Podcast #10: Patch Organics CEO, Gil Kernan, speaks with Andrew D. Ive from Big Idea Ventures about starting a company using Pumpkin Seeds as the base for their plant based dairy alternative beverages.

Big Idea Ventures is launching our very own podcast “The Big Idea Podcast: Food”. Each week Big Idea Ventures Founder Andrew D. Ive will speak with some of the most innovative minds in the food-space and talk about the exciting projects they are a part of.

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Transcript:

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

product, milk, patricia, people, company, business, patch, organics, co packer, challenges, food, dairy, working, consumer, customer, alternative, run, wall street, based, gallons

SPEAKERS

Gil Kernan, Andrew D Ive

 

Andrew D Ive  

Okay, look at that we’ve got music Holy schmoly!! Welcome to the Big Idea Ventures food podcast, where we are going to be talking to Gil Kernan from Patch Organics. Let’s get into the conversation. Hi Gail, how’s it going? 

 

Gil Kernan  

It’s going well, how are you? 

 

Andrew D Ive  

I’m very well. Thank you. So let’s talk everything Patch Organics. Perhaps the start point of this conversation is what is Patch Organics? Tell us a little bit about it.

 

Gil Kernan  

Well, first off, thank you, Andrew for having us and having Patch to be part of the first Big iIdea Ventures accelerator program. It’s been a great boost for us and we’re happy to be partnered with you. Thank you.  Patch Organics is a company that produces dairy free pumpkin seed milk. It’s the first to market with a plant based milk alternative that uses pumpkin seeds. It really creates a tasty and refreshing product and we think it’s a great vehicle for growth and is an essential addition to dairy alternative milks. 

 

We don’t have any almonds, soy and also people are really looking for alternatives to that.  Some people mentioned what was lacking in their alternative milk products and we filled that void. We think it’s the best allergen free friendly, milk alternative out there. You can you can have it straight straight up or we have got the chocolate, you drink this and you’re able to finish it. It’s great with coffee, with smoothies, with your breakfast in your granola or on your fruits.  Things that are nice about it are, it’s vegan, it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. 

Some people are a little worried about transitioning from dairy milk to all dairy. Afraid that they will miss some of the things they enjoyed. One nice thing about the Patch Organics pumpkinseed milk is that it is rich in vitamin D and, as I mentioned, it is calcium and electrolytes free which is excellent.  We are certified non GMO, which so many people in this day and age really want, and it’s important to them and their lifestyles as well. Certified USDA Organic and kosher. 

 

There’s a sustainability story with Patch Organics pumpkinseed milk in the pumpkin seed milk pocket seems rather odd or low water usage, obviously it’s low land usage compared to cow’s milk so that’s a nice story.  We are in shelf stable tetra pack packaging and tetra pack as you may know, are a global company they make billions of containers a year, and they’ve made a big effort on the sustainability part of their packaging. Also, another thing about the pumpkinseed milk is it’s great for diets, including gluten free, keto, paleo, vegan diets, Mediterranean, Atkins, whole 30, low carbohydrate diets and basically is great for anybody who is looking for clean and mindful food and beverages. So that’s a little overview.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So one of the downsides of plant based milks, obviously there’s the allergen piece, which you’ve touched on the fact that a lot of them use nuts and other things. But one of the challenges I found is it doesn’t have the same experiences as regular milk. It has a slight you know, slight aftertaste, sometimes it’s quite watery. You know, it’s second best to dairy and obviously if you want to make a conscientious decision about plant based versus regular dairy, then you’ll go that route, but you’re still looking for that kind of perfect experience.  How does Patch Organic stack up so if somebody went and bought a traditional kind of almond milk versus a Patch Organic milk, what would be the kind of key differences plant based versus plant based in this case, you know, break it down for us in terms of experience, case, nutrition knowledge and nutritionals, if you can.

