Introducing sugar-free low-carb chocolate bars – Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 50:42)

PODCAST AUDIO

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Intro

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods shares how she launched her online store that sells unique sugar-free nutritious products with minimum ingredients and reduced carbs.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller; Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods

00:00Introduction
00:44About the business
06:13First steps
10:58Market research
14:36Investment
17:30Getting the first customer
19:52Business model
24:33Team
26:06Growing the business
30:03Competition
31:34Marketing
37:53Mistakes made, lessons learned
43:43Rapid fire round

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller; Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty)
  2. An innovative product or idea and the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: The tone)
  3. A business or productivity tip that you would recommend (Response: Pipedrive)
  4. A startup or business and eCommerce retailer tech that you think is currently doing great things (Response: Olipop)
  5. Best business advice you ever received (Response: Never stop being curious)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey, there entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant and welcome to Trep Talks. This is a show where I interview successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders, and ask them questions about their business story. And also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.

And today I’m really excited to welcome Luisa qui Baker to the show. Luisa is the founder of Funky Fat Foods. Funky fat foods creates high fat, no crab, nutritional, nutritious snacks. And today I’m going to ask Luisa a few questions about her entrepreneurial journey and some of the strategies and tactics that she has used to start and grow her business.

So thank you so much for joining me today at, I really, really appreciate your. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Thank you so much for having me. I’m very looking forward to this call. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, I know you were sharing a little bit, you know, before the interview, uh, that you’re, you know, very involved in health and healthy lifestyle. Uh, share a little bit about your business and how, how your business is helping promote, uh, for people.

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes. So I started, uh, funky Fat Foods four year, four years ago already. And this was because I, um, was diagnosed few years ago with P C O S, uh, polycystic ovary syndrome and the most things that I could find based on my own research because, um, my. Back then did it advise me on following any type of diet?

The only thing I’ve heard was, oh, you should just take birth control and then your hormones will be fine. Uh, but I wanted to do it the natural way. So I did a lot of research and I came across several American doctors actually, such as, uh, Dr. Burke and Dr. Macola. And then I read that a keto or low carp approach would be ideal for people having P C O S.

So when I started that, I. Directly the, the benefits that I got from ener, like from my energy and hormones. Uh, but I couldn’t find a chocolate bar that would fit, uh, into this lifestyle because most chocolate bars back then had a lot of fillers, soy, and wouldn’t stabilize your blood sugars or would it stabilize your hormones.

So this is something that I just felt like I need to do something with this because probably. Other women, but also people with diabetes would love to eat chocolates. That doesn’t spike insulin, that doesn’t kick them out of ketosis. No blood sugar spikes. Uh, but it’s also just perfect for someone who really wants to eat chocolates that have, for example, problems with lactose.

So when I started this, I already realized, wow. I wanna really focus on making a functional chocolate bar. And that’s going back to why it’s, or why we kind of like started, is also because it’s all about helping people live a healthy, uh, nutritious, but also most importantly, an enjoyable lifestyle, right?

You don’t wanna feel, um, hungry all the time. You don’t wanna feel stressed and it, it should be a lifestyle rather than just a quick fix or like a crash thing. And then you. We don’t wanna create snacks that is just for a limited, like a crash diet or something like that. It’s really just to add, not to replace, but re just to add onto to your healthy lifestyle.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So that’s very interesting. So your, um, chocolate bar, it’s. As I said in the introduction, it’s high fat, right? And I’ve heard like there’s many different kinds of diet. You know, as you said, there’s low carb diet, there’s, you know, high fat, there’s like high protein. And a lot of the times, like when I go out to the market to find like, uh, you know, protein bar or something, I’m looking for high protein.

Cause I mean, I’m, I’m a vegetarian, so you know, I need more protein. But a lot of people who work out and think like that are looking for high protein. Um, what. , can you share a little bit about what’s the difference and is it really that you’re, you know, this is specifically for people who are following a certain kind of diet regimen, uh, in addition to like, you know, the, uh, the, um, the, the, the ailment that you were having.

