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“I’ll be totally honest; I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was. Being an entrepreneur is the hardest job. It’s 24/7 grunt work,” says Sarah Michelle Gellar of the journey she’s taken beyond the big screen and into the business world. Having built a successful career portraying some of the biggest cultural icons of the 90s, the Emmy award winner and Golden Globe nominee made her foray into the startup arena in 2015 as co-founder of the baking kit and mix company, Foodstirs. While her celebrity status opened doors and helped put the brand on the map in its early days, carving out a successful second act came with big challenges for the A-list actress, despite her fame.

Often dismissed by potential investors and industry insiders who questioned her credibility, the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star needed to first convince skeptics that she brought more than a bold-faced name to the venture. “I probably got meetings with big VCs that other people wouldn’t get right off the bat. But it was a novelty. It was, ‘Let’s see what Buffy has to say.’ But there was no real interest, and it was really about us having to sell once in that meeting,” she says. Gellar credits the hard-won lessons learned in building a successful Hollywood career as her greatest entrepreneurial advantage in rising above rejection and proving those critics wrong. “ You’re always going to get the ‘no’s, no matter what job you’re in. That was the one thing that the entertainment industry prepared me for,” she says.

Gellar’s entrepreneurial ambitions were inspired by a desire to channel her creativity and leverage her platform outside of Tinseltown. “I’ve always wanted to do something else, but I didn’t know what that space was. I didn’t know where my talents were, because I had only ever worked in one industry,” she says. Seeing a mass-market void in baking brands dedicated to modern, health-minded consumers, she teamed up with fellow co-founders Galit Laibow and Greg Fleishman to transform the traditional grocery store aisle. Foodstirs was their organic, non-GMO solve that offered a reimagined baking process and a family-friendly kitchen experience that motherhood had made her crave.

As Foodstirs continues to expand its retail footprint and build a loyal following, Gellar has navigated a steep learning curve in cultivating her entrepreneurial know-how and business savvy. Her most powerful lesson to date? “Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. For every person that doesn’t want to help you out, there are so many people that just want to offer advice and who have been through it ,” Gellar counsels. “Make sure you have people around you that can talk you off the ledge and who can also pick you back up.”

I recently sat down with Gellar to discuss her journey from Buffy to businesswoman, the challenges presented by fame, and her best advice to aspiring founders. Edited highlights below.

On Second Acts

“If you would have told me five years ago this is where I’d be sitting, I would’ve said, ‘I highly doubt that.’ I don’t say never, but the beauty of having the success of a show like Buffy so early is that you achieve more than you ever think possible.”

“I have two young children, and I love the lesson that they’ve seen, that Mommy had a great career, Mommy could’ve been doing that forever, but Mommy had an idea, Mommy wanted to try something new, and Mommy wanted to challenge herself.”

On Proving Herself

“I would have loved to have been taken more seriously as an entrepreneur. But I also hadn’t earned that right yet. Now I hope that the headlines aren’t necessarily that, because I feel like we’ve proven ourselves, and I’ve proven myself, and we have proof of concept. But in the beginning, you know, whatever gets them to notice, right?”

On The Challenges Of Fundraising

“I was extremely shocked at how tough it was being female out there, raising capital. I would say I definitely had a false bravado, and I think I was quite shocked at the difficulty that the road ahead entailed.”

“The biggest disappointments were the female funds. I think that it’s so hard to be a female fund and they’ve worked so hard to get there, that they’re still a little standoffish. And we actually wound up having more success with the traditional route.”

On The Power Of Personal Connections When Pitching

“What are the ways that they [investors] can connect to this product, that makes it something that they see the value in, as opposed to just, is it a money making opportunity? Especially with male investors, do they have kids? Do they have grandkids? Is there a wedding band on? Is there a dog on their desk? Because at the end of the day, when you’re investing money, especially when you’re investing someone else’s money, you need that personal connection. It can’t just be about the history of the founders, or the concept. You need all of the different facets to get you all the way to the top.”

On Her Best Advice To Aspiring Entrepreneurs

“Make sure you have those people around you that can talk you off the ledge, and can also pick you back up.”

On The Value of “Smart Money”

“At the end of the day, you want smart money. I think that’s something that we were all very well aware of in the beginning, which is you don’t take the first check that comes around. Because what do they have to offer in the long run? Is it someone you can work with? Is it someone whose experience is an asset to what you’re doing? And is it someone that will support you when you need it, but also be hands off? You want to really look for not just money, but smart money.”

