May 26, 2022

Seth Goldman & Chef Spike Mendelsohn (Eat The Change & PLNT Burger) - Why they decided to found two companies together, and their approach to making the world a better place

Seth Goldman & Chef Spike Mendelsohn (Eat The Change & PLNT Burger) - Why they decided to found two companies together, and their approach to making the world a better place

Our guests today are Seth Goldman and Spike Mendelsohn, co-founders of Eat The Change and PLNT Burger. Eat the Change is a snack company that’s on a mission to create chef-crafted and nutrient-dense snacks that are kind to the planet. PLNT Burger are plant-based burger restaurants. Currently they have 11 of them. Prior to going into business together, Seth is well known for being the founder of Honest Tea and Chef Spike Mendelsohn was one of the Top Chefs on the show Top Chef and started quite a few restaurant establishments including VIm & Victor, We, The Pizza, Santa Rosa Taqueria, my personal favorite Good Stuff Eatery. I’m on the record that Good Stuff makes the best burger I’ve ever tried. I’m really excited to have both Seth and Chef Spike on the podcast, not only because they are legends, but they started each of their businesses where I grew up. Seth started Honest Tea in Bethesda, which is where I was raised, and many of Spike’s restaurants are in DC and the surrounding areas. This was a thrill to have them on. Without further ado, here is Seth Goldman and Chef Spike.

Some of the questions I ask them –

  1. What were each of your attractions to entrepreneurship and food?
  2. Activist
  3. When you think about all the businesses each of you have started, what’s been the common thread?
  4. How did you guys meet each other?
  5. When was the moment that you realized you wanted to work with one another? What makes your partnership special?
  6. What was the inspiration behind PLNT Burger?
  7. How do you think about products that are better for you vs. better for the planet?
  8. Has “plant based” become a catch-all term for better for you, even though there is now a debate if plant-based alternatives are better for you than the original meat product?
  9. When you think about releasing new products, how do you make sure they are better for you and not just the planet?
    1. Incredible planet challenge
  10. Why did you decide to start Eat the Change and what is it?
    1. How did you measure impact?
    2. What’s been the reaction so far?
    3. Have to have something that’s different
    4. Did you raise outside capital
    5. Why did you found it in Bethesda?
    6. What’s your approach to creating new better-for-you products?
    7. How do you measure impact?
    8. What’s your retail approach?
  11. How do you think about launching new restaurants and CPG brands? Is there an overall strategy that ties the two together?
  12. How do you approach consumer education when it comes to what people should eat?
  13. What’s one book that inspired each of you personally and one professionally?
    1. Mission in a bottle
    2. My Life in Full - Seth
    3. The Call of the Wild - Seth
    4. Danny Meyer - Setting the Table - Spike
    5. Zappos book - Tony
  14. What’s one piece of advice each of you have for founders?
  15. What’s your favorite piece of advice that you received?
Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:12.400 --> 00:00:16.920 Hello and welcome to the consumer VC. I am your host, Michael, 2 00:00:17.160 --> 00:00:20.960 and on this show we talked about the world of venture capital and innovation in 3 00:00:21.000 --> 00:00:25.480 both consumer technology and consumer products. If you're enjoying this content, you could 4 00:00:25.480 --> 00:00:30.679 subscribe to by newsletter the consumer VC DOT sub stackcom, to get each new 5 00:00:30.679 --> 00:00:35.000 episode and more consumer news delivered straight to your inbox. Our guests today are 6 00:00:35.079 --> 00:00:40.079 seth Goldman and Spike Mendelssohn, co founders of eat the change and plant Burger. 7 00:00:40.119 --> 00:00:43.799 Eat The change is a snack company that's on a mission to create chef 8 00:00:43.880 --> 00:00:48.439 crafted and nutrient dense snacks that are kind of the planet. Plant Burger is 9 00:00:48.479 --> 00:00:54.280 a plant based Burger restaurant concept that currently has eleven locations. Prior to going 10 00:00:54.359 --> 00:00:57.679 into business together at Seth is well known for being the founder of honesty, 11 00:00:57.880 --> 00:01:00.799 and chef spike Mendelssohn was one of the top chefs on the show top chef 12 00:01:00.840 --> 00:01:06.439 and started quite a few restaurant establishments, including the vicar we, the Pizza 13 00:01:06.480 --> 00:01:11.079 Santa Rosa Tacaria and my personal favorite, good stuff eatery. I'm on the 14 00:01:11.120 --> 00:01:15.000 record that good stuff makes the best Burger I've ever tried. I was so 15 00:01:15.079 --> 00:01:19.439 excited to have both seth and chef spike on the show, not only because 16 00:01:19.480 --> 00:01:23.439 they are legends, but they also started each of their businesses where I grew 17 00:01:23.480 --> 00:01:26.319 up. Seth started honesty and Bethza, which is where I was raised, 18 00:01:26.359 --> 00:01:30.200 and many of spike's restaurants are in DC in this running areas. They are 19 00:01:30.319 --> 00:01:34.719 hometown heroes of mine. This was a thrill to have them on. Without 20 00:01:34.760 --> 00:01:42.280 further ADO, here is seth Goldman and Chefspike. Seth and spike, thank 21 00:01:42.359 --> 00:01:46.000 you so much for joining me here today. How are you both doing? 22 00:01:46.079 --> 00:01:48.439 Great, like glad to be with the coming out of the three hundred and 23 00:01:48.439 --> 00:01:53.719 one area code here. Yeah, three hundred and one, representing exactly three 24 00:01:53.760 --> 00:01:56.760 hundred one and two four. Oh right, that's right, that's right. 25 00:01:56.760 --> 00:01:59.920 I thought it too far out number. I didn't quite make the batch for 26 00:01:59.959 --> 00:02:02.079 two three hundred and one. So why does start from the very beginning with 27 00:02:02.079 --> 00:02:07.959 both of you? What was your initial attraction to entrepreneurship and, as well, 28 00:02:07.039 --> 00:02:09.800 food and beverage? You know, I come from, you know, 29 00:02:09.840 --> 00:02:16.400 many generations of family that have been in the food business, specifically restaurants. 30 00:02:16.400 --> 00:02:19.840 But yeah, I mean I grew up in it. I you know, 31 00:02:19.879 --> 00:02:24.159 I was the kid you read about washing dishes as parents restaurant and bussing tables 32 00:02:24.240 --> 00:02:28.960 and getting in trouble and that I just grew up in the business. In 33 00:02:28.960 --> 00:02:31.479 fact, the funny part is is I growing up in the business and makes 34 00:02:31.560 --> 00:02:35.680 you not want to be in the business because you're like, you know, 35 00:02:35.759 --> 00:02:38.759 you're working weekends, you're working late nights. The holidays were always stolen from 36 00:02:38.800 --> 00:02:43.520 me as a child because I was working on my family's restaurant. But over 37 00:02:43.719 --> 00:02:46.639 time I've found that it was a passion that I really loved. I think 38 00:02:46.639 --> 00:02:52.479 it was culinary school that kind of inspired me just enough to be more curious. 