The Pack Heavy Podcast
80. Jake Karls - Co Founder of Mid-Day Squares | You need to be building relationships and making noise

80. Jake Karls - Co Founder of Mid-Day Squares | You need to be building relationships and making noise

June 17, 2022

Founded by Lezlie, Nick & Jake in 2018 - Mid-Day Squares is a chocolate manufacturer based in Montreal, Quebec that many of you will be very familiar with.

The trio at MDS are creating something special by strategically bringing us behind the scenes of the operation, showing the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. 

A rare approach when building a food company that looks a lot like a Nike / tech startup / reality TV show hybrid.

My intention with today’s interview was to learn a little more specifically about the rainmaker / hype man / personality behind the brand - Jake Karles. His daily mindset, approach to generating content, wins, losses and most importantly some critical lessons learned throughout the process of building MDS. 

Enjoy!

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With 3 SKUs designed for those on the go that want to cut their hunger and cravings in between meals, MDS Functional Chocolate Bars are everything a chocolate bar isn't and everything a protein bar wishes it was > made entirely with superfoods and ingredients that are raw, vegan, gluten-free and organic. 

Found Canada wide in many independent and major retail banners, and with growing distribution in the USA, getting your hands on an MDS chocolate bar couldn’t be easier - and definitely worth a couple of your hard earned $$.

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Web: https://www.middaysquares.com/

IG: @middaysquares

LinkedIn: Jake Karls

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

79. Business, endurance and chocolate with Kristyn Carriere - Co Founder of Seven Summits Snacks

79. Business, endurance and chocolate with Kristyn Carriere - Co Founder of Seven Summits Snacks

June 11, 2022

Based in Edmonton, Alberta and founded in 2019 by Kristyn and Leanna Carriere, Seven Summits Snacks produces high quality chocolate that is specifically targeting the niche modern endurance athlete, outdoor goer and healthy indulger.

With 3 Flavours in 2 formats currently in the marketplace (The Everest, Aconcagua and Denali - and with 4 more to come) 7SS is paying homage to the tallest mountain peaks on each of the seven continents, and in memory of the late RH Fisher’s last mountaineering adventure on Mt Everest. 

Today's episode digs right into the 7SS startup story, current business model, their successful crowdfunding campaign, the chocolate industry and everything in between! 

Kristyn has her BSc. in Nutrition and Food Science and a wealth of experience creating and advising in a technical capacity for chocolate and candy bar manufacturing, nutrition panel advice, providing consumer insights, and creating quality specifications. A great episode for every founder in this space.

For 15% off your first order be sure to use the promo code - CHOCO15  

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Web: https://sevensummitssnacks.com/ 

LinkedIn: Kristyn Carriere

Alberta Treasury Board, BoostR crowdfunding platform: https://www.atbboostr.ca/

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

78. Mixing Art with Science | A deep dive into plant based cheese with Karen McAthy - CEO & Co Founder of Lumi Foods (Blue Heron Creamery)

78. Mixing Art with Science | A deep dive into plant based cheese with Karen McAthy - CEO & Co Founder of Lumi Foods (Blue Heron Creamery)

June 4, 2022

It was a pleasure and an honor chatting with Karen on this episode. Karen is a globally recognized leader in the field of plant-based cheesemaking, with extensive experience as a chef in addition to a concrete academic background in political science and biology.

Her level of knowledge, real world experience and willingness to share on this episode puts it right up there as one of the best conversations to date for us all to learn from.

As well as covering the Blue Heron & Lumi Foods startup stories, we cover Karen's immensely intimate knowledge of plant based cheese making, where it fits into our history books, the balance of art & science, old traditions & new technologies, and what the future looks like in this space.

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Blue Heron Creamery (Est. 2016) is Lumi’s heritage brand that produces high-quality, natural, aged, artisan plant based cheeses that are produced with newly created scientific methodologies. 

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Web: https://lumifoods.com/

Web: https://blueheroncheese.com/ 

Design Studio: https://arithmeticcreative.com/  

Book: The art of plant-based cheesemaking, second edition, expanded by Karen McAthy

LinkedIn: Karen McAthy

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

77. Industry Case Study | Business, Health & Psychedelics with Jack Boon - Founder & Owner of Jungle HQ

77. Industry Case Study | Business, Health & Psychedelics with Jack Boon - Founder & Owner of Jungle HQ

May 28, 2022

This episode is a little different from the usual Pack Heavy Podcast that you’re used to, but one that I really enjoyed and recommend you need to hear.

