In a world of great gourmet foods and options, Mark Ramadan discovered that ketchup has always been just ketchup. Mark, and friend Scott Norton, had the idea to make a better ketchup than the standard highly processed brand on the market. While still in college the two cooked up a mess in their apartment (photo) and decided to have a party amongst friends to see if this idea had legs — It did. Over a period of 6 years, they grew their company, Sir Kensington’s — maker of gourmet condiments like ketchup (spiced ketchup is legit), mustard, and mayo — into over 4,000 retail stores and over 350 restaurants/hotels nationwide.
I had the pleasure to talk with Mark (via Skype) from his office in New York, NY to talk about what it really takes to grow a company. If you’re a food entrepreneur, you can’t afford to miss this.
I’m from the south, if there’s one thing we know how to do right, it’s to have a party. When a rival team plays at LSU and causes an earthquake (hints the name ‘Death Valley’), we have a party. We don’t just start a fast, we have what’s called Fat Tuesday and when a Hurricane comes into town, we have a Hurricane party (and another one when it’s over). So obviously when I had the idea of having a salad dressing — I had a party.
Ido Leffler and his partner Lance Kalish took Yes To Carrots, a small and vibrant natural skin care brand in Israel, from a measly 6 products in 16 stores, to a global brand with 100 products in 28,000 stores in 29 countries — in less than 5 years. They wrote the fantastic book Get Big Fast and Do More Good about their story and the lessons learned on their path to purpose and profits.
I had the pleasure to talk with Ido (via Skype) from his office in San Francisco, CA to talk about strategies and solutions that he utilized in conquering many of the problems product businesses face.
When Jeff Herman went on a trip to Mary Lee Donuts, he realized there was a crucial gap in the doughnut market in Baton Rouge, and he asked himself how hard could it be to build a better doughnut shop? (famous last words) He was 23 years old and fresh out of college, armed with only his ambition, drive, and small amount of capital, he managed to bootstrap his startup Tiger Deaux-nuts into a thriving, yet almost secret, grassroots business.
In this episode I talk with Jeff in his first kitchen about the challenges of bootstrapping, building a devoted following, and what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.