The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

2. Why Every Entrepreneur Needs Feedback w/ Nicole Haney

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

As an entrepreneur, when you build something you love, getting feedback can be scary. But today’s guest, Nicole Haney, Founder and CEO of Boho Bake Shop and Boho Bars, knew that feedback would be what could make her product even better. So she embraced it.

Nicole played around with recipes in her kitchen hoping to create an energy bar she could take on work trips. She knew she’d discovered something great when other people loved them as well. So she quit her job and went all in.

Nicole started by selling her bars at a farmer’s market. The biggest piece of feedback she got from that crowd was that they wanted the bars to be more accessible. So she set out to persuade local markets to carry her bars.

The next piece of feedback she received came when she noticed people weren’t interested in her free samples. When she asked why, someone told her they didn’t like energy bars because they typically didn’t taste good. That’s when Nicole realized she’d been focusing the marketing too much on the clean ingredients and not enough on the great taste. So she adjusted.

It’s really easy to get bogged down on all of the feedback you get in the early stages, but sometimes it’s what takes your business to the next level.

On today’s episode, we discuss when to listen to feedback and when to just keep moving.

You're listening to the IVIONTRENORpodcast from the Pierre L, Moriset Institute, Forrente Preneurship at theIvy Business School in this series I beentrepreneur an Ivy Faculty member,Eric Janson will anchor t the session starting new things is really hard,especially when you're leaving a perfectly good job or even a great joband entering an incredibly crowded space in health food. How do you knowwhen leap or what to make or what to invest in in a word? Feeback feedbackis absolutely critical, but who do you even listen to on the positive side? It can reinforceyour decision to leave or product investments, but on the negative sideit can kill early stage ideas in their most fragile stage. In this episode, NNocolheni from Bohobars talks us through how to use feedback to guide'sstrategy who to listen to it each stage of Your Business and when to make thosebig investments or leaps all right. I'm here today with the COL Hainey fromBoho Bakeshop Hi Eric. How are you I've never been happier in goal? How are youI'm Fantasti and isn't? Is it bohobars or boo, big shopper, both it's both?Actually so I started with boobake shop and that has now flushed out into afull Vegan, doghnut bakery and now bohobars has launched as well a thoseare whole food energy bars. So that's a company unto itself now as well got itso two two separate companies but operating out of the same productionfacility crack g kindo got okay, so Nicole, you were currently in LondonOntario. Where bohobig shop is located. Did you grow up in London? I did barnand raise torner raising London. How did this whole venture get startedand actually, before you get into the story of how bohogot going maybe rewinda little bit to like? How did you discover that you might actually beentrepreneurial? was there anybody in your family that was nontreprener likerewind the tape a little bit more for me yeah for sure, so no one in myfamily was an enthebreneur and really growing up. I never consideredenchcrernership as an option, but I really always had that entrpreneurialspirit in me. I'm a very determined person and some would say, strong willsand when I know what I want, I go for it and I think those are all qualitiesthat you really have to have as an entpreneur, and so when I found mypassion, I realized this is a path I could go down and it would be reallycool and what an adventure to have cool. So I don't struggle with passion,but I get a lot of frustration from mentrepreneurs or would be etrpreneusthat I speak with saying. Like I don't know, I don't know what my passion is:There's a Buch of stuff that I like but like I don't really know what it is.How did you discover that baking or or healthy food or fitness orhealth, is your passion? How did you get there yeah, so I kind of stubbledstumbled upon it accidentally, so I would say about six or seven years ago.I really got into health and all ness, and that had not always been the case.I was not a healthy kid. I was not an athletic kid and I always really reallyloved food, especially junk food, anything that tasted good wasdefinitely on the roster for me. But when I turned twenty five one of myfriends said you know what come to the gym with me and I said no, no! No likethis is not my thing. I don't go to the gym, that's not for me and I went, andI took a spin clots with her. Absolutely hated it. U So not passion right away, oay, no,no abassion right away! Definitely not! But eventually I found running and Ifell in love with running and then the healthy eating kind of followed fromthat, because I noticed that when I ate...