On Her Juggling Act

“I’m a mom, I’m an actor, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m a juggler. That’s what I do, I juggle. I can actually juggle, and I juggle careers, and life, and family, and kids, and different jobs.”

On The Power Of Feedback

“My husband and I always say, if you’re going to believe all the good reviews, then you have to give the negative reviews the same equal amount of attention and authenticity.”

On Her Acting Legacy

“If you, as an actor, have a role that’s indelible in people’s minds, that’s an honor, and that’s what you hope for.”

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Food

(CNN Business)The rigid policies of many workplaces can be hard on families — especially those with young children. But an organic baby food company aims to change that.

Once Upon a Farm, which makes organic cold-pressed baby food, apple sauces and smoothies, offers its employees at least 12 weeks of paid family leave, unlimited vacation days and flexible telecommuting schedules.

The company was started in 2015 by entrepreneurs Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz. Last year, John Foraker, the former CEO of organic food company Annie’s Homegrown joined as CEO, and actress Jennifer Garner joined as chief brand officer.
Foraker was at Annie’s for almost two decades, and is taking the lessons he learned along the way with him to Once Upon a Farm.

One of his biggest regrets at Annie’s, for example, was not offering a paid family leave plan.
“We had at Annie’s these amazing moms that worked for us and built this brand,” Foraker told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an interview for Boss Files. “And then I think of the challenges that they had when they had their kid and they had to deal with all the issues of figuring how to gap coverage and all that.”

Creating a paid family leave policy was a top priority for the founders at Once Upon a Farm. New parents get 12 weeks of paid leave, and new mothers get an additional six weeks for recovery.

“All of the women who are coming into their power are also coming into motherhood at the same time,” Garner told Harlow. “It’s part of what makes it so incredibly hard to make these decisions to keep moving up.”

The company also supports the FAMILY Act. That proposed legislation would create a nationwide insurance program that offers up to 12 weeks of leave for family and medical purposes with partial pay.
“We want to lead there and be out on the front edge of that. We think there should be legislation around that, and we think there’s a lot of bipartisan support for it. We want to be a company that stands for that,” said Foraker.

Foraker knew early on that Once Upon a Farm needed a clear corporate mission.
“At Annie’s … I didn’t define our mission and values early enough,” he said. Despite joining the company in 1998, it wasn’t until the mid-2000s when he created a clear mission.

“Then our business [at Annie’s] took off because it helped us really define who we would hire and how we would act with each other,” he said.
Not willing to repeat this mistake with Once Upon a Farm, Foraker and Garner sat down and hashed out their mission: “To nurture our children, each other and the earth in order to pass along a healthier and happier world for the next generation.”

In addition, they also laid out the company’s core values: honesty, integrity, transparency and respect.
“We have a really strong set of core values and we hire people that we know will represent those values,” Foraker said.
The company itself is still in its infancy with 38 full-time employees — around 80% of them female.

“We all are utility players,” said Garner. “We all wear a ton of hats. I love being in at the beginning so that I am emboldened and kind of forced to jump into the fray … in a world that maybe in the beginning, I wasn’t as comfortable with.”

Giving workers flexibility with their schedules and time off has also helped the company create a better sense of work-life balance for its employees.

“In order to be a successful working woman and have any semblance of balance, you need to have a certain amount of flexibility and a huge amount of trust,” said Garner.

The company also has an unlimited vacation policy and flexible telecommuting schedules.
“We’re just a performance culture. We say: ‘Here’s what we want to do. We want to do it together. I trust you as a person to make decisions about how you use your time,'” Foraker said.

The company’s products are sold in more 8,500 locations, including Target, Walmart, Whole Foods and Kroger stores.
While making fresh and nutritious food accessible to everyone is part of the mission, the pouches can sell for around $3 each. The company said it’s working to create a line of specific products with a lower price point that would be eligible for some government-assisted food programs.

“We do care about these women and these moms and these kids and we believe that their kids have just as much of a right for this fresh, healthy start as our kids do,” said Garner.
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Food

Once Upon a Farm, a US-based start-up producing cold pressed baby foods, has received US$20m in financing from a group of investors led by private-equity fund CAVU Venture Partners.

As part of the transaction, CAVU co-founder and managing partner Brett Thomas and the private-equity firm’s senior associate Jared Jacobs will Once Upon a Farm’s board. The other participating investors in the B-series round of funding were S2G Ventures and Beechwood Capital, along with unnamed series A investors, according to a statement. The A financing in 2017 was led by Cambridge SPG. 