39 00:02:52.479 --> 00:02:55.439 Well meaning that had gone to colinary school, but I had already had 40 00:02:55.479 --> 00:03:00.240 a very young career and food and beverage business and a colinary school I was 41 00:03:00.280 --> 00:03:05.759 surrounded by people that had never picked up a knife before really. So that's 42 00:03:05.759 --> 00:03:08.479 literally all the confidence I needed to kind of tackle this and listen, I 43 00:03:08.479 --> 00:03:10.919 went on to have a great career and now I'm working was set in the 44 00:03:10.919 --> 00:03:15.719 CPG space and we also have a brand new restaurant that we're growing and it's 45 00:03:15.719 --> 00:03:20.000 a fun our business is entertaining, so it's good times. Yeah, and 46 00:03:20.120 --> 00:03:23.199 for me I had. I definitely didn't have that kind of back or my 47 00:03:23.199 --> 00:03:27.159 parents were professors, which certainly doesn't strike you as entrepreneurial, but my dad 48 00:03:27.199 --> 00:03:31.840 was always creating different programs, whether it was academically or nonprofit, and so 49 00:03:32.159 --> 00:03:37.080 we had a little family business which my brother and sisters handed down to me, 50 00:03:37.120 --> 00:03:40.159 which was selling golf balls that we found in the woods and we live 51 00:03:40.240 --> 00:03:44.280 not far from a golf course and so, you know, then I throw 52 00:03:44.360 --> 00:03:47.280 in sell lemonade to the golfers as well, and that was as sort of 53 00:03:47.319 --> 00:03:52.120 basic as it was. It was actually a little business and just got my 54 00:03:52.120 --> 00:03:57.360 appetite for selling, and then I did a hunch of nonprofit work as well 55 00:03:57.360 --> 00:04:00.240 and creating things there too. So I've always thought of myself as actually I've 56 00:04:00.240 --> 00:04:04.479 always thought of myself more as an activist, and then entrepreneurship is just the 57 00:04:04.560 --> 00:04:09.080 vehicle I've chosen to act on the things I care about. I love that. 58 00:04:09.280 --> 00:04:11.800 I love that. What do you feel like is maybe like the common 59 00:04:11.919 --> 00:04:15.120 thread when you think about maybe starting something new or just as you kind of 60 00:04:15.120 --> 00:04:18.839 maybe reflect a little bit on each of your careers? I think it's always 61 00:04:18.839 --> 00:04:25.279 about really building an incredible team and community around what you're doing. You know, 62 00:04:25.319 --> 00:04:29.480 you can never really go at it yourself unless you have a really you 63 00:04:29.519 --> 00:04:31.639 know, a really good group of people behind you. So I always love 64 00:04:31.680 --> 00:04:35.639 start up mode because, and now I've been in startup B with seth and 65 00:04:35.720 --> 00:04:40.879 it's great. We get to kind of meet New People and Hire New People, 66 00:04:40.959 --> 00:04:44.079 be part of the team and build the community and start from scratch. 67 00:04:44.120 --> 00:04:46.399 And I find if you do that right from the start it can be very 68 00:04:46.399 --> 00:04:49.920 indicative of the success you're going to have in the future. Sometimes, you 69 00:04:49.920 --> 00:04:53.319 know, if you don't take care of that and build a real good team 70 00:04:53.319 --> 00:04:57.439 and real good community from the beginning at it comes back to kind of to 71 00:04:57.480 --> 00:05:00.199 catch catch up with you. So I agree with spike. You Gott have 72 00:05:00.240 --> 00:05:02.519 a great team. But for me the common thread is it's always issues I 73 00:05:02.560 --> 00:05:05.160 care about. Like I think myself as an activist. So what are the 74 00:05:05.160 --> 00:05:10.279 issues I care about? Well, certainly climate change, health, public health 75 00:05:10.319 --> 00:05:14.759 and economic opportunity. And then how do you structure a business to address those 76 00:05:14.759 --> 00:05:17.959 things? And so one of the neat aspects for me, which is new, 77 00:05:18.360 --> 00:05:21.439 was with respect to the plant Burger, the restaurants that were launching. 78 00:05:21.560 --> 00:05:26.160 is where we were already employing more than a hundred people and so thinking about 79 00:05:26.199 --> 00:05:30.680 creating economic opportunity here in the United States. That's that's an issue I've always 80 00:05:30.879 --> 00:05:34.519 cared about and of course, have had employees, but thinking about how do 81 00:05:34.560 --> 00:05:40.160 we help, you know, entry level employees make up make a living and 82 00:05:40.199 --> 00:05:43.360 make a life, and how can we support them on that journey? Yeah, 83 00:05:43.399 --> 00:05:47.160 I love this and this combination, you know, Spike talking about how 84 00:05:47.240 --> 00:05:53.120 it's so important of working with the right people and loving, you know, 85 00:05:53.160 --> 00:05:56.639 who you work with. Maybe that's like a common thread, and then seth 86 00:05:56.800 --> 00:06:00.959 also talking about maybe externally on the on the activism front, to do of 87 00:06:00.040 --> 00:06:03.360 how not only working with great people but also giving back and being able to 88 00:06:03.360 --> 00:06:06.240 help other people as well, which I think is also, you know, 89 00:06:06.399 --> 00:06:11.199 really cool and very inspiring. I have to ask, how did you guys 90 00:06:11.439 --> 00:06:15.560 each meet one another and what was kind of a moment where you wanted to 91 00:06:15.560 --> 00:06:18.040 work one another? Obviously step in the CPG space, you know, Spike, 92 00:06:18.079 --> 00:06:21.240 coming from, you know, extensive in the restaurant space. First of 93 00:06:21.240 --> 00:06:24.439 all, Mike, we have to get you to plant Burger, because I 94 00:06:24.480 --> 00:06:27.439 know you're a big good stuff fan. Well, we need to also equally 95 00:06:27.439 --> 00:06:30.519 blow your mind with what we're doing, a plant burger. So you'd be 96 00:06:30.560 --> 00:06:33.240 a good test. You know, sething I met by chance on a panel 97 00:06:33.279 --> 00:06:38.480 and really simple as that. And Seth was gracious enough and to bring some 98 00:06:38.600 --> 00:06:43.079 honesty and some beyond meat burgers and snuck come under my seat. is how 99 00:06:43.079 --> 00:06:45.720 we tell the story. And he said, I heard your you know, 100 00:06:45.959 --> 00:06:46.839 I heard your kind. I think. He said like I heard you're like 101 00:06:46.920 --> 00:06:50.079 the Burger Guy or Burger King or something like that, and was like Oh 102 00:06:50.160 --> 00:06:55.199 yeah, and he had no clue my wife was Vegan actually and that internally 103 00:06:55.560 --> 00:06:59.839 at home we're struggling on Burger nights with the family, because she wasn't too 104 00:06:59.839 --> 00:07:01.759 happy with me. But I took the product home and we I cooked it 105 00:07:01.879 --> 00:07:05.839 and and then my entrepreneurship took over first and foremost. You know, I 106 00:07:05.920 --> 00:07:09.720 kind of reached back out the set, but then we were, you know, 107 00:07:09.959 --> 00:07:13.839 through just kind of slowly working together and I'll I'll throw it to him. 108 00:07:13.839 --> 00:07:16.800 We were actually developed a really fantastic friendship and, you know, have 109 00:07:16.879 --> 00:07:20.720 both of our families involved in the businesses here and there and it's great. 