Hitting The Mark

Hitting The Mark

Conversations with founders and investors about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success with your host, brand strategist and author Fabian Geyrhalter.

Fabian

EP053 – Jeanne David, Founder and CEO & Vasa Martinez, CMO, Outer Aisle

Strategic Clarity + Verbal Clarity

Jeanne David and Vasa Martinez, the Founder and the CMO of Outer Aisle, respectively, are joining me to look behind the curtains of how the Outer Aisle brand was crafted; a brand Jeanne founded in her 50s that invented the cauliflower carb-swap category by offering gluten-free, nutrient-dense, low-carb Cauliflower Pizza Crusts and Sandwich Thins/Wraps.

 

Jeanne’s innovation combined with Vasa’s knack for community-building and trend-setting has led the brand to become the fastest-growing food company in California on the Inc. 5000.

 

We talk about the importance of foresight when it comes to creating your company name, how social media helped catapult the brand to where it is today, and how Jeanne successfully employed her entire family which is now a big part of their company culture.

Notes

Learn more about Outer Aisle

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Fabian Geyrhalter:

Welcome to the show, Jeanne and Vasa.

Jeanne David:

Thanks for having us, looking forward to chatting with you.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, absolutely. It’s such a pleasure to have both of you here. So Jeanne first, congratulations, Outer Aisle ranked 63, I think on the overall Inc 5000 list. And it is the second fastest-growing privately held foods company in all of America with a two-year revenue growth of I don’t know, like close to 2,000%. So amazing success. Congrats on that, love having you here because of that, but let’s hit rewind here for a second, because you have a fascinating story. You quit your position as an executive director of the Arthritis Foundation, when you were around 50. Not to put an age on anyone but that was about the year. And you wanted to do something both impactful and meaningful after the tenure.

And now fast forward to 2020 and I see an article in Inc Magazine with the fantastic headline, The Matriarch, hovering above a large portrait of you. So you successfully employed your entire family at this point from your husband to all four of your sons with a brand that creates cauliflower bread. How did this come out? Give us a quick history here before we jump in.

Jeanne David:

Yeah, it really is interesting. So not that I wasn’t, obviously before 50, not that I wasn’t doing anything meaningful. So I mean my tenure at the Arthritis Foundation was very meaningful. I was helping people and changing lives through what we do and really impactful. It’s just that all of my life before that my career had been taking a job and keeping a job because I had to raise four kids and put them through college. So I had to be contributing in that manner. So I had never had the luxury of sitting down and figuring out what I wanted to do. So I just knew after Arthritis Foundation, it was time for something new. I had been there six years. I had done what they hired me to do. It was a part of a whole change in Southern California and region and I was part of that team. And it was very powerful what we did in those six years.

So I hit 50 and I just was like, what do I want my next career to look like? And I was given the extreme luxury by my husband by saying, “You know what? I really want you to take your time. Our boys were all in their 20s.” And I didn’t need to be so busy earning a salary for the first time, because everybody was out of college and we weren’t actively funding them at that point. So it was very much of a gift. And he is like really take your time and just figure out what the best fit is for you. So I was working with a headhunter who looked at me one day and said, “If you could have any job you wanted in the whole world, what would it be?” And I could not believe how paralyzed that was for me, like, “Oh, my gosh, I said, I have no idea.” And he goes, “Well, I’m not going to work with you until you answer that question.”

And he said, it’s a really important question and it was very interesting. It really kind of just started me on really thinking about those things. So I was really trying to take a job that or I actually was, I’m a natural born entrepreneur, but I was really looking at the kind of, I had hung that hat a few years ago and said, it’s okay, working for a company is great. So anyway, I really just was looking at what gifts do I have uniquely that I only, that kind of from the premise of we’re all created very uniquely. And we each have gifts and talents that we bring to the world and when we focus on what those unique gifts and talents are, we’re the best the people around us are the best and the world is a better place. Because we’re bringing what I believe we were all uniquely created to do and bring to this world.

