Gooder
Investing From Soil to Shelf featuring Robyn O’Brien

Investing From Soil to Shelf featuring Robyn O’Brien

October 18, 2021

Robyn O’Brien is the Co-founder and Managing Director of rePlant Capital, a financial services firm dedicated to assisting US farmers’ transition to regenerative and organic agriculture. rePlant Capital aims to accomplish this by deploying a series of proprietary funds, with the ultimate goal of reversing climate change.

Robyn is a globally recognized voice in the food industry and has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by The New York Times. Her TEDx talk (based on her book, The Unhealthy Truth) exposes the shortcomings of our food system and has been viewed millions of times — it’s even influenced policy, legislation, and product formulation. Additionally, Robyn has advised CEOs and executives at multinational CPG companies, startups, and farm organizations for the last 15 years.

In this episode…

Many people assume that in order to create healthier food, all you have to do is find the right ingredients. But is that really all it takes?

Robyn O’Brien understands that to provide nutritious foods, you have to go back to the roots — actually, the dirt around the roots. Food is only as healthy as the soil it grows in. For decades, farmers have dumped chemicals into the soil of our produce and planted genetically modified seeds. Only 1% of currently-owned farmlands are organic. In order to change the status quo, farmers will have to overcome old traditions and financial roadblocks. What’s being done to help farmers transition to a more planet-friendly approach?

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Robyn O’Brien, Co-founder and Managing Director of rePlant Capital, to discuss how her team is investing in a more organic future. Robyn talks about how rePlant is empowering farmers to produce organic foods, why soil health is essential to restoring nutrition, and the inequality embedded in the US agricultural system.

Whole Food Nutrition for Long-Term Cognitive Health featuring Erika Lepczyk

Whole Food Nutrition for Long-Term Cognitive Health featuring Erika Lepczyk

October 11, 2021

Erika Lepczyk is the CEO and Co-founder of Memore, an innovative brand dedicated to sustaining long-term cognitive health. Memore offers functional blends that provide convenient and versatile ways to fill nutritional gaps with whole food nutrition. Memore’s blends have shown to be effective in slowing decline and reducing Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 53%.

Erika aims to help break the common misconception that Alzheimer’s is hereditary — only 2% of cases are. By introducing the world to Memore’s functional blends, she hopes to educate consumers on preventive health and the positive impact that high-quality, whole food ingredients have on brain activity. Erika is a graduate of Michigan State University and has over 15 years of experience working with DTC brands.

In this episode…

Some people believe that fighting Alzheimer’s is a lost cause. If it’s in your genes, there’s nothing you can do about it, right?

Erika Lepczyk dug into the causes of Alzheimer’s and found out that only 2% of cases are hereditary — meaning that there is a chance to prevent and slow the disease. She’s dedicated her career to educating people about cognitive health and creating functional blends that fill the gaps in whole food nutrition. Her goal is to create a prevention-based solution, rather than just another treatment option or quick-fix.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Erika Lepczyk, Co-founder and CEO of Memore, to discuss her journey to prevent cognitive diseases through whole food nutrition. Erika talks about why she started Memore, her past DTC experience that aided the start of a new company, and lessons she’s learned during her entrepreneurial journey.

Food for a Bigger Cause featuring Regina Anderson

Food for a Bigger Cause featuring Regina Anderson

October 4, 2021

Regina Anderson is the Executive Director of Food Recovery Network, the largest student-led movement fighting food waste and working to end hunger in America. Regina joined the team in 2015 and is responsible for setting the vision, strategy, and fundraising efforts for Food Recovery Network. She works with stakeholders, partners, and the team at national headquarters to make food recovery the norm and not the exception.

Regina has worked in the nonprofit sector for over a decade. At the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh, she worked with employers in all sectors to establish internship programs and to match talented individuals with those opportunities. At Independent Sector and LIFT in Washington, DC, Regina worked to raise awareness of the nonprofit sector's abilities to solve society's most complex issues.

