I deal with organic food entrepreneurs all of the time, and one thing that I can say for certain is that building and managing these start-up businesses is no easy task.
Aside from the fact that it may take several years to reach profitability (it took Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg 9 years to get there!), you have to deal with rising food costs, a distribution system largely controlled by one major player, and the constant worry of food safety. And, of course, that doesn’t mention all of the other things like sales, marketing, public relations, legal, recruiting, and accounting,
Most entrepreneurs are tackling this industry for the very first time and have to figure out the nuances and complexity of the food business as they go. Invariably, many mistakes are made.
Understanding the challenges that these start-ups face, a company called AccelFoods has just launched to solve these exact problems. Read More »
Last year, I met with Jonathan Grayer, the new controlling shareholder of Organic Avenue, and one of the things that we discussed was the quality of food at his company. Much to my surprise, he was incredibly forthcoming and acknowledged that several of Organic Avenue’s items were not up to par.
He told me that his goal was to offer raw and cooked vegan food that would appeal to a mainstream audience and that also tasted really, really good.
Aside from already having revamped the salads, which are now excellent, Organic Avenue recently launched its first line of quinoa bowls, and I have been beyond impressed.
The three red quinoa bowls are the following:
SWEET YAM & CELERY
Very hearty and filling. The sweetness of the yams ties everything together really well. When I am hungry, this is what I go for. Read More »
I interact with a countless number of early-stage, organic food companies and I can tell you one thing – running these businesses is not an easy task.
Aside from the tight profit margins, increasing food costs, and extensive paperwork dealing with organic certification, raising investment dollars is a very challenging endeavor.
These are not high-flying technology companies, which attract the lion’s share of angel investment money. Furthermore, most investors don’t understand the intricacies of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies.
Fortunately, a San Francisco-based start-up called CircleUp is helping to address this fundraising problem. Read More »