So that’s really the journey that began and then it came out of our own journey of transforming our health by taking out basically all of the empty processed carbs and sugar out of our diet which totally transformed our health and being committed to that lifestyle. So it’s a bit of a long journey, and I don’t want to get bogged down in that, but that’s how I then Cauliflower Pizza Crust is being seen on Pinterest to give you the idea of where we were. Facebook and Instagram were not the big thing. Pinterest was that moment. And cauliflower pizza crust was there. So we had taken bread out of our diets. Certainly we’re not eating pizza, no pasta, none of the empty, high carb foods. So we had really shifted to veggies to substitute for those high carb foods. So I saw a cauliflower pizza crust, I was like, “Wow, if I could get this, that would be amazing. But if I could get it at [inaudible 00:05:39] form, that would be even more impactful, because it’s quite cumbersome to eat, to a little bit of protein and vegetables, and we were eating a little bit of fruit not much at all.

So our day consisted of I mean vegetables and protein. So that was a bit cumbersome. So it was really out of our own need, and what we believed would be the wave of the future because of diabetes and everything else that was becoming very preeminent and inflammation based diseases. And again, it kind of gets, I can get very deep on all of those things. So I don’t want to get into the weeds right now but it was our own journey that basically created the product line. Then I naturally thought, within a week, I had the whole product line in my head and I couldn’t turn it off. And our youngest son said, “Come on, let’s bring this to market.” I was like, “No, no, no, I’m not bringing a product to market.– No, I’m not going to do it.”

And at the end of the week, I kind of relented and because I believe that it was such a great product that had the ability to transform health and create this shift out there, which I believe is pretty basic to our health and to the diet that we find ourselves in today as American. So anyway, we decided to do it and make it a family project. I often talk about it, the file is still called family project on my computer.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

It’s a bigger family now.

Jeanne David:

Yeah, we felt like it was a great thing to bring our kids who are now in their 20s while they watched me do different businesses when they were small. At this age, they could see what it took to bring a product from concept to market. And we felt that that was a valuable education for them to all be involved in. So we set up Thursday conference calls every Thursday, and we’d all weigh in. So anyway, that’s the family part of it, we gave them each a little bit of interest in it and the youngest joined us in operations. Once we got our first region of wholefoods, he was in his career path, all of them were in their career path. So we’d never intended for them to come work for the company full time. We really were big into independent, and then being independent and finding their own way in their 20s, which I think is pretty critical.

So it’s just now that they found their own way a few of them have wanted to join in, which is then they all play a role. Two of them actually worked for the company, a third one does all of our commercial insurance and he’s been involved in our insurance from day one as a risk manager and now he actually underwrites it all and oversees it all and that’s huge. So he doesn’t actually work for the company but that’s the component he handles. And then we have another son who’s an M&A and he just helps advisors, and is actively involved on the finance component.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s so great. That’s so wonderful. So you’re growing a brand based on six family members, how do you hire? How do you create a company culture that others feel invited to? This must be quite challenging, right, especially for the first couple of hires when you did those. I mean, I ask this because I feel brand and culture are always so very related and they really go hand in hand.

Jeanne David:

Yeah, I would say and Vasa will have some input on this because he’s known us from the beginning. So we’re a family and so that kind of lends itself to a culture right? Because your employees, really we do love family and we do encourage family. We constantly see that it’s… I talk with our employees every day, we do gratitudes every day. I pop in their office and we really do see it very much as a family. It has that feel. So Vasa, can you… So I would say that’s very much part of our DNA and then it also lends itself to the brand and the love and the kindness and building upon that. Vasa, I’d love your input here as well, because as someone coming into that.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Vasa, can confirm or deny this.

