey, I'm new and I have this product, would you be interested in selling it? You know, and so yeah, we're in 9 retail locations. And not just Indiana, we're in California as well. And that's something we're really looking into is getting or expanding a lot more into the wholesale market. But you know, we, that, I mean it, I've learned a lot. Since my initial walk into a store. Do you want to have my product on your shelves?

Sari 28:53
You just have to do it. Like I wish that I could, you know, and we've role played a little bit and went through all of that. You just get in there and do it.

Ryan 29:06
A few people not never respond, which is it's fine. And I've had, you know, I had one larger grocery say, actually ordered on the spot. And I was like, oh, okay, this is awesome. This is really cool.

Sari 29:18
Right, because you got into Safeway, right?

Ryan 29:21
Yeah. It's the local Safeway. It's not over, you know, the entire chain, that would be awesome, but still like, felt good. Yeah, it's exciting. We're in some awesome butcher shops and meat. Like it's some great retail here in the city. So yeah, so it's been good. I it's just like, how now it's how do we expand that and I think now that I have had the next run of sauce at a lot higher volume, I feel more comfortable approaching some of these larger online markets and you know, potentially.

Sari 29:54
Yeah, the inventory now and yeah, I mean, really what we. Well, what we need to remember as entrepreneurs is like, we need results, which could be a W, or it could be an L. But, you know, get the win or get the loss, but you got to take action. And that's, I think, something that you're doing even when you're scared, even when it's like uncomfortable, but you just got to keep taking action. You're approaching people, you're reaching out, and you're not just like, passively sitting back, you know, like the more action, massive action you can take, gets you results. And that's how we, that's how we learn. That's how you get better, right? That's how you grow your business. And we just need more wins and losses. So you are a great model of somebody out there doing it. Same with social media, right? Like, you're kind of like, alright, I'm just gonna keep trying this reel. You know, when we were in Las Vegas for fancy food. You'd like bring your hot sauce everywhere you go. And it's like, yeah, where's Pup and The Pepper now? Now it's in the show girls hangout, Vegas Strip, like, I love it. And some people are so uncomfortable asking for that. And I get it. But it just takes a lot of practice and a lot of trial and error and just, again, feel the fear and then do it anyway. And maybe you don't need to start with a Las Vegas show girl but like, nobody cares, right? Like, okay, you're stopping traffic for a minute so you can get a shot with, you know, the Bellagio fountain? But who cares what people think? Like, they're not the ones funding your business.

Ryan 31:37
It's not like causing any issues or anything. And I think, you know, even me, I guess you want to call it stage fright, or what I mean, I still like, I mean, I've performed on stage, I've done things like crazy, but I still get that nervous feeling. And it's like, it's because it's the of the unknown whether it's gonna be yes or no, or is you know, but I think just having, finding the courage or just knowing that regardless of whatever the outcome is, there's gonna be a solution for whatever, you know, there's gonna be a positive solution generally, to whatever the outcome is. So I think I've just found that, you know, the worst that could happen is they're gonna say no or that's really it. I mean, I don't think there's any, like, violence.

Sari 32:24
Worst case scenario, they say no, right? Like, okay, you're no, no worse off than you were. Then you start you were doing amazing, you're getting into some stores, you have the online going, you're starting to do farmers markets, right? You're signed up for some summer markets. So then we were running out of product like, okay, like it's a good problem to have. You needed to get some more product. So what do you think the moral is that you've learned about entrepreneurship and through all of this up and down?

Ryan 33:02
Oh my gosh, um, you know, be prepared to roll with what comes at you, whether it's good or bad, just, you don't necessarily have to have a plan. Try to. And I think, again, like having the, having the guidance and knowledge of what could happen is, I mean, it's so it was so important, because it's like, oh, our caps are stuck in the ocean, what do we do? Or the bottles that I was just going to order just went out of stock. Now, what do we do? So like, I'm on my third bottle, they're very similar but they're different. I mean, they're, they're different just by millimeters. But still, I mean, I had to wait. And they had to source bottles for me. So it's really, I mean, that I mean, you can run into production issues, there could be, you know, like you said, there could be like health reasons or whatever reason comes up. Really, I mean, just make sure, you know, try to have a plan, if possible, but know that if you don't, that there are always workarounds. And, you know, I was worried that it was going to take like, you know, and when some of the issues, you know, occurred, you know, I was worried that it would take months before I could get my next fill to happen. So, you know, I was fortunate enough to have a backup that I could contact so I think yeah, I think having like some sort of like plan for what could happen and kind of just know that it's gonna be okay, like, you're gonna be okay. And I think, you know, not everything can be 100% correct all the time. You're gonna have to make adjustments and changes and I just I think that's what it's really any industry.