In this episode…

Some folks think that people are homeless and hungry as a result of poor decisions. But with 42 million people going hungry across the US, there are obviously much bigger factors at play. What are people doing to find a solution?

Food Recovery Network is partnering with universities in 46 states to bring perfectly good cafeteria food — that would normally get thrown away — to hungry communities. It was started by four university students who saw food that could be purchased at 4:59 getting tossed into the garbage at 5:01. Why not use it to feed people? Since then, it’s grown into a nationwide effort to reduce food waste and help struggling communities.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Regina Anderson, Executive Director of the Food Recovery Network, to discuss how they’re stopping hunger across the country. Regina talks about the reality of food deserts, why we should refrain from judging the poor, and how she found a passion for nonprofits.

Using Your Passion to Drive Your Company’s Mission featuring Liz Myslik

Using Your Passion to Drive Your Company’s Mission featuring Liz Myslik

September 27, 2021

Liz Myslik is a Partner at Loft Growth Partners. Loft Growth Partners invest in consumer brands that promote happier, healthier living to build great businesses that have a lasting impact. Clients include brands like The Seaweed Bath Co., Blue Dog Bakery, and Fat Snax.

Liz has spent nearly 20 years leading emerging consumer brands across the food, beverage, and fitness industries. She has been named a “Kingmaker in Consumer & Retail” by Forbes, one of the “Most Influential Women in Food & Drink” by Fortune, and a “Wonder Woman in the Natural Products Industry” by New Hope Media. Liz is also a Board Member for No Cow, The Seaweed Bath Co., Fat Snax, and Flock.

In this episode…

Building a business is exceptionally difficult. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Often, it’s one of the greatest joys and challenges that people face in their lives — second only to raising children.

Liz Myslik understands the personal and professional journey of building a business. As an entrepreneur with years of experience growing brands in the health food industry, Liz understands the operational, financial, marketing, and sales sides, as well as the most important part — the people. She knows there are people out there like her: folks who are following their passion to make the world a better place. As Liz says, do what’s right for the world and business will follow.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Liz Myslik, Partner at Loft Growth Partners, to discuss why staying true to your passion to help the world will reap better long-term results. Liz talks about her father’s advice that changed her career outlook, the difference between mission-driven and money-hungry companies, and resources for new business owners looking for investors.

Re-Imagining the Plant-Powered Food Industry featuring Cherie Jackson

Re-Imagining the Plant-Powered Food Industry featuring Cherie Jackson

September 20, 2021

Cherie Jackson is the Co-founder and CEO of Frooze Balls, a nutritious snack company. Frooze Balls are made with whole food and packaged with 100% recyclable material. You can find them in every major supermarket in New Zealand, and select stores throughout Australia, the UK, Europe, and the US.

Cherie has over 20 years of successful global business development experience for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits. She is an expert at intuitively applying market data from primary and secondary sources to develop effective growth strategies. Cherie is also a Marketing Consultant for Moonlight Beverage Company. Previously, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for Jindilli and the Communications Director for Hinsdale Adventist Academy.

In this episode…

The health food industry is growing at an expedited rate. It used to be that nourishing food meant granola. Now there are vegan, gluten-free, and plant-based foods in every shape, size, and color. How are companies creating food that is both nourishing and delicious?

Cherie Jackson, Co-founder of Frooze Balls, offers a great product that answers both of those needs. Frooze Balls are made from a combination of dates and nuts, rolled in coconut, and filled with two delicious flavors. Cherie believes that every human should have access to nutritious food. That means the food should be inexpensive, widely available, and most importantly — tasty. How is Cherie expanding the plant-based food industry with Frooze Balls?

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Cherie Jackson, Co-founder and CEO of Frooze Balls, to discuss continuing trends in the nutritious food CPG industry. Cherie talks about her core beliefs for running a business, how she got involved with Frooze Balls, and lessons she learned while growing the business.