Vasa Martinez:

Yes, as it pertains to hiring and culture, the family thing is more of a positive than a negative. It’s more inclusive than exclusive. There’s no sort of like rites of passage or any sort of things, I’m the youngest of eight, and when I came in, there’s a clear warmth. And it was much different as we’ve seen the growth over the past two and a half years, that warmth has remained. It’s not as though, when you grow the culture is one of the things that’s probably the first kind of dissipate. It’s not one of the things with Outer Aisle. And that’s why I think that family is a huge component of the branding the hiring process. I mean, when you’re hired, you’re kind of like, it feels as though like when we were all children, we went over to our friend’s houses, after school, it kind of feels like that, but with a very intentional way of going about business. Everyone’s there for a reason to play their part, to do the best they can, to be the best they can be as an individual. And for a team and for me, that’s one of the biggest things that has strengthened and been the backbone of our aisle is that the family is it is the heart, it’s everything.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I think that’s super interesting because it could go both ways. And this is it makes so much sense that if a brand is grown that way, that that will be one of the big pillars behind the brand, culture makes a lot of sense. So your brand is grown and made in Santa Barbara. I know that that’s where you reside, but that adds a tremendous layer not only of authenticity and of beauty to your brand story, but it’s also a layer of complexity. Is that sustainable as you grow?

Jeanne David:

Yeah, we’ve fought hard to stay here and remain here. I mean, when it came time to build our facility we looked elsewhere. And for a lot of the reasons people do and then we said, we love Santa Barbara, this is where we live, why would we choose to leave where we love to live, to go work? So we said, “No, we’re going to do what it takes to spend the expensive it is,” because that’s what it is, it just cost more to do business here. And that, that was worth it, as opposed to moving to Nevada, let’s say because of the employee pool, the real estate there, the amount of big buildings you can find there. So we’ve been very fortunate, we found a great manufacturing facility in Ventura. So our first facility was in Galena, right outside of Santa Barbara, North and then we went south this time, because Santa Barbara certainly doesn’t have the kind of space we need. So we’re just 20 minutes outside [crosstalk 00:13:34] way.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I mean, for those of us like myself who know the area very well, it is definitely, it is the green zone. I mean, this is really where farming happens and it’s just a little bit south from Santa Barbara. And as a consumer if I see Santa Barbara or if I see even Ventura on the packaging, it rings true. It feels very authentic, rather than…

Jeanne David:

Right. It evokes a certain and Barbara especially, it evokes a certain [crosstalk 00:14:03].

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Jeanne David:

So yeah, definitely

Fabian Geyrhalter:

How did the name Outer Aisle come about? I’m super intrigued by that.

Jeanne David:

Yeah, so the name Outer Aisle is a really unique thing. We kept trying to, my husband’s an attorney so he was definitely set on making sure that whatever the name we chose for this company was trademarkable. So we had all kinds of names. Everything in the food space is really taken. We’re not a tech company and we can call ourselves Zulu or Hulu or something like that.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Right.

Jeanne David:

So you really have to be kind of conscious and meaningful in the space. So we were at deadline. We had set a hard deadline for a final confirmation on our names. Most everything we chose had been already trademarked and this one popped in at deadline that day. We ran it through the USPTO and it had not been trademarked. We were able to grab it. And as many people know, at that time, it was just beginning to be out there that if you’re shopping healthy, shop the Outer Aisle of the grocery store.

So it was becoming known but it we had to explain it a lot in the beginning of our name, but that was the evolvement or the evokements that we wanted to have with the name. We wanted it to evoke a healthy thought in your mind. So the Outer Aisle when you shop, the Outer Aisle of the grocery store, you’re shopping the healthy product. So for us that’s what it was.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah, it sets you up for world domination too, because you can basically take the entire Outer Aisle of the grocery store in the future. This is all you.

Jeanne David:

Exactly. That’s critical. That’s a critical thing. We knew that we were going to be more than cauliflower. And remember, now when we started, cauliflower was not cool. So we started a veggie sandwich since because the cauliflower craze had not hit yet. So we were the first to market with cauliflower but we knew that we did not want to limit ourselves to one kind of vegetable.