Berkeley, California-based Once Upon a Farm was co-founded by John Foraker, its chief executive, and Jennifer Garner. The company, which is B-corp certified, offers baby foods, apple sauce and smoothies.

Garner said: “This latest round of funding allows us to continue to help busy parents give their children the most nutritious foods possible and make life a little bit easier for families across the country.”

Once Upon a Farm said it has expanded from 300 retail outlets to more than 8,500 and now counts Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix and Walmart among its stockists. 

Thomas at CAVU added: “The baby food category has lacked real product innovation for quite some time. We’re thrilled to partner with John, Jen and the rest of the Once Upon a Farm team to disrupt and lead in this space.”

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Food
Once Upon a Farm – a fresh baby, toddler, and kids food brand on a mission to transform the category – has closed a $20m Series B financing round led by CAVU Venture Partners.

Link to article :

https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2018/10/10/Once-Upon-a-Farm-closes-20m-Series-B-round-We-want-to-build-out-a-trusted-brand-moms-and-dads-can-follow?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright

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Food

CAVU Venture Partners has led the $20 million Series B for Once Upon a Farm, which sells organic, cold-pressed baby food in 8,500 grocery stores in the U.S.

The Berkeley-based startup was originally founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz. Today, it lists actress Jennifer Garner and former General Mills president John Foraker as co-founders, too.

Both Garner and Foraker — who was the chief executive officer of the popular organic mac & cheese brand Annie’s Homegrown for more than a decade — joined the company in September 2017. Foraker had been an angel investor in Once Upon a Farm and, after conversations with Garner, decided to accept the role of CEO. Garner, widely known for her roles in Alias, 13 Going on 30 and the upcoming HBO original series Camping, was already somewhat of a Once Upon a Farm evangelist when she signed on as chief brand officer a little over a year ago.

“I am proud of the innovative business that we have built,” Garner said in a statement. “It is incredibly exciting to see so many families embracing our products. This latest round of funding allows us to continue to help busy parents give their children the most nutritious foods possible and make life a little bit easier for families across the country.”

Foraker told TechCrunch that since he and Garner joined, the business has grown 10x. Last fall, the company’s products were for sale in 300 stores; today, as mentioned, they are available in more than 8,000.

“Because she has global celebrity, the power of that, she can really help us get the message out and help lots of moms and dads find [Once Upon a Farm],” Foraker said.

Once Upon a Farm sells smoothies and applesauce for kids up to age 12 directly to consumers through its online marketplace and in stores. Pouches of its signature baby food, smoothies and applesauce are $2.99 each.

As part of the deal, CAVU’s co-founder and managing partner Brett Thomas, along with CAVU investor Jared Jacobs, will join the company’s board. S2G Ventures and Beechwood Capital also participated in the round for the startup, which raised a $4 million Series A in June 2017.

The company plans to use the funds to expand its direct to consumer business, partner with more U.S. grocers and build out a wider assortment of baby products.

“You can buy fresh pet food now in almost 20,000 stores in the U.S.,” Foraker said. “We think fresh baby food has a long way to go.”

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Food

CAVU Venture Partners has led the $20 million Series B for Once Upon a Farm, which sells organic, cold-pressed baby food in 8,500 grocery stores in the U.S.

The Berkeley-based startup was originally founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz. Today, it lists actress Jennifer Garner and former General Mills president John Foraker as co-founders, too.

Both Garner and Foraker — who was the chief executive officer of the popular organic mac & cheese brand Annie’s Homegrown for more than a decade — joined the company in September 2017. Foraker had been an angel investor in Once Upon a Farm and, after conversations with Garner, decided to accept the role of CEO. Garner, widely known for her roles in Alias, 13 Going on 30 and the upcoming HBO original series Camping, was already somewhat of a Once Upon a Farm evangelist when she signed on as chief brand officer a little over a year ago.

“I am proud of the innovative business that we have built,” Garner said in a statement. “It is incredibly exciting to see so many families embracing our products. This latest round of funding allows us to continue to help busy parents give their children the most nutritious foods possible and make life a little bit easier for families across the country.”

Foraker told TechCrunch that since he and Garner joined, the business has grown 10x. Last fall, the company’s products were for sale in 300 stores; today, as mentioned, they are available in more than 8,000.

“Because she has global celebrity, the power of that, she can really help us get the message out and help lots of moms and dads find [Once Upon a Farm],” Foraker said.

Once Upon a Farm sells smoothies and applesauce for kids up to age 12 directly to consumers through its online marketplace and in stores. Pouches of its signature baby food, smoothies and applesauce are $2.99 each.