110 00:07:21.040 --> 00:07:24.240 Yeah, Spike, pitch me on the idea. He said. Look, 111 00:07:24.279 --> 00:07:27.399 he brought me order a good stuff he'd read and we had a bunch of 112 00:07:27.399 --> 00:07:30.959 beyond burgers and he cooked up some just a amazing recipes, but all would 113 00:07:30.959 --> 00:07:33.759 beyond meeting them and them and he's like we should make a restaurant and I'm 114 00:07:33.800 --> 00:07:39.199 like wow, that's amazing. I love what I'm tasting. I have never 115 00:07:39.240 --> 00:07:42.839 been involved in I've no clue to how to build a restaurant. Obviously Spike 116 00:07:42.920 --> 00:07:46.199 does, I said, and I had also some I was actively, you 117 00:07:46.240 --> 00:07:49.199 know, an employee of Cocacola through my work with honest tea. I was 118 00:07:49.240 --> 00:07:53.560 actively an employee of beyond meat as executive chair of the board. So I 119 00:07:53.600 --> 00:07:58.120 just couldn't get involved in a restaurant venture at that time. So I found 120 00:07:58.120 --> 00:08:01.439 some great proxies, my wife, who's always been a really smart, savvy 121 00:08:01.720 --> 00:08:07.480 brand builder, and then we recruited our son, who has been in phenomenal 122 00:08:07.560 --> 00:08:11.720 marketer, especially around plant based IETS, and they joined the business and I 123 00:08:11.800 --> 00:08:16.160 kept a close eye on it all and as when I was finally able to 124 00:08:16.519 --> 00:08:20.759 separate and create new opportunities for me with honest tea and and with beyond meat, 125 00:08:20.800 --> 00:08:24.519 I got involved as a cofounder plant Burger and we started to look at 126 00:08:24.519 --> 00:08:30.079 our sourcing and we went visited a mushroom farm and I started seeing spikes recipes 127 00:08:30.120 --> 00:08:33.720 and my son came up with this great phrase eat the Chaine you wish to 128 00:08:33.720 --> 00:08:37.039 see in the world, and that was such an inspiring phrase. I'm like, 129 00:08:37.080 --> 00:08:39.159 that's a phrase we could rally around and we could build a brand around 130 00:08:39.240 --> 00:08:43.080 as well. And then spike approach spike. He's so he pitched me on 131 00:08:43.159 --> 00:08:48.879 the restaurant business and I pitched him on the seepeach. That's awesome. That's 132 00:08:48.879 --> 00:08:50.559 awesome. I also love that. I guess spike, you know, as 133 00:08:50.600 --> 00:08:54.039 you were pitching a set, to kind of come on and start this with 134 00:08:54.080 --> 00:08:56.200 you. I guess that if you couldn't get set, since he was so 135 00:08:56.240 --> 00:08:58.279 busy other things, you then have to recruit his entire family, right. 136 00:08:58.360 --> 00:09:01.080 Yeah, yeah, yeah, hundred percent. What I love about their art, 137 00:09:01.240 --> 00:09:03.840 like sets. In my relationship, at how it started, it happened 138 00:09:03.919 --> 00:09:09.000 very organically, like from start to finish. We didn't aggressively push each other 139 00:09:09.080 --> 00:09:11.399 to work with each other, just organically really, you know, and when 140 00:09:11.399 --> 00:09:13.879 the moment came to and, you know, set kind of reapproached me that 141 00:09:13.919 --> 00:09:16.519 he was kind of ready to do something. It just happened to be the 142 00:09:16.559 --> 00:09:20.600 right time for all of us. So and again, like after after stress. 143 00:09:20.639 --> 00:09:22.519 It's like, you know, we are both advocas and we care about 144 00:09:22.559 --> 00:09:26.919 the food system. I like to, you know, Cook Delicious Food and 145 00:09:26.960 --> 00:09:30.039 things. But it's been such a fun ride with Seth and his family. 146 00:09:30.039 --> 00:09:31.799 I mean, you know, Jonah is wish she was here. I think 147 00:09:31.799 --> 00:09:33.799 he might still be in Israel right now. Are on his way back, 148 00:09:33.840 --> 00:09:37.960 but but he is absolutely crucial to our business. He's kind of everything that 149 00:09:39.000 --> 00:09:43.360 we want plant Burger to be about. Is What Jonah is the soul of 150 00:09:43.440 --> 00:09:45.840 the brand. Yeah, yeah, it really is the soul the brand. 151 00:09:45.879 --> 00:09:48.039 So it's just amazing to see it all come to fruition, you know, 152 00:09:48.399 --> 00:09:50.879 totally totally. So let me talk to me a little bit about like the 153 00:09:50.919 --> 00:09:56.039 Founding Journey of Plant Burger to obviously the inspiration was, you know, kind 154 00:09:56.039 --> 00:09:58.600 of going back and forth thought beyond meat and what you could do with a 155 00:09:58.639 --> 00:10:03.679 plant burger. Why did you decide to do it as a restaurant as opposed 156 00:10:03.720 --> 00:10:07.440 to like a CPG company like beyond and kind of had you a thing about 157 00:10:07.440 --> 00:10:11.799 like picking locations and all that kind of you know, starting point for a 158 00:10:11.840 --> 00:10:15.440 restaurant. It's funny. So Spike and I had a lunch with the person 159 00:10:15.480 --> 00:10:18.679 who actually became our CEO of the business. We're just talking about it and 160 00:10:18.039 --> 00:10:22.159 after lunch we were just walking around. But says that I'm seeing all these 161 00:10:22.200 --> 00:10:24.600 restaurants with for our built where it had been restaurants saying, you know, 162 00:10:24.639 --> 00:10:28.320 for to let you know for rent. It's like close down, like Oh 163 00:10:28.360 --> 00:10:31.799 man, this restaurant business can be brutal. And you know these there's even 164 00:10:31.799 --> 00:10:35.440 though the the sign says for lease, somebody's paying the rent, you know, 165 00:10:35.480 --> 00:10:37.000 because their business went out of it, you know out of business. 166 00:10:37.120 --> 00:10:41.000 And I was trying to think of a way to contain the risk. I 167 00:10:41.039 --> 00:10:43.320 said, why don't we reach out to whole foods? They have something called 168 00:10:43.320 --> 00:10:48.720 a friends program where they'll let you start up a restaurant inside of a whole 169 00:10:48.759 --> 00:10:52.080 foods and it's obviously if it's a much lower risk way to do it. 170 00:10:52.120 --> 00:10:56.600 You don't have to do the build out, you don't have to pay a 171 00:10:56.639 --> 00:10:58.919 monthly rent, you just pay a portion of sales. And I said that's 172 00:10:58.960 --> 00:11:03.279 if we want to explore this concept, let's let's start there. And of 173 00:11:03.279 --> 00:11:05.720 course we use beyond meat on the menu. So we weren't we weren't making 174 00:11:05.879 --> 00:11:11.200 new burgers. We're just using beyond meat as the featured protein on the menu. 175 00:11:11.279 --> 00:11:13.399 And so obviously I had I have a little track record with whole foods 176 00:11:13.399 --> 00:11:18.720 through my years of experience working with them, and reached out to the regional 177 00:11:18.759 --> 00:11:22.559 president and we serve dislike spiked it to me. We served in Burgers and 178 00:11:22.679 --> 00:11:26.799 he said this is amazing, we ought to try it. And what's so 179 00:11:26.879 --> 00:11:30.840 exciting we went in. Our first store was in silver spring whole foods. 180 00:11:30.840 --> 00:11:33.759 We went in there too. They had had a raman shop that was doing 181 00:11:33.799 --> 00:11:39.240 about threezero dollars a week in sales and we're in there now and you know 182 00:11:39.279 --> 00:11:43.519 that store averages over three thousand dollars a day in sales. So you know, 183 00:11:43.559 --> 00:11:48.320 obviously with that kind of success, whole foods was open to us expanding 184 00:11:48.399 --> 00:11:50.440 and we have done that. We had now have ten plan burger restaurants, 185 00:11:50.440 --> 00:11:54.480 but we also have opened up our own free standing store as well. But 186 00:11:54.519 --> 00:11:56.720 it was a great way to prove out the concept for with a lot less 187 00:11:56.840 --> 00:12:01.879 risk and you know, obviously also really making sure our customers is close to 188 00:12:01.960 --> 00:12:07.000 us, because we know someone who's a whole foods is just proportionately inclined to 189 00:12:07.039 --> 00:12:09.559 be at least, if not plant based, sort of health oriented in their 190 00:12:09.639 --> 00:12:13.600 diet and looking for the kind of things that plant Burger offers. How do 191 00:12:13.679 --> 00:12:18.279 you think when you're designing new product that our plant bas how do you kind 192 00:12:18.320 --> 00:12:22.000 of think about what's better for you versus better for the planet? Specifically with 193 00:12:22.080 --> 00:12:26.519 Plant Burger, let's just say it's a better for you burger from the point 194 00:12:26.600 --> 00:12:30.120 of view of a couple things. I mean, first, it's loaded with 195 00:12:30.159 --> 00:12:35.960 protein. There's very little cholesterol in the actual burger, but it's better for 196 00:12:35.000 --> 00:12:39.600 the planet, right. The processing of the plant to create the Burger is 197 00:12:39.600 --> 00:12:43.360 far greater or better for the planet from many different aspects, and I'll let 198 00:12:43.399 --> 00:12:46.639 seth, you