The Unstoppable Marketer®

Cashflow, Costco, & Chocolate The Perfect Ingredients For Building a Brand | Sterling Jones, JOJO's Chocolate

February 13, 2024 Trevor Crump & Mark Goldhardt Season 4 Episode 21
Cashflow, Costco, & Chocolate The Perfect Ingredients For Building a Brand | Sterling Jones, JOJO's Chocolate
The Unstoppable Marketer®
More Info
The Unstoppable Marketer®
Cashflow, Costco, & Chocolate The Perfect Ingredients For Building a Brand | Sterling Jones, JOJO's Chocolate
Feb 13, 2024 Season 4 Episode 21
Trevor Crump & Mark Goldhardt

Embark on an inspiring journey with Sterling Jones of JOJO's Chocolates as he weaves the tale of his mother's cancer fight and the resulting chocolate brand that's just as dedicated to health as it is to quelling America's sweet tooth. Within our heartfelt discussion, we uncover the roots of Jojo's beloved recipes like the pistachio, almonds, and cranberry chocolate bar, designed to please his mother's palate and cater to her wellbeing during chemo. Sterling's narrative illuminates not just the enduring spirit of Jojo's legacy but also serves as a beacon of motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs determined to make a difference.

Navigating the entrepreneurial seas can be tumultuous, with cash flow and growth management often serving as the stormiest waters. Sterling shares his candid experiences, from the emotional upheaval of leadership changes to the near-financial ruin that preceded a year of staggering growth. Stories of a pivotal million-dollar Costco deal to everyday business challenges paint a revealing picture of the resilience necessary to scale a business effectively. Moreover, we delve into the crucial role of targeted branding and understanding your customer, demonstrating how a nuanced approach can completely transform a business model.

We round out our discussion by addressing the broader implications of our food choices on health and lifestyle, especially as we age and our dietary preferences evolve. From youthful fast-food indulgences to a matured focus on balanced nutrition, our personal anecdotes resonate with the changing health landscape. We also pull back the curtain on the meticulous process of getting a product onto the shelves of major retailers like Costco, sharing success stories that highlight the power of mentorship, strategic planning, and engaging with the community. Tune in for a mix of personal stories, professional tips, and the undeniable influence of a well-identified target audience on branding success.

Please connect with Trevor on social media. You can find him anywhere @thetrevorcrump

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on an inspiring journey with Sterling Jones of JOJO's Chocolates as he weaves the tale of his mother's cancer fight and the resulting chocolate brand that's just as dedicated to health as it is to quelling America's sweet tooth. Within our heartfelt discussion, we uncover the roots of Jojo's beloved recipes like the pistachio, almonds, and cranberry chocolate bar, designed to please his mother's palate and cater to her wellbeing during chemo. Sterling's narrative illuminates not just the enduring spirit of Jojo's legacy but also serves as a beacon of motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs determined to make a difference.

Navigating the entrepreneurial seas can be tumultuous, with cash flow and growth management often serving as the stormiest waters. Sterling shares his candid experiences, from the emotional upheaval of leadership changes to the near-financial ruin that preceded a year of staggering growth. Stories of a pivotal million-dollar Costco deal to everyday business challenges paint a revealing picture of the resilience necessary to scale a business effectively. Moreover, we delve into the crucial role of targeted branding and understanding your customer, demonstrating how a nuanced approach can completely transform a business model.

We round out our discussion by addressing the broader implications of our food choices on health and lifestyle, especially as we age and our dietary preferences evolve. From youthful fast-food indulgences to a matured focus on balanced nutrition, our personal anecdotes resonate with the changing health landscape. We also pull back the curtain on the meticulous process of getting a product onto the shelves of major retailers like Costco, sharing success stories that highlight the power of mentorship, strategic planning, and engaging with the community. Tune in for a mix of personal stories, professional tips, and the undeniable influence of a well-identified target audience on branding success.

Please connect with Trevor on social media. You can find him anywhere @thetrevorcrump

Speaker 1:

Yo, what's going on everybody? Welcome to the unstoppable marketer podcast with me, as always, mark Goldheart. Mark, how are you? Good, great, good, good to be here again, again, yeah, yeah, we're on a recording spree today, two hours later.

Speaker 2:

You're not gonna see it.

Speaker 1:

Well, you'll see it, but you have no idea. We've recorded multiple podcasts today.

Speaker 2:

We're just efficient. You'll just notice the same clothes probably if you watch in the clips.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yeah, I should take my beanie off, maybe yeah or the best and mix it up, ah Big miss big miss shucks. How are you? Things changed in the last couple hours. No Good, no, not really. Well, I'm excited for yesterday.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think we've got two Kind of a serendipitous Storylines storylines, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'll be very interesting. Yeah, I agree with that to inspiring.

Speaker 2:

Inspiring stories of businesses inspiring businesses and stories.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and just good good people to good dudes. Yeah, very good dudes. Well, let's introduce our guests today. Our guest is Sterling Jones, and Sterling is the founder of a brand called Jojo's chocolates and Jojo's chocolates. I'm gonna let you, I'm gonna let you explain a little bit of it, but I'm just. It is a dark chocolate healthier Brand. That was dedicated To your mother, who's battling cancer, who is looking for something healthier to eat that could Give her her sugar fix. That's it. How'd I do? Nailed it decent nailed it.

Speaker 3:

I'd get that out. Yeah, be plus, plus.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Thank you Give him a plus.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, I would even creep up to a minus, I'm so bad at the intro.

Speaker 2:

You should start teacher, you should start doing intros. He's a nice teacher.

Speaker 1:

You got a better memory than me, you know.

Speaker 3:

You should start doing a great job. Hey, all you had to say was when we started like, I love dark chocolate.

Speaker 1:

And I do love dark chocolate. This is another thing. We talk about this, like you know. Well, there's a reason why I feel like I've tried a lot of the products and brands. When we have people on it's because I usually Will we usually reach out to people that we like, not something we haven't used and necessarily have no idea about it's generally, you know, at least nine times out of ten and we have. I mean, if you're watching you, we've got the chocolates right here. These are open. We've been snacking on them, the dark chocolate butter filled bites. I also like the covered pretzels brand new the pretzel's yeah, no one, in no one, has ever known this.

Speaker 1:

This is exclusive on the podcast brand new. Those are new, brand new, and no one's ever told you after they're gluten-free, which we don't tell people tell after look at Mark's face.

Speaker 2:

Now my wife is happy.

Speaker 1:

Yes, we're gonna get that, you bring that. You should bring that, you get that one, she would be so excited.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she doesn't keep her at souls.

Speaker 3:

She can't get pretzels yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm taking the peanut butter one, but you can take that one for, yeah, I'm thinking the pretzels.

Speaker 3:

He said earlier his wife loves this. So and and we had Abby tell us that her mom loved it, which kind of summarizes who eats Jojo's tell us about Jojo's, tell us about you.

