Ep. 061 – Living and Breathing Healthy Kale Chips, with Julie Bernarski, Founder and President of the Healthy Crunch Company

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Today we have Julie Bernarski, Founder and President of the Healthy Crunch Company

Julie’s company makes an amazing Kale Chip product and she was so nice she sent me a whole box of it!

In my opinion, these are the biggest, most satisfying kale chips I’ve ever eaten. The flavors are crazy innovative and the kale is a nice, dark green.

Though we talk a lot about the product on the podcast, I feel the best takeaway advice is for if you are thinking of starting a product based business. It’s to love your product, and also love your competitor’s products and the more research you do with your competitors, the more of an advantage you will have.

Other than that, Julie does an amazing job talking about how to network and she lists all of the associations she’s a part of. Most of these associations are women leadership and food related. And this is an important piece of advice: that you should specialize where you network.

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion–there’s something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. You’ll see an amazing new website in Spring 2017. Just go to foodgrads.com

Key Takeaways

  • The secret ingredient to great food
  • How you can improve an existing product with your own vision
  • How a great team means everything
  • Why Julie’s team go to yoga conferences
  • Healthy Crunch’s focused on food safety

Question Summary

Product: Artisan Kale Chips, Free of all major allergens
Tagline: Free of everything you don’t want, full of everything you do want
Steps in her career: Registered Dietitican to Unilever doing Regulatory (food claims, formulations) to Culinary School at New York City, worked in different restaurants, went to Toronto and wanted to start her own food business. Julie started small, and gathered interest fast

Best ways to network: Be a go-getter and be confident on your product. Know your product and don’t be shy. Go to food industry events
Women in food industry management
Canadian women in food
Home Economist Association
Also: Always carry samples, live and breathe this, you give your sample to everyone and eventually it connects

Why you should buy Julie’s kale chips: Big, crunchy, and school safe
Marketing strategy: Marketing team, has amazing promotional material
Most powerful marketing tool: Instagram and trade shows (demos). You get to talk with the customer
Trade Shows in Canada: Gourmet Food and Wine Show
Why Does Your Food Job Rock?: I do so many things every day. From marketing, to production, to trade shows to convincing buyers to buy my stuff
Food Trends You’re Excited About: Getting rid of all major allergens. There’s a whole row in a grocery store that’s free of all major allergens
What’s the biggest thing the food industry has to face?: Food costs are going up
What is one thing you’d like to know more about?: How to scale up and be efficient
Who inspired you to get into food?: My parents. They worked hard. Jamie Oliver too. Julie would like to work with him
Favorite Book: I collect cookbooks all over the world
Favorite Kitchen Tool: Plastic Cutting Boards
One Meal to Eat for a Month Straight: A nice, roasted salmon
Salmon Skin
Advice for starting your own food company: Do your research. Know your category inside and out. Make a document of every kale chip in the world.
Advice for researching: Google. Go talk to retail stores and trade shows. Talk, talk talk!
What’s Next?: 2 new flavors (cucumber dill, mango jalapeno), launching into the US Spring 2017
Email: hello@healthycrunch.com healthycrunch.com

Other Links

Sunflower seeds (no allergen)
Culinary School at New York City Natural Gourmet Institute
Coconut Curry
Loblaws
Nitrogen Flush

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