Um, and how is it different from like a high protein bar versus, you know, what is, uh, uh, yeah. What, what is the ecosystem of all the different kind of bars out. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: So for our current, our first product, the funky Fat SH is all focused for people. For anyone following or loves to follow a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow a keto diet because any chocolate sugar candy bar, if you can replace it with our chocolate, You’re way to go because healthy fats will not only give and like sustainable energy, it’s good for your hormones.

We need fat to thrive and we need actually way more healthy fats during our diets. We, I would never say exclude protein because protein is essential, but healthy fats is something that’s super important just to add into your daily diet. And then on top of that, if you are suffering from P C O S or if you follow a keto.

Lifestyle, then this is just something that is just right, uh, up your alley because it’s something that people are looking for when they are starting a diet, when, because then you are kind of limited in the things that you can eat. So I’m always saying like, oh, then it would be amazing to eat the funky fat chuck.

But it’s also really for people. That are actually eating maybe too much sugar and replace that already. Just replace a few of your, like your, your candy snacks if you already can replace it for a chocolate bar, uh, from Frankie Fat Shock. I think that’s already the way to go. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And your bars don’t have any sugar or they have low sugar.

Is it, does it, does it still taste sweet? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes, so our chocolate doesn’t have any sugar. It’s completely organic, and we add extra mc t into the chocolate, which is a fatty acid, also finding coconut oil. And it basically absorbs directly in the liver. So it can, you basically get a instant energy boost. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And so when you started this business, can you walk me through or take.

You know, in the beginning phases. So you, you know, you have this idea that you can create this bar and you can help people, uh, with this, what were some of the first steps that you took to really bring this idea to, uh, to the market? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Um, so the first steps really was to, um, I was back then in Brazil when I, um, started to research the kakao industry.

I found out at an early stage when I was doing, uh, more research about the type of kakao that I wanted to work with. That the moment when you add a lot of fillers, milk, uh, soy, uh, with chocolate, you actually lose the antioxidants of the cacao. , which is super important because Kakao is so healthy and a lot of people associate chocolates with unhealthy, but it’s not chocolate that’s unhealthy.

It’s really the, or like the sugars and all the, all the things that is unneeded. If this is added into the chocolate, that makes a chocolate unhealthy. So this is number one for me. What’s. Okay, what type of ingredients am I going to add into this chocolate bar to not only lose the antioxidant to make it a functional chocolate bar?

And I, of course had the criteria of not raising blood sugar spikes. So it has to also like, has no, no like artificial ingredients. No, no sugar. And it was challenging, but thank God, like really the, uh, there’s so much, and thank God to technology because there’s so much know. Like today on, on the internet to find out about ingredients and people are so helpful, like through LinkedIn and um, like.

if you share your ideas, a lot of people hear like little by little, in Spain we say, like in Spain we say like little by little people are helping you out. Mm-hmm. . So this was super nice to eventually come up to the ingredients that we have or that we’re using today in our chocolate bars. So when I’ve had the, um, ingredients in place, then was the moment when we were able to make small sample.

First it was just at home, you know, like, uh, seeing, like what, what type of ingredients fit well together. I experiments, uh, with Stevia. Then I wanted to have monk fruit, but then monk food was not allowed in Europe. So it was in the beginning a little bit of a hustle. And when I kind of had the idea of the ingredients together, I knew I wanted to add M C T because before starting, uh, funky fat foods, I already added mc t into my coffees, to my morning coffees, to breakfast, to smoothies.

And I feel so energized and I think it’s something that is just in my daily diet. Um, so I wanted to add this into the chocolate bars, but then, um, basic, so when I had the ingredients, it was finding the right partner, a small chocolate shade, uh, to at least. Basically convince, uh, the company to make small samples.

I didn’t have a lot, uh, of money to invest a lot in, in a huge, uh, batch, and I also didn’t know if it would work out or not. So luckily back in Europe, I visited many chocolate fairs. I just shared my idea. I said, look, I wanna create a functional low carp chocolate bar with extra Mc t. A lot of people didn’t know about this.