Speaker 1:

Let's get into it.

Speaker 3:

You bet you, like you said, my mom, my mom's Jojo Jody Jones was her name, and I started the brand for two reasons. I watched her battle cancer with just so much faith and optimism and love and and Fight and I was like man. I could build a brand around her and who she was, believe we could spread love and and that's really what I wanted to do was hopefully, through this brand it could inspire people to serve to love, to be kind and and fill that love through the brand. And then the second reason was I realized she's not the only one trying to reduce her sugar intake and when I looked into it, average American consumes over 70 grams of sugar a day and the recommended amounts around 30. This is like, okay, maybe we can be a part of the solution, help reduce America's sharing take by 50%. So we say all time spread love and help America reduce sugar intake. So that's what we're all about.

Speaker 3:

And really the brand was my people often will say all this cool, you're carrying on her legacy and and for me, like her legacy was, was her family and was the way she lived. My hope is this brand and the product inspires people to live the way Jojo did and we Internally in the company. We call it loft, love, optimism, faith, fight and fun, and that's what I hope people can fill through the brand and when they engage with us, whether in stores or wherever it may be. But that's what we're all about.

Speaker 1:

Amazing. I love that and and did the. Are some of these recipes, her recipes?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, all the like. The first four were the original one, that's in primarily in Costco. I mean, that's where it's distributed most. It's pistachio, almonds, cranberries.

Speaker 3:

She loved trail mix and our family was always picking out the chocolate chips, though you know, but like yeah, and she love pistachio, so she's like I just need more chocolate and so she kind of took her favorite things almonds, pistachios, added the cranberries, so it's a little bit sweeter, yeah and put that in a bar and she just was snacking on it for a good year while she was going through chemo and radiation. Yeah, and she already has sugar cravings. Depends on the person, but for her through chemo, radiation, sugar cravings went through the roof really is that pretty typical.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you see the lot, you know cravings it just I mean, it's messing up everything right in your body and yeah, cancer feeds on sugar, and so yeah, tires you out, which means your body wants easy carbs and yeah interesting, and so one of the one of the worst things to eat well, going through cancer is sugar.

Speaker 3:

And so she was like in a dilemma, right, and she's like trying protein bars but they don't taste great, you know, and and then she's trying candy bars but she feels bad about it. So she was making this for a good year and I came home I was at school down here in a pro-bou. You went down to live with my family for the summer. It's like man, this is really good, mom, yeah. And so I was like let's go see what we can do. Let's go see if we can sell this to people.

Speaker 1:

So did you get the chance to start this with her?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we had a blast for a good five years and my and the reason in our Internal like theme for the culture fun is there because my mom was so much fun, like I explained her from like a branding Description of like she was very loud but not obnoxious, and that's what I we're trying to do more of at JoJo's be a little more loud, sure, but we're not a brand. So, anyways, we had a good time. We got to do demos in Costco. She saw us get into nationwide and sprouts got into Costco. She actually you know this was more proud for her. She got to see me Beyond the Forbes 30 on her 30. So we got to do a lot of fun things together, nice, and just had a blast. So we developed four recipes together. We've since then, I think, continue, we've launched four additional, but they're all things that she loved. That's kind of what my North Star is nice favorite favorite.

Speaker 1:

Who's your favorite member you got to have with her at JoJo's when you guys launched it? Oh man, In that five years.

Speaker 3:

So many good ones, man, so many good ones. The one that comes to mind is probably Related to Costco. There's so many good ones, but one that that comes to mind is we got into Costco, we. So the first order was like 15,000 units. Right, packaging's on its way and I double-checked the PDF for some reason I don't remember why, and as I was double-checking it, but the bags were all like gonna arrive in two days. We forgot the servings per container on there. So I said servings per container, but I didn't have a number and I was like, oh my gosh, like we're getting the bags on Thursday, we're producing on Monday and we had 15,000. So I went and made like a hand little stamp, like this big, tiny little hand stamp that you had to stamp each bag 15,000 units and we just hung out all weekend and just stamped every bag together and then and so it was.

Speaker 3:

But it was fun. We had a good time together. She made any challenge you know Light-hearted and had a fun with it. Just probably just jammed out to music the whole time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah, what did? What did that personality teach you in overcoming business challenges? Were you able to overcome any business challenge like I mean? That's an example right there, any other ones that her optimism helped you maybe Absolutely not go to a bad place.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, it's. I'm very blessed that she was that way, because I try to embody that she. The fact that through cancer she could still be optimistic, still like serve the people around her, is what I try to try to live. She lived by the quote life is 10%, what happens to you, 90%, how you respond to it right, and so, yeah, I've tried to live that way. It has absolutely helped me through business challenge.

Speaker 3:

I think relentlessness is one of the most important things if you're a founder or anything in business. One that comes to mind is a year, about a year and a half ago now, almost two years ago, yeah, beginning of 2020, let's see two. We were super tight on cash. Like we just we just didn't manage it right. We didn't have a good insight into cash flow, got really tight on it and there was just like it was a moment where it's like man, are we going to run out of money? Like, truly, there was a possibility there, and so, instead of that, I mean I called friends, family, like everything. No, friends or family gave me money at that time, but I just would refuse to like give up.

Speaker 3:

I found a local office here in Utah that wrote us a $2 million line of credit. And then I guess I shouldn't say no friends then went back to my dad after we got that and he wrote us a little check and it was one of those moments where, like, truly, he built this out, man, like it was a moment of we otherwise it was going to be something much worse selling a bunch of equity and getting evaluation. We didn't want. You know, there's always that outcome maybe, but I just refuse to like say we're going to allow this to be it and push through. And so that was one of those moments. That was a gut check, for sure, and during the whole time you still got to stay optimistic. We're still growing, we're still selling product and engaging with customers, and you just have to like be able to believe there's going to be some outcome.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Tell us a little bit about so you know.

Speaker 2:

Can I just make a point about business and maybe what your mom can do anything you want Kind of a maybe I'm reaching with this example.

Speaker 1:

But, please.

Speaker 2:

In business, sometimes the hardest times that some operators and business owners and, you know, employees have to go through is when there's so many leading indicators that make it seem like the business is healthy and great, but there's something kind of like rotting underneath that it's like oh crap, like our cash flows tight and so you're caught off guard.

