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CPG Troublemakers

Business & Economics Podcasts

This is the CPG Troublemakers, the place where brands and makers, food and beverage nerds, and investors all gather to cause a little bit of mischief. We welcome industry leaders, white space thinkers, and channel partners to come together to turn problems into opportunities or at the very least have a little fun along the way.


United States


This is the CPG Troublemakers, the place where brands and makers, food and beverage nerds, and investors all gather to cause a little bit of mischief. We welcome industry leaders, white space thinkers, and channel partners to come together to turn problems into opportunities or at the very least have a little fun along the way.




Overcoming Doubts and Doubters: The Story of an Accidental Entrepreneur With Hint Founder, Kara Goldin

Kara Goldin is the Founder of Hint Inc., a beverage company most known for Hint Water, an award-winning unsweetened water with hints of fruit. Kara has been named one of InStyle’s Badass 50, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Fortune's Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink, and EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. She is an active speaker, writer, and host of her podcast, The Kara Goldin Show, where she interviews founders, entrepreneurs, and other disruptors across various industries. Kara is the author of the best-selling book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters. In this episode… Entrepreneurs rise when they identify a problem and create a solution others claim is beneficial. But the most successful business leaders rise to the top because of their passion — which is vital in the industry. Emerging entrepreneurs may encounter opposition when starting their business venture. Passion plays the role of keeping entrepreneurs focused on their goals and finding the right people to bring along on their journey. Business leader Kara Goldin encountered her share of naysayers when she began her career as an entrepreneur. Although she had discovered a gap in the market for her product, she found it difficult to find supporters to help kick-start her company. While the skeptics could have dismantled her goals, her passion kept her dedicated to her mission. Eventually, she found the right people who believed in her product — and her company is flourishing. Her story inspires fellow entrepreneurs who are overcoming their own challenges. In this episode of the CPG Troublemakers, host Aalap Shah welcomes Kara Goldin, Founder of Hint Inc., to discuss overcoming doubts and doubters. Kara discusses her path to entrepreneurship, the inspiration for Hint, and how she turned naysayers into partners and consumers. Kara also imparts her advice to emerging entrepreneurs.


The Journey From Buyer to Brand With Tuyyo Founder Stefanie Garcia Turner

Stefanie Garcia Turner is the Founder and CEO of Tuyyo, a modern line of Latin-American foods and beverages consisting of real ingredients. Stefanie’s inspiration behind her brand is rooted in the foods she grew up with and her passion for natural foods. As a former forager for Whole Foods, Stefanie has worked with several emerging brands, learning both the good and the bad sides of food retail. In this episode… As a food consumer, have you ever wished or wanted to make changes to some of your favorite food products? Maybe you’re loyal to a certain brand, but you would prefer it to have healthier ingredients. Or, maybe you just want to put a different spin on it because times have changed. As a consumer shopping in some of her favorite Hispanic food stores, business leader Stefanie Garcia Turner noticed not much had changed in that market since her time shopping for Latin foods as a child. Wanting better food options for the people in her culture, Stefanie realized there was room for healthier and more modern changes in the Latin food market. Instead of waiting for someone else to make changes, she stepped up to the challenge. In this episode of the CPG Troublemakers, host Steve Gaither chats with the Founder and CEO of Tuyyo, Stefanie Garcia Turner. As a former culinary school student, holding a BS in restaurant and food service management, Stefanie discusses her passion for food. Along with her career journey with Whole Foods, she shares some common mistakes made by emerging brand founders, what inspired her to start Tuyyo, and how to persuade consumers to purchase your food products.


From Founder to Foodbevy

Jordan Buckner is the Founder of Foodbevy, an online community offering resources to help food and beverage entrepreneurs scale their businesses. As a serial entrepreneur and startup advisor, Jordan is passionate about increasing the visibility of minority-owned and women-led businesses. His name appeared on Forbes list of 30 Under 30 food and beverage entrepreneurs in 2018. Jordan graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with his master’s in business administration and architecture. In this episode… As a food lover, do you want to start a company in the food and beverage industry? What do you need to know to thrive in this space? Starting and scaling a packaged food business is challenging. As a founder in the CPG industry, Jordan Buckner faced challenges and made mistakes in building a brand that had a positive impact on the industry and consumers. The lessons Jordan learned propelled him to start Foodbevy to help CPG entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing access to industry experts and resources. In this episode of the CPG Troublemakers, join host Steve Gaither as he chats with the Founder of Foodbevy, Jordan Buckner. Jordan explains how he was introduced to the CPG industry, the challenges of growing a retail business, and the solutions he provides for food and beverage entrepreneurs.


Lin Jiang - Disrupting Brown Sugar and Maple!