...all my favorite foods junk foods thingsthat tasted good to me at the time that I just didn't have the motivation orthe energy to go of her run, and so I started playing around with somerecipes to make my favorite foods healthier and so along the way in doingthat, that's Kindof when I found my passion for creating these healthyproducts got it. So the the eating healthier came because you real thecooking th, the recipes came because you realized that eating ealthy orcooking healthior led to better performance. It's almost like selffulfilling right and I've found that too, like when I'm competing in acrossfit tournament, or something like that. It's like, if you eat, reallycrappy the weeks leading up or than the day before, whatever it actually reallydoes affect your performance. So the better you eat the more proper fuel youfeed your body, the better you erform, that's absolutely the case cool cool,so you fi, you figured this o y. You got interested in it, but you had afulltime job right. You were working in the corporate world doing reasonably.Well, how did you decide to make the leap yeah? Well, it was right aroundthe time I turned thirty. I honestly did not think I was going to have aproblem. Turning thirty, I thought it was going to be totally fine and then Iturned thirty and I I had a bit of a melt down and I just thought you know.I need to be doing something with my life that I'm super super passionateabout, and that's how I wanted to spend the next twenty or thirty years of mylife was was chasing something that I felt really passionate about, and so Iwas kind of searching. As you mentioned, a lot of entrepreneurs don't know whattheir passion is, and so I was kind of searching and searching and searchingand as I started to create these healthy products, it occurred to me howpassionate I was about creating these products and then, as soon as I started,sharing them with other people. That was it I W. I was bitten by theentrereneur ship bug. I realized that. Not only could I make these amazingproducts for myself, but I could share it with the world and start encouragingother people to make healthier choices for their lives as well. God, do youremember the first person who you shared some of your recipues with I doabsolutely. It was my friend Sara my friend and Calleagara, so we had goneon a business trip together and I actually hade gone to the grocery storeand I was looking for an energy bar that I could just bring with me on thebusiness trip 'cause. I knew it was going to be really busy and I couldn'tfind what I was looking for. So I ended up going home and making my own sort ofthrew a bunch of stuff from my pantry in a bowl through in a pan kind of hopefor the best, and then I packed them into Ziplock Baggies, believe it or not,and I was eating them on the business trip and my front's air was like whatare you eating out of Siplock baggies right now? What is happening- and Itold her like these- are a homemade energy bar they're really good?Actually, if you want to give hem a try, and so she tried them and sheobsolutely loved them, and so that was that was kind of the start of knowingthat I might be on to something here got it so won o Focus Today on feedback,and I guess that would have been your the very first piece if Youd back you,you made them for yourself, thought they were pretty good, packed hem up insome ugly uly blasting bags on a business trip. You share them with yourcolleague. She likes them. You thought interesting. This is Kindo cool. A lotof people would hear interesting, but not do anything about it. So whathappened after you said? Ooh She likes them. This is interesting. What did youdo yeah? So I came back and I started talking with some of my other familyand friends and colleagues and people. People thought it was interesting aswell, and so they said, okay. Well, if you want to try, if you want me to trythem, I'm happy to try them, provide some feewdback to you too, and so Istarted baking batches upon batches of bars, four, my friends and family andcolleagues, and just handing them out for free and just saying, try it andlet me know what you think and people...