Sari 35:02

Ryan 35:03
It's all chaos.

Sari 35:06
It is. And that's what we do as humans. It's like, there's chaos, and we adjust and so much of it. And I think overall, you've done a really good job of rolling with it, being resilient. Just, you know, saying, okay. And you've had some big disappointments for sure.

Ryan 35:26
Absolutely. And not, you know, not making rush decisions, like you just like taking a deep breath, stepping back saying, okay, I get it. I'm super angry right now but that's not gonna solve any problems. What can we do to step forward and create the solution? So it's hard. It's not easy, especially when you're passionate and you want your stuff done and get your product out? You're like, yeah, that's not cool.

Sari 35:53
Yeah, we've had some big downs. And then some huge highs, right? You were on TV with Eleanor and Philip, and you guys, yeah, a little TV appearance, got on the end cap of Safeway, of stores, you got the markets, like there's a lot of good things happening for you. And I know that, I know that you are in them. It's like, you probably envisioned yourself here and being like, when you started, let's just say you started back in May, when we started together, I'm sure you probably had a vision of yourself, like by this point, I'll be happy. Like it'll be amazing in my business and I feel awesome all the time. And like, I mean, that is the craziest idea. But we have it, right? When I'm making X amount of money, or when I have the product or when I'm on a store shelf, or what you know, we're always thinking about the next thing, like when this happens, I will feel better. And I guess I was just really, if I can have any words of wisdom here is like how can you detach like, first of all, enjoy the journey. And I think that you've done that really well. So enjoying the journey and then detaching your happiness from the business and seeing it as like, this is an adventure and we're just we're going on this ride. And I'm like, every business is gonna have 10 problems. And the bigger you get, the bigger the problems get, right? You just have to be really good at solving problems. And like you said, you can schedule time to be angry and pissed about something. But like, in the moment, we have to be able to like manage our emotions, and say, okay, I got a problem solved here. And that just.

Ryan 37:44
It comes from the very beginning of our journey is like, this is my passion, this is what I love to do. And if it's something you think you're gonna burn out on, or if it's something that you don't think you can see yourself. I mean, it is a major life decision. This is not something that's like, oh, throw it off the shelf. It's a little more involved.

Sari 38:05
Yeah, this is your career, this is your work. And I love that you're working on calling yourself a CEO, and stepping into that role, or you're not just like, I'm starting a hobby business like this is your work. And this is your career. Can you talk a little bit about because I love this part about you that even though you worked with me one on one, all of my one on one clients get access to Food Business Success and our community inside and I love that you have you embraced that. And you really went all in I mean, you didn't have to become a part of the community, you could have just relied on me. But can you talk a little bit about what the value of that community has been for you?

Ryan 38:48
Yeah. And it's just, I mean, I think community in general is so huge. I mean, you learn so much from the community, right? Like, and especially if it's at your disposal, like you have the resources and the, you know, especially within food business, the people that I have launched and been doing it for years, who are of like, literally, like, don't even have a product yet, but like are like, oh, I want to do this. And you know, for me, you know, like you said being all in but I don't think you necessarily have to like, you know, quit your job. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. All in is definitely a mindset and attitude. And I think, knowing the value of what you can get, especially from the group that you've cultivated. I mean, I've met some absolutely amazing people and I think this industry is, you know, especially where you have it like with it with all of the your clients and everything, they're so willing to help one another. And if they don't know or if you don't know or if you know, it's something, isn't it? You know, we look for it or we try to you know, help each other out, which is, it's a great feeling. So why not, you know, we have our friends as a community. We have, you know, our neighbors and everyone out, it's just, you know, being part of something makes you also feel good that other people are also going through the, maybe some of the trials and issues that you've faced as well. And they might have, you know, the knowledge to help you out or how you can pivot and make a better decision the next time. So kind of invaluable is as far as learning and just kind of being there. It's one of those things that I think is important regardless of what type of community it's there for you and you know, to help you succeed.