As part of the deal, CAVU’s co-founder and managing partner Brett Thomas, along with CAVU investor Jared Jacobs, will join the company’s board. S2G Ventures and Beechwood Capital also participated in the round for the startup, which raised a $4 million Series A in June 2017.

The company plans to use the funds to expand its direct to consumer business, partner with more U.S. grocers and build out a wider assortment of baby products.

“You can buy fresh pet food now in almost 20,000 stores in the U.S.,” Foraker said. “We think fresh baby food has a long way to go.”

Original link to this story available here : https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/09/jennifer-garners-baby-food-company-once-upon-a-farm-raises-20m-series-b/

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Food
SANTA MONICA, Calif.Sept. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Foodstirs Modern Baking, the most sustainable organic baking mix brand modernizing the industry, proudly announces that all three of its bake-your-own Organic chewy oat bar mixes have been certified by The Detox Project as Glyphosate Residue-Free, making Foodstirs the only nationally distributed organic food brand to receive this trailblazing certification. Additionally, the remaining portfolio of Foodstirs products are currently being tested to ensure their entire line of products receive this groundbreaking certification.

“Our mission is to provide the cleanest food possible using the purest forms of agriculture. We knew when we founded Foodstirs that we wanted to help families create new and meaningful experiences. This begins with making sure that our products are free from harmful chemicals so parents, kids and all consumers can enjoy upgraded home baking in the purest way,” said Foodstirs President/COO & Co-founder Greg Fleishman. “The Glyphosate Residue-Free certification reinforces our commitment to upholding the highest standards.”

Glyphosate acts as the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and the most heavily used pesticide in the world. Despite being prohibited in organic production, glyphosate has made its way into the organic food supply, testing heavily in oat-based foods like oatmeal, granola, snack bars and breakfast cereals. As a probable human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization, glyphosate is on the cusp of becoming a house-hold name that consumers will want to seek more education around. Foodstirs felt a moral obligation to obtain the Glyphosate Residue-Free certification to give consumers peace of mind and transparency into its product line. With oats being the biggest offenders to glyphosate, Foodstirs made it their mission to have all three of their Organic Chewy Oat Bar Mixes certified by The Detox Project.

The following Foodstirs Organic Chewy Oat Bar Mixes products have been certified by The Detox Project as Glyphosate Residue-Free:

  • Foodstirs Organic Very Berry Chocolate Chip Chewy Oat Bar Mix
  • Foodstirs Organic Chocolate Coconut Chewy Oat Bar Mix
  • Foodstirs Organic Cinnamon Raisin Chewy Oat Bar Mix

“As the first organic, nationally distributed brand to achieve a Glyphosate Residue-Free certification, we are inspired to set the tone of agriculture excellence that we hope continues to grow within our industry,” said CEO and Co-founder Galit Laibow. “We are paving the way one certification at a time towards cleaner food, ensuring that our consumers get top of the line quality and taste in their Foodstirs treats.”

“People don’t have to think twice about what is going in their bodies with Foodstirs baking mixes,” said Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chief Creative Office and Co-Founder. “Our Glyphosate Residue-Free products raise the standard of what is acceptable in products so people can feel safe and good about what they’re eating.”

For more information or to purchase online, please visit: www.Foodstirs.com

About Foodstirs®
Based in Santa Monica, CA, Foodstirs was co-founded by entrepreneurs Galit LaibowGreg Fleishman and actress & author Sarah Michelle Gellar behind the sole purpose of helping people connect through the power of Elevated Comfort Food. Foodstirs is starting with the baking category and our organic/non-GMO products that are superior on every level. Everything we make is based on four core principles: ultra-sustainability, ease of preparation, accessibly priced and delicious from-scratch taste. And, we are committed to direct-sourcing regenerative ingredients that utilize planet-healing agricultural methods like Biodynamic® and identity-preserved. Foodstirs is going beyond classic baking formats with the launches of the first ever Organic Minute Mug Cakes and Bake Your Own Organic Chewy Oat Bars and Organic Protein Bars (a Top 5 New Item at 2018 Natural Products Expo West). Our products are sold nationwide online and in over 15,000 retail stores that include Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Amazon and many more. For more information, please visit www.Foodstirs.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us on InstagramTwitter or Pinterest.

About The Detox Project
The Detox Project is a research and certification platform that encourages transparency in the food and supplement industries on the subject of toxic chemicals. In addition to promoting unique testing technologies that enable users to find out what levels of toxic chemicals are in your body and food, The Detox Project has been involved in a number of groundbreaking studies over the last few years that include research on the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The Detox Project continues to push for the use of alternatives to toxic chemicals in parks, gardens and on farms globally.