 

Gil Kernan  

Sure. So what our customers have told us is that they like the mouthfeel of our product and although we use only organic, plant based ingredients, we were able to achieve a rich creaminess in our product that people enjoy. As I mentioned before, it works nicely with coffee and the taste is not too thin whereas I think you will see that criticism aimed at others.  So one thing that consumers don’t understand is that sometimes, if they want a little more protein in, a little more protein might have a slight aftertaste, but we have enough other things that hopefully it’s not overbearing, but the protein in general will create that mouthfeel, if you will.  

 

So you’re asking about the nutritional content.  In the original there were 110 calories per serving, four grams of sugar and five grams of protein. In the chocolate, we have six grams of protein per serving, and in the chocolate it is flavored with sweetener, other five day juice, as well as palm sugar and the nice thing about both those sweeteners is they have a lower glycemic index so you don’t have the spikes and sugar spikes that some people are concerned about. 

Andrew D Ive

So that’s an advantage. Sounds like by using date sugar, for example, you’re making conscious decisions about how you’re building the product, what are the ingredients? You know, you’re not, I haven’t looked at the back of the pack for a while but you know, you’re not choosing E numbers and processed ingredients and so on. 

 

Gil Kerman

 

No, and credit to Patricia the founder of the company for that because her background is in food and nutrition and mindful eating really. She’s a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and really was insistent that we use all organic plant based materials. So there’s no artificial anything. Again, we’ve created a premium product and it’s a premium priced product, also. So while that’s a part of it, again, formulating it properly, the product has good enough mouthfeel and viscosity.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Got it. So let’s talk a little bit about how you guys got started and the team. Young business old business, did you kind of fall into it? What is the origin story of patch organics?

 

Gil Kernan  

Well we are lifelong enthusiasts for food and healthy living and realizing how important what you consume is for your whole health wellness. Like I already explained, Patricia had some training in food science and she started 10 years ago or so a company and I joined it five years ago after having met her and we decided to focus on a non dairy milk alternative based on a request we actually had from a coffee customer of ours in New York City, that was looking for a more sustainable dairy alternative that did not contain soy because of potential health concerns that the buyer expressed, as well as the water usage of almonds.  Patricia came up with a proof of concept period in New York City that worked out well. Then, it was so popular, it became kind of a black market product for the baristas who would sell it under the table to customers who liked it so much. So we decided to go for the CO Packer route in the shelf stable containers where we could really scale the business.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So, only the insane start companies, or at least you have to be a little bit insane to start a company either insane or completely passionate. What were some of the challenges, in the early days and as you built the business, what have been some of the hurdles you guys have overcome?

 

Gil Kernan  

Well, you  expressed it perfectly I think.  The first day of our accelerated program is, whenever you expect both for time and money, it will take multiples of what you actually think it’s going to.. And that’s been true for us too. Patricia, as far as perseverance, and, you know, we’ve crisscrossed the country to find co packers and formulators and things like that. So I do enjoy building a business. My background is on Wall Street, the second company I was with, Sandia Technology Group, I really helped build that business and so the process of building a company is exciting to me, as it is to Patricia, but it’s not without challenges. 

 

Andrew D Ive

You have done this during COVID. You guys have probably not been able to hang out and be in the same room every day all day working, you know, working through the challenges, working on communications, and so on. How have you coped? I assume you’ve been remote, maybe you haven’t, maybe you’ve been running around with masks in the same living room.  

 

Gil Kernan

Well it has created some challenges. As you know, and others may know, we did have a delay in production because of COVID. We were doing some final balancing and reducing sugar etc and our team literally couldn’t get into the laboratory because they were only letting in so many scientists at a time and they had about 100 scientists, so what would be a one or two day turnaround, turned out to be a two or three hour turnaround.  Internally Patricia and I talked daily and occasionally we would zoom with our team. One major challenge has been that the buyers are reluctant to really accept a meeting in person. So almost all the meetings are virtual, of course, we have some grassroots efforts where we meet local merchants, but the challenge is not to be able to, you know, we had plans to do Expo West and Expo East that needs to pass for the universities. So that’s been a challenge, not being able to meet people in person, buyers in person. 

