A year and half ago when I first sat down with Jay Ducote, he told me his story of how he got started in the blogging world and rose to be a prominent food blogger in the South. He also mentioned a barbecue sauce that he was working on. Well, he’s kept his word because a couple weeks ago he launched his magnificent Louisiana Barbecue Sauce to retail stores in Baton Rouge. Between managing a popular food blog, radio show, and launching a new product, he also competed on Food Networks Cutthroat Kitchen recently.
I had the pleasure to hangout with Jay at his stylish office in Baton Rouge to talk about his experiences launching his first retail product.
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.
When I had the idea to take my salad dressing to the grocery shelves, I didn’t know a thing about the food industry. All I knew is that I had to make it in an FDA approved kitchen. I looked and talked to everyone I knew that had a kitchen; I could make it in a food truck and wash their tuck in return, I could use a restaurant on a Sunday night when their closed, I could make it at my house if I kept the dogs and kids outside — these where the options floating through my head. Not only did I find a kitchen, I found a proven system that can bring your food idea to the shelves.
When Justin was in college, he would make his own organic & natural peanut-butter and store it in the fridge to save up on money. Over time his roommates would eat it all before he got to it, so he simply put his name on the jar to let everyone know who is was for. That just gave them a name to ask for it, then everyone wanted that “Justin’s” peanut butter in that was always in the fridge. Now, Justin’s is a multi-million dollar business that ships their natural nut-butters worldwide. Continue reading Justin Gold: Growing a Food Startup (The DOcast)→