know, Lean into those a little bit because I do love 199 00:12:46.679 --> 00:12:52.559 listening to set talk about the redoing of food and the undoing your food at 200 00:12:52.600 --> 00:12:54.159 time. So you know, south I'll go up to you on that one. 201 00:12:54.240 --> 00:12:56.919 YEA sure. Yeah. So, first of all, I think not 202 00:12:56.960 --> 00:13:01.240 surprisingly, the meat industry throws that term out a lot. That's super processed, 203 00:13:01.240 --> 00:13:05.360 but fankly, you know the way we make a product like a beyond 204 00:13:05.399 --> 00:13:07.759 meat, the way it's made is the same piece of equipment used to make 205 00:13:07.799 --> 00:13:13.440 pasta. So if somebody has a concern about the processing of beyond meat, 206 00:13:13.440 --> 00:13:16.879 they should have the same concern about the making of Pasta. It's just pressure, 207 00:13:16.879 --> 00:13:22.080 water and heat used to make a beyond burger. It's obviously the ingredient 208 00:13:22.080 --> 00:13:26.279 panel has more words on it than a piece of meat does. But if 209 00:13:26.279 --> 00:13:31.559 you get under the hood and look at the process to to deliver patty of 210 00:13:31.559 --> 00:13:35.720 hamburger meat or any other slice of meat, that is a lot to that 211 00:13:35.759 --> 00:13:39.399 process that would people would find appalling. And you know, I always say 212 00:13:39.519 --> 00:13:43.440 beyond meat, you know, offers people tours to see its facility. You 213 00:13:43.440 --> 00:13:46.639 can't get into yeah, meat packing facility, certainly not with a camera anyway, 214 00:13:48.000 --> 00:13:52.519 because there's so concerned about what people see. But what's interesting is with 215 00:13:52.600 --> 00:13:56.919 respect to plant Burger, yeah, we wouldn't position it as a it's not 216 00:13:56.960 --> 00:14:01.240 a health food restaurant. It's a delicious Burger restaurant that is plant based. 217 00:14:01.320 --> 00:14:03.519 To make up a beyond Burger US ninety nine percent less water and ninety three 218 00:14:03.519 --> 00:14:09.600 percent less land and ninety percent fewer greenhouse gases created to make a product that's 219 00:14:09.600 --> 00:14:13.320 equivalent to you know, a beef patty. On the eat the change side, 220 00:14:13.320 --> 00:14:18.159 it's a much different approach. So I call making a product like beyond 221 00:14:18.200 --> 00:14:22.960 me. That's a redoing of a category. It's using science and technology and 222 00:14:22.960 --> 00:14:28.600 and culinary art to create a new product. At eat the change, our 223 00:14:28.679 --> 00:14:33.480 consumer package product, we're I'm doing food. We're taking super simple recipes and 224 00:14:33.679 --> 00:14:37.440 create and delivering food in a new form. So at eat the change we've 225 00:14:37.480 --> 00:14:43.039 just launched these carrot snacks for kids and you. What you might want to 226 00:14:43.080 --> 00:14:46.799 contrast them to is what are called fruit snacks. That talk about a redoing. 227 00:14:46.919 --> 00:14:50.759 That's a process, the process to create fruit snacks. The fruit is 228 00:14:50.799 --> 00:14:54.960 a fartestant relative. You know, I would say a cherry, a cherry 229 00:14:56.000 --> 00:15:00.000 growing on a tree, would not recognize what is called a cherry fruit snack, 230 00:15:01.080 --> 00:15:05.080 whereas our carrot snacks and what we done, and what spike really did 231 00:15:05.120 --> 00:15:09.919 in ingenious way, was found a way to take carets and make them flavorful 232 00:15:11.039 --> 00:15:13.720 and Chewy and and shelf stable in a way that could fit in a kid's 233 00:15:13.840 --> 00:15:18.320 lunchbox. And the first ingredient in that carrot toe was a carrot and the 234 00:15:18.360 --> 00:15:22.440 second ingredient is apple juice. So that's a very simple and transparent way to 235 00:15:22.440 --> 00:15:26.480 make a food. So you know, yes, there's a process to make 236 00:15:26.519 --> 00:15:31.480 those, but it's the processes take carerots, soaked them in apple juice and 237 00:15:31.519 --> 00:15:35.399 then dehydrate them. So people shouldn't always be afraid of the word process. 238 00:15:35.440 --> 00:15:39.440 It's there's a frankly, there's a process to making Apple Pie. There's process 239 00:15:39.440 --> 00:15:43.480 in its own is not a bad word and I think the meat industry has 240 00:15:43.519 --> 00:15:46.799 successfully, you know, you tried to scare people with that term. I 241 00:15:46.840 --> 00:15:52.039 have to also add, Mike. I mean we're never going to really get 242 00:15:52.120 --> 00:15:54.799 away from what we deem as processed foods. Like what kind of set said. 243 00:15:54.840 --> 00:15:58.399 We we have so many people to feed in this world, so being 244 00:15:58.440 --> 00:16:03.120 able to develop a better for you process food and better for the planet also 245 00:16:03.320 --> 00:16:07.600 very important. Is kind of what's happening in our world right now. We're 246 00:16:07.639 --> 00:16:11.600 really seeing a shift on up how our food system works, how farming works, 247 00:16:11.600 --> 00:16:15.440 how distribution look works, and there's a lot of people that are concerned 248 00:16:15.480 --> 00:16:19.919 about our climate and most people don't really have an opportunity to take advantage or 249 00:16:19.960 --> 00:16:23.879 know how to contribute right and one thing we are always say a plant burger 250 00:16:23.919 --> 00:16:27.720 and eat the change is you can contribute with your appetite, the foods you 251 00:16:27.799 --> 00:16:33.440 choose to to urchase and buy and the brands you choose to support. It's 252 00:16:33.440 --> 00:16:34.960 really important, you know. So right now, actually, the month we 253 00:16:36.000 --> 00:16:37.840 just launched, but today actually, I don't know if you did your challenge 254 00:16:37.879 --> 00:16:42.720 that that did mine. Absolutely. Yeah, but it's called the incredible planet 255 00:16:42.799 --> 00:16:48.080 challenge and it's put on by eat the change and it's leading up to Earth 256 00:16:48.159 --> 00:16:52.120 Day, a where we inspire people to look at what they're, you know, 257 00:16:52.200 --> 00:16:56.120 their daily appetites and switch things up a little bit. So today's challenge 258 00:16:56.279 --> 00:16:59.399 was, you know, switch out dairy milk for plant based milk. As 259 00:16:59.440 --> 00:17:02.559 simple as that, right. You know, a couple other challenges will be 260 00:17:02.559 --> 00:17:04.880 look recreate a meal that you love in a plant based way, for instance. 261 00:17:04.960 --> 00:17:08.480 So I think people are starting to see, I know they are, 262 00:17:08.559 --> 00:17:12.440 that you can really make a difference by the foods you choose and there they 263 00:17:12.480 --> 00:17:15.240 could be very much better for you as well. So and just to go 264 00:17:15.279 --> 00:17:18.920 back, Mike, to where I would I don't want to make it sound 265 00:17:18.960 --> 00:17:22.400 like I don't look at ingredient panels or think about how food is made. 266 00:17:22.480 --> 00:17:25.799 I do, even in my personal choices. But what I would pay attention 267 00:17:25.839 --> 00:17:30.000 to our ingredients. So you know, I always look out for the organic 268 00:17:30.039 --> 00:17:33.359 sea whenever I can. I avoid certainly try to avoid GMO ingredients. I 269 00:17:33.440 --> 00:17:38.480 try to avoid artificial ingredients or artificial sweeteners. So those are choices I think 270 00:17:38.519 --> 00:17:42.839 are makes sense. But just avoiding foods that's processed, I don't think that 271 00:17:42.880 --> 00:17:47.680 always leads to a healthy outcome for the consumer or for the planet. How 272 00:17:47.720 --> 00:17:51.519 did you decide to start eat the change and kind of what is it? 273 00:17:51.519 --> 00:17:53.319 What was kind of the harding point for it? Yeah, well, so 274 00:17:53.359 --> 00:17:59.359 