We are small; we are in the food industry; we are struggling. Learning the ins and outs of this business as we go, taking some good knocks, and hardly scraping by is what I call putting myself through Kate’s business school, and a true test of will, sacrifice, and perseverance. A struggle? More than most can imagine. As I have been told by others, most entrepreneurs will constantly question what they are doing, and why they are doing it. I personally want to curl up in a little ball and disappear, start a new life, get away from it all. Yes, it’s true!
Yet, I am compelled to keep going. It is no fast easy road, yet anyone from the greater Jackson Hole area will tell you with bright eyes and enthusiasm that “Kate’s is everywhere!”, and “Killing it!” I love it, and yes, while it may seem that way, it’s really not that easy. It takes a lot more than selling a few thousand bars a month to turn a profit.
Employees, payroll, rent, loan payments, organic inspections, kosher inspections, health department inspections, ingredient orders, shelf life, C of A’s, reps, distributors, shipping, receiving, margins, mistakes, packaging, bills, inquiries, demos, events, shows, promos, ambassadors, web maintenance, marketing materials, design, reports, accounting, social media, more inquiries. This represents but only a slice of the world at Kate’s. Only a slice.
“Why aren’t you gluten free? Why are you so expensive? Why not use agave? Or stevia? What about a nut free bar? Why aren’t you 100% organic? You should make a label for hunters, fishermen, golfers, personalized labels. You need to get into Trader Joes, Costco, Amazon, backcountry.com, Wegmans, Whole Foods, PCC Markets. You should sponsor this event, that event, go to OR, outer bike, inter bike, coffee shows, gift shows. All you need is a big distributor, a celebrity endorsement, display racks, an investor.”
Yes, we want and need to do a lot of things at Kate’s. There are so many potential opportunities; it can be overwhelming. Yet, as a small company our approach is one step at a time. We do not have the power and ability to do all the things the bigger bar companies are able to do, but what we can do is keep our vision alive as we chip away at all of these things we are planning.
Vision? What vision? Why did I start this company anyway? Did I start this to be able to sit behind a desk every day feeling my flesh crystallize, to be able to work on the weekends, or get gray from anxiety? Hell no!
I love to play, and I love to eat great tasting real foods. These two things are some of the best health insurance anyone can find. Good food and good play are where I personally choose to spend my extra time, and money. My vision is to be able to grow a successful enough company in order to give back more to what I believe in and love: growing outdoor play and sustainable organic agriculture. But, the most rewarding part of getting here is all of the wonderful relationships we are creating along the way. Precious. For me, it is the best part of the business. I don’t know how I can fully express my gratitude to all of you who who have helped and supported us along the way. Thank you!
We are on the road to “Killing it!”
I originally intended to write about the gluten free phenomenon, how it is such a big impact on the food industry, and what our current status is on “gluten free.” It sparked in me the difficulties of being a small business owner in this industry, and so has opened up a series of topics I will be able to elaborate upon so that I can bring you, our fans, into the real world of Kate’s Real Food. Next time, a bit of talk about the gluten free phenomenon. -Kate