They said, but you need sugars or you need milk to add it into the chocolate bars. But then eventually I found, uh, the chocolate chair that I had my first samples with. We could produce small quantities. And, uh, with this, I had my first, uh, minimal, minimal viral product to, to share. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So you mentioned mct.

What is, what is mc? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yeah, so MCT is a medium chain, uh, taite, and it’s fined in coconut oil, and it is a fatty acid and a short chain, meaning that it just absorbs directly and that’s why you, um, it’s basically absorbed directly so you get an instant energy boost out of it. And we used MCTC eight C 10, and to the chocolate bars, it makes it more creamy.

But also all the feedback that we get from our customers is they feel like if they are basically on CL Cloud nine and you just get energy, but sustainable energy and that’s what we want, right? Like we don’t wanna have these sugar spikes. I remember before I started like the low carb diet or a keto diet.

I just was constantly hungry. And then you eat something and then after 40 minutes you feel like, oh, I can eat again. Never satisfied. And um, that’s for me really the healthy fats. And that’s also one of the reasons why we call it funky fat foods, because we’re all about promoting healthy fats. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely.

Um, so, so you started the business. Uh, so, so you mentioned that, you know, your bar is functional, which I’m assuming is means health. Certain meaning, uh, meaning that it’s, you know, People use it for a certain function, I assume, but is it also, was, was there other criteria around like, you know, the, the bars have to taste a certain way or, you know, they have to be, you know, for, for people to be able to buy them again and again, you know, it has to be a good testing bar or it has to be a certain price point.

Like how did you really create the product from a, a business perspective? So, Uh, and I don’t know if you did any recent market research to see, you know, what was already available in the market. How did you, like, in terms of positioning this product, what is, what was your, uh, research and, and criteria?

Going to 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: market. I mean, back then I, I already found through research that the keto low carp market was growing, um, crazy in the us so I knew there was a market for it. Then besides that, I knew there was. Or there are, uh, many women facing, uh, or having P C O S. So basically in terms of, um, to make it, because yes, it’s functional so people get energy from it.

They get, uh, no sugar spikes from it. Uh, it’s the extra healthy fats that is good for their hormones, and this means men or women. And it’s fantastic just to, a lot of people just want to enjoy it. Also, like after a workout for energy. So basically I knew, okay, we have to test it first because I think it’s, it’s nice to.

Have something that everyone likes. Of course, that’s nice. But we started really with a target audience and and niche to see, okay, if this audience likes it and they can like, they like it, you have your first ambassadors, then it can grow little by little instead of just aim big and then you don’t know where to shoot in a, in that sense, right.

So we first were just only keto. That’s what our first aim was. Any person following a keto diet should know about funky fat foods. Back then, even four years ago, our company was called Keto Kakao. We changed it a couple years later because we really thought it’s the keto and it’s the Kakao. So keto kakao, but the, then later on, I.

There is way more to it because it’s just not, um, like a keto diet. It’s really also, for example, now, uh, what we see in terms of our sales points is that a lot of it’s now already in the category free from, um, section, you know, like it’s more the organic approach, the, the free from soy, the gluten free. So it’s already more people that are, they’re seeing the benefits of, of eating this chocolate bar bar compared to another, uh, chocolate.

But definitely going back to your question, I hope I, I, um, answered correctly is first we started really with a niche, which was the keto, uh, diet. And then from there we had a kind of like a small following, and then by then we started to, to enlarge the audience a little bit more and to test also, I think it’s, until today we are all constantly testing, testing.

To see, um, not only how we can improve our chocolate bars, we always, we are innovative. We always want to improve, but also to see like how other people, or is there a type of target audience that you haven’t thought of before? I’m sorry. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So you mentioned that, you know, in terms of financial investment, you know you are going to.

You know, you said you, you didn’t have a lot of money, but you were going to these fairs and you were, you know, sharing your idea and you, you know, you started working with some, you know, smaller, uh, kitchens who can create this product. Can you share a little bit about, you know, that, you know, entrepreneurial hustle of not having enough and, you know, how did you actually convince people to invest, you know, their time and, and effort in, in creating this 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: product?

