When the brains behind Austin companies like Daily Juice, Sweet Leaf Tea, Growing Grace and Stubb’s BBQ come together, you know the product will be nothing short of amazing. This team came together with a goal in mind. To have a major role in the “healthification of the American diet.”
Rhythm Superfoods are snacks made from the highest quality organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and spices that are made to feed the mind, body and soul. From Kale Chips to Superfood Chips, their products are loaded with flavor and nutrients, taking away some of the guilt from snacking on them.
We had the opportunity to chat with Scott Jensen, one of the founders, and pick his brain about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Q: How did you get the entrepreneurial bug?
A: I suppose it’s my nature. I am curious and creative and an incurable optimist. I was buying POP Rocks in bulk in the 3rd grade from someone I knew in Tennessee (where they were sold in test market) and selling them in Ft. Lauderdale, where I lived, for five times the price. I think that’s entrepreneurial, or economic vacuum price gouging.
Q: Why is it so important for you to use locally sourced ingredients?
A: Local produce is fresher and often healthier. It also requires less fuel thus having a much lower carbon footprint. Knowing your food was made by friends and neighbors is a great feeling! Buying ingredients from the local suppliers also helps strengthen the communities where we have a significant local presence. Fresh from the farm kale is the largest supply chain ingredient we use to make the kale chips. Unfortunately, kale doesn’t grow year round locally where we make the product, but it does for 5-6 months of the year, so we are able to utilize that local platform for supply in the months that the ground isn’t covered in snow.
Q: What are some nonprofits Rhythm Superfood works/worked closely with?
A: We are strong supporters of local area food banks. We give product, time and muscle to the food bank in the Austin area. Several of our board members and officers are mentors in Incubation Station in Austin, Texas. It’s not necessarily nonprofit in the legal 501B sense, but the Rhythm folks give hundreds of hours of their time teaching and guiding entrepreneurs in their first year of business to help them accelerate their product development and packaging path, find funding, and then help guide them into the marketplace. Pretty huge commitment in time but very rewarding.
Q: What is the most creative fundraising idea you’ve come across?
A: Crowdsourcing in general is revolutionizing fundraising. We were able to raise around $800k through an online funding site called “CircleUp.” Great resource and really great people to work with there.
Q: What is some advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
A: First and foremost, be sure you have a product or service that people will want. Once you have that, do your homework, find someone that has already blazed a similar trail and get them on your advisory board. All the other clichés like, “You must be passionate about what you do,” “You must be willing to put in ridiculous hours at times,” “You must believe in your vision even when no one else does”… They’re all true… so get ready to live a cliché… but get someone on your board that has already done it.