Skip to main content
The Startup CPG Podcast

The Startup CPG Podcast

By Startup CPG
A podcast from Startup CPG - highlighting stories from founders working towards a better food system and industry insights from experts to give you a better chance at success.
Listen on
Where to listen
Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Nemi, The Original, All-Natural Crunchy Cactus (Nopales) Snack
Nopales, or cactus in English, is one of the oldest plants in Mexico, it's been said that nopales was grown and eaten in Central Mexico before the Spanish even arrived. Today, the vegetable is still widely eaten throughout Mexico and United States. It's being called the "Plant of the Future" due to it's drought-resistant qualities, needing little water to survive, plus it's packed with fiber and antioxidants.  Human rights attorney, Regina Trillo, is doubling down on nopales in a big way! She's combined her passion for health, transparency and love for chips to create Nemi's, a crunchy, nutrient-dense snack, inspired by Mexican flavors. Listen in as Regina shares how she's building a sustainable, better-for-you snack brand.  @Nemi @MindTheFont  @StartupCPG 
June 14, 2021
Janie's Life-Changing Baked Goods
Janie's Life-Changing Baked Goods has been transforming lives, including her own. Janie credits baking as giving her hope after she struggled with addiction and homelessness as a young adult. She's also changing the lives of those around her through service and hiring historically marginalized community members. Listen in as she shares her journey through darkness to the bright lights of the Food Network's Chopped Sweets, QVC, and beyond. 
May 24, 2021
Vervet's Canned Craft Cocktails are Harnessing the Cultural Wealth of California
Sparkling craft cocktails from the heart of Los Angeles. Vervet is harnessing the cultural wealth of California and Co-Founder, Tuan Lee, is set on redefining what it means to be an American brand. @DrinkVervet  If your brand is needing clarity on how to show up authentically in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) space, email me. Along side executive producing the Startup CPG podcast I run my own consultancy, Merida Consulting, working at the intersection of DEI + Marketing Communications. Email me at 
May 10, 2021
3 Steps to Refining Your Brand Through Testing
If your brand is feeling a bit stuck in a rut, not quite connecting with consumers, or if you're struggling to set yourself a part from competitors, it might be time to refresh your Brand Strategy. In this episode we'll hear from Rebekah Hubbard, Managing Director at Heart Creative, a content & digital marketing agency. Listen in and take notes as Rebekah lays out the framework for refining your brand in 3 simple steps. Special thanks to our Community Partner Heart Creative, you can find them at
April 26, 2021
Create All-Natural Cocktails in 2 Minutes with Steep't
Never mix your cocktails from scratch again. Meet Alison Nathenson, co-founder of Steep't cocktails. Alison and her partner Chole are making it easier for you to create restaurant caliber cocktails in your own home for the fraction of the cost. Not staken, not stirred, Steep't. Take a listen. 
April 12, 2021
Taking Your Brand International
If you are new around here, we are a  community dedicated to helping young CPG brands succeed. We do this a few ways like giving access to phenomenal resources like our guest today, Mary Allen, who has expertise in taking brands global. She not only advise brands in this space, but she's also done it herself! She sells Savvy Green, a line of eco-clean detergent products, internationally. Listen in, as Mary dives into what type of products should be thinking about expanding internationally and resources to help you on the journey.
March 29, 2021
CONSUMER PROFILE: Midwest Millennial Mom Leaning Into Sustainable Foods
Meet Emily, a midwest mom, MBA-student and professional who is leading her family's journey to sustainable foods. Listen as we spotlight an array of consumer profiles, think 1-on-1 qualitative research, digging into the minds of today's consumers. Make sure to reference the other Consumer Profiles in season 2. 
March 15, 2021
Dip Into Paradise with Founder Emily Edwards
What if I told you there is a sweet icing dip made from plant protein powder…and it’s actually tasty?! Well believe me, it’s paradise in a jar. I’m talking to Emily Edwards, founder of Paradise Icing, she’s a former social worker turned food entrepreneur. Her story is one of health struggles, perseverance, and a whole lotta optimism!  Listen in as we chat about how she’s building a brand that’s tastefully wholesome.