Speaker 2:

Usually in those moments right, obviously there's ways to not be caught off guard, but when you're growing business like you don't probably don't have like a full time CFO, like monitoring the books every single day and like like giving you projections on your cash flow, like similar to cancer, right, like that catches you off guard. There's something going on inside of in the body that somebody doesn't really know is happening until oftentimes it's developed to a point where it catches you off guard. So, like your mom, like to be optimistic even though you're caught off guard and your expectations of your life have changed In business right, like you could learn from her example, going through something way worse than a business problem right, caught off guard. How do you manage something being caught off guard that you're not expecting, even though, like the appearance, looks like all great for a long time? Right, so how do you, how do you adjust to fix that, that problem internally as a business, and I'm sure her example probably taught you a lot in that right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you're not reaching at all. That is exactly like I feel. Like the last two years you just summarized for me, it was many things where you have to, like, take extreme ownership and be like, hey, it was my fault, they did catch me off guard, right, like they did catch me off guard Hashtag Jocko, absolutely. And so, yeah, that's been the summary last year. So, like after that, where we almost ran out of money and we kind of had my dad come in and help out and receive that two million credit, the board just, you know, said, hey, you need additional leadership with you and you need. You know, we think the best thing is to bring in a new CEO will help you raise money, right. And when you hear that the first time, you're like, no way, like what, I'm the co founder, like that should be me, right.

Speaker 3:

And it was one of those moments again, I literally sat back, thought about my mom's quote like I've got, it's up to me how I respond to this moment. Like I can be a victim. I can, you know, cry about and proud about it. I was upset, but instead I could say, okay, like I've got a partner behind me who, like, is willing to support us and like, still gives additional capital. I've got a potential great mentor that's going to come in and going to help me learn and grow, and I've got a brand that's working that people love. So let's go make the most out of this. And it caught me off guard though to your exact point, they said that completely caught me off guard, but I had a moment to respond to it and decide how I was going to act. And fortunately, because that, like, we grew 50% this last year in 2023.

Speaker 3:

And surpassed you know threat surpass that 20 million threshold that's been like on my vision wall for a long time you know, and we surpassed that, and so there's so many things tied to my mom around the way she responded to things that caught her off guard, and especially hard things, man.

Speaker 1:

Tell us because I kind of want to die. I like it when we talk about some problems. You know not to be on like a negative path here because I think what will happen at the end of the conversation will be very positive. But you know, for a company your size, you know you guys are growing and you're scaling it's it is listeners.

Speaker 2:

You do digital advertising, you do. You do some D to C stuff, but also heavily in the wholesale space.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, heavily retail. Um, it's this. Last year we grew a lot in retail. So I mean for a while it was about 80, 20, 20% on online, 80 in retail. It's closer to 90, 10 now Got it Just because retail is growing so fast, but yeah so that doesn't necessarily mean D to C shrunk.

Speaker 2:

It just means that yeah, with 50% growth, yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so, um, you know, I think a lot of people see this, both on smaller level businesses and larger level businesses like your guys is you know what, what type of things happen or can happen and you don't have to give us exact examples here that can put a company like yours in a predicament like that where you could be in rough cash flow situations. So things that maybe our listeners could maybe look out for and pay attention to.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I heard it for so long. Like, cash flow is is everything Right and you're. When you raise money, sometimes you get blinded by that because you're like well, I got, I got endless now, which is not the right perspective at all. Um, it is absolutely the number one. I think it's. You can grow yourself out of money, right? Um, we hear that often and I think I we didn't have the right insight into cash flow, we weren't managing it well, we had kind of a fractional account at the time and there wasn't a cash flow management going on. Right. So, um, for us, like for an example, costco, let's say, we get a million dollar order, right, we're gonna, we're gonna ship that December 1st, we're gonna make it in November, right? So now you bought the ingredients in October, you're making it in November, you ship in December, you're not getting paid till January. Yeah, and then you've also got a because they've got you on net 30, net 30.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And you know, give or take, right, right, um. And so also on top of that you got to we, we have to pre-pay for demos. It depends on your terms, meaning, if we run 60 demos in the Northwest region, that's $25,000, but we need to run three of them in a row, so we, we pay for those in advance.

Speaker 1:

So you mean hold on, hold on, let me, I'm on a. You pay for your demos in Costco. Is that what you mean? Yes, so you go to Costco before they put a PO in, or something like that.

Speaker 3:

Once we get, the PO Got it, and then they make you pay for that. Yeah, pay for the demo. So we get this PO for millions saying it's going to deliver in January, we're gonna do, we're gonna do demos in January, yep, but we're not gonna get paid till February, got it. So then we pay for these demos throughout the month of January before we get the money from the PO, got it? And so now you're you're out all the ingredients costs and you're out a hundred to $200,000 in demo costs. Sure, you know.

Speaker 2:

And so that's something that just like caught up to us caught up to us before we realized.

Speaker 3:

You know, and, and you, you kind of put in your other expenses in there, and then also it's like, oh, we got to put in this prepayment for demos, and so those were some things that cost off guard, not saying can, I can.

Speaker 1:

I just plunge here, not saying that this also happened to you, but one more thing that generally happens a lot of times in a situation like this is is you have to hire based on these new growth things that you're doing as well. So what happens is like you, it sounds like you, it sounds like what is it about? A four month period from the time you get a PO put in buying the ingredients to actually going to get?

Speaker 3:

that, yeah, it can be anywhere from. Yeah, yeah, four months.

Speaker 1:

Yep, you know. So you've got to be able to have that run rate and and and. When you get more work, you could be growing still and having to hire new people so that you add like those expenses onto it as well. Like you know, you've got health insurance costs, you've got hiring costs. If you're growing enough, you might have to get a new building that costs more money to rent, I mean. So there's all these things that can stack onto growth, and that's why it's so wildly important to understand profitability and where you're sitting in cash flow. Right.

Speaker 2:

And just the demo. Yeah. Even if you're opening up in 10 new stores. Right, that's a million bucks.

Speaker 3:

Can be, it would be. Let's see, depends on like how many between the product, I'm sorry, like between the period of costs and the demos, like it's like a million bucks.

Speaker 2:

You said it was like 100 to 120.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we run in the Northwest, it's 120,. You know to run for the month of January for the Northwest region.

Speaker 2:

So like if you, if you open up 10 stores, you're looking at a million bucks Like that's crazy, so you could be growing great. But you open up 10 stores, like how do you get a million?

Speaker 1:

dollars, you're at $1,000 or about a thousand bucks.

Speaker 3:

And the other thing, on that note of like hiring, I think there's, and maybe it's just maybe not everybody feels the way, but I feel like we describe businesses as like how many people they have on their team, right? Like people ask how big is your team? Because they're trying to figure out how big your company is, right, and so there's kind of this culture, pressure of like, oh, the more people I have, I'm scaling my team. It's like we're growing, it's like an outward way to show, and I personally probably got caught up in that.

Speaker 3:

I was like, yeah, we're hiring, we're building our team. We got to build our team and what I learned is like the teams that win are the ones that are like, oh my gosh, we have to have these people. Like we can't keep up. That's why we're hiring, instead of the opposite of I'm hiring so that we can grow and that that caught us. It was like, oh, the growth is going to come, it's going to come. So in 2021, it was like the growth's going to come, growth's going to come. And we hired and I was like, mmm, it didn't come near as fast as what we hired for and again, that's a great finance leader.