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Food, Products

Ask Duncan Berry about the seafood industry, and you can expect him to get philosophical. Covering about 70 percent of the Earth, the ocean strikes him as another planet. “We get in our special suits, and get in our special craft, and blast off for it, and then we bring protein back from it,” he says. “These souls that go out there on the ocean are cowboys and cowgirls.”

Berry’s mission—and that of the company he co-founded, Fishpeople—is to change an industry that in many ways remains the Wild West, with murky supply chains and few worker protections.

The company launched in 2012, offering its seafood-based soups in 30 stores. Today, more than 6,000 stores sell its product lines, which have expanded to include frozen seafood meals, pre-cooked salmon and salmon jerky. The company expects to double its revenue this year, but Berry and others among Fishpeople’s leadership insist that the ultimate goal extends beyond financial metrics. “The whole reason that we set about to do what we did was we wanted a different relationship with the sea, and we wanted a different relationship with the communities that depend on the sea,” Berry says.

FISHPEOPLE

Business: Branded seafood products, including soups, meal kits and wholesale offerings

Founders: Duncan Berry and Michael “Kipp” Baratoff

Mission: Transform the seafood industry through sustainable practices and fair treatment of workers

Investor: Advantage Capital

Clockwise from top: Fishpeople Co-Founders Kipp Baratoff and Duncan Berry, and CEO Ken Plasse

SEE FOOD DIFFERENTLY

Berry, 63, joined the seafood frontline when he was just 13 years old. On his family’s fishing vessel, he trolled for salmon in the Graveyard of the Pacific—an area at the mouth of the Columbia River that has wrecked hundreds of ships. At 16, he became a ship captain. After two years (and losing two boats at sea), he moved to the Caribbean, then returned to the states and launched a career away from the water. He founded two companies in the apparel industry, sold them in 2006 and moved back to the Oregon coast.

Soon after relocating, he was asked for input on a potential marine reserve in the state, which got him thinking about ocean life within supply chains. Berry discovered the United States imports about 91 percent of its seafood. He learned that a “significant portion” of that seafood is caught in U.S. waters, shipped overseas for processing, and then returned to the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That struck Berry as inefficient and potentially harmful to the environment and U.S. jobs.

In 2010, at a sustainability-focused roundtable with Oregon’s governor, Berry met Michael “Kipp” Baratoff, who co-founded a private equity firm focused on sustainable real asset investing with over $2 billion of assets under management.

Two years later, Berry and Baratoff, 41, banded together to launch Fishpeople.

“Duncan is the wild force of creative nature and Kipp is like a supercomputer,” says Ken Plasse, who joined Fishpeople as CEO in 2015. “You couldn’t find two more opposite people with the same heart to help our oceans, improve our local communities and make a difference to consumers.”

“The whole reason that we set about to do what we did was we wanted a different relationship with the sea, and we wanted a different relationship with the communities that depend on the sea.”

DUNCAN BERRY
Co-Founder, Fishpeople

HOOKING INVESTORS 

Berry and Baratoff had lofty goals for Fishpeople and they needed capital to achieve them. The company wanted to forge strong relationships with fishing captains, but building landings that their boats could use exclusively would cost millions of dollars. There were other sizable expenses, too, such as building a processing plant and supporting product innovation.

To finance those investments, the company raised $6 million in Series A funding in 2015 and sought additional capital two years later. That’s when Tyler Mayoras, a principal with investment firm Advantage Capital’s food and agriculture fund, first heard about Fishpeople. The company met his fund’s basic criteria, including its mandate to support rural job creation. Licensed through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, the $150 million fund must invest at least 90 percent of its capital in rural areas. But Mayoras wasn’t hooked immediately. “We see a lot of food companies, and we’re trying to find things with uniqueness,” he says. “And on the surface, seafood didn’t seem interesting to me … I mean, fish sticks have been fish sticks forever.”

What ultimately convinced Mayoras was a detail included on all Fishpeople packaging: a traceability code. Mayoras plugged the code into the “Trace Your Fish” section of the company’s site “and up pops the picture of the boat and the captain that caught the fish,” he says. “It really kind of blew my mind.”

The information linked to the traceability code—including where the fish was caught, comments from the captain and the name of the boat—is intended to gain consumers’ trust. The seafood industry lost a fair bit of that in 2016, when a study from international nonprofit Oceana found that of 25,000 seafood samples tested worldwide, 1 in 5 were mislabeled as a different type of fish.