Yes. So basically I showed also the chocolate tier already, the web shop that was created on Shopify. So it was already something like, look, this is going to to be launched soon. And it’s a completely new, uh, thing, but it’s already. Happening in the US in terms of the keto diet, it’s, it’s already huge. And we, uh, luckily, um, I also had family who was supporting me in terms of the research and development costs.

So it wasn’t, um, we were able to produce a small quantity of samples. And with this. I was able to showcase it on the first fair back then it was 2008, 2000, 2018, 2019, where we attended the chocolate fair in Amsterdam. And there it was just, we had a few um, hundred samples there, showcase it to the per to the people.

And it was not a kitto fair, but I felt if at least the people that love chocolate love our chocolate bars and then even on top of that, we. , we can convince them it’s much better than a sugary chocolate or chocolate that you basically filled with artificial ingredients. And if they like it, then we’re good to go.

But I mean, this was an M V Ps, so it was just something that we started with to know, okay, what is the feedback overall? Do we need to change it? Do we need to, you know, here and there? Tweak a little bit ingredients. Um, tweak, tweak a little bit, a recipe in order to, um, to really kind of continue. And I also want to mention that, um, this is a, it’s a thing that, it’s a, a cycle because you produced a little bit of, uh, of chocolate bars back then.

I labeled everything myself back home with my, with my mom and with my family. We just stickered all the chocolate bars. , then you’re able to sell a little bit more. Then you can have maybe a nice deal with your chocolate tier saying like, look, um, I can maybe pay not this, like I can pay after delivery or, so you can here and there, um, in terms of the cash flow.

Mm. Have also deal with your, um, with your distributor or your manufacturer to make sure up like that you already sell before, uh, before paying. I hope I understand. I hope I explain it. Definitely. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, how did you get your first customers? Like when, when, when, when was the, the moment when you put the product out there and someone actually paid to purchase it?

Was it like friend, friends and family first, or, or like, did you, uh, get like a, uh, someone who didn’t know about, about you? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Actually, yes. So back I, um, when I was back in Brazil 2018, I already started with an Instagram account, so just with images that I found nice of a healthy lifestyle. Um, if you want, I can send afterwards some images of our content back then, how it looked like.

We were very, um, I would say a bit bold, uh, eat fat, look at naked, those kind of like statements we had. And, um, it was very focused, more feminine, but on the, like, you know, being, um, shocking in a way that was kind of like our communication. So before having any type of product, before having any web shop, I already started with an Instagram account just to get already some followers and then you can share like, oh, uh, we’re coming soon.

Stay tuned. We had a, um, subscriber list on the website after. Also no product yet, so people can subscribe to the newsletter to stay tuned. So we did that. And then, um, it was, I think it was a coup, it was not expensive to participate at, uh, the chocolate fair that I set in Amsterdam. And that’s where we’re, uh, the first time I just showcased the product.

Of course, I shared it before with friends and family, never sold it to friends. But this is in a timeframe of just a few months before just going to the market. I have, and I think a lot of my family and friends will agree upon this. I have no patience. I’m working on this. Okay. So for me, I think it’s always good to just go out there and share and, and see if people like it or not.

And if, I mean, feedback is always so helpful. So if people don’t like it to get this feedback to listen. You can sit at home, um, working on your product to make, to make it perfect, but when is it perfect? And sometimes when you are working on making it perfect, it’s maybe already too late. So for me, when it’s already that I’m feeling, oh, this stays good, I’m putting it in the market.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: In terms of the business itself or the business model, um, can you share a little bit about, you know, how do you. The, you know, where do you source the, the, the ingredients from who you know, who creates it? Do you, it’s, is it all like, everything is, uh, completely automated now and you’re basically, you know, Making the, the purchase orders and getting the products, uh, delivered to you.

Um, and, and what were the, what were the considerations from a business perspective of, you know, this is my cost and this is the cost that the consumer should pay. And this would also work as a good price point in the market, uh, so that you know, you are making enough profit margin to, to sustain the. . 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Um, so first question is, well, we were, um, we are focused really on marketing, but.

