There's no shortcut to building a brand - whether it's a company, a movement or for you personally. Every Thursday, The Tartare Project sits down with founders, artists, restaurateurs, personalities, investors and anyone else building interesting brands, both large and small, exploring candid (... or, dare we say, raw - get it?) conversations highlighting all of the failures, successes and everything in between along the way.
The Tartare Project is hosted by NYC-based brand focused investor, Phil Toronto ✌🏼
On this week’s episode of The Tartare Project hosted by Phil Toronto, Emily Schildt, founder and CEO of Pop Up Grocer, joined the show to discuss her meteoric journey in entrepreneurship.
Follow Pop-up Grocer on IG here: https://www.instagram.com/popup.grocer/
and follow Emily on IG here: https://www.instagram.com/emilyschildt/
This week’s episode of The Tartare Project, host Phil Toronto welcomes Annabel Lawee, founder of Breeze, company that serves specialized airport food packages.
You can find Annabel on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/alawee12/
You can find Breeze on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/flywithbreeze/
This week on the Tartare Project, host Phil Toronto speaks with Catharine Dockery of Vice Ventures. The two discuss the early stages of her career, some of the obstacles she faced along the way, and the development of Vice Ventures
This week The Tartare Project welcomes Daniel Soares of Alimentari Flaneur. The two talk about Soares’ idea to build a company focused on selling obscure produce, how his journey in real estate led him to where he is today, and more in a 30 minute conversation.
You can find Daniel on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/flaneur.le/
And Alimentari Flaneur on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/alimentariflaneur/
In this episode of the Tartare Project, Phil Toronto speaks with Jason Karp, investor turned co-founder and CEO of HumanCo. His brand just launched their pizza roll, wonderfully named "Snow Days," with the intention of invoking the joy and freedom of childhood's snow-induced sabbaticals. He packs an immense amount of knowledge about entrepreneurship, overall wellness and the food industry into the valuable episode.
Sara Dietschy (rhymes with peachy) is a YouTuber based in New York City with over 550,000 subscribers on her self-titled channel where she creates and uploads tech reviews, docu-series and vlogs. Through her work, Sara explores the intersection of technology and creativity. Sara rocks the YouTube scene with her contagious zest for life and absolute obsession for tech. During college she wanted to build guitar amplifiers and pursued an electrical engineering/computer science degree for 3.5 years, but then dropped out after finding a passion for video production. Sara has partnered with brands like Intel, IBM, Adobe and Best Buy to enable her creativity and provide the best content possible. That Creative Life is her weekly podcast where you will find candid conversations with CEOs, artists and tech Youtubers. Prominent guests include Gary Vaynerchuk, Linus Tech Tips and Elle Mills.
Ariel Arce is the 32 year-old New York entrepreneur, also known as the Champagne Empress of Greenwich Village and Nightlife Hitmaker, behind Tokyo Record Bar, Air’s Champagne Parlor, Niche Niche, and Special Club, all of which opened within the past two years on MacDougal Street. Ariel’s passions for wine, dinner parties and music shine throughout her spaces. Each has a distinctive identity and offers guests a singular experience yet share the common philosophy that going out in New York should be more than just picking food from a menu or getting a ticket to a show. It should inspire conviviality, human connection, discovery, and be affordable!
A native New York Yorker, Ariel lives in the same apartment where she grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. Her former experiences as a professional actor and competitive gymnast greatly inspired the theatrical elements showcased throughout her venues. Ariel earned her wining and dining stripes at The Office in Chicago, a speakeasy below the renowned Aviary restaurant, and at Pops for Champagne, the "oldest family-operated Champagne bar in America," before heading back home to New York to serve as wine director for Birds & Bubbles and later Riddling Widow. She is considered a thought leader in the wine industry and a tastemaker in the New York dining and entertainment scenes. She is due to publish a book on Champagne in 2020 among other projects that will soon be announced.
Tony Fragogiannis is the founder of Brooklyn Hot Dog Company. Tony was born and raised in New York and after graduating from St. John's University decided to move down to Atlanta and go into the hospitality business with his brother. After being in the restaurant/nightclub business for 9 years, it was time to come back to New York.
Not satisfied with the current selection and varieties of hot dogs in this local markets Tony wanted to change that. In the summer of 2012 The Brooklyn Hot Dog Company was born, an all natural hot dog company focusing on clean recipes and quality ingredients.
Yes, we recorded in the hot dog home base so, yes, you do hear some refrigeration throughout the episode. It's very authentic.