March 1, 2021
How To Build A Sustainable Brand On Shopify
In a crowded marketplace where anyone can open a Shopify site to sell a product, you have to fight for attention. On today’s episode we will hear from Florian Radke, an expert in building successful direct-to-consumer brands. Listen as he breaks down what is really needed to have a thriving brand on Shopify. 
February 15, 2021
CONSUMER PROFILE: This Plant-Based Eater Reads Every Label
Meet Brianna, a self-described plant-based, pescatarian and an avid label reader. She's new to city life and enjoying the easy access to new cultures, flavors and brands - even during a pandemic. Listen as we spotlight an array of consumer profiles, think 1-on-1 qualitative research, digging into the minds of today's consumers. 
February 8, 2021
Poppilu's Founder Melanie Kahn Is As Bold As Her Lemonade
Melanie Kahn, founder of Poppilu Lemonade, shares how she’s been able to land on the shelves of top retailers like Walmart & soon to be Target. And how going bold on product innovation is paying off.  Follow Poppilu on Instagram @drinkpoppilu
February 1, 2021
Meet Our New Host
Meet Jennifer Yepez-Blundell, the new Startup CPG podcast host. Jennifer has an eternal curiosity for brands who are building better-for-you products and think outside the box, literally. She will showcase the diversity of thought behind some of today's youngest brands and highlight resources that  help emerging brands level up each day. 
January 25, 2021
Nacho Average Podcast with Lauren Joyner, Founder of Loca Foods
Lauren Joyner is the CEO and Founder of LOCA Foods. LOCA's first product is a plant-based nacho sauce for the 21st century, made from potatoes. Lauren has really done her research to understand what it is about food that we enjoy - what purpose does it serve, in what context is it shared, how does it make us feel? This is such an important mindset for disrupting a broken food system. Understanding what doesn't work, how it got that way, and why we cling to it are essential foundations for building a better product. On this episode, Lauren and I talk about how LOCA is reinventing comfort foods in a way that's better for humans, animals and the planet. We discuss important angles for thinking about nutrition, shelf life, and even dive into the history of America's obsession with cheese.
November 21, 2020
Season 2 Trailer - What's Next for Startup CPG?
Startup CPG is a community of passionate people who love to build products that make our bodies happy, and our world healthy. In less than a year our community has grown to over 1200 active and engaged memebers. We have bigger and better projects in the pipeline to support small CPG brands -  the best is yet to come. 
November 21, 2020
Ep. 11: Sculpting Your Business with Operations Mastery with John Schiaroli, President and Founder of Armatura Company
John Schiaroli loves using his years of experience in operations to support young brands as they are being molded. He builds operational frameworks for growth, helping young brands create scalable, precise and effective backbones to make sure the business works. John's experience ranges from years at multinational brands like Coke and Pepsi, to more recently leading supply chain operations for brands like RUNA, WTRMLN WTR, and Milk Bar. On this episode, John walks me through the most important lessons for effective operations strategy, whether you're building a new brand with  a few hundred thousand in the bank, or innovating at a large company, you'll find this episode helpful.  For a deeper dive into operations with John, check out his podcast:
November 21, 2020
Ep. 10: Garlic + Lemon + Love = Goodness with Mariam Elghani, founder of Garlic Goodness
How do you bring a traditional product to market while maintaining the integrity of family tradition?  Meet Mariam Elghani, founder of Garlic Goodness, Garlic Dips and Snacks. Produced in California with farm-fresh ingredients, Garlic Goodness bring bold yet approachable flavors to homes in California. Garlic Goodness is based off a family recipe that has traveled from the Lavant to Sacramento. One main ingredient has changed - egg whites - to make the dip plant based. Yet, the heart of the dip is still the same. Mariam oversees all the production: "it's the way that we've been making it in the restaurant for the past 12 years." On this episode, Mariam and I talk about what it is like to make essential changes to reach a larger audience while staying true to your roots.