The fitness industry is obviously very different to the food processing and CPG world that we all know so well. I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to look outside of our four walls for inspiration, and for the reminder that business is business and some fundamentals just don't change. 

I met Jack in 2013 when I hired him as my personal trainer when I was living in Melbourne, Australia. It was evident from day one that Jack had an incredible amount of knowledge and passion for the fitness industry, a sincere way to connect and motivate his clients unlike any other trainer I had previously met AND a business and marketing brain that was being unleashed on his first business endeavor at the time - Gript.  

Today's conversation is primarily focused on Jack's highly regarded boutique gym, Jungle HQ. We touch on his social media & content creation strategy, the incredible importance of not being afraid to stand out on your own and speak your truth in a very crowded market, AND some great conversation on his experiences with Psychedelics (primarily DMT & Psilocybin) and how it's greatly impacted his mental health and outlook on life.

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Jack is a highly regarded and sought after coach, having worked with a vast range of individuals within the general population through to celebrity actors, international models, elite athletes and high performing corporate CEO’s. The pandemic forced many to adapt their service delivery which ultimately stimulated the birth of Living Rewired.

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Web: https://junglehq.com.au/ 

Instagram: @jungle_jack_

Podcast: The Living Rewired Podcast

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

76. Pre launch strategy & selling with Damien Law - Founder at Effin’ Good Snacks

76. Pre launch strategy & selling with Damien Law - Founder at Effin’ Good Snacks

May 20, 2022

We cover a lot of ground on today's episode with Damien with a huge focus on his current pre launch strategy and formula. This is an awesome episode for anyone out there looking to hit the ground running with a growing mailing list and audience on TikTok, some sales in the bank and a big buzz around your launch into the marketplace. 

Get out your pen and paper - I think that Damien is executing a textbook pre launch strategy and I can guarantee that there will be something that you will be able to take and put right into play within your own business. 

Damien is currently in the process of reinventing your favorite sugar and carb-loaded cookies from childhood, by replacing them with Almonds and a sweetener blend (Allulose & Monk Fruit) 

No dairy or gluten. No long ingredient list with big words. Just a sweet, delightful treat that'll satisfy your late-night sweet tooth.

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Web: https://effingoodsnacks.com/ 

LinkedIn: Damien Law

TiKTok: @damienlaw123

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

75. Acquisitions & going public with Connie Marples - Founder of Boosh Food

75. Acquisitions & going public with Connie Marples - Founder of Boosh Food

May 13, 2022

Connie generously tells the Boosh story, going into a lot of detail on the major mechanics involved when getting her business off the ground and into the world. 

Among many things, we discuss their recent acquisitions of Salt Spring Harvest, Pulse Kitchen and Beanfields chips, a little on brand development AND what it took to take Boosh public in 2021. 

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Founded in 2017 and sold in hundreds of retail locations right across Canada and the USA - Boosh makes plant-based ready to eat & easy to prepare comfort foods, vegan cheeses, pates, dips & now, Beanfields chips.

Boosh was created for one simple reason - to help health conscious consumers meet their goals by providing convenient plant-based meals for people who find it challenging to prepare meals from scratch.

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Web: https://www.booshfood.com

LinkedIn: Connie Marples

Brand Natural Design Studio: https://www.brandnatural.ca/ 

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

74. The startup rush with Lauren Bensadoun, Co-Founder of BUZZD Nutrition

74. The startup rush with Lauren Bensadoun, Co-Founder of BUZZD Nutrition

May 6, 2022

There’s a lot of gold packed into today's episode - my key takeaways include market research and early product testing, the value of building a strong network of peers, some early mistakes and lessons learned by the duo and the critical nature of distribution partners.

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Launched in November 2021 by Lauren Bensadoun and fiancé Alex Burrows, and located in Toronto, Ontario - BUZZD Nutrition is on a mission to make superfoods as easy and delicious as possible for the health conscious consumer to add to their daily routine. 

Starting with a line of superfood creamers produced from locally sourced, organic and non-GMO ingredients, BUZZD meets at the intersection of the dairy-free milk alternative and superfoods market. 

BUZZD creamers can currently be found via their own website & SwitchGrocery with many more retail locations soon to come.