COUPON CODE FOR TARTARE PROJECT LISTENERS: TARTARE25
Ashli is the Founder + CEO of Sunday Forever a 3 ½ year old lifestyle brand based out of NYC. Ashli describes Sunday Forever as your one-stop good vibe shop, offering a curated selection of “Nice Things" from kimono style robes to candles, sage and lighter sets, crystals and handmade protective red string bracelets. The brand has been featured in Forbes, Domino ,Beauty Independent, Allure and more. Prior to starting the company Ashli worked for a major fashion and beauty retailer for over a decade. She lives in NYC with her husband and three dogs. When she’s not running her magical company she’s cooking, flower arranging, gardening or watching something wonderfully awful on Bravo. To learn more about Sunday Forever and Ashli you can follow the brand’s journey on instagram and their website
Monfefo first began in Justine's kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York in 2013. She went from selling the first batch to her local deli to being sold across the northeast, Texas and California today.
Paul is passionate about building a business around people—and after falling in love with coffee at a convention in D.C., he never looked back. As an avid yogi, husband, and father, Paul brings an unparalleled passion and care to Birch. You can find him roasting small batches at our LIC roast house on Wednesdays and Fridays.
What started as a mere desire to have a comfortable place to go and converse with friends and strangers has turned into something more than Jeremy could have imagined. His love for being of service has truly enabled him to help bring Birch Coffee to a higher level. He has a keen eye for what customers want and how to get it for them which is why the company is as known for its elevated service. Jeremy not only oversees the brand’s expansion, he designs the layout for every new store, is responsible for creating brand partnerships and collaborations all the while overseeing the company’s extensive training and onboarding methodology.
Alexandra Friedman is the co-founder of LOLA, the first lifelong brand for your body. LOLA aims to address women’s reproductive health with a commitment to product transparency and a community built on candid dialogue about all of the things we don’t openly talk about. Before founding LOLA with her co-founder Jordana, Alex led analytics at Flurry Analytics (acquired by Yahoo in August 2014) and was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group in New York. She has an MBA from Wharton Business School and received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College. Over the years, she has been actively involved in the Young Women’s Leadership Network, an education non-profit.
Since its inception in 2009, Stang has been the architect of The Infatuation’s editorial voice, creative vision, and marketing strategy. Today his role still encompasses all of those things, but also includes pushing the company forward into new arenas, including the creation and launch of Text Rex, EEEEEATSCON, The Infatuation’s food festival, and the company’s recent acquisition of Zagat. He was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2015 for Underfinger, a review of a restaurant that doesn’t exist, and he still writes from time to time about real restaurants. Prior to taking on The Infatuation full time, Stang was the VP of Marketing at Atlantic Records, working closely with many of the label’s biggest acts including Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Skrillex, Gnarls Barkley, and Panic! At The Disco.
In his current role, Andrew leads the company's sales and partnerships team, using his skill set as a former music business publicist to build deep, meaningful relationships with like-minded brands such as American Express, Nike, Lyft, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Microsoft, Postmates, Mars and more. Under Andrew’s leadership, the company has developed a unique approach for brands to connect with community through food and culture. Whether it’s through relatable content across multiple platforms or live experiences around the world, brand partners of The Infatuation have seen tremendous success with the company’s growing audience of more than 5 million+ monthly users.
Prior to going full time Infatuation in 2014, Steinthal was a Vice President of PR at Warner Bros. Records
Andrés Modak is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Snowe, a direct-to-consumer brand building the home brand for the next generation. Snowe creates essentials for your entire home that are irresistible as humanly possible, including bedding, bath linens, & tabletop essentials and more..Since launching 4 years ago, Snowe has amassed a cult following for their award-winning products and singular brand and been heavily lauded by The New York Times, GQ, Vogue and others.
Andrés began Snowe in 2015 with his partner Rachel Cohen while the two were outfitting their first home together. Uninspired by mass-market budget buys & pretentious traditional luxury brands, they crafted Snowe to offer well-designed, high-quality home essentials at non-luxury prices, and simplify the process of building an inspired home.
Prior to Snowe, Andrés worked in real estate private equity, hotel development and strategy consulting and graduated from Carnegie Mellon & The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
Emily Abbate is a freelance fitness writer and editor living in New York City. When she's not tapping words to laptop, the certified trainer, run coach, and seven-time marathoner is working on her podcast Hurdle, which talks to everyone from entrepreneurs to top CEOs and athletes about how they got through tough times—hurdles of sorts—by leaning into wellness.
Tune into the Hurdle Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hurdle/id1330434098?mt=2
Turned off by the yoga scene in NYC, Sarah created the yoga experience she was seeking out: a no mirrors, candlelit, heated vinyasa flow set to a hip-hop playlist. She held her first pop-up class in Brooklyn in 2013 and has been opening studios across the US ever since. With 10 studios opened to date across New York & LA (and even more on deck in the coming months), Sarah has developed Y7 into a lifestyle brand that touches multiple facets of culture through fun collaborations (like Nike, Childish Gambino & Nice Paper)
Michael Mignano is the co-founder of Anchor, the company democratizing audio by enabling anyone to easily create, distribute, and monetize a podcast. Through Michael's leadership, Anchor has grown to power more than 40 percent of all new podcasts on the market and was acquired by Spotify in 2019 — enabling podcasters of all experience levels and walks of life to have their voices heard. Michael's work has always focused on empowering creators across a variety of mediums. Prior to founding Anchor, Michael led Product for Aviary, growing the photo editing platform's audience to over 100M creators before being acquired by Adobe in 2014. He previously led Digital Product Development for Atlantic Records.
