In this episode I interview Ilsa Hess from Love & Joy Foods, producers of Nacheez sauce, in Sacramento, California.
Five years ago Ilsa was working in a government job as an IT consultant for the City of Sacramento. Before that she had professional experience in web design, graphic design, photography, product demonstration and customer service.
All these skills came in handy when she decided to launch her business. One day she found herself craving some nacho cheese from a pump, so she decided to make her own.
After literally bottling her cashew-based recipe, local stores began stocking jars of Nacheez. The product is currently available in over 50 retail outlets across the US.
This is particularly impressive in that, for the most part, Ilsa deals direct with retailers herself. She also packs and ships online sales to customers, along with her parents who are the only additional staff.
Last year the company launched Nacheez in pouches, making it easy for customers to slip into their bags or lunch boxes.
In this interview Ilsa discusses:
• The importance of developing patience when running your business as things rarely happen in the timeframe you want
• Tips on cold calling retailers to stock your products
• How to get into a retailer even if you have few to no sales of your products
• The importance of opening lines of credit while you have a salaried job
• The key mistake new business owners make and how to avoid it
• And much more
Visit the Nacheez website
Photo of Ilsa Hess by Marcos Hernandez
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Vegan Business Media is a multi-media, multi-author blog for aspiring and existing owners of vegan-run businesses, designed to equip them with the information, tools, inspiration and resources they need to start and grow their enterprises. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Katrina Fox.