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Web: https://www.buzzdnutrition.com/ 

LinkedIn: Lauren Bensadoun

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

73. The explosive growth of Natural & Organic, and what that means for your CPG - LIVE from the CHFA trade show floor with Richard Pollock

73. The explosive growth of Natural & Organic, and what that means for your CPG - LIVE from the CHFA trade show floor with Richard Pollock

April 26, 2022

LIVE from the CHFA podcast booth, Richard and I discussed the continued & accelerated growth of the Natural & Organic segment, some common challenges throughout the industry, and a little history around the CHFA itself. 

I would like to thank the whole CHFA team for the opportunity to participate and for providing such an awesome space to chat AND to Richard for taking time out of his busy schedule on the day.

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Richard Pollock is the President & CEO at Pauling Labs - a Canadian company who manufacture a range of natural wellness consumer brands including Ener-C.

Richard brings a unique & insightful perspective built from real world experience and over 2 decades embedded in the CPG industry.

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Formed in 1964 from a grassroots community of health food pioneers, the Canadian Health Food Association is Canada’s largest national trade association dedicated to the natural health and organic products industry. 

The association represents manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, growers and importers of natural and organic products, including foods, vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, fibers and health and beauty aids. 

The CHFA represents more than 1,000 business owners and operators within an industry that contributes $3.5 billion to the Canadian economy.

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Web: https://www.tryenerc.com/ 

LinkedIn: Richard Pollock

Web: https://chfa.ca/ 

Become a CHFA Member : here

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

72. James Donaldson - CEO at BC Food & Beverage talks common industry challenges, upcoming events, sales and leadership

72. James Donaldson - CEO at BC Food & Beverage talks common industry challenges, upcoming events, sales and leadership

April 22, 2022

In the same vein as last week's episode with Debra Hellbach, James Donaldson brings nearly 30 years of industry knowledge and experience to the helm of the BC Food & Beverage Association. We discuss a lot throughout the conversation including some common challenges that are being faced throughout the industry, upcoming member events, and some great insight into sales and leadership. 

Once again, a great episode for any food processor looking to hear some insights from another of our most well regarded and experienced food industry representatives.

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BC Food & Beverage is a not-for-profit industry association representing micro, small, medium, and large food and beverage manufacturers in British Columbia, whose membership represents approximately $7 billion in industry revenues.

Since 2004 BC Food & Beverage has helped shape, support and grow thousands of food & beverage businesses from start-up to multi-national companies. 

Their strong network, values based approach and unparalleled industry expertise allows them to support their members in every stage and area of their business. 

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Web: https://bcfb.ca/ 

LinkedIn: James Donaldson 

Email : james@bcfb.ca 

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

71. Domestic food supply resilience, supporting local and industry chit chat with Debra Hellbach - Manager at the Centre for Seafood Innovation at VIU

71. Domestic food supply resilience, supporting local and industry chit chat with Debra Hellbach - Manager at the Centre for Seafood Innovation at VIU

April 15, 2022

With over 35 years of experience across private industry & federal and provincial governments, a Masters’ in Communications and a Bachelors’ in Food Science, I couldn't have asked for a more qualified guest to help us understand the importance of a resilient domestic food supply and to provide some insight into the local food processing world. We cover a lot of ground including innovation in the seafood industry, the current labor crisis & programs that processors can engage in. 

A great episode for any food processor looking to hear some insights from one of our most well regarded and experienced food industry professionals. 

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The Centre for Seafood Innovation (CSI) is a trusted source for seafood industry members to access infrastructure, equipment and resources required to foster and grow a competitive and resilient sector. CSI harnesses existing and emerging expertise, infrastructure and programs to facilitate the development of research, public relations and commercialization activities that address current and future industry needs.

Their overarching mandate is to create new opportunities for BC seafood businesses and strengthen food security so British Columbians can rely on locally grown, harvested and processed food now and for generations to come.

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Web: https://research.viu.ca/centre-seafood-innovation# 

LinkedIn: Debra Hellbach

Email : Debra.Hellbach@viu.ca 

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Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon & Google Podcasts

Please support this podcast by checking out our show sponsor

FoodPak: https://www.foodpak.com/

A review and a positive rating will help to get this show into more business owners / operators ears - and if you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear from you : hayden@thepackheavypodcast.com

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