 

Andrew D Ive  

So basically …… Go ahead. Sorry,

 

Gil Kernan  

I was just gonna say I don’t know, if you’re on the call with plant based foods association with, you know, Doug Brady, he talked about how COVID has helped put the online business and plant based in particular has, even though they’re looking for high single or low double digit growth last year, they experienced, you know, 25 to 30% growth. So overall, it hasn’t been terrible for the plant based business. For young companies like ours though, it’s a challenge. 

 

Andrew D Ive

So does that mean because the buyers are not wanting to get face to face and the kind of normal course of business has somewhat changed, that it’s delaying the go to market piece? and therefore when can consumers expect the products on the shelves? 

 

Gil Kernan

Yeah, so we have a little bit of that. We are available right now, shameless plug patch milk.com. We’re applying now and by the time you view this, we will be on Amazon, we trust, unless something really mysterious happens. But yeah, so there is always lead time. I was on another call recently, and the guy from one of the product companies was presenting and said, Hey, good news we’re in one of the major northeast retailers after two and a half years of calling. So you know some lead cycles have been increased, obviously, we are doing what we can to get on the shelves, and we are on some shelves in the tri state area to Chico’s, Palmer’s mart, and some local coffee shops and things like that and we are working with some progress in some other areas as well and hopefully we’ll have good news on those fronts soon. 

 

Andrew D Ive

So it sounds like COVID has sort of slowed the go to market a little bit. It also sounds like you’re pivoting to some degree to kind of move to continue the momentum by moving to a little bit more direct to consumer, and Amazon. From a production standpoint, we’ve kind of briefly touched on distribution from a production standpoint, how does a non food person, non food team, you know, a group of entrepreneurs with an idea, go from idea to product on shelf in a tetra pack? How do you go get it made? You got that? I’m guessing you’re not doing it in your own kitchen. So what’s that cycle? 

 

Gil Kernan

No, as I said, we did it in our own kitchen, Patricia Marshall’s kitchen and Mount Kisco. Tetra pak was identified as a potential partner and they turned out to be a great partner. And so I’ve leaned on them and they are quite wonderful as far as introducing us to the best in the industry. So with most things, if you find great people to partner with, you can end up with some great products.  So our co Packer role of a global company outside of COVID, they have a great procurement team so they have a good insight into the supply chain, and we work closely with them and our projections. They have gathered enough product to meet six months demand. So basically it’s about partnering with great companies and great people to create the product because, again, we take Patricia’s idea with the basic ingredients, but in order to have it in a large production facility, we lean on others with the experience. 

 

Andrew D Ive  

Just to make sure I’m getting this right, Tetrapack is the company who had the packaging, you reached out to Tetrapack and they recommended a contract manufacturer, a co Packer that would manufacture the product for you, is that pretty much how it went?

 

Gil Kernan  

Well, they introduced me to a list of CO packers and I literally hopped on a plane, several planes, and crisscrossed the country a couple of times and to Canada and met with the CO Packer that we ended up using. So the format is so popular, there’s been no shortage of line time, so we’re fortunate to be with who we are with. Another thing that I’d point out is the packaging. We met a great company CA Branding, ultimately CA Fortune in Chicago and they came up with what we think is pretty interesting. It stands out on the shelf package design, you know they talk about, you have half a second or a second for a consumer to see something and decide whether they want to pursue it further and we think they did a nice job with the work they did, again, an example of having an idea and using a good team to help bring that to life. 

 

Andrew D Ive

So there’s kind of two things that I want to unpick. One is you don’t just go and talk to a big company like Tetrapack and say, Hey, we’re kind of thinking about doing this pumpkin milk product, who Can you introduce us to? Because a contract manufacturer isn’t necessarily going to build the product for you, they’re going to want a recipe or they’re going to want at least a foundation of a recipe that they can work on with you. So you need to do that kind of product iteration stage of getting to a basic product or some kind of relevant, go to market potential go to market product, at least, you know, minimum viable product put it that way. 