Dee Murthy is Co-Founder of Los Angeles based Five Four Group and Young & Reckless. Five Four/MenloClub is the leading men’s fashion membership e-commerce platform with a portfolio of five brands that include: New Republic by Mark McNairy, Grand AC and Oshenta. He is also a seasoned investor and partner at Queenbridge Venture Partners and partner in popular Las Vegas shoe store, 12 AM RUN. He is a co-host with Chris ” Drama” Pfaff in a weekly lifestyle podcast Group Chat, in addition to his business ventures.
Check out Dee's podcasts:
Group Chat: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/group-chat/id1311062310
Elias Weiss Friedman is the Founder and President of The Dogist. After years in corporate marketing developing a skill set in brand strategy and social media, he was unexpectedly laid off. Elias transformed what most would view as a hardship, into an opportunity. Reconnecting with his childhood passion for photography and dogs, he seized the moment and built The Dogist, one photograph at a time. With hustle, grit and an unrivaled commitment to his art, he built the social media and digital storytelling platform that is now celebrated worldwide by an audience of 3.5 million. He is also a NYT bestselling author, gifted public speaker and proud advocate for many dog rescue and rehabilitation organizations. Nevertheless, humble to the core, he still puts on his knee pads daily and proudly photographs all content for The Dogist with unwavering commitment.
We covered Elias's whole story as per usual on the Tartare Project with him giving solid advice on how to push forward with your passion and grow it into a business just as he did with The Dogist.
HigherDOSE is the leading brand in beauty biohacking and infrared light therapy with spa-focused services and information on “getting high naturally”. DOSE = Dopamine Oxytocin Serotonin Endorphins
Katie Kaps & Lauren Berlingeri are Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of HigherDOSE.
Lauren Berlingeri is dedicated to inspiring others through fitness and naturally-healthy lifestyle practices. After launching her career as an international model, Berlingeri went on to star in her own show, “Woman vs. Workout”—grossing over 15 million views and receiving a Webby Award nomination for Best Host. This experience led to extreme sports hosting for brands such as UFC, EA Sports and IMG. Having cemented her name within the fitness industry, Berlingeri decided to expand her expertise, earning a holistic nutritionist and health coach certification at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Katie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown, studied at The London School of Economics, and was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch before being recruited to be the marketing and business mind behind the San Francisco Marathon. Following the SF marathon, Katie joined Tough Mudder and helped grow the business from $10 million to $150 million in revenue by the time she left.
Grab a HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket v3 for $50 off with coupon code TARTARE
Joe Holder wears a few hats as the founder of the Ocho System, a Nike Master Trainer, Head of Performance for WHOOP, Creative Director of Wellness for smartwater, co-founder of System of Service... and that's not even everything! The Ocho System is a philosophy that was formulated during Joe's time at the University of Pennsylvania which promotes productivity and progress through physical wellness, but more importantly encourages a goal of being holistically, and wholly, better.
Joe and I had a great conversation covering a lot of his concepts like You, LLC , the plant-based gang and how tasting success is when the hard work really starts. Joe's done an incredible job building his own brand(s) as well as lifting up the brands he's been associated with over the years. You'll hear it in the intro, but my favorite thing about Joe is how much he makes me take a step back and think.
Jordan Gaspar is a Managing Partner of AccelFoods, a venture capital firm investing in consumer products. Jordan oversees deal origination, structure and investment execution, as well as heads up strategy, retailer partnerships, investor relations and general management of the fund.
Jordan co-founded the fund in 2014 with the intention of offering entrepreneurs a unique perspective and approachable capital to help them build their businesses. With 36 portfolio companies and growing, AccelFoods operates as a hands-on partner working with entrepreneurs to bring innovative, high-quality food and beverage products to the forefront of the industry and create the next generation of enduring brands.
Venture funds are usually closer to a black box and Jordan gives an extremely candid peek into co-founding a fund. Tune in to hear more about early hurdles, tips for catching her (and AccelFoods) attention, af's unique approach to hiring and a life mantra I'm super on board with 👌🏼
Find AccelFoods on Instagram & Twitter
Matty Mo is a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist and marketing entrepreneur best known for creating the conceptual art group, "The Most Famous Artist."