Speaker 1:

That helps you realize what a great call out, though I appreciate that call out. That's because a lot of people do that right. Like more people are bringing my team, the larger I'm going to get.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we've seen tons of companies fall into that. Right when it's a who are we? That we have a podcast about this. Where it's almost an ego thing. Right when you start hiring because of ego Well, in 2018, I was one of those guys it's like oh my team is this big yeah. And you just get obsessed with hiring in house, just to like almost talk about that you have it yes and hey.

Speaker 1:

Team represents success oftentimes.

Speaker 2:

I also want to minimize the importance of blessing people's lives through work too. Right, Like it's great to give people jobs, but it's it's worse to have to fire them because you mismanaged so much worse.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I mean I've heard that's been my hardest thing, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I've seen. You know who was I just talking to. Who was it? I think we were both just talking to somebody who said that she moved. Oh my gosh, it's. I won't say her name, but she moved from California because this company had hired her. That's right.

Speaker 1:

And brought her on to say we need you to come and run this. And then four months later they had mismanaged everything and they had let her go and she's like I uproot my entire family. Yeah, you know, I grew up here for this opportunity, you know. Luckily for her, things worked out. She found another gig, and you know. But nothing's worse man, nothing's worse than having to let somebody go and for your mistakes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, some tech companies obviously don't feel like they don't have a lot of heart, but like you're a small business, so like that's not easy, those are people that you like know.

Speaker 3:

No, personally, yep, Yep. And you believe it's the team that's going to go the distance with you. You know and that's what you hope. And and sometimes also like hiring in general, like as a first time, like leader hiring yeah you also just. You just make. I've made the wrong decisions, and sometimes it's not even that person's fault, I just put them in the wrong seat.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Speaker 3:

Like I didn't know exactly what we needed. I'm like, okay, I think we need this role, and then like things get going and you're like I needed it, I need a different skill set.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

And so there's sometimes it's that way. Sometimes it is obviously the individual just not being the right fit it for startup life, you know, and so that has absolutely been. That's been one of the hardest, if not the hardest is like hiring than having to let go of people and man. That was definitely the theme of 2021. We we again outward. We won. Like Utah we're not one, we were part of Utah's like top 25 growing they give those awards right Like because growth in 2020 to 2021 was really big Over hired, scaled up to 20 people. We scaled it down all the way to like three, four, four full time and it was just brutal Like.

Speaker 3:

That was one of those moments where, like I remember, like laid on the couch to my wife and just like laid down and obviously just like crying. It was like gosh, I just like failed. I just like failed. And I believe all those catchy themes of like failures is learnings and all that Like I'm buying all that In the moment, though, it's like I failed, like I did. I'm gonna learn from it, so it won't be a failure. But because you let down people, you let down and it was also like man, do I just not know how to hire people Like this is on me at the end of the day.

Speaker 2:

Internal doubts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So that was a moment. It was like gosh man. Now we've tried to be better at adding the right people and we're definitely better at it this time around and better at hiring. Just I think I give people a benefit doubt, which is a good thing once they're on your team. I think before hiring, you need to be like, just be very blunt to yourself. I'm like no, like they're not the right person, they don't have this skill set, they don't have what I want, and just I think making that decision quickly and not being like, oh, let's see what happens.

Speaker 1:

Kind of like dating you hold on too long. Yeah, yes, you're higher fast fire quicker, fire faster. Is that the? So I think it doesn't work out right.

Speaker 2:

For sure. And speaking of dating, I'd love to transition more into your dating life.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, let's talk about. I got three kiddos, so I think I've done dating been done dating for a while.

Speaker 2:

Same here. Can you imagine dating in today's world? Sorry, Abby.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she's not really you know anymore, Come on. Yeah, that's right, You're not really dating anymore. Just bring Abby's personal life into it.

Speaker 2:

Well, she was. She was going on dates recently.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Looks miserable out there. Yeah, it'd be hard.

Speaker 1:

How long you been married? Eight years. Eight years, yeah, I don't know. You're probably like eight years. You're not at 10 yet.

Speaker 2:

How old are your kids? Well, theo's turning seven, so that would be eight. We're coming up on our eight year anniversary.

Speaker 1:

I feel like I knew that for you yeah. I were 15 in September. Really 15 years, that's a long time, isn't that wild?

Speaker 2:

That is wild, that is wild.

Speaker 1:

Oh, big boy, congrats on that. I've been out of the dating scene for 15 years.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we lived it in the good days. That looks rough out there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, pre. Well, I take that back. It wasn't quite pre-online dating when I was dating, because people were dating through. It wasn't like a.

Speaker 3:

Tender, tender, right, when I met my wife Do the same On our first date.

Speaker 2:

Everyone was on Tinder at that time. On your first date, you were on Tinder, no on our first date.

Speaker 3:

my sister walked in at the end we were leaving the house and she came home. My wife was like oh, how'd you meet him? She was like Tinder. And this is our first date. My wife goes yeah, I think I was about to get a Tinder account. I think I should do that. Like this date didn't go well. She's already thinking about getting Tinder. But luckily it locked it in.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was neither of us. I get Tinder. It was my space in Facebook that, like people would try to utilize as a dating app when I was Dude. You just said my space, my space.

Speaker 2:

Come on man Facebook yeah, my space Really. People find dates through Facebook.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely my friend's older brother.

Speaker 1:

That's where he found his spouse. They got divorced. But you know, you know sorry. This podcast episode is brought to you by Bestie.

Speaker 1:

Bestie is the first ever AI-powered post-purchase survey platform. Bestie is revolutionizing the way you understand your customers. Are you uncertain about what motivates your customers to choose your products, unsure how customers are discovering your brand, or which marketing channels are most effective in driving sales to your website? Or do you know how long it takes your customers to make a purchase decision? Look no further, because Bestie is the ultimate solution for you.

Speaker 1:

With Bestie's cutting-edge AI feature, you can effortlessly create comprehensive surveys in just a matter of seconds, without the need for any of your valuable time. And that is not all. Bestie's automated insights will regularly provide you with actionable information, week over week, giving you the tools to drive your business forward. Now, with the holiday season in full swing, there is no better time to start gathering valuable customer data. Bestie is offering an exclusive 30% discount for Q4, alongside a 14-day free trial. Do not miss out on this opportunity to supercharge your business and truly get to know your customers. As e-commerce owners and agency owners ourselves, we use Bestie every single day to help us make better decisions on how we communicate, acquire and grow our customers. Visit BestieAI or check out appsshopifycom or go to wwwbestiecom. Don't wait Start making data-driven decisions with Bestie today.

Speaker 2:

Who knows?