Sari 40:42
Yeah, I love that. And I love that. Yeah, it's not just about Food Business Success but it's like, you're looking at all of your community circles. And I think if you're looking around, if you're listening, you're like, I don't really have a big community, like that should be job number one. Because we do fail, like we do succeed. I think we fail when we go alone, and we succeed, go farther, faster, when we have groups, and we have community and, and, you know, that's why when people come to me and say, I just want to get into Target or Whole Foods or whatever, it's like Costco, or whatever it is, like, you know, there's so many steps in between, and you're gonna need so much help along the way. And so, you know, I always recommend starting small in your community and then, you know, those concentric rings that build out. But yeah, you know, I'm fortunate to live in Denver where there are quite a number of food industry groups and networking organizations. But, you know, a lot of people don't have access to that. And so that's why, you know, there's a lot of cities and places that don't have those kind of groups. So it's something that I'm really proud of building inside Food Business Success and I love that you were like, hey, can we start a spreadsheet where we all have each other's contact info? And now like, didn't Frank just call you in there?

Ryan 42:08
No. And yeah, it's awesome. Like we literally talk to each other like about how things are going or, you know, we order each other's products or we want to try each other's products. And it's huge. Like, I just found out there's a hot sauce collective in Indianapolis. I didn't know that.

Sari 42:24
Yeah, like that's my new community.

Ryan 42:27
It was because, right, it was because we're at the farmers market. And this couple came up, they own a store, and we're going to do a pop up with them in July. And he's like, oh, and by the way, like, we have a group of the hot sauce collective. Oh, okay. Again, the community thing is, it's huge.

Sari 42:47
Yeah, I think you've also really lead with generosity, like, I think you, and that's just who you are naturally, right? That you've just kind of embrace or you you lead with that generosity, it's a strategy, like, you know, you didn't have a product for a long for a while, right? But you were in the groups and you were like, hey, I want to buy your product, I'm gonna try yours and I want to support others and leading, you know, supporting animal organizations and things like that. So I think you've definitely embraced, or you already had that. I don't think you added that it just was who you were.

Ryan 43:25
Yeah, again, a huge part of like, and you say about even kind of starting the packaged food business is, you know, it is generosity but it's also about like, you know, exposing your product, giving your product, making sure, you know, it's out there and in front of people. So, but again, the generosity thing, I think, is huge, because you hope, you know, you put that out in the ether and you get that in return. I think, it makes, you know, for me especially being able to give back, whether it's charities or organizations or my friends sitting at the dining room table. It's just a part of me and it makes me feel great that I'm able to give that and I think so many people are able and I think, you know, the more we do then, you know, the better communities we can build.

Sari 44:12
Yeah, so good. I love this conversation. Is there anything else you want to add or share with folks listening? This is so fun. I mean, we're talking in the very beginning just like how surreal This is for you. And that, you know, you found me in July, I started the podcast in that fall. I was on YouTube before that. So you've been a longtime listener and here we are almost to 100 podcasts later.

Sari 44:12
Amazing. That's awesome.

Sari 44:19
Now, here you are on it.

Ryan 44:47
So it's, you know, and I think that initial when you're holding your product like when you and I were at the co packer and I first bottle came off the line. We're all like, giddy and laughing and it's so cool. It's so, you know, it's just a continuation of the passion and the journey and the experiences. And I think, you know, just being able to have someone like yourself there guiding and helping, and then again, the community that it's part of, you know, my piece of advice would be anyone who's interested in doing anything like this is to sit down and have a serious conversation with with you or, you know, themselves.

Sari 45:27
Be realistic. Don't just be is the pie in the sky. It's going to be amazing.

Ryan 45:34
I mean, I think that there was potential that I could have just like said, okay, let's do this and then I would have been so lost and not knowing where I was going and the initial discussion that we had, and you're just like, you know, I was just like, I'm not ready yet. I'm just like, but, you know, I think, after listening to all the podcasts, and you know, YouTube and all this stuff, I was just like, but after our discussion, you know, the honesty that kind of like what you're in for, but it made it so clear that at the next iteration of my life, where I was, when I was ready to start this than I knew that I was just like, oh, give Sari a call back.