we've been working on the restaurant. I saw spike doing incredibly creative recipes in 275 00:17:59.400 --> 00:18:03.200 the restaurant on and I was actually sort of at this unusual point in my 276 00:18:03.200 --> 00:18:06.400 life because I, as I said, just left on his tea and was, 277 00:18:06.519 --> 00:18:08.000 you know, transitioning my role beyond me. So there's this kind of 278 00:18:08.000 --> 00:18:11.480 window where I think about okay, I always, as I said, identify 279 00:18:11.519 --> 00:18:15.680 as an activist. which path do I take? And so part of me 280 00:18:15.759 --> 00:18:17.720 was like, well, if I'm an activist, maybe I should be going 281 00:18:17.759 --> 00:18:21.759 into politics. And then I kind of looked at the political arena and not 282 00:18:21.799 --> 00:18:23.359 just the quality of the dialog, but what people were talking about like that, 283 00:18:23.599 --> 00:18:26.160 I don't know if that's if I care about getting things done, I'm 284 00:18:26.160 --> 00:18:30.680 not sure politics is the most effective way to get something done. He kept 285 00:18:30.680 --> 00:18:34.279 coming back to climate change being such an imperative issue and thinking I wish I 286 00:18:34.279 --> 00:18:37.720 could find a way and I you know, I I think it will be 287 00:18:37.720 --> 00:18:41.799 at the defining issue, certainly of my generation, like what were you doing 288 00:18:41.839 --> 00:18:45.599 when this happened? And I want to I want to feel like I did 289 00:18:45.599 --> 00:18:48.119 something and I'm doing something. And so then I have the okay, well, 290 00:18:48.160 --> 00:18:52.039 what would be the brand? What would be the product? And so 291 00:18:52.119 --> 00:18:53.319 the brand, as I said, just kind of hit me when Jonah came 292 00:18:53.359 --> 00:18:56.799 up with this phrase eat the change. I'm like, that's the brand. 293 00:18:56.799 --> 00:18:59.200 Well, what's the product? I'm like, how to think about that? 294 00:18:59.279 --> 00:19:02.279 And I kept seeing spiked do all these creative things. I said, well, 295 00:19:02.279 --> 00:19:04.079 that you know, I don't know at the time what the exactly what 296 00:19:04.119 --> 00:19:07.480 the product will be, but I know who the right person is to help 297 00:19:07.519 --> 00:19:11.480 create it. And so you know, with Spike Eves we had done this, 298 00:19:11.640 --> 00:19:15.480 as I said, visit with the mushroom farmers and I said how, 299 00:19:15.599 --> 00:19:19.319 said the spike, how could you make mushrooms like into a delicious consumer snack 300 00:19:19.359 --> 00:19:22.799 and they basically get that was kind of the assignment. It was pretty pretty 301 00:19:22.839 --> 00:19:26.240 open open ended, right. Yeah, yeah, it was pretty open ended. 302 00:19:26.319 --> 00:19:30.359 And and you know, I decided to go back and you know, 303 00:19:30.480 --> 00:19:36.200 I've always looked at portobellows and Cremini mushrooms as the giveaway in the back in 304 00:19:36.240 --> 00:19:38.400 the day in the restaurants. is like if someone was vegetarian and they came 305 00:19:38.440 --> 00:19:41.720 in, you'd cook him something with a Portobello, right. It was like 306 00:19:41.759 --> 00:19:47.599 the easy thing. It imitates me. It's juicy, it's it's sears. 307 00:19:47.680 --> 00:19:52.240 So we start getting some portabellows and CREMINIS and Bud Mushrooms in the office and 308 00:19:52.279 --> 00:19:56.640 we start producing this really amazing jerky and the Jerky had everything in it. 309 00:19:56.759 --> 00:20:02.960 It had molasses, had brown sugar, it had you know, it was 310 00:20:03.200 --> 00:20:07.480 one of you know, such a tasty, very sweet jerky. And said 311 00:20:07.599 --> 00:20:11.519 loved it. Right, and and I loved the idea. But then he 312 00:20:11.599 --> 00:20:14.680 kind of up the Auntie with the challenge and he said, okay, this 313 00:20:14.759 --> 00:20:18.079 is great, but if we're going to call ourselves eat the change and we're 314 00:20:18.079 --> 00:20:21.359 going to have these planet commitments, we're going to have to eliminate some of 315 00:20:21.400 --> 00:20:25.240 these ingredients that you use, right. So we eliminated the top six cash 316 00:20:25.279 --> 00:20:29.400 crops really that contribute to our most of our food. I think, Seth, 317 00:20:29.480 --> 00:20:32.319 what is it? Fifty seven percent? Fifty three? Yeah, fifteen 318 00:20:32.319 --> 00:20:36.519 seven percent of all agriculture production is. So we potatoes, corn rice and 319 00:20:36.559 --> 00:20:38.799 sugar cane. Yeah, I'm like, well, for serious about biodiversity, 320 00:20:38.920 --> 00:20:41.640 let's leave those out of all of our recipes. So then I said, 321 00:20:41.680 --> 00:20:45.720 well, Seth, now you just left me with just with mushrooms again, 322 00:20:45.759 --> 00:20:48.960 which was funny. You know, I never shy away from a challenge of 323 00:20:48.039 --> 00:20:52.640 courser. With my background of on top chef and and iron chefs. It 324 00:20:52.640 --> 00:20:55.799 had been something that no one had ever really challenged me to do, right, 325 00:20:55.880 --> 00:20:59.920 to kind of just throw out this group of ingredients so I've been using 326 00:21:00.119 --> 00:21:03.279 so much, and just see what else is out there. And you know, 327 00:21:03.279 --> 00:21:04.440 it's a little work and some research. We were able to get it 328 00:21:04.480 --> 00:21:08.160 done. We developed five really delicious Keews of Mushroom Jerkey. You know, 329 00:21:08.200 --> 00:21:12.160 as sweetener as we use to Goba Syrup, we use some maple syrup and 330 00:21:12.200 --> 00:21:17.079 we were really able to produce a really delicious snack that is also we also 331 00:21:17.119 --> 00:21:18.960 can straight on whole food. So that's the other thing about eat the change. 332 00:21:19.039 --> 00:21:22.359 Right, we love food and its native form. Right, it's a 333 00:21:22.519 --> 00:21:26.480 this is a little bit of what Seth was saying about the undoing of food. 334 00:21:26.599 --> 00:21:29.119 Right. Why do we have to process Jerky and, you know, 335 00:21:29.160 --> 00:21:32.559 molded and so forth? So we take a different approach. Not that that's 336 00:21:32.559 --> 00:21:36.480 wrong, but but that's kind of how we got started. It's amazing. 337 00:21:36.480 --> 00:21:38.799 With eat the change. How do you measure as well? Maybe some of 338 00:21:38.839 --> 00:21:44.519 the impact, since I know that is very that is very coore to the 339 00:21:44.519 --> 00:21:48.519 mission. So it really is. What we sell, everything we're selling is 340 00:21:48.519 --> 00:21:52.039 planet based and so we literally infuse it in the product. So just as 341 00:21:52.079 --> 00:21:56.400 an example, the mushrooms, when it keep pillars, we go back to 342 00:21:56.680 --> 00:22:00.160 project draw down, which talks about eighty solutions to address global warming and they 343 00:22:00.279 --> 00:22:03.880 rank them and that one of the top things. So it would it respect 344 00:22:03.880 --> 00:22:07.000 to food, their top to are reducing food waste and swishing to plant based. 345 00:22:07.039 --> 00:22:11.039 So of course everything we sell this plant or Fung Gui based. And 346 00:22:11.079 --> 00:22:14.839 then with respect to food waste, with the mushrooms, we use the whole 347 00:22:14.920 --> 00:22:18.000 mushroom. We use this the stem of the mushroom, we don't worry if 348 00:22:18.039 --> 00:22:21.319 it's bruised or oversized or undersize, the kind that wouldn't make it to a 349 00:22:21.319 --> 00:22:23.799 retail show. We're taking it all and then going back to food waste, 350 00:22:23.839 --> 00:22:27.880 we also look for crops that are super water efficient so there's no water waste. 