...started going crazy for them and askingme to make them for them on a regular basis, and so it wasn't, it wasn'treally a side business or anything like that. It was literally just me makingthe stuff for free and handing it out and and hoping for the feedback inreturn, so that was Kindo the the start of it, that's cool. So it's interesting right, there's so many so many ways, often that people thinkabout starting these businesses. You can either you could have done. Youcouldhave got some market research reports and looked at how big themarket was for healthy energy bars or healthy. Healthy Line of snacksprobably would have got freaked out 'cause there's a lot of competition.Thais is a fast growing high growth market right now, but there's a lot ofcompetition. You didn't you went to the kitchen, you shipped, I guess what we'dcall a minimum viable product, probably didn't. Look Great, no tasted good andgot it into e hands of as many people as possible and the feedback was good.Did you get an Knockan feetback? I got a couple of people that were sayingthey didn't like certain aspects of it. So one of my friends just absolutelyhates coconut, and she said you know what you need to take the shruddedcocoanot right out of this, and so I listened to that a little bit. But Ithought I love Cocani and a lot of people, Love Cok and I I think I'mgoing to leave the coconut in yeah. So how did you decide in the early days who to listen to andwho not to listen to because tha? Maybe that's an easy one, or maybe it'seasier with food in general? That's a specific preference for a specific typeof food or flavor t you must have been. You must have gotten a bunch of it fromyour friends at family early days. How did you decide what to ignore and whatto incorporate yeah, especially in the early stages? It's really easy to getbogged down by all of the feedback that you're going to get starting out in abusiness, because everyone wants to offer their advice and I think what it comes down to is reallyjust knowing what it is you want to achieve in your business and keepingthat vision in your mind and eventually that vision becomes your missionstatement and it becomes sort of what you're pursuing as a business and whatyou stand for as a business. But in the early days you have to sort of figureout what your vision is and follow that and really follow your gut. So maybe YoBrun me through then the order of operations, 'cause you're, saying if you got feedback that wasn'tnecessarily going to be helpful or get you closer to your vision than youwereable to filter that out. But in order to do that, you'd have to have a vision.So maybe walk me through. How did you take me from sampled these at abusiness meeting shared them with your colleague started,distributing them getting good feedback? Walke me through the order ofoperations when you set the vision. How did you actually get this thing going?Yeah for sure so getting started started very small in a farmer's market,and I was able to get in front of customers on a regular basis and got alot of feedback really quickly. Some feodback was fantastic and some feedback was not so great, but really just sort of dinterupt, so you got them infront of family and friends. They said good. You said next thing I want to do,then, is get them in front of other people, give them in front of peoplewho aren't family and friends yeah. Well, I mean the next thing I didactually was quit my job whoa nok fairly early in the process, Yeh veryearly in the process. I think I just I realized my passion very early on and Irealized that I wanted to get people choosing healthier options in theirlives and if I could do that through a fantastic tasting product that alsohappens to be healthy, then that was something I was going to pursue and Ididn't want to be left wondering what, if what, if I had gone down that pathand had started a business, what could...

...have happened? So I thought you knowwhat I'm going to do it. I'm still young I'm going to go out. There try myhand ot it and if all else fails, I can go back to my day job wel. Okay, so I guess there's different ways to lookat it right. Sometimes people will get another train on the tracks, while theother one is going 'cause. You could have really gone to the farmers marketand got more feedback and tried to scale this thing up in your part timemaby. But you burn the ships right away. You quit and said screw it there's noother option. It's like we're going to make this thing go or or not. Therereally wasn't an option to fail. Remember what I said about beingstrongweld. This was going to happen. This wasgoing out yet absolutely this was going to happen. I was determined, well, okay,cool, so you quit your job. You went to the farmers' market. I guess I'm tryingto get to at what point did you or did you sit down and like do any semblance of a plan or yourvision or logo, or anything like that? I think that came a little bit later.To be honest with you, I think I went into the business truthfully quitenaively in thinking I'm just going to go to a farmer's market, I'm going tosell some products and that's how I'm going to make my living and I got intoit, and I realized you don't make a living working one day a week at afarmer's market, although that might be the dream, but as I started to get intoit, that was when I realized. If I want to do this, I have to be all in, and Ireally have to make some decisions here about what that looks. Like God, Itgotit okay, so you go to the farmers' market. You start to get so at thatpoint where you, you ud upgraded from tblockbags to something else. I didyeah yeah, so we had kind of a a rudimentary version of our first flavorof Bohobar and we were packaging it in these kind of plastic, baggies andprinting labels on a residential grade printer. It was very grassroots andactually the bars were an ad on to the rest of our bakery products. Initiallygot it got it okay, so you start selling these farmers' markets you'regetting net positive feedback, though yes, sowhat's next, where did you go from there yeh? So when we started t thefarmers market, I had like fifteen different products that I was sellingthere. So we we had everything you can imagine brownies cookies donutes andthese bars, and I really thought that the basguds would be the star of theshow, because who doesn't want a healthy doghot write like that. Thatwas my value probem and what I started to realize is that yes, people wouldcome and they would buy a donut, but they would also buy twelve of theseenergy bars that we had at the same time, and so I started paying attentionto the buying patterns of the customers that were walking up to our booth, andI realized this was happening. So I started asking questions and I said Hey,so I noticed you're buying a lot of these bars. Can I ask you know what isit you like about them? How you're consuming them and started really justgetting feedback in that manner in real time, live from the people that werebuying a real time live from the people? Yeah Mart. That's the dream of a lot ofthese consumer type products. Is You want to be a part of everybody's habit,a doughnut? Maybe there are people that bidonnce every day, probably fewer andfewer, maybe people that buy a doghnut for themselves or for the kid s once aweek as as a nice treat, but if you can be part of their regular routine,getting people to buy your product on a or useur product on a daily weekly,whatever basis on a regular schedule that that's key. So that's good. Sowhat was some of that? Some of that early feed back? What were peoplesaying when when were they using it? What dare they like? Whether they'renot like what were you hearing yeah? So...