 

Andrew D Ive  

Secondly, Tetrapack is a significant size company. The cost of the contract manufacturer you’re talking with and working with is probably, by the sounds of it, a significant entity in this industry as well. Why would they take you seriously or why would they take any entrepreneur seriously, and want to do business with them. So I guess there’s a kind of an A and a B. A is, how much product development do you guys need to do yourself before you go talk to companies like this? And how did you do that? And then B is, how do you get companies like that to take you seriously, if you’re an entrepreneur, so I don’t know which one you want to tackle, first, you can tackle them in any order.

 

Gil Kernan  

Working with a contract manufacturer they have to have an understanding of what it takes to put the product in the bottle. You know, if it’s like flow water, they understand you put flow water in, and that’s what it is. But with a new product, they have to understand the mixing and if it’s going to gum things up. And that’s how they get to the pricing so, before they can get to pricing, they have to understand the basics, you know, you don’t give them all of the details right away but you give them a general idea.  And the other part is, we had to make a volume commitment and fortunately the company we were working with, was able to share our vision so they let us have lower volumes. I mean, they’re still high volumes in the first year but you know it’s them believing in the product and believing that we can execute on it. 

 

Andrew D Ive

That was actually the second part of the question I think. So I think you answered why should they do business with you? The part one that was? How does somebody kind of come up with that minimum viable product themselves, before they even go to talk to a larger company that will then go on to build that product? So was Patricia as the founder in her kitchen sort of playing around with different things and experimenting with different ingredients and so on? Did she find a recipe somewhere and she kind of built upon it? What was the initial product development cycle like? 

 

Gil Kernan

Pamela had been making almond milks and cashew milks and she had a good knowledge of the food science and who was working with foods to be able to create  products. So when she heard that the customer wanted something without almonds, without soy, without nuts, she had the base knowledge to go into our commercial kitchen and, you know, work her alchemy, magic, and come up with this. And we brought it to the end customer and they tried it and loved it. And I really think that, one thing that really helped us was that, even though it was a small amount, 50 to 100 gallons a week process when we’re HPP in it, but we were selling out every week and so I think that helped people understand that we were onto something.  

 

Gil Kernan

So without that, I don’t think we could have done it and then as you may recall, we did a test at Tetrapack in their own kitchen and they ran it using the same equipment that the co Packer would have used and then we were able to take those test results and basically, in working with Tetrapack, they got on the phone, they got on the email and say this works. 

It’s not messing the machines up, you can run for 24 hours, you can run for 36 hours, you’re not going to have syrupy gum, which means no downtime, as they don’t get paid for downtime. So I think that was a concern for some that they would have downtime. And so the investment we made in the trial run ended up paying dividends at this point and again, time and money to get to these points. 

 

Andrew D Ive  

And did the alternate manufacturer, the contract manufacturer that you’re using, did they tweak the initial recipe and make it work at scale?

 

Gil Kernan  

They tweaked it in the sense of when we met with Fidel from NP IV they suggested we needed to reduce the sugar content in the original, and so they tweaked it in that regard but other than that, the test we did they were comfortable that we could go into production with. They have their own r&d facilities that they took our formula and called benchtop and you know, when they might whip up 10 to 20 gallons at a time in a production type setting in the lab, and then they take it and they do hundreds of gallons 1000 gallons, our first production. 

 

Andrew D Ive

So where are you guys at the moment? What kind of production number went when you go and produce a batch of product? How many either units or gallons or however you define it, what kind of water production run? 

 

Gil Kernan

The first run was about 40,000 units each, there were some issues. So a total of 60 but it should have been a little higher, but then the next production run, in order for the plant to run efficiently, will be about 100,000 units per flavor.

 

Andrew D Ive  

How many flavors?