Speaker 1:

Well, anyways, sorry, back to what we're. Well, what I was going to say is that you've got to attract people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you've got to attract people to your brand. Yeah, so how do you look at your brand and how do you attract your target audience to it? I mean, you have a great product. I know that people who try it like it. So clearly you kind of meet that standard of it's a good product. What more do you do and how do you view your brand and how you attract people to it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'll tell you what we did. That was wrong at the beginning, which was thinking we were for everybody. I was chocolate, so I was like man everyone likes chocolate, everyone likes chocolate, right, and I always heard the theme what is it? You can't be something for everybody, but be everything for somebody. And I was like I don't like that quote.

Speaker 2:

But I want to be a trillion dollar business.

Speaker 1:

I want to be for everybody. Everyone likes chocolate. My tam is six billion people, the population of the earth.

Speaker 3:

Luckily I didn't put that on the first pitch deck, but yeah, so early on we went too broad and just thought, like people, like chocolate, what do?

Speaker 2:

you mean by too broad? Can you give everyone, because I think this is a great example for a lot of businesses. Yeah, and we all make this mistake at some point.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and in two ways we went too broad with who like in our industry. There's like customers and consumers. Our customers are like Target, whole Foods, walmart. Those are like technically our customers. Then you got a consumer. We went too broad with our customers, meaning like get into any store we could and get into. And for those in Utah holiday oil, nothing against holiday oil, but our consumer which is like a gas station.

Speaker 2:

It's a gas station as far as I'm looking there. Yeah, no.

Speaker 3:

And it's a gas station. That's not your upscale gas station either, sure Right and so like. Why would we get in there? It's not like a maverick, it's not a maverick, I'm just kidding.

Speaker 2:

There's some nice holiday oils, yeah.

Speaker 3:

No offense to holiday. The experience isn't consistent and they know their consumer. I even talked to the buyer. He's like I know our consumer, yeah, and he said I know that these are gonna sell it.

Speaker 3:

He goes, but I love your products, so I'm bringing it in and like so. That's just one example of being like man. Why would we even spend our time there? And there's other retailers like that, where they're, you know, a whole foods of sprouts, of target. Like those places are consumers going in and everybody talks about this, but it's so hard because I actually need revenue, right.

Speaker 3:

So that was a mistake. We went too broad and just tried everything instead of saying, hey, I'd rather really be in 30 whole foods and crush it and be able to tell everybody this is how well we're doing here, let's go into and so forth. So that's just learning there. And then, when it comes like marketing, too early on we tried CrossFit. That's where, like, I got our start, that's where we first sold, but we did learn quickly. Like CrossFit, yeah, they like it, but they're still looking for high, high protein and protein bars, right. So we went to yoga and yoga like consumers definitely, right, consumer, but you can't sell into yoga studios, really. And so we we learned quickly.

Speaker 3:

Okay, that's where our consumer was, but we didn't also hone in on the right age and demographic. I'd say, like I saw discovered to be what for us, yeah, definitely skews older, meaning like we feel like Abby said this morning. She's like, oh, my mom loves this, like that is what we hear all the time, and so what we're learning right now is like the older mom which my mom my mom was 50, right, like that, 45 and older love JoJo's because they've been trying for so long they feel guilty about eating chocolate. They've been trying so long to find something they can not feel guilty about and they're they've tried different diets, unfortunately for my mom tried so many different diets, deprived herself, and she's like, wow, I can have this every day and not feel bad about it. Yeah, and so they're kind of in this stage where they're still wanting to have chocolate every day. They've graduated from the Reese's or M&M's every day and so they're already buying maybe a little bit more premium chocolate. And that's the thing too.

Speaker 3:

I thought I could convert people that are eating a Snickers every day Like I'm not going to convert that person today to JoJo's, they're going to have their milk chocolate Snickers. I need to find those people who are already on a health journey I've already made some changes who are looking for better free ingredients. So where we've ended up is like kind of that 40 and older, better for you consumer who's already making better choices and honing in there Instead of just on social, on influencers especially. I think that's where we made some big mistakes early on Going too young, too young, and we saw, and the mistakes we made is like I was comparing myself to brands that one had way, way bigger gross margins so they could afford them, and brands that sell better online, like we sell better in retail, and so it just wasn't comparing apples to apples I look at like cosmetic brands we can do that or clothing brands is like man, that just doesn't correlate to JoJo's.

Speaker 2:

That makes sense. My wife, who would be probably in your target, she's a little lower end. She's turning 34.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but her intent, her intent's different, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I would wager that it goes down to about that 33, 35, because, like five years ago, we would dude. Five years ago, before all of our kids and everything, man, I could eat ice cream every night. Yeah, we could both eat ice cream every night, right, and it didn't really affect us. But now, dude, no way, yep.

Speaker 3:

There's no way. It is you're right. It is kind of you turn that like early 30s Yep.

Speaker 2:

Because it's not just about like a health journey, sometimes about like oh, I'm a healthy person. Sometimes it's just like you get older and you just like man.

Speaker 1:

I know that I don't feel good when I eat certain things yeah, or in tune with the bod.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Totally the old bod.

Speaker 2:

Even your 20 and your metabolism's just soaring, running on high RPMs, man Like you can just, but for example, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Now that we're breaking the business down, but, like you know, we drink ollie pops. Right, you're drinking an ollie pop here. The 20 year old who's drinking an ollie pop is probably going to be significantly more interested in a JoJo's as a 20 year old than somebody who, like a 20 year old, who's drinking soda, I would guess. Well, to be honest, the health journey that they might be on I might be interested in more.

Speaker 2:

I might push back on that. I think someone, if a 20 year old's drinking an ollie pop, it's just because it's trendy, it could be. It also could be for I don't think it has anything to do with health.

Speaker 1:

I think you're 90% of the time. I think you've got some rightness in there.

Speaker 2:

It's just like ooh, this is the trend. Trendy Celebrities are drinking it, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I'd say the majority. That younger group isn't quite there.

Speaker 1:

They're still eating Reese's.

Speaker 3:

They're still eating that chocolate that you know they're not thinking of like, oh man, how am I going to fill after this? Yeah Right, they haven't gotten there yet. Well, and this is going to be double or triple what a Reese's is going to cost?

Speaker 1:

Yes, so when you're 20, generally your income's not as high as when you're 40. I'm going for the cheap. Yeah, when I can get cooked up in a lab, whatever. I get three Reese's for a dollar.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, oh, exactly, yeah, yeah, ollie pop, like I didn't. Yeah, you look at it, I hadn't bought a Coke in a long time. I didn't realize how cheap they are and I, first of all, I think it's five times as expensive.

Speaker 2:

Right, can't you?

Speaker 3:

get a Coke for 50 cents.

Speaker 2:

Like I can yeah Because what's a six pack? Like three bucks and then try to go buy a six pack. When I do get a Coke, it's a Mexican Coke 15. I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean Ollie pops are what Two to 250. 250. Yep.

Speaker 2:

Harman's right now. Harman's right now.

