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Taste Radio is the podcast for food & beverage professionals. We talk trends, interview the leaders and rising stars in the industry and discuss knowledge and topics that we hope entrepreneurs everywhere find useful. Tell us what you think at ask@tasteradio.com. You can also email us if you are interested in Taste Radio sponsorship opportunities. If you like Taste Radio, share it with a colleague, will ya?

Taste Radio is the podcast for food & beverage professionals. We talk trends, interview the leaders and rising stars in the industry and discuss knowledge and topics that we hope entrepreneurs everywhere find useful. Tell us what you think at ask@tasteradio.com. You can also email us if you are interested in Taste Radio sponsorship opportunities. If you like Taste Radio, share it with a colleague, will ya?
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Watertown, MA


Taste Radio is the podcast for food & beverage professionals. We talk trends, interview the leaders and rising stars in the industry and discuss knowledge and topics that we hope entrepreneurs everywhere find useful. Tell us what you think at ask@tasteradio.com. You can also email us if you are interested in Taste Radio sponsorship opportunities. If you like Taste Radio, share it with a colleague, will ya?








Ep. 159: How SoBe Co-Founder John Bello Spun ‘Sugar Water’ Into Gold

It’s remarkable to hear John Bello’s current take on SoBe, the lifestyle beverage brand that he co-founded and sold to PepsiCo for nearly $400 million. Already an accomplished marketing executive when he launched the brand in 1996, Bello helped shape SoBe’s healthy halo and exotic vibe by infusing its drinks with trendy functional ingredients like ginseng and ginkgo biloba. However, he admits that SoBe was essentially “sugar water” packaged and designed to give consumers what they believed...


Insider Ep. 30: The Goal Is To Become a Billion-Dollar Brand

August Vega is a “go big or go home” kind of entrepreneur. The founder and CEO of MALK, a super-premium brand of organic nut milks, Vega cut her teeth in the beverage business selling her wares at farmers markets in Houston. From the outset, Vega had lofty ambitions: she wanted to develop MALK into a billion-dollar brand. “I believe that we are in control of our own destiny, and why shoot for a low bar?” she said in an interview included in this episode. “It is a high bar… but we’re seeing a...


Ep. 158: Why Ignorance Is Underrated According To This Successful Entrepreneur

According to Joe Heron, ignorance is underrated. A serial beverage entrepreneur on his third startup, Heron joined us for an interview included in this episode, in which he expressed his belief that “the number one characteristic of an entrepreneur is stupidity... because you manage the opportunity, you don’t manage the risk.” Having founded and successfully sold functional drink brand Nutrisoda and Crispin, a brand of premium hard ciders, Heron is now at the helm of Copper & Kings, a...


Insider Ep. 29: Why This Two-Second Business Pitch Is So Powerful

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words." When evaluating investment opportunities, Chris Hollod, a venture capitalist focused on early-stage consumer brands, takes the adage to heart. “I tell every brand: ‘I judge you within the first two seconds of looking at your Instagram page,’” he said in an interview included in this episode. “I think it’s the most important piece of the puzzle aside from the actual packaging itself.” That perspective has helped shape Hollod’s...


Ep. 157: How This Blogger Built a $200 Million Paleo Powerhouse

A serial entrepreneur who started working for himself at age 12, Mark Sisson, has launched dozens of businesses over the course of his career. Last year, he finally hit the jackpot. Sisson is the founder of Primal Kitchen, a Paleo-centric brand of condiments and dressings that he founded in 2015. Primal Kitchen has been his biggest success as an entrepreneur; last year Kraft Heinz acquired the brand for $200 million. Although Primal Kitchen was on the market for just over three years when it...


Insider Ep. 28: This Is What It Takes to Become a Category Leader

In this episode, we examine brand-building and retail strategies for center store grocery in interviews with the founders of two category-leading brands: Katlin Smith, the founder and CEO of fast-growing baking mix brand Simple Mills, and David Eben, the founder of Carrington Farms, a leading brand of organic seeds, grains and oils. Smith is the founder and CEO of Simple Mills, a brand of natural baking mixes, crackers and cookies, that she launched in 2013. Over the past six years, Simple...


Ep. 156: Why Psychedelics and Soap Might Just Save the World

David Bronner, the Cosmic Engagement Officer of Dr. Bronner’s, wants to save the world. How, one might ask, does he plan on doing that? Simple. A lot of soap and a dash of psychedelics. Since Bronner took the reins of his family’s business in 1998, Dr. Bronner’s has become the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. The company, which also markets natural toothpaste, lip balm, shaving cream and coconut oil, generated $122 million in sales in 2018, over 30 times its revenue when...


Insider Ep. 27: Is Bend The New Boulder?

Bend, the small, yet fast-growing city in Central Oregon, has become a haven for entrepreneurship. Although the local economy had been driven by the lumber industry for over a century, Bend has in recent years seen an influx of innovative companies -- from tech to food and beverage -- launched within its borders. According the office of Oregon’s Secretary of State, Bend registers more new businesses each year than any other city in the state. Entrepreneurs often point to the Bend lifestyle,...


Ep. 155: How an Artist Became an Entrepreneur and Got Beyoncé on Board

As the saying goes: if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what if life gave you 800 million pounds of ugly, but perfectly edible watermelons? If you’re Jody Levy, you make WTRMLN WTR, a brand of cold-pressed watermelon juice beverages. A serial entrepreneur and design expert, Levy has overseen the evolution of WTRMLN WTR from a single product to a platform brand whose products are available at over 25,000 locations nationwide. Leading with a mission of sustainability and natural...