Our brand and our, uh, recipe. We work with a contract manufacturer who produces for us very good relationship with them. And this is something that, uh, is very nice because we can on the daily basis, also work on, on development and, uh, on innovative new, uh, well new products that we working on at the moment, price point wise.

Um, well, as we are still a small company. Of course, then you buy all the ingredients. Uh, these are higher. Our ingredients on top of that are organic certified, so that is also a, a price to pay. We knew that from the beginning. I knew I don’t want to create a brand. Or a product that I don’t stand behind, like I really wanna create something I’m proud of.

So I knew ingredients are number one. And for example, adding organic MCT or to your chocolate bars, it’s not the cheapest thing to do, right? You can go easily for soy or all those, uh, cheap fillers, but. I don’t, I’m not here to create something that I don’t want to share with my family, that I don’t want to eat myself.

Uh, nor do I want to sell something, uh, for customers that is actually not good for you. So that was a bit challenging because at what price points is it still, you know, like margin wise, good for the company. Uh, and that’s still until today, uh, we’re testing the European markets. We’re currently in, uh, only available in, uh, in Europe and in the uk.

And, um, we, I think we have covered a price point now where it is interesting still for us, uh, to continue, but also just based on customer’s feedback. I mean, we, we ask a lot to our distributors, is this a good price point? We see other chocolate bars with the same quantity. Um, kind of similar to, to not go to an extent where it’s a completely different at a, yeah, completely different price.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, your, your business is great in one sense that it can probably be, um, a good subscription kind of a model. Um, yes, absolutely. Can you share a little bit? Yeah. Uh, you know, do you find that, you know, the customers like, or what percentage of customers actually. Convert to a subscription model, is that something that, that you focus quite a bit on?

Because that’s, that could really be a big driver for your business, right? You know, if you, if most of, yeah, if most of your customers who buy, like, convert to subscription, that’s like recurring revenue. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes, we started with the subscription model, um, I would say before summer, so not long time ago. I don’t have the actual data yet, but it’s working in a sense of that, uh, we get, especially from, from our early customers, our early adapters, who think that, oh, that’s super convenient.

So the, they, they do the subscription box and um, also because otherwise you just forget, chocolate is not something that you think of on a. I do, but not everyone thinks of chocolate on a daily basis. But so subscription model is fantastic and I can’t wait really to have this, uh, on a bigger scale in Europe, but also in the US I think it would be fantastic to offer a subscription model, but we definitely see here, uh, growth, uh, with it, we use an amazing, um, well, it’s a integrated system in Shopify.

It’s called re. We use this for our subscription models. Super easy to use. Um, yeah, we don’t have, uh, until now, it’s, uh, we don’t have any complaints about this, uh, model. I think it’s something very interesting to, to add in any type of, of type of basis, such as this. In, in food or, um, or product-wise. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Uh, what is your role in the business?

I don’t, I don’t know. Um, maybe I should ask, you know, How many team members? Is it like a solo business where you’re doing, like you’re mul wearing multiple hats? Or do you have other team members who are helping out 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: also? So, uh, we we’re now with a team of five and actually we like to, uh, have this focus just with five because we have, for every type of role, um, a person, we have social media manager, brand manager.

Sales, um, a sales manager. Um, my sales manager is really focused on distribution. Uh, so more the bigger clients, I would say b2b and I’m more focused on, uh, kind of more like working with the marketing team, but also still sales, uh, for smaller companies. So we do, yeah, and we do it our business, B2C and b2.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And b2b, I’m assuming it’s more of a sales driven, whereas B2C is more of a marketing driven. Is it, uh, is it that way? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Um, yes, but I mean, b2c, uh, on our own shop and for example, we, we manage our own Amazon accounts and we work with third parties, um, that also have, um, like a retailer website. So I would definitely say that B2C is also sales driven, but B2C is way more, um, for example, more communicating and informative, uh, content that we share a lot.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: In, in a business like this where you know you are selling a, like your value proposition is geared towards a certain. Lifestyle in a way, right? It’s like keto specific, um, you know, maybe health regimen or lifestyle, uh, where the consumer or the market is already aware of, you know, this, uh, this diet form and.