351 00:22:29.079 --> 00:22:33.359 And so were and it turns out that both mushrooms and carrots are some 352 00:22:33.440 --> 00:22:37.039 of the most water effshing crops on the planet and that's just a great fit. 353 00:22:37.079 --> 00:22:38.759 The other thing we looked at whether, as respect how do we create 354 00:22:38.799 --> 00:22:42.240 the product, is avoiding any waste as we make the products. So what's 355 00:22:42.279 --> 00:22:47.039 interesting like we initially we're trying to do a carrot chip, and when you 356 00:22:47.079 --> 00:22:49.119 do a carrot chip you can't use the small parts of the carrot, you 357 00:22:49.160 --> 00:22:52.799 know. And so what's so neat about where we are with the carrot choose 358 00:22:52.839 --> 00:22:55.799 as we use the whole carrot, every little piece and every big piece, 359 00:22:55.839 --> 00:22:57.960 you know, exide from the Greens, we're using all of the carrot and 360 00:22:57.960 --> 00:23:02.759 and so there too it's great to avoid the food waste. So we're really 361 00:23:02.759 --> 00:23:06.680 trying to take all those into account. And so for us, selling more 362 00:23:06.720 --> 00:23:11.200 of these products means we're displacing other products that are not as planet friendly. 363 00:23:11.440 --> 00:23:15.400 That's awesome. I think that you you're both in quite a unique position in 364 00:23:15.440 --> 00:23:19.720 that you're building a national brand where you have these limitations, right, eliminating 365 00:23:19.839 --> 00:23:26.359 the six cash crops and looking at very efficient vegetables and fruits. How do 366 00:23:26.400 --> 00:23:32.240 you also think about on the education side, on on educating the consumer, 367 00:23:32.279 --> 00:23:36.359 what we're doing with this campaign, the the incredible planet challenge which, by 368 00:23:36.359 --> 00:23:38.680 the way, you can find it eat the CHANGECOM. This is a really 369 00:23:38.680 --> 00:23:44.960 fun way to enroll all types of partners are their brands and lots of chefs, 370 00:23:45.000 --> 00:23:51.599 all helping them understand that our daily dietary choices represent our single biggest impact 371 00:23:51.680 --> 00:23:56.599 on the planet, and so we've chosen all types. So it's social media. 372 00:23:56.839 --> 00:24:00.319 Last week we cut a recorded a sea shanty, which you haven't seen. 373 00:24:00.400 --> 00:24:07.240 It is unlike anything. Oh yeah, it's our annual sea shanty. 374 00:24:07.319 --> 00:24:11.759 Now actually it's a second second here additionally to one seth just said. We 375 00:24:11.759 --> 00:24:15.720 look for those opportunities everywhere because, you know, the ethos of of our 376 00:24:15.759 --> 00:24:18.960 brand is education in the food space, right, and you know, I 377 00:24:19.000 --> 00:24:22.200 just look back at how many. You know we just finished expo west and 378 00:24:22.240 --> 00:24:27.839 it was two days of non stop interacting with people, looking at stuff, 379 00:24:27.880 --> 00:24:30.680 and you get to educate people. You get to say, Hey, listen, 380 00:24:30.720 --> 00:24:33.480 this pouch of carrots, which, this is a true fact, you 381 00:24:33.519 --> 00:24:37.119 know, equates to one whole serving of carrots in your lunch box, you 382 00:24:37.160 --> 00:24:40.839 know, and parents are like Whoa. And then another fact that we give 383 00:24:40.880 --> 00:24:45.519 them as like hey, slightly cook carrots are far more nutritionally available than rock 384 00:24:45.559 --> 00:24:48.799 carrots. So you're even giving more nutrients with these slightly quick carrots. So 385 00:24:49.079 --> 00:24:52.759 there's bits and pieces where we can always educate, whether it's on the packaging, 386 00:24:52.759 --> 00:24:56.720 on social handles or things like an incredible planet challenge. That that, 387 00:24:56.759 --> 00:25:00.400 I think, is really at the base of what we do. So but 388 00:25:00.519 --> 00:25:03.279 it doesn't come. You know, it's not an automatic I mean it's interesting. 389 00:25:03.359 --> 00:25:06.839 We even had a chat with a buyer who was looking at the carrot 390 00:25:06.880 --> 00:25:10.319 choose. He's like, well, you know, when I buy these snacks 391 00:25:10.359 --> 00:25:12.680 for my customers, they're used to seeing everything be the same shape. Have 392 00:25:12.720 --> 00:25:17.880 you thought about taking the carrots and maybe doing little dinosaur cutouts or something like? 393 00:25:17.960 --> 00:25:22.400 Now that's the whole yeah, yeah, I remember that. I remember 394 00:25:22.440 --> 00:25:26.000 that. Like little bunnies. You mean oh no, that's not it was 395 00:25:26.039 --> 00:25:29.960 the food waste and and part of it. You have to help people attend. 396 00:25:30.119 --> 00:25:32.960 We're not used to people aren't used to it looking at something that's natural, 397 00:25:33.039 --> 00:25:34.519 but that's the whole point. Yeah, I mean it's just like you 398 00:25:34.559 --> 00:25:37.960 know. Usually, you know, it's like people aren't used to looking at 399 00:25:38.079 --> 00:25:42.599 ugly fruit right right when those are just as nutritious, and usually there the 400 00:25:42.680 --> 00:25:47.960 last in the shelf to actually get picked. What's been the reaction so far 401 00:25:48.160 --> 00:25:49.480 of either she's? I mean I tried Carret shoose. I know your time 402 00:25:49.519 --> 00:25:53.079 earlier. I tried carr shoes at Exbo and really love them. I thought 403 00:25:53.079 --> 00:25:56.480 they were great. But what's been the reaction so far when you I know 404 00:25:56.519 --> 00:26:00.839 you talked about like that one buyer that wanted to do dinosaurs. But from 405 00:26:00.839 --> 00:26:03.880 buyers, from from consumers? And No, I know you just launched it 406 00:26:03.880 --> 00:26:07.759 at x Bo or just prior to it. What's kind of been like the 407 00:26:07.759 --> 00:26:11.920 the feedback so far really positive. And it goes back to something I've always 408 00:26:11.920 --> 00:26:15.440 said, which is you have to be able to bring out a product as 409 00:26:15.480 --> 00:26:19.200 an entrepreneur, a cpeche entrepreneur, you have to have something that's breakthrough different. 410 00:26:19.240 --> 00:26:23.039 We we initially going back to my days an his tea when we were 411 00:26:23.039 --> 00:26:26.359 asked to develop a kids snacking on his kids snack. We were looking at 412 00:26:26.480 --> 00:26:30.519 could we make a fruit snack that has ten percent lower calories or maybe some 413 00:26:30.599 --> 00:26:34.960 fiber, and we look down there, but it's like that's not breakthrough better, 414 00:26:36.039 --> 00:26:40.079 that's just a little marginal increase. And so what's so neat about this? 415 00:26:40.240 --> 00:26:42.240 I basically is said the spike. I want us to have a presence 416 00:26:42.240 --> 00:26:45.440 in the kid's aisle and the kids lunchbox. How do we make a product 417 00:26:45.519 --> 00:26:51.759 that is going to take that opportunity? And and that's where spike totally came 418 00:26:51.759 --> 00:26:55.160 with something just breakthrough different. It wasn't just incrementally better, it was a 419 00:26:55.160 --> 00:26:59.680 totally new proposition. So that's, I think, the right mindset. Market 420 00:26:59.680 --> 00:27:03.559 place is too competitive for an entrepreneur start up to just bring out a marginally 421 00:27:03.640 --> 00:27:07.039 better product. Got It, and is that? Is that also your approach 422 00:27:07.039 --> 00:27:11.079 as well to launching new products? Like how do you even think about as 423 00:27:11.079 --> 00:27:15.160 well about like different categories and kind of like the whole Pike Development? Yeah, 424 00:27:15.200 --> 00:27:18.000 I've no interest in US doing anything. That's in me too. That's 425 00:27:18.160 --> 00:27:22.559 the world. Life's too short, the world's too competitive to do that. 426 00:27:22.680 --> 00:27:26.920 So we won't enter a category if we can't create help create it, you 427 00:27:26.960 --> 00:27:30.039 know. So look at plant based Jerky. It's been it's a super, 428 00:27:30.039 --> 00:27:34.559 super small category in there hadn't been an organic mushroom jerkey out there and so 429 00:27:36.200 --> 00:27:40.359 when we put your spikes chef crafted touch on it, all of a sudden 430 00:27:40.359 --> 00:27:42.559 it's it makes it available to a much wider audience. As we look at 431 00:27:42.599 --> 00:27:47.839 other new innovations, we have to go where others aren't going and then if 432 00:27:47.839 --> 00:27:49.039 we can, you know, and the same with honesty. We went out 433 00:27:49.039 --> 00:27:52.720 back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. You looked at that beverage 434 00:27:52.720 --> 00:27:56.119 shelf and it was everything was a hundred calories. And so you know why 435 00:27:56.240 --> 00:28:00.279 wasn't interested in offering an eighty five calorie drink and saying Oh, this is 436 00:28:00.319 --> 00:28:03.480 better that, that's that's too close to the competition. So we went out 437 00:28:03.519 --> 00:28:07.039 with, you know, initially, just seventeen calories, parade ounces and and 438 00:28:07.119 --> 00:28:08.960 people just understood its. Same with beyond meat. I mean the world did 439 00:28:08.960 --> 00:28:15.759 not need another bad veggie Burger. Beyond me change the whole approach. It 440 00:28:15.839 --> 00:28:19.839 was moving to plant based protein in a way that replicates the taste of meat. 441 00:28:19.839 --> 00:28:25.319 That was unlike anything else that was out there. That makes class sense. 442 00:28:25.400 --> 00:28:26.920 I also want to say, Spike, what's been the transition like as 443 00:28:26.960 --> 00:28:32.880 well? You build so many great restaurants and obviously you're a top chef. 444 00:28:32.920 --> 00:28:36.960 What's it been like as well, making like the transition or also creating your 445 00:28:37.000 --> 00:28:40.920 own CPG product? What's been kind of different about about that part of it? 446 00:28:41.000 --> 00:28:44.519 Listen, I love a challenge and I love being creative and I love 447 00:28:44.640 --> 00:28:48.680 doing things differently. It's a little bit dreamy as a chef to be able 448 00:28:48.720 --> 00:28:52.880 to have such a well one, you know, such a great guy like 449 00:28:52.960 --> 00:28:56.119 set, to be in business with and learn the space. I'd say if 450 00:28:56.160 --> 00:28:59.359 I was going at this and alone, I'd be at a very different space 451 00:28:59.480 --> 00:29:02.680 right now, you know. So it's great to learn. It's kind of 452 00:29:02.799 --> 00:29:04.920 dreamy too, kind of as a chef, be able to put product and 453 00:29:04.960 --> 00:29:07.960 feed it out to the masses. You know, it's your restaurant, you 454 00:29:07.960 --> 00:29:11.039 get people to come in and it's great, but being on the shelves, 455 00:29:11.119 --> 00:29:15.559 you know, with such great reach, it's something that's really rewarding. And 456 00:29:15.599 --> 00:29:18.799 then the business challenges have been something that have, you know, have also 457 00:29:18.880 --> 00:29:23.119 been great to kind of tackle. You know, I love problem solving, 458 00:29:23.200 --> 00:29:26.400 of you know, and especially during the pandemic, I don't have to tell 459 00:29:26.480 --> 00:29:30.200 you, is extra stressful. Try to figure it out how to grow a 460 00:29:30.240 --> 00:29:33.119 product through a pandemic, and that, you know. I've been on the 461 00:29:33.160 --> 00:29:37.160 road a lot and last year two so we've been going to copackers and and 462 00:29:37.200 --> 00:29:41.640 Co packers and just learning about the entire process. It's something I'd never been 463 00:29:41.640 --> 00:29:45.839 exposed to. So for me it's it's it's great. Did you raise outside 464 00:29:45.880 --> 00:29:49.559 capital for eat the changer plant? We did. That said, we put 465 00:29:49.599 --> 00:29:52.359 a lot of our own, you know, resources into it as well. 466 00:29:52.440 --> 00:29:55.839 Yeah, you know, you are part of it. The reason that the 467 00:29:55.960 --> 00:29:59.359 health. It's healthy to raise outside money because you want to just make sure 468 00:29:59.400 --> 00:30:03.079 your idea are grounded in reality. So, like with eat the change, 469 00:30:03.079 --> 00:30:06.240 one of the first people I presented this to was my cofounder from honesty bury 470 00:30:06.279 --> 00:30:11.279 nail buff and Barry is not someone to sugarcoat his tea or his words, 471 00:30:11.279 --> 00:30:15.640 and so I wanted to make sure Barry thought this was a viable business. 472 00:30:15.640 --> 00:30:18.000 And it was great. You know, he spoke to spike and actually, 473 00:30:18.039 --> 00:30:19.359 after speaking to spike. He said, I want to put more money in. 474 00:30:19.480 --> 00:30:22.920 So we really wanted to make sure these ideas held up. But that 475 00:30:23.000 --> 00:30:26.839 said, you also want to be betting on your own ideas and and you 476 00:30:26.880 --> 00:30:29.960 know, down the road we may take in money from others, but no 477 00:30:30.000 --> 00:30:33.440 one will have any doubt that we are personally committed to this. This is 478 00:30:33.480 --> 00:30:37.559 not a hobby or a pastime, this is something we're you know, we're 479 00:30:37.559 --> 00:30:40.880 betting on. Did you ever approach, you know, investors and maybe you 480 00:30:41.119 --> 00:30:45.319 got passes on investing in these two opportunities? or how did you also maybe 481 00:30:45.359 --> 00:30:51.640 do like your diligence process to kind of understand whether you want to actually work 482 00:30:51.720 --> 00:30:55.960 with this person? I mean, like, listen, I'm not only have 483 00:30:56.000 --> 00:30:57.920 I learned from my parents, but I've also learned from my own experience in 484 00:30:57.960 --> 00:31:03.119 the business. When you don't choose the right partners, it can end up 485 00:31:03.160 --> 00:31:06.440 being such a headache. And you know, at the end of the day, 486 00:31:06.440 --> 00:31:07.319 you know you want to work, you want to make a difference, 487 00:31:07.480 --> 00:31:11.599 you want to make a profit, but you really want to have a great 488 00:31:11.680 --> 00:31:15.440 time while you're on this. You know, on that on that journey to 489 00:31:15.480 --> 00:31:17.799 do it right and you want to be able to do with the right people 490 00:31:18.000 --> 00:31:19.640 and I go a little bit off on my gut, obviously, and I 491 00:31:19.720 --> 00:31:22.799 do a little research and and you just take your time. Like I said 492 00:31:22.839 --> 00:31:26.839 Seth, that I you know, we we kind of, you know, 493 00:31:26.119 --> 00:31:30.839 did some you know, we spent a good year and a half just getting 494 00:31:30.880 --> 00:31:33.440 to know each other, you know, and I was able to launch beyond, 495 00:31:33.880 --> 00:31:37.000 you know specifically, you know, with working with Seth. I was 496 00:31:37.039 --> 00:31:38.960 be, you know, able to work with beyond meat a little bit, 497 00:31:40.039 --> 00:31:44.599 launch their sausage and cook for them here and there, and, you know, 498 00:31:44.640 --> 00:31:48.039 you just get to know each other and I think people rush way too 499 00:31:48.079 --> 00:31:52.880 fast into partnerships because they just see the dollar signs. And yes, like 500 00:31:52.920 --> 00:31:56.759 the money behind it. You do need but there's money with the right type 501 00:31:56.759 --> 00:32:00.480 of experience and then there's money with the wrong type of experience. And and 502 00:32:00.680 --> 00:32:04.920 you should always try to align money with the right type of people that you 503 00:32:04.920 --> 00:32:07.799 want involved in your business and not just take a money grab. So so, 504 00:32:07.920 --> 00:32:10.680 yeah, those are my two cents on it. Yeah, yeah, 505 00:32:10.920 --> 00:32:15.640 no, I appreciate that. So what is, you know, the the 506 00:32:15.839 --> 00:32:21.720 goal for Plant Burger? You said you have ten now locations in whole foods. 