“If you just say traceability, people are like, eh, whatever. But when you actually see the picture of the boat and the captain, wow, that’s very different,” Mayoras says. “I thought, in this era of clean ingredients and understanding where your food comes from, that would be just a huge competitive advantage.”

Using traceability to differentiate itself in a crowded market is a “smart move” for Fishpeople, according to Ignacio Kleiman, managing partner and founding member of Antarctica Advisors, an investment bank focused on the seafood industry. “There’s a handful of large players, but there are many, many midsize players. It’s a pretty competitive industry,” he says.

There are other companies with the traceability technology, but it’s not always heavily used or made available directly to the consumer, he adds. And while U.S. consumers’ interest in tracking food sources hasn’t yet caught up to Europeans’, Kleiman expects that to change. “Sooner or later, it’s going to be more important—what we’re eating or where it is coming from.”

In 2017, Advantage led a $12 million round of Series B funding for Fishpeople. To persuade other potential investors, Mayoras sent out a traceability code and urged them to plug it into Fishpeople’s site. He credits the code with helping entice investors to meet the company’s team, which ultimately bore fruit. “They all ended up doing the deal,” he says.

SAFE LANDING

To make food traceability meaningful, Fishpeople needs reliable, high-quality sources for its product. That requires the cowboys and cowgirls of the ocean.

Advantage’s investment helped pay for the three landings in small communities where Fishpeople’s independent fishermen dock: Ilwaco, Washington (population 929); Garibaldi, Oregon (population 801); and St. Mary’s, Alaska (population 550), its northern-most landing. The landings are used exclusively by boats that provide seafood for the company.

Captains want to get back on the water immediately, so Fishpeople treats boat docking like an Indy 500 pit stop—the landings’ general managers stay in contact with the captain before the boat heads in to ensure minimal time on the dock. While at the landing, boat crews have access to hot meals, groceries and plenty of washers and dryers to do laundry.

John Tinker Jr., a longtime fisherman who works along the Yukon River in Alaska, says he appreciates the company’s approach. “I’ve been fishing since I can remember—I would say I probably started when I was 10,” says the 42-year-old, who operates from two open skiffs, Winter and Skuzzi, both 24 feet long and 7 feet wide. Tinker began selling to Fishpeople in 2017 and the company, which has bought more than 8,000 pounds of coho and keta salmon from him, has become his preferred buyer. He only sells elsewhere when Fishpeople reaches its purchasing capacity.

Fishpeople’s landing is close to Tinker’s home—without it, he probably would need to take a two-hour boat ride down the river to sell his haul. That proximity is a draw for him, as is the company’s receptiveness to feedback.

“I gave Kipp some pointers on ways to improve operations, and he’s been working on them—that’s another thing you don’t see from most buyers,” Tinker says. “He respects us and our way of life. If you give respect to people, you’re going to get their respect back.”

“You couldn’t find two more opposite people with the same heart to help our oceans, improve our local communities and make a difference to consumers.”

KEN PLASSE
CEO, Fishpeople

That philosophy extends to Fishpeople’s employees, too. Before Plasse joined the company, he toured its processing plant in Toledo, Oregon, a city with about 3,500 residents. The plant’s nine employees, along with the full-time employees who manage the landings, receive health insurance and are paid above the local minimum wage, benefits that Berry says aren’t typical in the industry.

NETFLIX AND KRILL 

Unlike chicken or pork, U.S. seafood consumption hasn’t increased much over the years. Cost is one factor—fish is a more difficult protein to source—but so is product innovation. “Compared to other sectors of the food industry, the seafood industry is a little behind,” says Antarctica Advisors’ Kleiman.

While researching consumer preferences prior to founding Fishpeople, Berry was surprised to learn that seafood intimidates many home cooks who fear they’ll screw it up. “It was sort of a blind spot for me. I can cook salmon 25 different ways,” says Berry, who helped develop recipes for all of Fishpeople’s products. According to one study he came across, 70 percent of U.S. seafood consumption happens in restaurants. That made him wonder, “How can we make that easier for them, so they stay home, watch Netflix, not pay a waiter, and have an amazing meal?”

Fishpeople has tried to address the intimidation factor with easy-to-prepare products. The company’s frozen seafood kit, introduced in 2014, includes two filets, ingredients to add before baking (like Meyer lemon and fresh herb panko), a foil pan and tin foil, and a topping (such as parmesan cheese) to add before serving. The kit also comes with instructions that promise a meal in 20 minutes.