September 22, 2020
Ep. 9: E-Commerce Strategies from Amazon to Shopify with Rachel Barge of Leap Grow and Kate Lin of Right Side Up
Are you thinking about selling your products online, direct to consumer? Not sure if you should start selling on Amazon, on your own website, or somewhere else? Unclear if e-commerce can be profitable for your business? E-commerce and growth marketing experts Rachel Barge and Kate Lin discuss strategies for reaching your customers directly on episode 10. Rachel Barge is the founder of Leap Grow, a premium group of freelance growth marketers and has served as the Head of Growth/Marketing for companies like Hip Camp, Yerdle, and Gig Car Share. Kate Lin is a marketing strategist at Right Side Up. She advises companies on how to unlock additional revenue, from early stage ventures to Fortune 500 companies.
August 29, 2020
Ep. 8: Build a Food Business with Teeth - Chloe Sorvino, Forbes Magazine
Improving something should be inherently innovative, but within the food and beverage world, what really fuels the "better for you" space? As a young company, what support exists to help you stick to your vision and values? In this episode of the Startup CPG Podcast, we interview Chloe Sorvino, a staff writer at Forbes. Chloe covers all things CPG, from Billionaires to Under 30 entrepreneurs. Under 30 applications just opened, so be sure to listen to the entire episode for tips from Chloe on how to stand out in your application!
August 13, 2020
Ep. 7: "You had me at wine" - Gregorio Santiago, on shifting your mindset from product to brand
What really makes a product stand out to investors and customers? Gregorio Santiago has spent his career getting to know the ins and outs of what makes a great product succeed, and why some of the most innovative products never make it to market. Formerly the head of Acceleration and Discovery at Distill Ventures and a serial entrepreneur himself, Gregorio shares some tactical stories and tips with us.
July 30, 2020
Ep. 6: Co-Mans and Co-Packers 101 - Don't Skip the Small Stuff with Matt Suggs of PartnerSlate
What is a Co-Man, Co-Manufacturer, or Co-Packer? If you’re a budding CPG business, should you consider partering with one to save overhead? Turns out, they can be super helpful in securing deals within your supply chain, but there’s a few things you should know before approaching a contract manufacturer. In this week’s episode of the Startup CPG podcast, we sit down with Matt Suggs, the founder of Partner Slate. He walks us through everything you need to know about getting your recipe off the ground and into stores.
June 25, 2020
Ep. 5: Flavor Unites with Clara Paye of UNiTE Foods
Today's episode is a conversation with Clara Paye, Founder of UNiTE Food. UNiTE packs globally inspired flavors and wholesome, gluten-free ingredients and superfoods into nourishing, high-protein snacks. Clara is technically a one-woman show but she's clearly building something so much bigger than herself, and on this episode we talk about the inspiration and process of shaking up a pretty basic niche of CPG, bringing diversity and inclusion to the protein bar space. 
June 7, 2020
Ep. 4: The Power of Partnerships with Caroline Cotto, COO of Renewal Mill
Partnerships come in many forms and, with a little creativity, can present themselves in pretty unique ways! In this episode, we sit down with Caroline Cotto, the COO of Renewal Mill, to discuss the power of partnerships, keeping an open mind, and building a circular economy for food.
May 29, 2020
Ep. 3: Lessons on Authenticity with Co-Founder of Oatly and Good Idea Drinks, Bjorn Oste
Oatly founder Bjorn Oste is launching a new functional beverage, Good Idea Drinks. Bjorn and I discuss what he learned about building an authentic brand at Oatly, and how that is shaping strategy for Good Idea. 
May 4, 2020
Ep. 2: Bissy Energy Drink - The Real Kola with Zach En'wezoh
This episode features Zach En'wezoh, the Co-Founder and Head of Product for Bissy Energy. They're creating social equity for small holder farmers in Nigeria through the use of caffeinated Kolanut products. Zach shares their origin story, how they built their supply chain, and how they're building a brand on a foundation of care and transparency within the supply chain. 
May 4, 2020
Ep. 1: What the F is a Broker?! with Jake Huber
Everyone is asking... what does a sales broker do, anyway? Are they worth incorporating into your business model, and if so, when? Jake Huber from The Better Food Group breaks it down for us on why you should work with one, and how to have a successful partnership.  
April 28, 2020
Welcome to the Startup CPG Podcast
A brief introduction to the Startup CPG Podcast, from your host, Amanda Rodriguez, and Daniel Scharff, founder of the Startup CPG Network.
April 24, 2020