Bushwick Kitchen Startup Journey — Bees Knees Spicy Honey RSS

Wholesale Update: 2015 Numbers & New Strategy

At the end of 2014, there were 19 retailers carrying Bushwick Kitchen products, heavily concentrated in Brooklyn & Manhattan. Fast forward to today and our products now grace the shelves of 265 retail locations in 38 states around the US & Canada. In other words, we grew our retail footprint by 734% in one year, which resulted in $220,000 in gross revenue in 2015. Not bad, right? To be frank, it was a ton of work, replete with nerve-wracking trials and head-scratching errors. We cobbled together strategies learned from fellow food entrepreneurs, tactics borrowed from the world of growth hacking, and some good ol’ fashioned sales moxy. (Thanks Glengarry Glen Ross!) In the end, we started to reap the rewards...

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Selling to Retailers: Part I

                    One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. Over the last 6 months, I’ve learned an incredible amount about selling a food product to retailers. So much so that I thought it would be valuable to share some of these learnings with other small makers that have big goals. Building a thriving wholesale business is tough work, but I’ve pulled apart the key things I wish I had known from the start. Depending on the type of product you sell, there are potentially thousands of retailers that could successfully sell your product, from local mom & pop shops around the corner to national behemoths like Whole Foods that can be found in every major city. In this post, I’m going to...

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Getting a Commercial Kitchen Inspection-Ready in One Week

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. Every last roll of packing tape is out of my apartment. Not a box or bottle darkens my living room. My computer no longer leers at me from its ottoman perch. I have my apartment back and MixedMade has a beautiful new permanent home. From the start, my home has been the office and shipping headquarters. But as we continued to grow, it became an increasingly unrealistic situation. We needed to stay lean on budget, but find a more workable solution: somewhere where product could be made, stored, and shipped, with room to grow new product ideas.  I knew where I wanted to be. A former Pfizer factory in Williamsburg has become Brooklyn’s hub...

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5 Things to Consider Before Leaving Your Job for Your Startup

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. *This post was originally written for Inc.com* Casey is incredibly talented, smart, and has a knack for figuring things out. That said, he has no prior entrepreneurial experience. He has no trust fund or family inheritance to fall back on. Having lived in the income-sucking city of New York for the past nine years, he doesn't exactly have a plush savings account either. So imagine my surprise when I read an email from Casey a few weeks ago saying, "I've thought a lot about this, I can't keep sacrificing the thing that excites me for the thing that pays my bills. I'm giving my notice so I can focus full-time on MixedMade." Here are the issues that...

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And... I QUIT!

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. Today is my first day of unemployment. Or, more accurately, today is the day I’m finally a full-time employee of MixedMade. I woke up and forced myself to take a shower, put on deodorant, brush my teeth, and pick out an outfit (I did allow one celebratory indulgence: a half-bottle of champagne). And now it’s time to get to work. When we began this, I was in my ninth year with the same company, happy and comfortable with a great salary, amazing benefits, and a job I could do in my sleep. It was the perfect environment to start a side project. The problem was that it was safe. I felt frustrated that my...

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