Insider Ep. 26: Feeling The Vybes on CBD & THC, Brands Prepare for The Future of Cannabis

This episode features interviews with two entrepreneurs that are advancing the conversation for cannabis-infused food and beverage brands: Jonathan Eppers, founder and CEO of Vybes, and Kristy Knoblick Palmer,co-founder and COO of Kiva Confections. A tech executive-turned-beverage entrepreneur, Eppers joined us for a discussion about the launch and development of Vybes, a CBD-infused water brand that leads with the tagline “Mind + Body Function.” Eppers discussed why he’s embraced CBD, why...


Ep. 154: How Does a Side Hustle Become a $100M Brand? Ask The CEO of Kodiak Cakes.

Kodiak Cakes CEO Joel Clark will be the first to admit that entrepreneurship isn’t a part-time job. For years, he tried to run the pancake mix brand, which launched in 1995 and is based on a family recipe, as a side-business while pursuing a graduate degree and consulting career. There were struggles, late nights and more than a few headaches, mistakes and missed opportunities. Despite the challenges, Kodiak Cakes earned a loyal consumer following and a steady streak of retail wins. Clark,...


Insider Ep. 25: How To Get This $100 Million Fund To Invest In Your Brand

If you want to get the attention of Boulder Food Group (BFG), a venture capital firm that recently launched a new $100 million fund, having a memorable package design is a good way to start. Launched in 2014 by industry veterans Tom Spier and Dayton Miller, BFG has made early-stage investments in several innovative and socially conscious food and beverage brands, including Chameleon Cold-Brew, Caulipower, Birch Benders and MALK. In an interview included in this episode of Taste Radio, Spier...


Ep. 153: Making Money or Changing the World? Justin’s Founder on How To Do Both.

Show of hands — if you sold your company for $286 million, would you go back to work for the new owner? We’re guessing there’s not many arms raised. For Justin Gold, however, leaving the company he founded in 2004 after it was acquired by Hormel Foods in 2016 was never an option. Justin’s, a pioneering brand of better-for-you nut butters and snacks, is not just his namesake — it’s his legacy and one that continues to grow. “The brand stands for something,” he said in an interview included in...


Insider Ep. 24: Hey Siri, How Do You Build a Millennial Brand?

Just three and a half months since its debut, Recess, a sparkling water brand infused with CBD and adaptogens, has generated an incredible amount of buzz. Profiled in mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes and CNBC, Recess has been dubbed the “LaCroix of CBD” and within days of its launch the products were backordered for weeks. So what’s behind the hype? In an interview included in this episode, Recess founder/CEO Benjamin Witte spoke about the brand’s creation and...


Ep. 152: Why Boxed’s CEO Believes The Future of Online Food Shopping ‘Will Feel Like Netflix’

When it launched in 2013, Boxed, an online retailer of bulk goods, had all the hallmarks of a tech startup. Audacious idea? Check. Parents’ garage as the company office? Check. Low probability of success? Check. Unlike many startups, however, Boxed has thrived since its debut. The company, dubbed the “Costco for millennials,” reached $100 million in sales in 2016 and has attracted interest from a variety of investors, who’ve injected over $243 million into the business. Last year Kroger...


Insider Ep. 23: How Successful Entrepreneurs Network, Use Equity & Partner With Celebs

Over the course of his career, Ryan Lewendon, a partner with influential CPG law firm The Giannuzzi Group, has worked with hundreds of CPG brands, including Vitaminwater, Krave Jerky, Vita Coco and BodyArmor. His experience has provided him with a window into how successful entrepreneurs think and operate. In an interview included in this episode, Lewendon offered his perspective on the elements of a winning brand and what it takes to succeed. As part of our conversation, he discussed how to...


Ep. 151: How Being ‘Globally Mobile’ Helped This CEO Become a Better Leader

Fever-Tree North America CEO Charles Gibb describes himself as “globally mobile,” and, based on his resume, that’s an apt description. Although he’s lived and worked in New York for nearly a decade, his career in the spirits industry has included executive-level roles based in cities across Europe and Australia. In an interview included in this episode, Gibb said that the experience has helped shape his leadership of Fever-Tree North America, the U.S.-based subsidiary of the super-premium...


Insider Ep. 22: Plant-Based Brands Are Changing The Food Industry Faster Than You Think

In this episode, we explored the evolving landscape for plant-based foods through conversations with Ben Mand, the CEO of coconut beverage brand Harmless Harvest and Michele Simon, the founder and executive director of industry trade group the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). Mand, who joined Harmless Harvest last year, spoke about the company’s recent revamp of its dairy-free, coconut-based yogurt drink and how lessons from its initial launch have shaped the company’s innovation...


Ep. 150: The Two Rules That Helped This Juice Entrepreneur Build a $60 Million Business

Three decades ago, Marygrace Sexton launched Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co. with an ambitious goal: give consumers across the country access to high-quality, fresh-squeezed juice. While the dream was big, Sexton launched the company in a production facility about the size of a one-bedroom apartment and the first bottles were shipped in a delivery truck borrowed from a local meat company. Natalie’s, named after Sexton’s first daughter, has since grown by leaps and bounds in the years...


Insider Ep. 21: This is Why Nestlé Invested a Half-Billion in Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan is well aware of the increasingly competitive landscape for coffee. Yet while some companies are racing to expand and innovate, Blue Bottle, one of the most admired coffee roasters and retailers in the world, is taking a patient and restrained approach. “Our way is not the right way if we want to be the most commercially successful company in the country. Meehan said in an interview included in this episode. “There are companies ahead of us that are doing...