507 00:32:21.759 --> 00:32:28.000 You're now you also have one standalone location. Is it to become to 508 00:32:28.039 --> 00:32:30.960 go national? Like how are you thinking about kind of like the next phase 509 00:32:31.200 --> 00:32:36.079 for plant? Yeah, absolutely. I mean we have to grow in a 510 00:32:36.079 --> 00:32:38.519 way that suits, you know, our growth plan, obviously, and how 511 00:32:38.519 --> 00:32:44.200 we want to execute. So as of right now, we have fantastic opportunity 512 00:32:44.240 --> 00:32:47.680 with whole foods to grow into more stores, especially regionally here on the East 513 00:32:47.680 --> 00:32:51.920 Coast, where where we're at. We did open our first brick and mortar 514 00:32:51.960 --> 00:32:54.799 store in New York City and we have another three to four leases that we're 515 00:32:54.880 --> 00:32:59.799 signing for brick and mortar. So we're clustering up here on the east coast. 516 00:32:59.839 --> 00:33:02.759 But but I mean to answer it you know directly, Mike. We 517 00:33:02.759 --> 00:33:07.839 we want to take this brand across the globe. We see this as a 518 00:33:07.839 --> 00:33:14.519 master brand, a brand that can really disrupt our nation's fast food improve, 519 00:33:14.599 --> 00:33:16.920 you know, farming practices and diets, and I think this is this is 520 00:33:17.000 --> 00:33:20.680 kind of what we lean into, this is what Platt Burgher is for us. 521 00:33:20.720 --> 00:33:24.599 We really want to you know, we're only as if as effective as 522 00:33:24.640 --> 00:33:28.160 we grow. So we want to take it. You know, we want 523 00:33:28.160 --> 00:33:31.920 to go big. What's one book that has inspired each of you personally and 524 00:33:31.960 --> 00:33:36.000 professionally. You know, we have written a book called mission in a bottle, 525 00:33:36.200 --> 00:33:39.240 which is about the building of honesty and it's told in graphic form, 526 00:33:39.319 --> 00:33:43.720 so it's a really fun and accessible way to hear the story. One Book 527 00:33:43.720 --> 00:33:47.400 I'm reading right now which I'm really enjoying, is enginewies book, My life 528 00:33:47.400 --> 00:33:52.920 in full. It's not as much about a start up, it's really about 529 00:33:52.920 --> 00:33:55.680 her navigating the world of business as a woman of color, you know, 530 00:33:55.720 --> 00:34:00.440 from a different country, and ending up leading Pepsi. It's really inspiring. 531 00:34:00.440 --> 00:34:02.880 Those are a few and then just another book I love, but doesn't really 532 00:34:02.960 --> 00:34:07.440 apply to business as much as is the call the wild. I just love 533 00:34:07.480 --> 00:34:09.920 being reminded that we all have these wild instincts in us and and I always 534 00:34:09.920 --> 00:34:13.880 tell entrepreneurs you got to listen to your instincts. You can't. You know, 535 00:34:14.159 --> 00:34:16.880 so much of business is suppressing your instincts and I think, especially as 536 00:34:16.880 --> 00:34:21.559 an entrepreneur, you've got to listen to your instincts as you navigate and and 537 00:34:21.639 --> 00:34:24.320 for me it'd be Danny Meyer, you know, wrote a book called setting 538 00:34:24.320 --> 00:34:30.880 the table and it was very spirational for me because I had had my blinders 539 00:34:30.960 --> 00:34:34.239 on for quite some time and just be able to read a book that really 540 00:34:34.320 --> 00:34:36.920 shed a lot of light on what happens on the front of the House and 541 00:34:36.960 --> 00:34:38.800 as it entrepreneur and how to blend those. I thought that was such a 542 00:34:38.800 --> 00:34:43.119 good book. And then I did love Tony Schay's book, the Zappos Book. 543 00:34:43.199 --> 00:34:45.400 You know, I took away a lot of inspiration about building community there. 544 00:34:45.440 --> 00:34:47.760 I think he was, he's one of the best to do it at 545 00:34:47.840 --> 00:34:52.000 Zappos. But then most recently set you give us the good extra Guok love 546 00:34:52.159 --> 00:34:55.400 is free, GUAC is extra if by Monty Moran, who was a CEE 547 00:34:55.519 --> 00:35:00.599 of capotle. Yeah, by MONTY's exactly, and by Bondy, and it 548 00:35:00.679 --> 00:35:02.159 was a great book. We actually read it as a group, as a 549 00:35:02.280 --> 00:35:06.960 company, and broke it down a little bit. My last question for both 550 00:35:07.000 --> 00:35:12.679 of you is what's maybe your favorite piece of advice that each of you have 551 00:35:12.760 --> 00:35:16.519 received? You know, my best advice I've ever received in my career was 552 00:35:16.679 --> 00:35:22.039 to be authentically myself, and I think it did me a lot of justice 553 00:35:22.079 --> 00:35:25.400 because it was given to me at a very young age. Just to be 554 00:35:25.440 --> 00:35:30.440 authentically yourself. And you know, it's funny, I always over the course 555 00:35:30.480 --> 00:35:32.199 of my career people are. He's like Hey, who does your brand? 556 00:35:32.360 --> 00:35:36.360 Who Does your brand, like your personal brand, spike, and like who 557 00:35:36.360 --> 00:35:38.519 who does this and that, like they're so good. And the funny part 558 00:35:38.760 --> 00:35:44.320 is is I never had like one conversation about my brand. You know what 559 00:35:44.400 --> 00:35:46.159 my brand is, or to divine it, as it opposed it to me 560 00:35:46.199 --> 00:35:52.559 personally, and I've always just felt just be authentically yourself and and that's what 561 00:35:52.559 --> 00:35:54.760 you should showcase and that's who I am. What you see, what you 562 00:35:54.760 --> 00:35:59.760 get. So a good one for me is round the business like you're going 563 00:35:59.800 --> 00:36:02.000 to own it forever, run it in a way that you can always be 564 00:36:02.039 --> 00:36:06.440 proud of. That is always about the long term, you know, you 565 00:36:06.440 --> 00:36:08.519 never want to wake up one day and say, Oh my God, why 566 00:36:08.559 --> 00:36:13.360 am I doing this stuff? I don't believe in, you know, and 567 00:36:13.400 --> 00:36:16.280 so for me, this business, I spike knows why we at. My 568 00:36:16.280 --> 00:36:20.920 wife and I have three sons that were so proud of and feel like a 569 00:36:21.039 --> 00:36:23.039 really well grounded and I think, you know, with a brand to I 570 00:36:23.119 --> 00:36:27.360 feel like it's the brand stands for what I stand for. It all the 571 00:36:27.400 --> 00:36:30.000 things I care about, or as much as as many things as I care 572 00:36:30.000 --> 00:36:32.320 about, as I can infuse in the brand I've tried to do and never 573 00:36:32.400 --> 00:36:37.159 make that short term, opportunistic decision in exchange for, you know, a 574 00:36:37.239 --> 00:36:43.199 long term sacrifice of what you stand for. I really appreciate both those piece 575 00:36:43.199 --> 00:36:45.920 of advice. Seth and Spike. Thank you so much for your time. 576 00:36:45.960 --> 00:36:47.599 It's been a lot of fun. Great to be really right that. Great 577 00:36:47.639 --> 00:36:50.400 to be with you, Mike. And there you have it. It was 578 00:36:50.440 --> 00:36:52.920 amazing having on Seth and chef spike. I hope you all enjoyed that as 579 00:36:53.000 --> 00:36:57.599 much as I did. I highly recommend also checking out eat the change if 580 00:36:57.639 --> 00:37:00.960 you can. I tried the cosmic carrot choose when I was at Expo West 581 00:37:00.039 --> 00:37:05.119 and thought they were delicious, and also very excited to try planper. If 582 00:37:05.159 --> 00:37:07.840 you enjoyed this episode, I love it if you'd write a review on the 583 00:37:07.880 --> 00:37:10.519 apple podcast. You're also welcome to follow me your host, Mike, on 584 00:37:10.559 --> 00:37:15.360 twitter at my guelb and also follow for episode announcements at Consumer VC. Thanks 585 00:37:15.440 --> 00:37:27.719 for listening, everyone,