Risking It All for the Entrepreneurial Dream featuring Debbie Wei Mullin

Risking It All for the Entrepreneurial Dream featuring Debbie Wei Mullin

September 13, 2021

Debbie Wei Mullin is the Founder and CEO of Copper Cow Coffee, the first premium Vietnamese coffee company in the US. Copper Cow Coffee connects sustainable farms with the American specialty coffee market, which is the largest in the world. Their signature Pour Over Latte kits come with delicious, sweet creamers and single-serve filters that fit over any cup, so customers can brew a perfect latte anywhere.

Debbie’s first entrepreneurial venture was founding Wei Pantry, a nationally distributed Vietnamese all-natural heritage food line. Before that, Debbie worked as a Consultant for World Bank, managing their supply chain development.

In this episode…

Maybe you’ve got an enviable position with a top-dollar company. Maybe you’ve got a steady job with health benefits and pension — but something doesn’t feel right. What can you do when the entrepreneurial bug has bitten?

Debbie Wei Mullin found herself in a similar position. Though she held a cushy position in supply chain development at World Bank, she felt stuck. Her innovative ideas were constantly pushed to the wayside, and she dreamed of a company where she could change the status quo and create great new products. So instead of finding that business, she built it. Now Debbie has created a household-name coffee brand with distribution in major retailers like Walmart, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Whole Foods. What does it take to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality?

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Debbie Wei Mullin, Founder and CEO of Copper Cow Coffee, to discuss her entrepreneurial journey. Debbie talks about why she left her steady corporate job to start her own business, the impact of her sister and brother-in-law’s support, and the unique aspects of Copper Cow Coffee. Debbie also shares tips for venturing out on your own entrepreneurial journey!

Staffing and Executive Recruiting in the Natural Products Industry featuring Angela Marturano

Staffing and Executive Recruiting in the Natural Products Industry featuring Angela Marturano

September 6, 2021

Angela Marturano is the Founder and President of Orchid Holistic Search, an executive search firm that goes beyond the simple matching of a job description to a curriculum vitae. Orchid Holistic Search connects brands in the natural products industry with the right talent to create healthy, long-term employment.

Previously, Angela was the Sales and Recruitment Executive for Venteon Finance and the Territory Sales Manager for Arcadia Brewing Company in Michigan. She founded Orchid Holistic Search with her husband in 2010 after realizing there was a lack of recruiting specialists in the natural products industry. Angela’s experience in HR and her husband's experience as a naturopathic doctor proved to be the perfect combination for their new company. Together, they work to deeply understand each clients’ mission, culture, and vision to deliver exceptional results quickly.

In this episode…

You have a wonderful company in the natural products industry. You have a beautiful vision of better-for-you foods, beverages, and wellness practices. Now all you need is a stellar team. How do you get started? 

Angela Marturano is the woman to call. She’s dedicated herself to finding quality executive candidates for companies in the natural products industry through her agency, Orchid Holistic Search. It’s not your average recruiting agency — Angela dives into each clients’ mission, culture, and vision to fully understand which candidates would be the best match. Due to her efforts, 100% of Orchid Holistic executive searches last year resulted in an offer to a qualified candidate. 

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Angela Marturano, Founder and President of Orchid Holistic Search, to discuss executive recruiting in the natural products industry. Angela talks about why she started Orchid Holistic Search, how the business has changed over the years and her advice for candidates and companies looking to hire. 

The Future of CPG and the Hemp Industry featuring Jessica Tonani

The Future of CPG and the Hemp Industry featuring Jessica Tonani

August 30, 2021

Jessica Tonani is the Co-founder and CEO of Verda Bio, a cannabis research company. Verda Bio performs genomic, analytical, and agricultural research on cannabis and cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

Jessica Tonani is a biotechnology professional with over two decades of experience in life sciences at firms. Jessica has been named one of the “most interesting people in cannabis” by The Seattle Times and a “cannabis leading lady” by Cannabis Now. Additionally, she has been widely quoted as an expert in publications such as Nature, Science, Popular Science, Bloomberg, High Times, Genome Technologies, and Entrepreneur.