Sari 46:18
Yeah, so good.

Ryan 46:20
I think, you know, it's huge, like it's not just, you know, baking cookies and selling them at a table.

Sari 46:27
It's a real business. And now we're, you know, we're in that, you're in that phase, we were just talking about that, like, you, you got, well, first of all, just say you got to celebrate all the little thing, right? Because otherwise, you know, you would be so down and depressed but like, like everything, and I think you guys do a good job of that, like everything, just like whoa, like we got here and like, let's just pause, take a minute, celebrate that. That's a big win. And then, you know, life is 50-50, right? You're gonna come off that television set and have an amazing thing. And then, you know, you might get an email from the co packer that says, something happened. So like, in the same day, you can have like, the most amazing highs and lows but we gotta like purposefully celebrate the win, and the good things, because that's what's going to help keep you going. Have that strong why, for sure. But yeah, we're in that space, where now it's like, okay, we got to navigate the growth, because there is this kind of challenging middle where you're not quite at the scale you need to be to be like, you know, what you're doing millions of bottles or, you know, things like that, you know, hundreds of thousands of bottles, and getting that profit margin. And so, yeah, those margins, pennies are everything. And, you know, ultimately, obviously, we want to be paying you a salary and all of that, but you are in that spot where the business is, you know, we're working on getting the business pay for itself. But, you know, it's still a journey. And so I don't want people to come away thinking like, oh, he's got it all me. I want to celebrate all the amazing things you have done. But like, let's be, you know, part of that realistic self talk is like, hey, just because you have an amazing launch. And just because you're on store shelves, and you're doing all these things, like the only way it's not going to work, Ryan, is if you give up. I honestly believe that. There's still a journey ahead.

Ryan 48:42
Oh my gosh, absolutely. And I just, I mean, there's so many unknown still, right. So it's learning and that's part of the excitement. I mean, I've learned so much in the past year, it's been, I mean, I love that I just being able to consume all this knowledge and again, being able to be with people and talk with people. I think the time we had out in Vegas was absolutely amazing. I mean, that was incredible, just to be able to be with people in the in the same space and different, you know, timeframes of where they're at and launches and everything so, yeah, so much to come. And I think just you know, staying with it, being involved, staying with the community that you've built. I don't see any of us being like not communicating or anything. I mean, we all we all do on social media and it's fantastic. So lots to come. But it's again, it's your, it's your baby, right, like, you should be proud of what you've raised and what you've done and of course it's gonna have challenges but.

Sari 49:47
You're in the toddler phase.

Ryan 49:55
Not the terrible twos but you know are close.

Sari 49:58
Yeah, right. So, but I love that. But we're always gonna love our baby on a tantrum,

Ryan 50:08
Right. So, you know, we'll just we'll just see how it grows and you foster it just like you would you know, a relationship or anything else, you just want to make sure that you're doing the right thing to see it become successful.

Sari 50:22
Yeah, and I love that metaphor of a baby in that like, we would never expect a baby to be like giving us a salary by this point, right? Like I think there's like that we start it and then we're like, come on business. Why aren't you giving back to me yet? Like, no, you're still in the phase of like, lots of care and lots of feeding and nurturing and giving, right? Like your business is not ready at a place quite yet to give back to you. So thinking about it in that terms of like, it's a toddler, like it still needs a lot of love and care and attention.

Ryan 51:02
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Sari 51:05
I love it. All right, Ryan. It has been so fun. I have been just loving, I'd spent a really fun journey. Thank you for trusting me and taking me along on the journey. And I've really enjoyed all of it with you. I mean, there's been hard parts but yeah, and I'm so excited to watch your journey and for you to. Yeah, so if you guys want to meet Ryan, he's often in the group and I'm the Community Bali like like where are you? Get inside there. Come on. Like this is a really important work. It's part of your job to build your community. Stay connected. So, so good. Thank you, Ryan for your time today and sharing your journey.

Ryan 51:54
Well thank you for everything, Sari. It's been awesome so far.

Sari 51:57
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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