Friday 22nd March 2019

    Why These Founders Gave Their Suppliers and Manufacturers a Piece of the Company


    Shira Berk had spent most of her career as a publicist, but in 2010 she started making gluten-free cookies and selling them at her children's preschool. The side hustle took off. Five years later she was operating her brand, Goodie Girl Cookies, out of a commercial kitchen, selling $25,000 in product a year, and she wanted to go bigger -- fast. "I didn't want to take the time to raise the money and go on all the interviews with all the incubators," she says. As it happens, a manufacturer, Greg Toufayan, of the bakery company Toufayan, wanted to get into the startup game. So they came up with a plan: Toufayan would invest in Goodie Girl and focus on production, logistics, and financing, and Berk would focus on sales and brand building.

    Does Berk miss having full ownership of Goodie Girl? Nope. "It has given me the ability to do things I never thought I'd be able to do," she says. In one year, sales shot to $1 million. "I'm able to go into retailers and say, 'I'm partners with one of the largest bakeries in the U.S. -- what do you need?'" Once, Walmart's buyer requested a gluten-free fudge-stripe cookie. Goodie Girl whipped up a batch and sent it to Walmart within weeks. The buyer loved it. Today, Goodie Girl’s national sales exceed $10 million.

    Continued here