 

Gil Kernan  

Right now we have five formulated. Part of doing the fundraiser, and one of the goals of raising money, is to increase our skills because we’d like to have a true barista blend, although it’s good with coffee, we could use a little more viscosity so people can do their rainbow art, lattes and things like that and so once again, that’s about 100,000 units. The five flavors we have formulated already are the chocolate and the original, as I mentioned, we have a coffee flavor formula, we have a ginger turmeric formula which those that love it, love it the biggest fans when we were making that on our own were sell out but again, it’s an acquired taste. And the other one we have formulated is spiced pumpkin seed milk, which will be a seasonal offering, playing on the All Things pumpkin spice around in the fall. 

 

Andrew D Ive

Got it, sounds like something Starbucks should be looking at, especially the seasonal version, because I know my pumpkin spice Latte on an annual basis is a tradition at this point …..  

 

Gil Kernan

And something more than one, Andrew, that’s everyday for you. 

 

Andrew D Ive  

So if we’ve covered the product, covered the distribution, the team getting started, from your point of view, where do you see Patch going? What are you guys trying to build here?

 

Gil Kernan  

Well, what we think we can do, we think we could be the next oat milk product. It’s a bit of a stretch to say we’re the next Oatley, but we think there are enough legs in this category. All milk in the US today is $2.3 billion Korean Nielsen plenty last October, growing 17% as I mentioned, Doug Brady’s talking about 30% growth in certain segments, and the global milk market about 20 billion today growing at 30 billion. 

 

Gil Kernan

As I say consumers are ready for another dairy alternative and we think we hit the mark there.  So we have three legs that are focused on as we’ve talked about, the direct to consumer and we are excited about that. Another one that has really been affected by COVID is the food service, particularly the office and university market, which we’ll have good legs there, as well as your hospitals and nursing homes, the quick service restaurants, you know, the grab and go section at your local Shake Shack, or at your Starbucks to grab and go.  

 

Gil Kernan

And then once we’re behind the counter, in the food service, at the coffee shop, so that’s, that’s a big part of it. And you know when you talk about most CPG products, people tend to talk about retail, and we think there’s a great opportunity with what we’re doing both because of the overall market growth and the uniqueness of our product and partnering with folks like you to spread the word and work on distribution to natural foods and to treat it more like traditional grocery and other retail.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Sorry, I did touch something. I have my mute on because, you know, we’re doing these things from home and I had all sorts of background noise. Apologies. You showed us a little pack. Is it 12 ounces?

 

Gil Kernan  

No, it’s a 243 milliliter fill of a 250 milliliter, which is 8.2 ounces? Is tough to see. 

 

Andrew D Ive

So 8.2.ounces. So that looks like a perfect lunchbox type product that you can put in for the kids who are going off to school. Are you doing other sizes? iIs this aimed at adults, children or all of the above? How are you thinking that it’s going to resonate? 

Gil Kernan

Well, it is aimed at all of the above. Perfect as you point out for children in their lunchbox or in their bag when they’re at their soccer practice or sports practice. Great for the millennial crowd, there are good calories there in the protein. So after your Soul Cycle workout or your other workout, your Elliptical workout, it’s great and the sustainable aspect too, people are just turning to vegan to non dairy options as part of their regular life.  So anywhere you are, any recipe where you’re using milk, as an adult or child, you can use our product right now.

 

Gil Kernan

 As I say, our first run was in the single serve. There is the leader available in the tetra pack that we hopefully will have later this year, early next year, and then service option. If we do find a large commercial customer that had an interest in using this in a baking project or what have you there’s also the possibility, we could do a bag in a box format as a one off large customers. So this product can be direct to the consumer, it can be in a grocery store. 

 

Andrew D Ive

You also see it being in food service. So coffee shops, etc. but you’re also thinking it can be an ingredient within a restaurant or some other kind of food production company. So using it as an alternative to milk in food production. 

 

Gil Kernan

Yes. We were with a consulting company last night, and they were quite interested in that possibility.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Interesting, really good. So currently in what locations? And how long do you think it’s going to take you guys to be national and then further afield? 

