“I’m always looking for disproportionate risk, where the upside is really high and the downside is manageable. I take those risks all of the time. If there's a risk where the downside is just as big as the upside, sometimes I’ll pass on those.”
A Dozen Cousins founder, Ibraheem grew up in Brooklyn in a big family (hence the name) and wanted to combine two important elements into one product; take the joy of the eclectic multicultural flavors he experienced eating with his family, and turn it into a convenient, healthy food option.
He is no stranger to the complex food business, and has worked for large CPG companies. These opportunities allowed him to hone his talent for understanding the formal business side, especially recognizing untapped business opportunities. Ready-to-eat beans became the right option because of their ability to combine the elements of "taste, health, and culture". It was also an untapped market in the food world.
Basir takes us on the journey of his growing empire and outlines the strategic, yet methodical thought processes that have allowed him to realize his business goals.
You can read more about A Dozen Cousins on our Client Spotlight here.
"Early on, we wanted to see this make sense, and we want to see it get better over time. But it needs to start from a place of making sense as a business.”
Vanessa Pham is the CEO and Co-Founder of Omsom, an Asian food brand geared toward honoring the communities the foods represent. She handles all things that "aren't creative"; from operations, to R&D, to supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, and more. Omsom launched at the height of COVID in May of 2020, but has experienced a great amount of success selling direct to consumer with their loud, proud and funky brand. Omsom packets are considered a meal starter, similar to a simmer sauce or taco seasoning. With one of the Omsom starters and a handful of fresh ingredients, you can be on your way to make eclectic Asian meals in under 30 minutes.
"We’re not just selling customers marketing terms; we are actually fulfilling a promise that we make to people."
George Milton is the CEO of Yellowbird Foods, a spicy condiment company. In 2012, he started the company with his partner Erin in South Austin, Texas. They were both creatives: George was a musician, and Erin was a graphic designer in the corporate world. It all started from making hot sauce in their kitchen. Today, Yellowbird is one of the best-selling hot sauces in natural grocers in the US, and George takes us through the ups and downs, and the lessons learned along the way.
“Don’t sweat the systems at the beginning. Just get something up. It doesn’t even have to look good. Get it up and don’t waste time!"
Keeley Tillotson is the co-founder of Wild Friends, a seed and nut butter company she and her best friend, Erika started together in college. They both pretty much lived off of peanut butter at the time and got curious about making their own after they ran out one day. Ten years later, the company has grown and Wild Friends is now available nationwide. And yes, they are still best friends
“Biodynamic is a farming method--it’s the gold standard of regenerative agriculture. Regenerative has really taken hold with the consumer and the investor--they know that that’s a much needed way to help the planet. And now our conversation leans heavily toward regenerative farming.
Meghan Rowe is the CEO and co-founder of White Leaf Provisions, a family run Biodynamic baby food business that she co-founded with her husband Keith. After having their son, they searched the aisles of grocery stores for Biodynamic baby food and could not find it in the US. That started them on their journey to create White Leaf; the first Biodynamic baby food line in the United States.
“We grew one piece of equipment at a time, one employee at a time. We did what we could do, really keeping in mind profitability and margins along the way so we could grow sustainably"
Kyle Koehler is the Co-Founder of Wildway, a Paleo-style granola company based in San Antonio, Texas. Kyle shares tips on the creation of his own business, details on manufacturing for Wildway in house, and background on how he navigates providing these services for other brands.
“You take as much data as you’ve got, and try to figure out what your story is: why it worked, and how to replicate it or flip it on its ear, so you can learn from what you didn’t do exactly the right way."
Chris Crowe is the Head of Finance and Administration for Recess. He runs all things finance and administrative at Recess; a hemp-infused sparkling water with adaptogens. He joined Recess in June of 2019 as one of the early employees. Prior to Recess, he worked for Procter & Gamble and also worked in the wine industry, at Heineken, and for five different startups. With his background in both beverage companies and startups, he was a natural fit for Recess.
“I think being a good CEO is recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses."
Molly Fienning started her entrepreneurship journey with the company, Babiators. There she was the CMO. She spoke to the consumer, helped find their tribe, and helped develop the brand’s voice, look, and feel.
With Red Clay Hot Sauce, she wears all of the CEO hats that she did not have to wear at Babiators. It has been a huge growth opportunity for her on the finance, operations, and team management side of the business. In Episode Two of The Month End, Molly shares her insight surrounding how she manages wearing all of those CEO hats.
“We outsourced everything from accounting to CFO-level reporting early on, and that was immensely helpful because we certainly weren’t in a position to hire a CFO, a staff accountant, and an A/R manager."
In 2014, The New Primal was a new client that put Accountfully on the inventory client map, a very fitting first time guest for the new inventory business focused podcast.
The New Primal started out of a passion for Paleo and making beef jerky. Jason didn’t have a background in CPG; he would bring his homemade beef jerky into the office, and soon after, co-workers started requesting orders. The brand extended into condiments by accident, and has grown from Jason making beef jerky from home to the number one selling BBQ sauce, wing sauce, and marinade in Whole Foods. It has been an evolution.