June 20, 2012
We’ve been quiet on the blog front recently so I wanted to send an update. There are so many incredible things going on that I’m not sure where to start.
First – we got picked up regionally by Whole Foods! As an entrepreneur, getting a call from Whole Foods to discuss regional placement is one the best calls you can ever receive. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled. Since then – i’ve had a chance to meet many of the Buyers, Demo Specialists and Local Foragers in the region (did you know that Whole Foods has a role specifically dedicated to finding new, interesting local items?? so cool!). All in all – an awesome group of people that really know food, and are enthusiastic and supportive of what we’re doing.
Another highlight – I got a chance to meet John Mackey, Founder & CEO of Whole Foods as part of the YouthTrade & Whole Foods Market launch gala. (that’s him speaking in the photo above…I’m in the pink top behind and to the right…I had just finished a 45-second pitch about Biena to the audience!) We had a great conversation about Biena, he tried all 3 flavors and said he would like to eat Biena Chickpeas at the movie theater instead of popcorn. Now THAT was a cool moment.
Some other great updates:
The Biena team is growing. Isabel joined the team 6 weeks ago, and she has been rocking the house ever since. Sheryl joined the team to help with demos and events. She is a rockstar when it comes to telling people about our brand, the benefits, etc.
We won the TIE CHallenge! TIE Challenge is a startup accelerator competition. 122 people applied, and we were one of the 5 winners – what an honor! There were 2 rounds of evaluations – with the final round being a closed-door pitch to a panel of judges. The winners were announced at a big gala as part of the TIECon East Conference. As a winner, we get entered into a 9-month acceleration program which includes getting paired up with mentors, get access to office space and a small cash prize. All fantastic stuff.
We’ve been participating in demos and events galore, including a Boston Public School health fair, demos at Whole Foods, BostonEco event tonight, etc.
We’ve also gotten some great write-ups by folks who have discovered our brand one way or another (two recent ones: check out Elizabeth Eats by Elizabeth Jarred and The Runner’s Plate by Sarah Gold). Finally – we got our first press mention in a Boston Globe article on YouthTrade and Whole Foods.
Its amazing to think how much has happened in the last few months since we launched. I’m truly enjoying the ride so far, and our team is kicking it into high gear to keep moving things forward!