It was really fun hearing the thinking behind some of Matty's work. Key topics we covered were the importance of being in control of the narrative you're portraying for your online persona (and that you have more power around that than you might think) as well as leveraging media as a growth hacking tool.
The Most Famous Artist.com
TMFA on Instagram
Marc Barros is the co-founder of Moment, the outfitter for photographers and filmmakers. He's also the founder of Hardware Workshop, a workshop series to help fellow hardware founders and the co-founder of Contour, a hands-free camera company that makes action video easy to capture and share. He does startup lessons every week at @marcbarros.
We covered SO much and we had a great time. It was especially interesting hearing stories from Marc's first company, Contour, and how the lessons he took away from his experience competing with GoPro for years shaped his approach to starting Moment. I also really enjoyed hearing the details of his process for evaluating what industry/sector he wanted to play in next post Contour.
Here's where you can find Moment & Marc:
John Fiorentino is an inventor and entrepreneur. He is the creator of the viral product sensations Gravity Blanket and Moon Pod which raised over $6 million dollars on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Both products have since gone onto be multi-million dollar companies that are growing daily.
This was a fun episode especially since John was super open about the ups and downs of his journey to date - everything from the importance of mentors to whether venture capital is right for everyone to his insightful life mantra. John's an extremely talented creative mind and I can't wait to see what he launches next.
Check out John's products: https://gravityblankets.com and https://moonpod.co
Follow him on Instagram: @john_fiorentino
Quincy Moore is the founder and creative director of Knowlita, the parent company behind lifestyle brand NYON. Based in NYC, Moore is best known for coining the slogan New York or Nowhere® and has collaborated with everyone from American Express to the New York Knicks. He lives on the Lower East Side with his fiancée, Samantha.
We have a fun time on Episode 8 - a takeaway from Quincy's path to NYON is the importance of self-awareness. It's back! Original blogger. Brand collaborator. Trademark enthusiast. These are just a few of Q's many hats and they're all jam-packed into this episode.
NYON - NEW YORK OR NOWHERE
15% OFF USING COUPON CODE: TARTARE
@newyorkornowhere & @quincymoore on Instagram
Chris Zarou is the President & Founder of Visionary Music Group/Visionary Records. Founded in 2010, Visionary Music Group is an artist management company and record label based out of New York, home to clients Logic, Jon Bellion, Quinn XCII, Jeremy Zucker, Chelsea Cutler, ayokay and producer, 6ix. Chris builds his artists step by step, combining consecutive small wins into tremendous accomplishments on both the commercial and live aspects of the business.
We cover a ton in Episode 6 like the importance of self-awareness, the early days of Chris breaking into the music business despite having absolutely no easy route in and what its been like watching his artists grow from touring the country in a rental car (illegally according to the rental contract!) into international superstars.
@czvmg on Instagram
Gary Vaynerchuk. You may know him in a number of different ways: founder & serial entrepreneur, investor, NY Times best-selling author, the guy that motivates you on Instagram ... as well as many more. Gary gave me a shot and has taught me so much so having a conversation with him on the Tartare Project was super important to me. We had a lot of fun with this one. We discussed some of the usual items, but covered some new things like the importance of sleep & relaxation as well as some funny travel stories.
@garyvee on Instagram and Twitter
🍷 Empathy Wines
Hear how Helaine Knapp went from a top-selling early employee at multiple enterprise startups to founder & CEO of a fast-growing rowing empire.
After being sidelined with a serious back injury, Helaine went on the hunt for a low impact workout that could fill the boutique fitness studio void the injury left in her life. Her research led her to rowing and that was the start of what would become CITYROW.
Fast forward to today, CITYROW has 50+ franchises in the pipeline as well as an in-home experience complete with a custom rowing machine & app: CITYROW GO.
Helaine on Instagram
CITYROW on Instagram
Nom Wah Tea Parlor is an iconic NYC establishment which has been a part of Wilson Tang's family for nearly 50 years. After trying his hand at the corporate life as well as running cafes, Wilson took the Nom Wah reins over from his uncle and has been focused on expansion ever since. Nom Wah's brand holds a special place in patrons' hearts given its long history on Doyers Street. We get some insight into the restaurant world as well as different avenues available to grow... and, by different, we mean multiple avenues but also unique routes to grow the business.
Learn how Michele Romanow turned a high end caviar startup into one of Canada's fastest growing companies with a few acquisitions along the way. Now, Michele is changing the way that entrepreneurs are able to fund the growth of their businesses through her latest venture, Clearbanc. We cover a lot and there are some great nuggets in here!
Episode 1! Learn how Drama leveraged being a star on hit MTV shows Rob & Big + Fantasy Factory to launch his brand, Young & Reckless, and how he positioned the brand to thrive even after each series came off air. On top of Y&R, Drama also hosts 2 great podcasts: Short Story Long & Group Chat.