So then our competitors came out and we were criticized for that early on, very interesting and then applauded for it two years later.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s how it works. That’s how it works.

Jeanne David:

Yeah, exactly.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I always advise my startup clients to not pigeonhole themselves, because either they will pivot, meaning they had a bad idea and it’s going to change but they’re still running with the company name, or they will expand into different categories and they just don’t know. So if you have a super descriptive name, it’s just not made for growth. And you don’t want to exclude that.

Jeanne David:

Yeah, and for us, we knew we were going to expand beyond cauliflower. So when our competitors hit market and were branding themselves, specifically cauliflower [inaudible 00:17:28] to cauliflower. So we were criticised by a broker that was like, wow, you didn’t name yours, like people don’t know immediately by your name and then go forward two more years, you’re like, wow, you were right, [inaudible 00:17:42]. So it was kind of funny. But we knew all along what our long play is.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And your positioning currently is very much to revolutionize the bread industry. How did this idea come to fruition in store talking about Outer Aisle, right? I mean, can you find your product next to fresh loaves of baguette say, is it in a very different area?

Jeanne David:

Well, it’s interesting. So what we’re seeing out there in the market, and what was happening when we came in for these brands, it’s all about disrupting the old distribution channel that has our product roll. It’s so much chemicals and crap that we really want to revolutionize food and you’re watching that. So what’s happening as we look at bread, the bread aisle is shrinking and the ambient bread aisle is shrinking. And what we’re seeing is a refrigerated set that is beginning to come into play. So there’s a gluten-free like if you walk into Sprouts today, there’s a gluten-free bread set that’s a coffer that has just refrigerated breads in it. In whole Foods there’s a whole case that is the gluten-free breads or the better for you bread.

So that’s the trend we began to ushering in because we were the first to market, we were first in our category. So I was working with the whole foods forger to talk about where you’re going to go and we really wanted to be in the Outer Aisle, we did not want to be in the bread aisle ever. We would never have an Ambien product. We wanted to be refrigerated on the outside of the perimeter of the store. So yeah, so that’s that and that’s what they were beginning to do and that we began seeing that happen.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah, no makes a lot of sense. And I just talked recently, to Cole of Alpha Foods in an episode and he told me about the growth of his company, during this pandemic, since people are now growing old of eating the same old food at home day in, day out, and they’re looking for fast, easy, and hopefully at this point also healthy alternatives. Did your brand experience the same upswing during the last couple of months?

Jeanne David:

Yeah, I would say, he did, he already had a huge online component and Vasa can probably speak to this, because this is the way he manages that. That’s his wheelhouse. So Vasa you want to take this?

Vasa Martinez:

Yeah, for sure. So early on, during the pandemic, we saw definitely a huge upswing both on Amazon and Dotcom. And as this progressed, you see more and more people preparing for e-commerce, a lot of folks who were more retail driven have pivoted and started building out their internal teams are working externally, with agencies or consultants to build out that platform. So it has gotten more competitive over the past few months, but there was an upswing early on, and we’ve been able to sustain that and work on our retention efforts to keep things going smoothly. But there sure was an uptick early on, particularly for I’m sure the shelf stable pantry items. But for us, we definitely saw one as well being a perishable, refrigerated and frozen item.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And while I, this is going to be a good conversation for both Jeanne and Vasa. When did you start to actively invest in branding? Since packaging is key for a product like yours. I mean, first its packaging, people must fall in love with the package. And then later on, it goes into Instagram, social, e-commerce, all of that. But for brands like yours, the package is so important. Did you go through a lot of iterations in the beginning? Was it literally, was it just created by the family? How did you start off? How did it evolve?