Speaker 1:

It's right now. Harman's is two for three.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I've never seen that. That's deep.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, when I was in my 20s, I was eating at McDonald's every single day. Yeah, quite literally, I would eat at McDonald's every day, maybe twice a day. No, oh yeah, going to college playing rugby. Dude, it did not matter at all. I feel like you're going to do that when you and I start working together Not every day, but I still eat at McDonald's like twice a week. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I have not eaten McDonald's in probably 20 years, and full disclosure.

Speaker 2:

I actually still eat Burger King once a week, right?

Speaker 1:

now Full disclosure. There's nothing better than Whopper Dude In all those burger places Just shout out to like consistency of experience.

Speaker 2:

going back to like that's why they were. Where you go to Whole Foods, you know what you're going to get. Mcdonald's is more consistent across the board, but there's certain locations of Burger King that are the best, and 33rd and Highland has the best Burger King in the world Interesting, I'm not kidding you. There is a Double Cheeseburger there that you can get. It's on their value menu. I'm telling everyone go get it. It is the best 250 you will spend. It is the perfect Double Cheeseburger every single time.

Speaker 3:

$2.50 for Double Cheeseburger yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's so gross it is so good, I get it.

Speaker 2:

Like if I'm kind of hungry and I just need like top off, at the end of the day I'll just go get one Need a quick Instead of buying a protein bar.

Speaker 1:

I'll just go grab that.

Speaker 3:

I think we're going to have to pivot this conversation to health with JoJo's Good. Good is relevant there.

Speaker 2:

It's so good. It's so good High protein, right, so it combats that sugar intake.

Speaker 1:

There you go, let's shift gears here. So tell me about. What did it take to get into a store like Costco? What kind of workload. How did that happen?

Speaker 3:

Totally.

Speaker 1:

And. I'm just saying Costco, just because most everybody who's going to be listening is going to know who Costco is yeah, and it's applicable to other retailers too.

Speaker 3:

Totally Getting into retailers.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's also applicable to online stores and what I want to make this connection for people. So the way you think about this is Costco is like a Facebook Right. Costco is like and a Whole Foods like what you identified through. This is kind of the same question that digital marketers have, which is do I advertise my budget in Meta for Facebook and Instagram or Pinterest or a Google or wherever it may be? And there's certain placements within those channels. A Costco right. You have grocery stores and you have all kinds of grocery stores out there right In Utah you have like a Macy's or you have a whatever and a Harman's, which is more upscale. Then you have your big ones like the Costco, but your target demographic that you have found is Costco's target right, Maybe a Harman's right.

Speaker 2:

That's where you want to get into Whole Foods Sprouts. Yep, that's where your target is Right. You're a consumer, yeah Right. So your customer journey is a little different than most, but it's relatable, like so. Just think about retail stores as your channels, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Good, we call them our channels, exactly, yeah, the process to get in. So we had got on Amazon and so that was really kind of what our starting point was. So I had this story to be like here's all my reviews, here's what people are saying about the product. And when we got into Costco we were the healthiest chocolate in Costco at the time, like they had just gotten, like I mean, they had some dark chocolate right, they had just gotten barked things right before us.

Speaker 3:

So the way we the way actually went about it was there was actually a team here in Utah. They were selling a product and they're like hey, we got a meeting, so you want to come with us, and so it was the wrong buyer. But that buyer was able to give me the contact for the right buyer. And then I went back to actually a mentor in Utah and was like man, okay, where do I go from here? And he had a broker he had used probably 10 years prior and he's like I'll connect you with them. He connected me with her and then from there we put together our story, put together like the JoJo story as well as stories around the products, the reviews, and then and at this point, has you kind of narrowed down who your consumer is.

Speaker 3:

Not quite. No, we were still very early, like still early in the sense that we were just getting on Amazon from a brand path for JoJo's. We got into Costco pretty early in comparison to a lot of people.

Speaker 3:

You know, we had just landed sprouts and so we were able to say like, hey, we're in 300 natural stores, so reach out to the buyer, we go to present and we walk in and at that time we called it JoJo's Chocolate Bark and we sit down, show her the bag and she goes I cannot take another chocolate bark, I can't do it. I said, well, we actually don't have to call it bark anymore because we then switched to a bar instead of little pieces. She goes okay, change that. And I was like you know, we refer to it. My mom calls it guilt-free chocolate. She goes oh, I love that, Put it on the bag. So went back, redesigned the bag, come back to her and she's like I love it, I'm in, because it just it fit Costco right. But then what happened? Remember? This was on my birthday and I leave that meeting, call my wife just stoked Because she's like we're bringing it in.

Speaker 3:

Get an email like two weeks later from the buyer. She's like hey, I'm getting transferred off this desk, I no longer buy chocolate, I'm going to another category. And that happens all the time. New buyer comes in. Can't get any responses. Finally get a response like a month later. She's like, hey, I'm not looking at anything new for six months, like I just got you know. So postponing six months, looking back, that was a blessing in disguise. We were nowhere ready to produce that amount of product, like I didn't realize how much it was. 15 Costco buildings is more than 300 sprouts in terms of volume.

Speaker 3:

So it was like so long story short, like we, at least then for those next six months, realize, okay, what's this volume going to look like, and we were able to prepare and get it.

Speaker 2:

I mean it is both. Yeah, it's wild right. And how many consumers is it for 15? I'm curious Like do you know if a consumer just purchases way more at the Costco?

Speaker 3:

I like meaning more product there. I think it's just the amount of people going into that Costco.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're probably still selling the same thing like this in Costco.

Speaker 2:

I'm curious if it's more bags in Costco that people buy. I don't know if it's more bags, I just think more people.

Speaker 3:

So like, for example, a grocery store, we'll say yeah, we'll say in order to be successful here, we need you to sell three units per store per week, Like that's a threshold in our, in our category, right At a Costco it's going to be 100 per building per week. So that just goes to show like that's their minimum expectations right.

Speaker 3:

So so we finally, after that six months of waiting, get back in front of him and then he's like okay, we'll give you a shot in 15 buildings in the Northwest, which is Washington, oregon and Utah, which fortunately we got Utah, because then we we just got those 15,000 bags, hand stamped them. I told you earlier and then we just told everybody in Utah and we did a big giveaway like go find it in Utah post about it and fortunately it flew out of like right out of the gates and then we demoed so we sampled like crazy in the incredible In the buildings with your mom was around for that.

Speaker 3:

My mom and I. We flew up to Washington and drove down to Oregon to sample. And when Jojo sampled, she's selling a palette.

Speaker 3:

Palette in a day, man. She was phenomenal. And when you're throwing a product you're so passionate about it. And what we would do, we'd go talk to the CDS people those are the people that demo in Costco and tell them our story. So they get excited about the product, right Cause we've had. You've walked past in Costco and somebody's just like chocolate. Chocolate, as they're handing it out, instead of be like this is made by a woman and battling cancer. It'll satisfy your craving. So we we did a lot of work to help them sell the product better too.