So there, I’m assuming there’s not a lot of education that you have to do when you say, you know, it’s, uh, high fat. I think the people who follow this, they can, you know, instantly recognize what this is and what the benefit and things like this. But as, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, When you think about growing your business, um, what do you think is your bottleneck in terms of, you know, getting more people to buy from your, uh, is it really marketing?

Like, is it really about coming up with different ideas, unique ideas, to get the word out there, get the brand out there so that more people can see it and recognize the value proposition and come and buy. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes. I think one of the, uh, things that we are working on currently is really the brand awareness, um, the product positioning how to, what you say.

Also, it’s a good point to so people understand what are the bene, why I, why do I have to eat this chocolate bar for the moment? It’s just a chocolate bar that we. We’re working on new products as well. Always, um, healthy snacks focused on the, on healthy, healthy fats. And it’s really the storytelling. So making sure that the customer understands why, um, he or she needs to eat this.

Um, The benefits of it. But then the other point is also the, uh, I would say research and development, that if you’re still with a team, a small team, you have to put your priorities right. So you have to know, okay, on in which time are we focusing on new products? And this sometimes is, um, yeah, because we have a lot of, uh, we’re very ambitious and we wanna make something that we, as I said earlier, are super proud of and not something.

Another protein bar or just another product. So this is something, um, yeah, to to make sure that you have the right, the right ingredients to make sure that you’re focusing on the right, um, new product, but also again, just the whole positioning your brand, how to com, how to communicate properly, um, to understand for everyone, the US piece of this bar of the current chocolate bars.

Yeah, these are always, uh, something that we are constantly working. Are you 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: in store stores in Europe or store chains? Yes. Um, and is that like a big thing? Do you find that that’s really going to drive success for this one if you know it’s available in a mainstream stores and you know, absolutely available more easily to people?

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Absolutely. And that’s something that in the beginning we started really as a, as a keto brand. Now more people are aware of the importance of healthy fat fats, but also the, the bad side of sugars. They understand. And I think also, um, Corona here helped a lot with this because it’s understanding that.

Goods and healthy lifestyle. It’s just not something that you just do for a while. You really want to have this as a lifestyle and if you then can eat snacks are actually good for you, delicious, and at the same time, nutritious. It’s really good and it’s, uh, something that we will only see more of in retail stores.

Hundred percent. And this is, this is meaning for funky fat foods, but this is for any brand out there. Um, I can only see way more, um, of good products, honest products, real ingredients. I can see that in the real supermarkets and, and, and retail. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, as you said, you know, there’s more awareness about this kind of a thing in the market.

Do you also find you’re, you’re having more competition, like, have you seen other similar brands come up where offering similar kind of products or similar kind of value proposition? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes. Now over the four years there has been some, um, competitors and, um, I mean it also shows the, um, the growth into this interest, right?

So I think it’s also in, you can always see that as something negative competition, but I, so I see it definitely as something that it means. There is a market for, and there is a growing market in terms in terms of health. Uh, and as I said earlier, the free from the, free from gluten, free from soy, and more people are getting aware of, um, the issues people have with eating too much, uh, vegetable oil, stuff like that.

With this, it’s growing a lot and people are way more aware of what they put into their body and they’re way more aware of reading the back labels and understanding the ingredients. And I think like a lot of brands are understanding this as well. That’s. And I, I think it’s something amazing that there shouldn’t be just brands out there, the big brands just filling everything with shitty ingredients.

No, I, I think still that there are, there’s now room for a lot of new companies, new brands that have a purpose really to, to help people and to make something that is good, that is actually healthy. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely in terms of your customer acquisition, can you share a little bit about, you know, how your marketing has evolved since you started?