Jeanne David:

In the beginning, it really, I look back and I cringe at what we had on the shelf before Vasa came on. We did hire a graphic designer early on, and thought it was good at the time. And obviously, we thought it was good because we went to market with it. But right around that time, five years ago, I would say was the beginning five, yeah, about five years ago was really this explosion in food and brands. And you began to see really a lot of morphed in branding. So we went through when Vasa joined us, I would say that was kind of the beginning of our branding and we did a hard rebrand, launched that. He joined us in April of 2018. That year, we did, we began a brand, a new branding, and then launched [inaudible 00:23:12] app store by March of 2019. But I would say all of the end of 2018 was when we were working on it-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

So very recently.

Jeanne David:

… creating it.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. And copy is also extremely important for branding, your copy is wonderfully crafted. Just to give my listeners a quick taste, no pun, but we’re officially over bread, but we’re definitely not over pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers and tacos. We’re Outer Aisle, we’re going beyond the grain who’s coming with us? So when and how did you define the brand personality and the tone of voice? Obviously, I know when now because that was just a few years ago. But how did you actually define that personality in the tone of voice as you started going into the different social channels, social being extremely important to a brand right now, especially you give me your Instagram following. How was that determined? Is that something that when Vasa came in, he was like, this is our brand personality? And it was a team exercise, or was it more intrinsic?

Jeanne David:

I think I’ll answer a little bit and then I’ll hand it off to Vasa to finish my sentences. But I would say part of it is who we are, who we want to be. We want to be family. We want to be approachable. We wanted to be fun. So you go through all of those exercises, but it very much was our values, our authenticity. So it was very much in line with our values. We wanted to always be transparent. Our ingredient list is clean. It’s very transparent. So we wanted to be a little tongue in cheek, approachable, never elite or proud or, Vasa you can speak a little bit better to that. And it was a process we went through, but it was very much organically developed.

Vasa Martinez:

Yeah. So the back half of 2018, we had engaged with a couple resources to basically bring the new visual and voice elements to the brand. During that time, I was still mainly focused on organic and paid social. But from a very high level, we wanted to make sure that things were very authentic and relatable. The North Star for Outer Aisles, as long as it feels as though, Jeanne would say it. For me, at least, it makes sense and going back a little bit deeper on this. For me branding isn’t necessarily what’s on the package. Prior to the rebrand or refresh, the package was nothing to write home about, but it still did its job. Because for me what branding is, is really reputation and what that means is the integrity, the ethics, the transparency, the relatability. All of these things add up to that, and the brand, the packaging is just more like a business card, at least in my opinion.

And with all of those things that we addressed early on with organic social and how we treated customers, every time they reached out that one to one relationship, every single time they asked a question where they could buy, how do I get this crispy? Whether it’s email or comments on organic or paid anything like that. I think that’s what really defined it and that reputation has sustained us along the way. The package has improved, and it will continue to evolve. But for the most part, it’s the personality and the heart of the brand, which is that family element, to me that really is the branding.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Makes a lot of sense and what does branding mean to you, Jeanne, I mean, you’ve been through a lot with this brand. Now that you’ve done all of this, what is the essence of a brand to you? What does branding mean to you?

Jeanne David:

Yeah, I mean to me it’s truly the essence of who we are. So our packaging just displays what we stand for, like we’re beginning to now be able to truly differentiate ourselves as a lot of brands come out. And while they have cauliflower in their ingredient list, it’s dried cauliflower. So from the beginning, our brand would always be fresh vegetables. We would never do dehydrated that ground into a flower kind of vegetables, to just make it feel like you were getting vegetables, [inaudible 00:27:59] and it was a very specific thing we were doing. And that was so key to get across to our customers that they knew they were actually getting a product made with fresh vegetables, which has a whole different impact in your system and in your body. So always from the beginning of that knowing, wow, you’re getting a really great quality, clean label product, that you would be happy to feed your families that you would be so proud to be eating.