 

Gil Kernan  

Let’s see we’re in a dozen or two small, local grocery stores and restaurants quick service in the Westchester, New York and Connecticut area. Smattering in Washington, DC, Alexandria, Virginia area. We are in talks with regional and national accounts. Right now, as I mentioned, it’s a longer sales cycle. So hopefully, we’ll have some account wins on a monthly basis and some of the consultants we’re talking to so one of our use of funds is we have an active add to staff list.  And you know, when I use that term at the staff, we talk about internal and external hires. So, you know, I might be looking for three or four local sales and support.Then more on a national basis to your question is some of the consultants which are essentially outside have plug and play relationships with both the distributors and the end users. You know two universities, think large Safeway, prover type accounts. That would be the other side. Add to staff if you will, on a consulting basis.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Fantastic. What do we do? As the CEO, what are some of the things you’re sort of looking for? In the short and medium term? What are some of the ways that, you know, anyone listening should engage with you, and potentially help you?

 

Gil Kernan  

One thing that again, you’ve been great and BIV has been great about introducing us to the right people, whether it’s food service, or retailing, even some folks to help out the direct consumer. So anybody that thinks it’s an appropriate product that they want to, introduce us to somebody that wants to carry it, in any of the areas we talked about, that would be wonderful. 

 

Gil Kernan

I think everybody knows that the job of the CEO is to, essentially, always be raising money.  So if we complete this round, that will get us to a certain level, as we win some national accounts, we’ll be doing another raise and so that’s exciting and again, anybody that’s interested in us but doesn’t have the exposure they want, currently in the milk alternative space, might have a little FOMO of seeing some that you’ve missed out of, please contact me or contact you to get in touch with me and we can see if we connect there. 

 

Andrew D Ive  

That’s fantastic. I was just gonna say, if someone needs to reach out to you or Patch Organics, they go to patchmilk.com that’s the best location right?

 

Gil Kernan  

patchmilk.com or, like I say, reach out to you or your staff and they have my email gil@patchmilk.com 

 

Andrew D Ive  

Awesome. What about on the social media side of things? How do people reach out to you via socials?

 

Gil Kernan  

We’re at Petro organics, or Instagram and that’s where we’re doing a lot of work. We’re working with some influencers and Patricia’s doing a great job reaching out to them. We’re in part of a place media packaging next month and so hopefully, we’ll hear more about patch organics in the near future and, you know, on Facebook is Patch Organics but individually, we’re on LinkedIn.

 

Andrew D Ive  

And if we have entrepreneurs listening in on this conversation, what would be some of your key takeaways for them, or a key piece of advice in terms of starting a food based business. Apart from don’t do it.

 

Gil Kernan  

Firstly, make sure you have the time commitment, because things take longer than expected. So whether that’s keeping a job where you’re on payroll as you roll things out, or make sure you have the time and resources to stretch your budget again. It’s so exciting to finally make it to this point, but you know, hopefully it wouldn’t take others as long as it took us.  There were delays along the way but again, it’s very exciting to be your own boss, but one of the things you have to think about is you don’t get to walk out the door at five o’clock, right? 

You know you’re on the phone, you’re on your emails too at any time, day or night. Now, you might wake up at three in the morning thinking about stuff from time to time, which isn’t all bad.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Yeah, how do you make sure you don’t go crazy? How do you disconnect and make sure you do get some time that isn’t thinking about the business, especially if you’re working from home.

 

Gil Kernan  

The jury’s still out on that point but I do enjoy getting out and walking, pre COVID going to the gym and getting exercise, cycling. Spending some time in the water. I’m lucky, I’m in a seaside community in Connecticut. So water and fresh air with the dog, I get to go with my wife back to restaurants, hopefully, sounds great.