...people were telling me that they wouldbulk up when they would come to the farmers market once a week and theywould throw them in their lunch bags to bring with them every single day forlunch or when they were running errands after they dropped the kids off atschool and they had to rush off to work and the one thing that they set, though,is you know it would be great if these were a bit more accessible, because Idon't always get out to the farmers market or I buy twelve, but I eat themall by Wednesday, and it would be great if they were available in like a store.That's a bit closer to me. That's open seven days a week, so that was kind ofone of the things that initially I took into consideration when starting toreally expand to the business and and see a grow God. It's o one of the firstthings. First, piece of of feedback that e you got, I guess in order wastaste, is good the value prop in the early days,because I know I know we could talk about it. A second,but you were at the accelerator, slash incubator on Westerns campus, and Iknow I remember the value proposition workshop and I remember you coming outwith there was something that maybe w I never even written down from in thatsession. But it's your value profit. It's all over your website now, whichis healthy, food, great taste, no compromise, so that seemed to resonatewith people pretty early on. It's it's convenient. It's healthy. It tastes,good, we're not compromising on anything. So the the product was getting there.Then you got the feedback on where to place it, so you needed have it inadditional locations around London, then what yeah? So once we got into someretailers locally in London and how? How did you convince 'cause at thatpoint, stills out of your kitchen right, yeah Yar in Te Kitchen, you got apackage that is what clear plastic bag at that point, essent Alogo, that didyou make a logo yeah. I just Kinda created it on my computer, PhotoshopPhotoshop at yourself still making one flavor how many flavors at that pointyeah we just had the one flavor. So one flavor plastic bag logo. You madeyourself printing it at home on labels, but feedback was that we liked them andWeud like them in more places. So you can't build a business off of just thefarmer's' market, so you say cool. Let's go out there and try to find somemore places. How did you figure out where to put it Yeh? So initially I hadapproached a lot of local retailers like people that have small localbusinesses that have a vested interest in seeing the community grow and seeingother entrepreneurs thrive as well nd. so I approached them and basically saidyou know: the customers that are shopping at the local farmers' marketare the same customers that are coming here to buy your natural skin careproducts or coming here to do yoga, and you can certainly you would be able tosell these here at your location and you could turn a profit and it would bemutually beneficial, essentially so talk to them and got my product intosome stores and then started sampling to to get the product into people'smouths. So don't look now, but you just became a salesperson. You were goingdoor to door. How did that? First? Were you nervous for that fir like? Do youremember the very first store that you went to and knocked on the door andlike er, first one so nervous Eric? Do youremember what was the store? Oh my gosh? Well, it was. It was a local store here,a a natural skin care store and I had met the owner a couple of times throughsome business networking events, but I didn't know her very well at the timeand M. Oh, I was so nervous and I was quite awkward and but she sheunderstood where I was coming from because she had done it herself as well,because she had had to go out there and promote her business and promote herproducts. So she knew she knew what what the vibe was and she appreciatedit. Nice, the story's, a cool component...