Speaker 2:

Awesome, and so that at that time did you guys start really honing in on your message around the sugar, right, so it's guilt free chocolate, like. When did you become more passionate about, like sugar intake and health?

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It was through the second mom going through it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it was really through my mom's. I started my senior year of high school. I had to go fully gluten free and dairy free because I just had a ton of health issues. I had a like surgery and all this and learned from gluten and dairy. I cut it out and man like it changed my life and so that's where it all started and then watching my mom go through cancer and just learning of man. There are so many negative impacts of sugar. It's, it's addicting. I mean cancer feeds on sugar. You got diabetes, you got obesity. You got so many of these metabolic diseases that are related to that.

Speaker 2:

So this passion just kept growing. What is your recommended amount?

Speaker 3:

is now. It's around 30 grams a day around, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Which I bet is probably even which is what is?

Speaker 2:

what is that?

Speaker 3:

Intake over 70 over 70.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, have you seen those TikTok videos where they'll like tell you what 70 grams look like? Like? They'll show you what 70 grams of sugar looks like in the sugar, uh huh.

Speaker 3:

Doesn't just shock you, it's crazy. Well, I have your right.

Speaker 2:

The stat that I wanted to make sure was true is in colonial America, so 1700s. The average intake oh, I've read this dude. The average sugar intake for an American was six pounds for a year.

Speaker 1:

For a year.

Speaker 2:

For a year, so six pounds, and then in the 1800s it jumped up to like 25 or 30, and then 1900s, I think, it was like 40 to 60, and now we're up to 90.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh yeah.

Speaker 3:

We're not, our body's not made to crazy process that man and everybody's like why is cancer so rapid? Why is cancer so rapid? Why is it?

Speaker 1:

Why is heart disease?

Speaker 2:

It's like 90 pounds.

Speaker 1:

Why are we all obese?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and mental too, like absolutely man.

Speaker 2:

Well, I had a friend Well like people are addicted, as kids, and they don't even realize it. Yeah Right, because of all the high sugar. Just, totally Just cereal.

Speaker 3:

This full bag of chocolate pretzels right there. That full bag is the equivalent in sugar for one serving of honey nut Cheerios oh my, you can eat that entire bag and that's going to be one serving Like the one bowl you feed to your kid is equivalent to that. That's crazy.

Speaker 1:

I was saying I had a friend in high school who, like, all of a sudden started getting wild anxiety. I mean, anxiety went through the roof as a 16 year old. That was really weird, because you know most I mean I shouldn't say most 16 year olds as a 16 year old, for me I just live so carefree so I felt like I had no anxiety. You know, I'm just you know, and I realized that is probably a very what's the word I'm looking for, probably not the best thing to say because there's so many 16 year olds out there who deal with so much. But I luckily wasn't right.

Speaker 1:

But my friend, all of a sudden, just he went, he did it's like he flipped a switch just overnight. He just so anxious to do anything. And then his mom did some research and said go off a caffeine and go off of sugar. And he did that for a month and it carried everything he was dealing with. It was shocking, I had no idea. And so when I was 16, I started consuming, just naturally, a significantly like I stopped drinking soda, I stopped.

Speaker 2:

Because of what he went through.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just because I was like that's nuts and I just wanted to see if I could do it. So I would just commit myself like I'm not going to drink soda for a year, I'm not going to eat sugar for a year, and I would just do it. And then I'm like I never got any stomach aches this year.

Speaker 3:

Yeah Well, we, the saying that everybody knows is you are what you eat, right. But we, we don't really like internalize that when we're, when we have mental illness, when we have health, we go. We go run into a doctor instead of first being like what am I putting in my body? What can I do to what am I putting in my body? We say 90 pounds of sugar in a year, like what are we putting in our body, right?

Speaker 2:

That's one of the stats I read. That's the average. That's nuts. We're pretty big in America, so that would yeah. I could, that could pan out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh my gosh. All right, what is? What is? What's one of the hardest things you've had to deal with in growing a CPG brand like Joe Joe's?

Speaker 3:

The first thing comes to my mind is probably is is team, is people? Because for me I love people. Like I feel like I got that from my mom. My mom she just if she knew you man, she loved you and you knew she loved you right. So I do love people and I remember I was I was on a call, this like kind of smaller group, with Tom Bill, you, one of the guys from quest, and it was kind of a mentoring thing, and I talked to him and he's like you're all heart and it is going to be hard for you with people, because he's like, because you're all heart, it's gonna make it harder. And at first I was like, no man, people's gonna be the easy part. Like I love people and I think that's partially why it's been so hard, Because I naturally like people and I'm like, oh, I like them, I'll hire them.

Speaker 3:

You know, so for me, that has definitely been the hardest thing is is because it's also our responsibility as like leaders of a company, to find the right people and put them in the right seat, and so I've taken a lot of ownership of that. When I don't do the right thing or don't have them in the right seat, I feel bad about it, right? So that for me, has been the hardest part as well, as I think if you're an entrepreneur, you have to like take a moment to pause and go. Okay, not everybody thinks the way I think.

Speaker 3:

Not everybody's going to come into this and just run through walls and just gonna take it all in and be willing to stay up and do everything for it, because they're not wired that way and I and so sometimes like, yeah, they'll work harder, yeah, they'll, you know. So I've had to stop and ask the right questions and really I think, as a startup too, you don't put in place like good strategies or processes I don't like that word very much so like the right, the right formula to get the right people. So you go to a big company. I mean, your interview process is how long? You know? Weeks, usually three, three rounds, right.

Speaker 2:

At least right.

Speaker 3:

I guess, lululemon, your second interview is a yoga class, right, like they have these things that they like. Make sure you're going to be the right fit. But, you know, start like oh yeah, okay, do you like Joe Joe's? Do you like chocolate? Have you? Have you done some marketing? Cool, let's go. You know, instead of being like let's do, let's put the right things in, let's do some actual like examples. Let's have you go do a project and come back. So that's been the hardest thing for me is learning and learn how to write, find the right people and also make sure that Joe Joe's is going to be the right. Sometimes I was not like I was kind of scared. I would scare them away. Like hey, we, we got to work a lot around here. You know you don't have a lot of resources and I was like, oh, what if I scare them away? I'm like that's probably a good thing.