I mean, we wanted this product because we wanted to buy it ourselves and there was nothing on the market, any anything like it on the market. And we knew like we don’t want words you can’t pronounce in our products. We eat very clean and it’s really usually just one ingredient. And if we eat something that’s already made, then we want to be able to know what every single ingredient in that product is and not have anything else in it. So we just felt like that was the revolution we really wanted to be a part of and so that was the brand represents that. It represents that authenticity and that transparency. Yeah, and it’s fun and it’s lively. We’re a lively bunch. Vasa can attest to that. I think it really, we just really continued to stay true to who we are and make sure that the brand was truly representative of who we are.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Authenticity [crosstalk 00:29:48].

Jeanne David:

Vasa, do you have any other?

Vasa Martinez:

No, I think both of those really address it.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And looking back, when was that moment where you felt like your product could turn into a brand. Like where in the beginning, obviously you launch the product and you were just hoping for the best. But what was that moment? And that might be linked to sales figures? Maybe not. But when was that moment where you just came home and you said, “You know what? I think we’re turning into a brand. I think this is it. We just made it to that point.”

Jeanne David:

Yeah, I would say, as Vasa joined us, and really began… April of 2018, a lot of things began to really change. I describe it as it was, like gasoline on a fire. In 2018, we grew 25% month over month. So that means the product began, our velocities at shelf were really, really high. So that meant that the consumer was really loving what we were doing. So I would say Vasa, that to me, that’s when we’re like, “Okay, we’ve got market acceptance. We’ve got concept acceptance” Because again, we were the first one to market, so nobody was eating cauliflower bread, and it was even too offensive to call it cauliflower bread in the beginning. So to really know that the wave was, and the trend that we were really hoping to set with that, and then I would say the branding along with that was really the moment. Vasa, would you agree?

Vasa Martinez:

Yeah. So I came on board the end of April, early May we started doing our first posting, and it’s not very often you immediately see traction. And during that time, yeah, IG was a little bit different, Facebook was a bit different. There’s certain conditions that were maybe more favorable than the now, but either way, the traction was something where I was like, whoa, there’s something here. Aside from the product solving a huge problem, I believe that there’s a correlation between the how big the problem solves, and when you solve a bread problem and make it low carbon actually tastes good and have good texture. It made sense to me when we started seeing people with product that the sentiment was nearly 100% positive. So everything was tracking in the right direction, and I would say, as a few months progressed summer 2018 hit. I would say that’s pretty accurate as when I realized all right, there’s really something here and we started gearing up for it.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s fantastic. And I always like to come from the high notes to feels like especially with packaged goods like that. I mean, so much can go wrong. I mean, from the manufacturing from the plant all the way to the market, the packaging, how the copy was there [inaudible 00:33:22] enormous brand fail that you look back to and you’re like, Oh, my God, I wish that they would have never happened. Which is something happened with your branding, where you felt like, “Okay, this is something that we will never do again.”

Jeanne David:

Vasa, I’ll let you speak to that.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s the easy way out Jeanne.

Jeanne David:

You have better insight than I.

Vasa Martinez:

Man, I’m really on the spot here.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

If there’s nothing there’s nothing, I-t’s totally fine.

Vasa Martinez:

Yeah, I’m probably going to take the fifth on this one.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah, no worries. Usually with packaging, there are all of these horror stories about that one, I talked to Stacy of Stacy’s Pita Chips. And she had like, okay, how long do you have? Because there’s so many things that can always go wrong. So I always like to highlight something like that. But if there’s nothing on top of your mind, then it’s totally fine.

Vasa Martinez:

No, I don’t think there’s anything on top of my mind [crosstalk 00:34:29].

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Okay, cool.

Vasa Martinez:

Normal growing things, but definitely taking the fifth.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Okay, perfect. Something that I always like to do with my clients. At the end of our brands workshops, we really like to define the brand in one word or two words, really kind of like crystallizing. If you would describe what that brand stands for, and I call it the brand DNA. Like what would that be just in one word, what would Outer Aisle be? Do you have any thoughts on that? If it’s one or two words that basically describe the essence of your brand?