In this episode…

Today, the topic of cannabis is widely growing. People love it, hate it, or just misunderstand it. What are companies doing today to magnify the benefits of cannabis and diminish the stigma?

The teams at Verda Bio and Basic Jane are busy researching the medicinal utility of cannabis and working to make wellness products readily available. One of their earliest hemp products was created to relieve knee pain. It started when a co-founder’s mother asked for a solution to her terrible knee arthritis since she couldn’t use NSAIDs anymore. After two years of research and development, they finally created a product the mother loved — as did all her friends. It was so beneficial that they decided to commercialize the product, and the rest is history.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Jessica Tonani, the Co-founder and CEO of Verda Bio, to discuss the future of the hemp industry and CPG. Jessica talks about the hurdles the hemp industry currently faces, their goals for the future, and why she left a career in biotech to research hemp. Plus, Jessica shares how Verda Bio’s research and plant-based topicals are positively impacting the community.

The Evolving Definition of Natural Brands Featuring Karen Frame

The Evolving Definition of Natural Brands Featuring Karen Frame

August 23, 2021

Karen Frame is the CEO and Founder of Makeena, a company dedicated to connecting consumers with brands that are healthy for people and the planet. Makeena offers cash and rewards for purchasing eco-friendly and nutritional products. Their app provides a one-stop-shop for consumers looking to save and brands trying to get discovered.

Karen Frame is a repeat founder in the tech space, an attorney, and a former CPA. She also has over 25 years of experience as an executive in the software and data industries for companies including Accenture, CipherCloud, and Frontier Communications.

In this episode…

Imagine an app that could help you find discounts on healthy foods, recipes, and products that fit your dietary requirements — a virtual one-stop-shop for all your natural food needs. Does it sound too good to be true?

Good news — it already exists! Makeena is a free app so consumers can discover, find, and earn rewards with brands whose products meet their dietary needs and lifestyle preferences. Once they buy a product, all they have to do is scan a barcode, take a snapshot of the receipt, and then start earning cash and rewards. And it’s also an excellent way for brands to get discovered. Brands get to engage with the consumer throughout the app’s dashboard and learn more about the shopper to become more efficient with their marketing budget.

On this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Karen Frame, Founder and CEO of Makeena, to discuss how Makeena benefits both consumers and retailers in the natural food industry. Karen talks about how she became passionate about natural foods, how Makeena built its one-stop-shop app, and her goals for the company’s future.

Aligning Your PR and Marketing Strategies featuring Jess Windell

Aligning Your PR and Marketing Strategies featuring Jess Windell

August 16, 2021

Jess Windell is the Founder of Maven Consulting, a strategic communications and public relations consultancy. Jess launched Maven Consulting in 2020 to help consumer brands get their PR strategy on the right track using the necessary tools for growth.

Jess Windell has spent 12 years working in public relations. Her previous roles include the Vice President of BAM, a PR agency, and the PR Consultant for Perfect Snacks, a fresh snack brand leader. Jess is also the current Vice President of Naturally San Diego, a nonprofit organization and business network that fosters sustainability and develops leadership in the San Diego natural products community.

In this episode…

Many companies face a disconnect between their marketing and PR departments. But what kind of growth could your company experience if you bridged the gap?

Jess Windell created Maven Consulting to link the PR and marketing departments. While most people think of PR as media relations, Jess thinks of it as any relationship you have with a stakeholder that matters to your business. She knows how to answer questions including, “How do I build better relationships with my investors?” and “How do I clarify my message and get it in front of the audience?”

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by the Founder of Maven Consulting, Jess Windell, to discuss connecting your PR and marketing strategies. Jess clarifies some misconceptions about PR, explains why she wanted to create her own agency, and gives tips about how to develop better business relationships.

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