Chinese native Lin Jiang is the Founder and CEO of Yishi Foods, an Asian-inspired breakfast food company based in Chicago. After moving to the United States, Lin began craving the porridge her mother used to prepare for her as a child. Wanting to bring flavors to the US she grew up loving, Lin set out to create a nutritious and functional breakfast option, making the morning ritual more enjoyable. Aside from being a full-time entrepreneur, Lin is completing her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is the recipient of Chicago Booth’s C200 Women in Business Award. In this episode… Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet people skip eating a balanced and nutritious breakfast. The most conventional options are not the healthiest and contain exorbitant amounts of sugar. This is what business leader Lin Jiang realized after relocating to Chicago from China. While attending college, she adopted poor eating habits. After indulging in American cuisine, she desired meals with less sugar and healthier ingredients. Remembering how much she loved porridge as a child, she shopped for American oatmeal growing frustrated with the few sugary flavors brands offered. Inspired by her Asian heritage, she created her brand focusing on diverse flavors and essential nutrients. Learn more in this episode of the CPG Troublemakers as host Steve Gaither chats with the Founder and CEO of Yishi Foods, Lin Jiang. Lin discusses what inspired her to create Yishi Foods, how her brand makes oatmeal innovative, why peer-to-peer networking is imperative, and her strategy for expanding Yishi Foods.


Andrew Vrbas of Pacha Soap - Getting the Dirt on Conscious Capitalism

Andrew Vrbas is the Co-founder and CEO of Pacha Soap Co., a conscious capital company producing handcrafted, artisanal products that enhance well-being and captivate the senses. Andrew was inspired to start a purpose-driven organization when multimillion-dollar companies began donating proceeds of their profits to underdeveloped countries. Pacha Soap Co. headquarters is in Hastings, Nebraska, with more than 40 employees. The company distributes products in South America and East Africa. In this episode... Most mornings start with a hot shower. The routine is a privilege some Americans may take for granted. The fact is, many people outside the US are unable to start their days with a bath or shower because they don’t have access to clean running water and hygiene products due to poverty. The lack of clean water and soap is what business leader Andrew Vrbas noticed during his visits to Peru as a kid and as a student studying abroad. It broke Andrew’s heart to witness that kind of poverty and sought a way to be part of the solution. So he set out to open a soap shop in the small Peruvian town that had become so near and dear to his heart. In this episode of the CPG Troublemakers, join host Steve Gaither, as he chats with the Co-founder and CEO of Pacha Soap Co., Andrew Vrbas. Andrew discusses ethical capitalism, including the inspiration for creating Pacha Soap Co., how the brand grew from a small soap shop into an international consumer good, the future of Pacha Soap Co., and more.


Disrupting the Seltzer Set With Anthony Spina of System Seltzers

Anthony Spina is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of System Seltzers, the first alcohol-by- volume system. Consumers can choose to purchase multipacks of eight, five, or zero ABV, giving buyers the choice to dial up or dial down over the course of an evening or week. Anthony is a veteran beverage brand executive who worked as a brand manager for Pabst Brewing Company, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and White Claw before founding System Seltzers. Additionally, Anthony is the Founder of Three Degrees, a selective beverage branding company that includes beer, spirits, hard seltzer, and energy drinks. In this episode… The beverage industry has evolved heavily since the 1990s. At one point, while hanging at bars, the only options outside of hard liquor were beer, wine, and perhaps the novelty wine cooler. Gender norms also played a factor in what bargoers drank. Fast forward to the twenty-first century, alcoholic choices include craft beers, hard lemonades, and seltzers. But what about the social drinkers who have work in the morning, are trying to cut back, or prefer to socialize sans alcohol? Those are no longer hard choices, thanks to beverage brand manager and entrepreneur Anthony Spina. Now consumers can choose to dial up or dial down. Want to learn more? Join Steve Gaither in this episode of the CPG Troublemakers as he chats with the Co-founder and Co-CEO of System Seltzers, Anthony Spina. The two discuss the ever-changing beverage world, including how marketing has changed over the years, beer brands pivoting into the beverage industry, and the idea behind System Seltzers. If you’re a CPG professional who likes to stir up a little trouble, then you’ll want to tune in. Let’s get started!


Patrick Tannous - Living the Loose Leaf Life

Patrick Tannous is the Co-founder and President of Tiesta Tea, a tea company on a mission to make loose-leaf tea understandable, accessible, and affordable. Tiesta Tea specializes in sourcing over 150 ingredients from across the globe — blending them into loose-leaf teas and herbal beverages. Patrick and his partner started Tiesta Tea in 2010 while they were seniors in college at the University of Illinois-Chicago. They both have been featured in Inc. Magazine as one of their 30 Under 30 Rising Stars. When Patrick is not working, he enjoys adventuring abroad, playing sports, developing relationships with loved ones, and sharing his passion for entrepreneurship with others. In this episode… What is it that you most desire from a piping hot cup of tea? Do you wish you could revolutionize the way you consume tea? Tea is one of the most consumed products in the world and, to appreciate it, people should find a tea that is practical and full of the flavors they enjoy. Patrick Tannous at Tiesta Tea has revolutionized the way we can enjoy drinking tea and the benefits it provides. Struggling to find your favorite tea at overpriced specialty stores is a thing of the past. In this episode of the CPG Troublemakers, join host Steve Gaither as he chats with the Co-founder and President of Tiesta Tea, Patrick Tannous. Patrick shares Tiesta Tea’s origin story, the adoption of loose-leaf tea, the importance of being both a retail and e-commerce brand, and the future of Tiesta Tea.