Vasa Martinez:

Jeanne, do want to go first on this one?

Jeanne David:

Yeah, the essence of our brand, I would say pure, clean. Yeah, those are the two words that come to me, but those aren’t [inaudible 00:35:27]… I think more of the product quality in that probably not as much on the brand. Vasa, what would you say?

Vasa Martinez:

If I just choose one word, for Outer Aisle, I’m going to stick with a running theme that I’ve gone with, and that’s family. I think that’s the one that’s the common thread throughout all from the inner weavings of how the organs set up and the departments and how people are treated so great and the love and respect. And even on the packaging below the allergens, it says, love and kindness added. I think for me, when I look at Outer Aisle, when I read about the brand story, when I observe how Outer Aisle operates when I’m looking from the inside and outside, objectively, family is that word.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Family and health most probably right? Yeah, a combination of the two. Jeanne, do you have a piece of brand advice for founders as a takeaway, now that you went through, starting a company in your 50s, which it’s not easy to actually start doing a consumer product from scratch. But definitely, at this point in your life, just to push for this and to say, this is really what I want to do, which is so inspirational. How did you like, are there any things you learned where you say, you know what this is something that I would like to share with other founders, as a takeaway?

Jeanne David:

I would say, I discounted how important the whole branding piece was. And I would say it was huge, and I probably should have paid attention to it sooner. But we were kind of bootstrapping it, you don’t have money to spend on marketing much less the kind of money experts really charge for that. But I would say we decided to just, to do it and it was the best thing we ever did. The other thing is we had a group which I liked. We had someone who was kind of best in class on voice and they were the ones that really helped us with the voice how do we translate who we are and what is that voice. And so we had someone work on voice, someone work on design, Vasa was working on social media and integrating that component. So it was a group effort and it was a very focused effort for about six months and that was probably the most important thing we did for the company and the brand.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Surrounding yourself with a couple of experts in the niche and then and then working together on creating something great as a brand that’s fantastic. I think that’s super super important. And I guess not just one person instead of hiring just one person but actually finding the best guy in voice, the best guy with this and it was an agency. So Vasa Would you say that was true that that was an important time for us?

Vasa Martinez:

Yeah, definitely. Voice is definitely important, got to be consistent with it after it’s identified. That was definitely a strong investment and always is a strong investment is to invest in that visual branding and voice branding as much as it is any other part.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And it immediately stood out to me that’s why I quoted the website copied because it comes through really, really naturally and organically no pun intended. But as we slowly need to wrap up, listeners who fell in love with your brand just now, where can you get a slice of your non bread? Is it all over the US? Is it only in California? Where can people pick it up?

Jeanne David:

Vasa, would we say Store Locator is the best way to go but it is national we’re in, should be in every whole food. We’ve just gone through a little bit of a hiccup there but should be back on shelf. We had a UPC switch that caused quite some issues out there. But I think we’re pretty much back on shelf there at every wholefoods in the country. So hopefully this is our big national account. But we’ve got a store locator that should get you to, lots of independent natural stores. So yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Fantastic.

Vasa Martinez:

You can find us-

Jeanne David:

And online.

Vasa Martinez:

… online at outeraislegourmet.com. If you click Find a store, anywhere that’s scanning Outer Aisle, you can filter by product, whatever you’re interested in. You can also find this on Amazon by searching Outer Aisle or Outer Aisle Gourmet. And then if you’re in Canada, we actually serve as DTC orders or e-commerce orders in Canada through Sweet & Sprouted, our Canadian partner there. So Google Sweet & Sprouted or find at Sweet & Sprouted on Instagram, and you can order our product and they’ll deliver to you anywhere in Canada.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Fantastic. Very, very good. Well, thank you both for having been on the show. We really appreciate your time and your insights. This is really great.

Jeanne David:

Thank you, Fabian, enjoyed being on the show.

Vasa Martinez:

Thanks so much.


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