...right, like a lot of times, people tryto pretend that they're bigger than they are, but I think the local, thelocal angle, I'm a local entrepreneur fairly young. Just getting this going,it was them willing to help. You out become a part of your story as well:Absolutely yeah cool okay. So you get into a couple of retail stores. Thenwhat then we start sampling the product. So we want to make sure that people aretrying it. It's not just going to be a product sitting on a shelf thatcollects dust, so we start sampling and by we I mean me, and in the early days I was fortunateenough to get the opportunity to sample at M farm boy, so they were doing alocal vendor outdoor market, and so I went and stood outside one of theirstores, along with some other local vendors, and I was sampling my productsthere, and this was actually some customer feeback that I received kindof early on that really changed the direction that I was going with myvalue poposition, because initially I was saying these are a clean energy barthey're just made with whole food ingredients, but I wasn't reallydelving into the quality of them and how great they tasted. Because for methe most important thing was the clean ingredients, and that was reallysomething you couldn't find on the market at the time, and so I was sampling the products, Otfarm boy, promoting them as his clean energy bar and not really getting a lotof takers, and I thought well that's weird. Youknow when I when I go to a grocery store and I see samples I'm always likeall over. Yes, please get me those sandwhateerand, so the next person.That said no, I'm not interested. I asked them why, and she said you know I I don't reallylike energy bars. They typically don't taste very good, and so I told herthese actually taste amazing and I convinced her to try one and she lovedit, and then she purchased some bars for me on the spot. And so that's whenI realized that, even though the clean energy bar the whole food ingrediensthoght might be the most important thing to me, and there is certainly amarket of people out there where it is the most important thing. I thinkthere's a much larger market of people out there that are looking for a greattasting energy bar 'cause. There's. No, I guess there's no shortage of food,that's good for you y! It's that magic overlap between the two codcentriccircles. That is good for you, but also tastes, good, exactly interesting, sofeed back again right, getting it getting it in front of people, youdidn't you didn't, go and Buy Market Research, studies and F figure out the top selling bars andtry to copy those you went to farmboy on their local vendor day got rejected,don't know how many times and then said screw it, I'm just going to startasking people. WHY THEY'RE SAYING NO H INTERESTING! This seems to be mypattern from market research is try. It get rejected, figure out why I'mgetting rejected and Changeit seems to be working so far? Okay, so you get thefeedback that if you tell them and show them that it tastes good, but is alsogood for you that could lead to increase sales. So what did you do withthat Info? So I felt very confident that now I wasgoing to be able to sell this product and sell it really well and so, ofcourse, strong wills. In my nature, I marched off to a bigger market anddecided to just take that and run with it. so I approached some retailers inTronto. Did some sales calls in kind of the GTA market and again got rejected afew times, and I had actually signed up for a trade show in Tronno as a part ofthis marketing strategy, as a part of this way to expand into that market andthat trade show got cancelled at the last minute, and I had expressed mydisappointment in Thisto the organizer of that event, and she said well, if you're reallytrying to break into the Tronto market, send me some of your products. Iactually own a marketing, firm and I'll...