Speaker 3:

If I do scare them away, then they're not the right and it's again, it's no fault on them, it's just whether it's the right fit for them. So and then managing managing the right way, having candor I think it's been a big, that's a trendy thing. I know radical candor. I think it's trendy because it's so many people relate with the fact that they're not good at it. So one of my biggest challenges I let go of somebody who, if I had just been more candid with them, I think I could have fixed it, and it was. I remember reading radical candor and she starts off with like I was sitting across from his friend and I'd let him go. And he goes why didn't you just tell me? And I remember like, oh my gosh, like that was me. Why didn't I just like tell him and talk to him and give him the chance?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think in business, some of the biggest mistakes I've made, especially with like managing teams, is it's better to err on the side of being just direct, even though you'll come across as potentially like a grouch or mean or whatever. It is right, however they take it. But if you're direct from the beginning, they respect it and it's better to have a communication style that's respected than a communication style that's liked.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I agree Because people, that's consistent, right, so people know what you're saying. And then eventually like, even if it's like, oh, that's kind of rough. Like two weeks later it's like, oh, that's just what they are, but at least I know where I am.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then people end up liking that more.

Speaker 2:

They like it. Yeah, and when you try to always sugarcoat and always oh you know, actually you're really let's talk about all the good things first Like I'm a sugar cutter. Just go straight to the directness and you won't mess it up.

Speaker 3:

And I think we all, like I think we're all internalized and know that's true.

Speaker 3:

I think for some it comes a little more natural for some, so for me it doesn't come natural.

Speaker 3:

So what I've done to be able to do that is, when something happens, I go write it down, like, so I can get all my thoughts out on a piece of paper and write it out and say, hey, this is what, this is what I would like to say to them.

Speaker 3:

So I write it out because otherwise I just like sit on it and I stew on it and then like, and then, like somebody said to me, the dwelling is worse than the doing, so I'll dwell on it for so long. And then, man, it's been a week and it was way you know, they're like now you're talking about that. So I write it down immediately, and then I do try to bring them in and talk to them, like separately, and if I have it written down, I feel like I gather my thoughts, you know, and I'm able to actually like express that as as quickly afterwards as possible. And then the other thing is like declaring, declaring my intent with them. I'm just being like, hey, like, I do this sometimes too and I recognize you know you didn't, so here it is.

Speaker 2:

So that's something that's helped me be able to be more kind of parent to write, because with parenting, sometimes you're in hard situations with your kids, right, and you have to tell them what the standards are and what the standards aren't, and whatever the conversation is, and what I have personally learned is like the less emotional I am about it, right, and just the more like hey, this is what it is. Boom, boom, boom, boom, direct. Like they behave much better too, right, instead of like trying to sway emotions, yeah, yeah With my kids, instead of just like when you're direct, this is what it is Like. I'm not mad, I'm not angry, I'm not like trying to sway you to feel bad either. It's just like.

Speaker 3:

This is what it is, so like yeah, like we say, attack the problem, not the person, right? And the other thing we've tried to do, which we didn't have early on, was like just at least get some of the culture principles written down, because then it can be hey, at JoJo's, we don't do this and it's. And at JoJo's, hey, we at JoJo's, we try to be optimistic. I noticed you were coming at a pessimistic angle from it. You were very negative instead of taking an optimistic lens. So it's just helped us be able to not attack the person always and be like at JoJo's, kind of like as family.

Speaker 2:

Here's the standard. We do this, right. I want to tie that into marketing, right. So it sounds like A. Your hardest problem, or the biggest problem you faced, was team building and identifying the right fit. And then you had to identify the right fit for your brand in terms of consumers right. And then you honed that in and you and you found the right consumer. So what happened to your business when you actually identified that and started saying, hey, this is who our consumer is like? We know our consumer is 35 to plus woman, usually the buyer of the household, right. So like, even though she's the consumer who purchases, the whole family ends up consuming, exactly Right. So what happened to you as you started identifying that and altering the brand and the message for?

Speaker 3:

that we got way more effective on our dollar spent. I say that was kind of first second. We grew 50% last year because we stopped saying yes to everything you know and we really honed in on okay, we're going to go after these accounts because we also have a story that we can tell that buyer to say hey, we work here. And then we got way more clear on this is who we're going to talk to, and it makes it easier to say no to stuff. Right, it just makes it so much simpler to be like no, we don't need to go after that marketing, that shiny object. It just doesn't work for us. We're going to focus on this. It's like a quest bar grew yeah, exactly.

Speaker 3:

I'd say I'd say to me it's simple but not easy. Like it is so simple to know, like this is who I should talk to, this how they want me to talk to. It's still not always easy to do it, because they're shiny objects all the time and there's always saw this brand. I saw that. So it but it but it really focused us, focused our dollars and it's getting us continuing. We're still getting better at it. We're getting more and more effective.

Speaker 1:

What one of my favorite quotes from a book by Seth Godin and I'm not a huge book guy, I'm not a big like read these books and you'll get better kind of guy. I'm more of like a do kind of guy.

Speaker 1:

But one of my favorite quotes is when you, when you treat your customer, when you act like your customers, everybody, you speak to nobody is when you speak to everybody, you're speaking to nobody and I love kind of how this is like all tied together is like that even means the people you're hiring. Yeah when you're saying that everybody can work for JoJo's, you're kind of speaking to nobody. We're finding nobody at that point. When you're saying that everybody can buy chocolate, you're not different enough for for those people to buy from you.

Speaker 2:

So I love. Communication isn't clear. It's like you said. I mean the same internal principles apply externally. Yes, your communication is not clear If you don't have those all written out and the parameters of which you've built the company around. Same thing with marketing If you're not clear about who you're trying to talk to, it's very. You'll find out very quickly that you you're not really talking to anybody. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, dude, thank you so much.

Speaker 2:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

We appreciate your time. We know you got a jet, but where can people find JoJo's? Where can people find you?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, jojostroclicom, find us on there, find us on Amazon. And then a lot of retailers target whole foods, sprouts cost goes. We've got this brand new. It is the greatest chocolate peanut butter bar ever recreated. It has this creamy peanut butter in the middle. It's brand. It's no, it's a brand new one, it's an organic one we just made. It's rolling out in all Costco starting January this month 2024. Morning with the pretzels. Pretzels are in some places target whole foods BJs on the east coast online for the pretzels. Yes, gluten free chocolate pretzel.

Speaker 1:

You'll never know. We're going to cut that as an ad, you know, send it over to you. Yeah, tell me what your wife thinks of those.

Speaker 2:

Oh, she'll go crazy. Yeah, I'm excited for her. She loves pretzels yeah Well thank you so much we appreciate it, brother.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much, everybody, for listening and we will see you next week. Thank you so much for listening to the unstoppable marketer podcast. Please go rate and subscribe the podcast, whether it's good or bad. We want to hear from you because we always want to make this podcast better. If you want to get in touch with me or give me any direct feedback, please go follow me and get in touch with me. I am at the Trevor Crump on both Instagram and TikTok. Thank you, and we will see you next week.

Jojo's Chocolates
Cash Flow and Growth in Business
Branding and Targeting Customers Lessons
Fast Food and Cost of Living
Getting Into Retailers
Anxiety, Health, and Managing Teams
Identifying Your Target Consumer's Impact