The meal kits have played a key role in driving Fishpeople’s revenue, which tripled from 2015 to 2017. Part of the revenue growth came as the company’s soups expanded from specialty stores to large chains such as Kroger and online retailers such as Amazon Fresh and Thrive Market, but much of it derived from club stores like Sam’s Club, which picked up the frozen seafood kit in 2016.

By year-end, Fishpeople plans to introduce two more products: salmon jerky in four flavors (including ancho chile and lime) and pre-cooked salmon chunks for the refrigerated grocery section, for use in salads or pasta.

For a retailer like Whole Foods, which has stocked Fishpeople’s soups since 2012, the company’s supply chain was a powerful draw.

Fishpeople launched in 2012, selling its seafood-based soups

“They work directly with fishermen. They are on the docks, and so that right there gives them a huge opportunity to have an amazing quality product,” says Wesley Rose, global executive coordinator of seafood for Whole Foods Market. He adds that the traceability of Fishpeople’s products aligns with the grocery retailer’s ethos. “Obviously when sourcing, we are looking for a product that is quality first and foremost. And we want it to be transparent, we want it to be sustainable.”

Before Whole Foods began carrying the meal kits, it requested several changes, including a box with smaller dimensions to better fit the limited real estate on its store shelves. CEO Plasse says that kind of buyer feedback strengthens the company’s innovation efforts. And unlike in its early days, Fishpeople now has buyers who want to provide feedback even before a product goes to market.

“That’s partly because now we’re a brand that is recognized for doing innovation and we’ve got enough distribution,” Plasse says. “Before it was just, ‘OK, you’ve got 10 minutes to pitch by phone. Don’t even fly out here. Send me the samples and I’ll taste it and let you know.’”

About 65 percent of Fishpeople’s revenue today comes from wholesale offerings, including fish sold at Whole Foods’ seafood counter. But Mayoras expects the majority of sales to shift in the coming years to consumer packaged goods, which have better margins. That’s likely to improve the bottom line, but financial metrics are just one benchmark of the company’s success. The overarching goal is improved treatment of fish and the people who pull them out of the water and process them. That means more sustainable practices for fishing and a better livelihood for seafood industry workers—and not just the ones at Fishpeople.

“If we can create a brand that helps people get the fish they deserve in a simple format and people vote for that brand, our industry will change because it’s a profit-based system,” Plasse says. “That’s the change I really think and hope we can make.”

Link to original article : http://middlemarketgrowth.org/cover-fishpeople-is-changing-the-seafood-industry/

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Food

A Popsicle is an indulgence. It’s also a startup success story, if you can believe it. Dream Pops are plant-based, non-dairy, gluten and soy free. And they apparently taste as good as ice cream and look good on Instagram.

They’re not cheap, at least in bulk. A tray of 10, shipped frozen to your doorstep in a couple of days, will set you back $45. But if you can find one at a Starbucks, and you’re in Los Angeles or Portland, Oregon, the price is a little more palpable at $3.95 each.

These don’t look like regular Popsicles (a trademark for flavored ice frozen around a stick). Dream Pops are a proprietary shape that comes from a 3-D printed mold. Besides lacking dairy, gluten and soy, they’re also said to be free of artificial flavors, dyes, gum and corn syrup. What’s left? Each pop is less than 100 calories, sweetened with coconut blossom sugar and blended with lush ingredients. And the flavors — with names like Chocolate Lion, Berry Dreams, Mango Rosemary, Coconut Latte and Vanilla Matcha — are a little more advanced than what you might find in the frozen food section of your local supermarket.

 
dream pops coconut latte

 

The Dream Pops team includes two Davids. They’re CEO and Cofounder David Greenfeld, a former investment banking associate, and “Chief Pop Hustler” and CoFounder David Cohen, previously a business development associate for Los Angeles’ first bagel truck.

Why did they choose to go with Popsicles, of all things?

Greenfeld says he was intrigued by paletas stands during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia, and also trying to curb an appetite for late night pints of ice cream “with terrible ingredients.”

“We mainly took inspiration from the pressed juice market and wondered why the same model couldn’t be applied to frozen novelties and plant-based ice cream,” Greenfeld said in an email. “I called my close friend and cofounder David Cohen who had experience in the food space working for a company called Yeastie Boys Bagels (as I had no knowledge nor experience operating food companies) and we began iterating and toying around with the idea of healthy popsicles.”

The pops were created by Michelin-starred chef Juan Amador and food scientist David Marx.