...share it around with my friends andcolleagues and will take a taste and we'll see what we can do. So I center our bars with our oldgrassroots packaging and the feedback that I got from her was that theproduct taste great, the quality is amazing. She, I guess shared it withsome of her chef friends who said like this is a fantastic product but- and Istill remember exactly how she said it- she said the packaging does not reflectthe quality of the product, and so again that was feedback that reallychanged my direction because I thought there it is. This is the reason thatI'm getting rejected in this biker market MMSO Y, the message of localsmall worked in London in the early days, butas you tried to go and expand into bigger markets, the feedback was yeahgood product, but you look small Um, so you needed to look a little bit moreprofessional. So what did you do? What did you do with that feedback? So withthat feedback, I decided that we were going to do a complete re brand because,as I mentioned, I had designed the logo myself and I was still printing labelson our residential grade printer and it just it wasn't workitting. I workinganymore, so I reached out to some local design firms and ended up working withone specifically, who really truly got the vision of what I wanted to do. Who'd you work with, so I was working with CARV. They are fantasticgraphic design,company sat down with the owner Jason and went through some different ideas,and he immediately got the vision and got the direction that I wanted to goin and worked up a fantastic branding suite for us osesom so interesting.Those are fun things to do early days right, like figuring out the logo andthe perfect packaging, and all these other things they're fun to do they're.Also, I don't want to say easy, but they're certainly easier to do thangoing out and trying to do cold calls right, like it's easier for you to sitbehind your desk or get in the coffee shop for two days and play withphotoshop versus go make cold galls. So you didn't change your brand until youheard the direct feedback from a customer. That said, your brand ispreventing you from playing in this bigger market. You didn't say we needto do a rebrand, because Nicole feels like we need to do a rebrand. It waslike a customer told you. This is the reason that you are not able to enterthis market yea for sure if it in the early days, if it wasn't necessary, Ididn't do it because as an entrreneur, especially when you're first startingout your time, is incredibly valuable and it makes all the difference to justget out there and get started and hit the market, and so, if it wasn'tnecessary, we didn't do it so at each stage and the game as soon as we neededto make a change, we made the change, but not until then interesting, it's so simple, but so important. Ithink people get caught up in thinking that they need to do all need to do.Everything need to make these changes but you're smart to do it only Whenh, acustomer told you to do it so, okay, so you made the b you made the rebrand.You made the changes, the new packages, brilliant. I think I don't. Even Idon't remember your initial. I didn't personally try your initial or seyourinital packaging livein in the flesh, but I I am a happy customer, soI get thesesent to my house. I think right now, I'm your ow! I am currentlyyour only subscription customer. You are so I like the product. So much Umcall me lazy, but I didn't want to come pick it up myself. So I worked out adeal with Nichol so that they're delivered to my house on a monthlybasis, and so you, the new packaging that I'm looking at I here is- isbeautiful. It's brilliant! It's fairly, simple, right: white black ground,clean logo, Um! So then what you you've got this new package you go back tothat customer and where to go from...

...there, yeah absolutely so went back toa bunch of different customers that had previously rejected US based on the oldpackaging and was able to successfully secure them now with this new packaging,because now the products can sit on a shelf and it attracts people's eyesitting next to other commercially brandef products. So it looks thepart,it tastes, the part now and it it certainly is, is walking the walk. Soyet we were able to secure a number of retailers in Toronto, which was hugefor us as a part of again this marketingstrategy. We went back and did another trade show in Toronto. This one wasn'tcancelled and it was actually one of the largest hell em on the shows thatis intronno and at that show people were going crazy over the product,which was such a cool feeling. You were samblingy, yet we were sampling andselling them by the case. So it was. It was a very cool weekend, a very coolshow, and at that show we actually got approached by distributor who could seethat customers were going crazy over this product, and so they approached usto to have a meeting and have a conversation. Wow did you ever getdiscouraged because it is a pretty like if I go. I was at the grocery storethis morning and there's a fairly big health food section in the grocerystore that I go to there's a lot of competing products out there. There's alot theree like isles of them Yep, and yet here I am with your product I mighdesk. So did that not ever deter you absolutely its energy bar market is avery crowded space and, as I mentioned before, sales did not come naturally tome. So even now, to this day, sales is a very challenging thing for me,because when I do get that rejection, which is sure to come, sometimes I dotake it. Quite personally and I know I shouldn't- and I know that sales one,oh one, but it's very difficult when it is your product and you've poured yourheart and soul into it to to not take it personally, but to overcome that youjust keep kinda going out and knocking on doors and then, when you get thatyes, it is so exhilarating that it just makes up for all the nows. So you'vegot this personality. That's not don't take no for an answer, but honestly I Isee a lot of proposals for different projects right and and even this yearthere's a couple: Energy and Energy Health, food relatedthings and my immedia thought on it is crowded spacecrowd space, tough to getinto big brands. So maybe I'm asking the same question in in a different way.Like did you ever walk through the grocery store? See All these bars inthe early days and just sa to yourself like how? How do I compete with thecliffs and the you know, all the other big brand names out there I absolutely did it is. It isintimidating and it is overwhelming to be entering a highly saturated market,but I knew I had a better product and I think that if you have thatconviction- and you have that belief in yourself- that you can move mountainsand you can really do some amazing things- even in a crowded space yeah,so it wasn't, it wasn't bs, for you wasn't spin you. You truly believe thatyou had a better product, yess and then more people needed a sample it. Okay.So you maybe give me an update on where things are now we're almost at presentday. How are things going? We haven't talked about the bakery a lot. The bigshop so maybe give us an updat where where's Bohobars at today, where's thebakery. Are you still working out of your kitchen howare you doing yeah for Sire? Well,not working out of the kitchen anymore, thankfully, because I don't think mykitchen could handle it but yeah. We have a seventeen hundred square footfacility here in London and we're kind...