 

Andrew D Ive  

All right, so basically, your advice is it takes a heck of a long time, be prepared to take much longer than you expect to get things to fall together. I’m also hearing, if you can test the product to test the concept, while you’re doing your full time job and before you need to jump and commit, maybe that’s a consideration as well. I guess that also covers off how do you build a team, if you don’t have any money if things are taking too long?  Obviously, there’s the acceleration approach that you guys took by applying to us. We helped, I hope speeding things up a little. Obviously, we invested in the company, which gives you a little bit more breathing room as well but you know, it’s not an Nevana BIV, or any accelerator or any fund is not necessarily going to dramatically change the game and make it far easier.

 

It still requires the tenacity and the drive and the grind that you guys have shown over the last, what is it 18 months, two years since we started working together?  Yeah. And the funny thing is, I think one of the first things I remember saying as you said is, you know, however long you think is going to take, however much you think it’s going to cost, double it, however much money you think you’re gonna make half of it and then maybe it’s still not as pessimistic as it needs to be and even though I said that to you, I have at times got a little bit testy with you that it’s taking so long. So, you know, I can’t even listen to my own advice sometimes.

 

Gil Kernan  

No, but I think what you point out is testing might seem to be testing but to me, it’s just encouragement, it’s tough encouragement, sometimes that, you know, a mentor is appreciated. You know, you don’t feel good, necessarily at the moment, but the community of BIV has been a great community for business. Just you know, when we’re back to normal, folks that are thinking about food business, go to a conference, go to Expo east, go to Expo West go to World Food at the Javits, what do you have? It’s a welcoming community. 

 

So even though you’re struggling, you will meet like minded people, and you’ll feel good about what you’re doing.  And you know, a big, big thing about what we’re doing, and others in the BIV community and some of the good food Institute and other plant based foods Associations, you’re doing good things, you know, for the environment, you’re doing good things for health, healthy living. 

 

Gil Kernan

So you know, not every I mean, we’ve met people along the way that are happy selling at farmer’s market every week or two and that’s their life and that’s fine. Everybody doesn’t have to have a national international sales goal to find fulfillment in what they’re doing. That’s the beauty of working in the plant based world. What we’re doing and you know, the investors appreciate your consumers appreciating those that are there toiling day to day, you know, find fulfillment in what they’re doing.

 

Andrew D Ive

I certainly feel that of all of the industries I’ve worked in, food is the most collaborative, welcoming. People try and support each other, far less kind of challenges and backstabbing and all the other things you might find in other industries. 

 

I think you’ve come from finance. This is your second career, maybe third career. I’m not sure we’ve ever gone into the depths of that, but you started your career on Wall Street and now and now you’re and now you’re a you know, organic vegan plant based alternative dairy product CEO. That’s right. Yeah. I did start my career on Wall Street and actually prior to that I was the lawn guy growing up in Michigan, but yes, I spent 20 something years on Wall Street in capital markets. So I had a fun career and a great career and you know, appreciate that that helped me get this started. So well, back to the collaborative. Again, we had some collaboration in a good way on Wall Street as well. But this, you know, it’s a happier crowd, if you will, in the food and beverage business.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Absolutely. So thanks for answering my questions today. Thanks for our conversation. I just want to reiterate this one more time. If folks want to reach out to Gil or Patch Organics, you can find them on their website, patchmilk.com  It’s gil@patchmilk.com is his email and patch organics on Instagram, etc. 

 

So please do go along and follow them and become a customer of theirs.  I haven’t looked recently, but on patchmilk.com, you can find out where to buy the product. You can order it on patchmilk.com as well. So you can have it sent to the kitchen of choice and add it to your coffee in the morning. Your cereal at night because that’s when I eat my cereal and just have fun with a non allergenic very rich, very tasty milk product.  Just, so you guys know, Big Idea Ventures has seen a lot of plant based dairy products, plant based milks and this was the tastiest of about 15 we tried in one sit down session, and this product just blew the socks off of all of the others and it made  our decision to invest so much easier because the product was so darn good. So, Gil, I appreciate your time today. Thank you.

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