As noted by Entrepreneur, Dream Pops projects it will generate $500,000 in revenue by year’s end, and they’d done it largely without selling to consumers. They’ve gone business-to-business instead, partnering with big brands like Beats by Dre (for a Coachella party) and earning up to $50,000 per event. It makes sense: Try the treat of the elite!




The company compares the taste of these ‘sicles to ice cream.

“We have heard people say Dream Pops taste as good as they are pretty,” Greenfeld says. “They are creamy and rich-tasting, much like traditional dairy ice cream, but they are 100% plant-based.  Thanks to the creamy tapioca and rich coconut milk, and our other real ingredients they’re vegan-approved but not just for vegans.”

What do you think about these? Delicious on their own and maybe perfect as gifts?

Greenfeld says online orders have been pouring in since Dream Pops went nationwide on July 15, National Ice Cream Day. “We are on track to double our sales in 2018 and e-commerce is experiencing strong month-over-month growth,” he said.

In case you’re worried about the carbon footprint of a $45 tray, the company uses a green packaging company for cold shipping called vericool.

These have gone nationwide at a good time, as Instragram-y items are in demand. NBC recently reported on “Instagram playgrounds” popping in U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. #dreampops

dream pops flavors flight
0

Food

A Popsicle is an indulgence. It’s also a startup success story, if you can believe it. Dream Pops are plant-based, non-dairy, gluten and soy free. And they apparently taste as good as ice cream and look good on Instagram.

They’re not cheap, at least in bulk. A tray of 10, shipped frozen to your doorstep in a couple of days, will set you back $45. But if you can find one at a Starbucks, and you’re in Los Angeles or Portland, Oregon, the price is a little more palpable at $3.95 each.

These don’t look like regular Popsicles (a trademark for flavored ice frozen around a stick). Dream Pops are a proprietary shape that comes from a 3-D printed mold. Besides lacking dairy, gluten and soy, they’re also said to be free of artificial flavors, dyes, gum and corn syrup. What’s left? Each pop is less than 100 calories, sweetened with coconut blossom sugar and blended with lush ingredients. And the flavors — with names like Chocolate Lion, Berry Dreams, Mango Rosemary, Coconut Latte and Vanilla Matcha — are a little more advanced than what you might find in the frozen food section of your local supermarket.

 
dream pops coconut latte

Coconut Latte ingredientsGreyson Tarantino

The Dream Pops team includes two Davids. They’re CEO and Cofounder David Greenfeld, a former investment banking associate, and “Chief Pop Hustler” and CoFounder David Cohen, previously a business development associate for Los Angeles’ first bagel truck.

Greenfeld says he was intrigued by paletas stands during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia, and also trying to curb an appetite for late night pints of ice cream “with terrible ingredients.”

“We mainly took inspiration from the pressed juice market and wondered why the same model couldn’t be applied to frozen novelties and plant-based ice cream,” Greenfeld said in an email. “I called my close friend and cofounder David Cohen who had experience in the food space working for a company called Yeastie Boys Bagels (as I had no knowledge nor experience operating food companies) and we began iterating and toying around with the idea of healthy popsicles.”

The pops were created by Michelin-starred chef Juan Amador and food scientist David Marx.

As noted by Entrepreneur, Dream Pops projects it will generate $500,000 in revenue by year’s end, and they’d done it largely without selling to consumers. They’ve gone business-to-business instead, partnering with big brands like Beats by Dre (for a Coachella party) and earning up to $50,000 per event. It makes sense: Try the treat of the elite!

The company compares the taste of these ‘sicles to ice cream.

“We have heard people say Dream Pops taste as good as they are pretty,” Greenfeld says. “They are creamy and rich-tasting, much like traditional dairy ice cream, but they are 100% plant-based.  Thanks to the creamy tapioca and rich coconut milk, and our other real ingredients they’re vegan-approved but not just for vegans.”

What do you think about these? Delicious on their own and maybe perfect as gifts?

Greenfeld says online orders have been pouring in since Dream Pops went nationwide on July 15, National Ice Cream Day. “We are on track to double our sales in 2018 and e-commerce is experiencing strong month-over-month growth,” he said.

In case you’re worried about the carbon footprint of a $45 tray, the company uses a green packaging company for cold shipping called vericool.

These have gone nationwide at a good time, as Instragram-y items are in demand. NBC recently reported on “Instagram playgrounds” popping in U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. #dreampops


Link to this article : https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkart/2018/08/21/taste-this-startup-elite-dream-pops-now-available-nationwide/#6e9296db7e15

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