...of bursting at the seams a little bitat this point, but we're making it work and yeah. So the bakery side of thingswe decided to tighten it up and scale back on the products a little bit toreally just focus on the products that people, love and people are buying. Sowe do still have brownies and cookies and stuff like that, but they're moreof a future product every once in a while, the star, F, the show for thebakery is the donuts, because people will buy those by you know the six packor the dozen and and obsolutely love them. So we're keeping that very lo calhere in London, the Western fair farmer's market or the energy bar sideof things. We are currently distributing ourselves across Ontarioand Prince Edward Island, so bout, a hundred retailers in two provinces andwe've got a couple of distributors that are knocking on our door and somelarger retailers as well. So we have a plan to be across Canada within thenext year or so wow wow awesome. So a few things that we skipped over in thebeginning, the role that the incubator or accelerator played in yourgrowth doesn't need to be a shameless plug for the western Acelerator orincubator. But I know that that was part of your journey, so HEU'd commenton how it helped if it helped y, absolutely well, I'm going to shamelessplogit because it was a phenomenal business program. The best and I started the business that I havewithout a business PLA. I didn't even know what a business plan was. I, asyou mentioned, I didn't do any market research. I didn't have marketvalidation. I literally just started, and so I knew I knew how to makeproducts. The Western accelerator program taught me how to run mybusiness, and so that is that's huge. I mean that is an enormous part of thesuccess that I've had within the past year for sure Passom, that's greatgreat great, to hear tha when we opened the doors on it back in the early two,thousands, the idea as that really there was no place on campus for peopleto go and start to work on ideas or tern ideas, Intho companies. So it'snice to start to see. Here's the you know full circle, someof the big wins that are coming out of it. So I think that you're, one of thenext big winds wo, keep going Um anything else going on that's new andexciting that you're excited for the next chapter. Here I mean the expansionacross Canadas, big anything else, going on the Yer etited to talk aboutyeah I mean we've got, we've got kind of four major partners that wererolling out in the next two weeks to two months, and so it looks like we'regoing to probably double in our volume and in our sales before the heares oe,which is pretty intense lot of challenges that were going to be facingwith the growth by a lot of exciting opportunities coming down the pipeline,so yeah staytuned great couple, O rapid fire things fer you here so couple ofquestions. I ask all of our guess: Where do you do your best thinking? I do my best thinking while I'm runnings still running. This is good bohobars fueling the running still absolutely, and you know I'm not goingto lie. I do I eat them after a run and when I have to Kindof, keep working andkeep going after. I'm finished N. my run, I grab a Beaubar for sure awesome.It will be actually dinner for me today after this we're going to head intoclass together, so I'm not going to have time to grab a full meal. So it'sgoing to be dinner for me, when do you run usually usually run Kinda lateafternoon, so the girls at the bakery finish up around four. I usually gohome, go for a run and then kindo get back to work. After that I read, I don't know if it was aPaulgram article or a Steve Blank article early days at the accelerators.They talk about the three things that founder should be doing: buildingproduct talking to customers and...

...exercising so it sounds like soundslike you're doing. That sounds like you're you're, maybe not doing theactual baking yourself anymore. All the time do you have to have burn marks onyour fingers still ORSO, so a building productor thinking o about producttalking to customers or selling and then good to her you're, stillexercising advice you might give your twenty year old self. Don't be so afraid of everything take rests. Take take rests. Take onNew Challenges: explore the world, expand your horizonsand just go for it. Take swings, yeah, 'causethere's, a bunch of students atse third, fourth year, right now, trying to figure out what they shoulddo. Some contemplating you know working ina big company, some contemplating maybe tackling an idea which way would younudge them at this point, tackle that ide Wull? You have to loseroslose you're, never going to know if you don't try it and you can always gothe other route after absolutely, nothing to lose at this point and thinkabout from an entrepreneur's perspective. Had this conversation lastweek with a a couple of guests that we had in, would you rather hire the person who's put in twoyears at a corporate job and has great reviews, or would you hire the personthat spent the last two years pursuing something that they were passionateabout and tried to sell, didn't work and fell ontheir face? Which one would you hire the passionate person, yeah ver surethe fall on your face? People are worried that that's going to look likea blemish, but the story you get to tell afterwards is just so much moreincredible than than a corporate story. So there's another datapoint anything youwish you would have learned sooner. I think that would probably be the sameanswer. As I told my twenty year, oldself take my wrist. Take more rest,try more things, don't be afraid to just get out there and try it becausethe foedback you get in real time is the best feedback you're going to getand theny skills that you wish. You had in your toolbelt that you would havehad from the very beginning, I would say, maybe a little bit more likebusiness background and business knowledge would have helped in theearly days B'cause. There was a lot of fumbling in the early days trying tofigure out. How do I run a business? How do I? How do I do this? So if I hadhide kind of the the opportunity to let's say get an education at Ivy? Ithink that would have been incredibly valuable to to starting my business forsure. Sometimes that naivetes helps though right like. Maybe you would haveoverthought ID and done the business plan and done the market researchinstead versus actually getting out there and talking to people. So that'sabsolutely truemaybe. You would have over engineered it anything that you're,uniquely good at like your superpower. My super power is singing seventies.Music. Oh, that's a good one! Super Embarrassing! That's a good one! Doesthat has that helped you in your business? I'm sure it has at some point:I'M A CHIR! No, that's that's! What closes the major deals? I A sangingseventy tones, yes charming people with my knowledge of seventy yeah. I like itanything from B, Running Your Business perspective, anything that you are like,uniquely good at that you've that you've really sharpened the pencil onthat you you're, really good at believe it or not. I would have to saythat I've gotten quite good at doing sales. Oh, even though it's notsomething that I particularly enjoy, I think maybe perhaps because I don'tenjoy it. I think that I recognize that and I'm pushing myself kind of as hardas I can to get really good at it, so that eventually someday I might enjoyit. What makes you good at selling, I think, having conversations instead oftrying to sell a product so talking to whether it's a customer o retailer or adistributor just talking to them about what their business looks like and whattheir needs are and then being able to...

...talk to them about how I can fill thatcout awesome, actually listening to people having real conversations withpeople, marring rel conversations, absoletely cool, anything else that youwish. I would have asked you. No. I think we've covered a lot of alot of material awesome. Well, it's been good. Having you on and hearingyour story, we got to spend a bunch of time on feedback and how you work thatinto e step of the process, so things clear that a lot of the feeback thatyou got really changed the tradectory of Your Business at ddabsolutely. Sothat's that's really good. To hear thank you for taking the time andhanging ut with us. We're going to go do a session with a few classes now,but it's been really good. Soou know! Thank you. U T you've been listening tothe Ivionchminor potcast to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe tothe show in your favorite podcast player, or visit ivy dot ca forward,slash entrcrenership! Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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