Um, what kind of marketing, I know you have social media presence. Do you do like paid advertising? And what kind of marketing really works well in terms of your customer acquisition? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: For customer acquisition, b2b, for example, we use LinkedIn on a daily basis. I think LinkedIn is an amazing platform to use.

Um, it helps a lot for us. And then more b2c, uh, yeah, social 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: media. Sorry. If I can, I can. So, so you said LinkedIn a very useful tool. Can you share like what exactly your using on LinkedIn? Is it right, the sales navigator, which is useful for you? Or is it like really just finding. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: New company. It’s cause we started with, uh, sales, um, with a monitor like this.

But then we realized that just going first country per country or city per city, and then just go to the companies in cer uh, certain areas, then you can already filter it yourself in LinkedIn and for the. I mean, for the moment, our sales director and I are doing everything still manually, where we look for companies and it’s not just sending a bunch of emails right away.

We prefer to really look at the company and see if this can be a match or not. And I feel this helps. This is way more effective because it’s actually companies we really wanna work with, and we have looked at them. We know their vision, we know, uh, the other type of brands that they are supporting. So for, for us, it’s really going first just to, to look at on Google and then narrow down on LinkedIn and, and target it on LinkedIn.

That’s for B2B at least. And um, I mean, sending private messages already to a category manager for example. Uh, those things can help. And, um, yeah, you learn a lot because it’s also creating a little bit of a bus around, uh, your own LinkedIn profile helps as. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, so you’re basically using, for b2b. You’re using LinkedIn, you.

Have you tried, like, uh, just outta curiosity if this works or not? You know, something like a tool like ZoomInfo or something which is like, uh, made specifically for like, like a b2b, uh, prospecting list, uh, and things like that? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Uh, yes. We have started with that and we want to use it, uh, implemented again for, for this year for sure.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Is that, is that better from, is that, is that better compared to LinkedIn or is D. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: I think it’s just a matter of, um, like everything is a matter of like, that they, um, for me, for us LinkedIn for the moment has worked really well. So now we are kind of like, wanna be skilled in this to add different tools or like switched to a different, uh, software.

Okay. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And sorry, I interrupted you for the b2c. You were going to talk about the B2C side also for the customer acquisition. Yes. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: So what we love is really to help people live a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle, right? So this obviously is because of our chocolate bars that we share this. . But another very important thing that I wanna mention is that we also do this by sharing informative content.

We do on a weekly basis. We have podcasts with, uh, experts on our podcast, but also Instagram lives on our block. And this is not something because we don’t wanna have people just being like, okay, this is the diet you need to follow. Like, this is it. No, what we want to do is really like sharing. Content for people that they get question, like they question about the lifestyle.

So it’s like we should have either someone, a vegan person on on the show or a carnivore. We wanna have people that they are curious because curiosity is so important. So we. Also get eventually, because we, for example, with EMO marketing, with a blog, with podcasts, this eventually leads also to a si because people are interested, of course, in the product.

But the main focus is really to inform people. And then at the end it’s a, so it’s a sort of, of, of, uh, customer acquisition. And then yes, the whole Facebook ads and stuff like that, we also. . 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And does that work well for you? The, the ads side of business? Yes. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Facebook ads works really well, um, especially because you, well, for the moment we only focus on the European market.

Um, but we see that it’s, uh, something definitely that’s working. And also we like platforms or. Or apps that are basically were created in Corona. What is it? Uh, s for example. Uh, we are with them, and this is something also that is a great way of, of marketing because it’s a, a supermarket, online supermarket app basically.

And people can easily, they see their chocolate bars and for example, we only sell it per pack of 10, which of course sometimes if you haven’t tried the product, it’s quite cost. , but then with, uh, an app like this, you just order one bar and you have it at home in 15 minutes. These kind of, um, collaborations with, with companies work really well.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, I have, uh, I have, uh, actually interviewed, uh, similar food bar companies, of course, very different kind of bar. And I think one of the strategies that they use as in terms of like getting customers into the funnel is something similar to what you described, but I think they, they make like one bar available as a trial bar, and I think it’s very, like they, they offer it as, Um, at a very in inexpensive option that someone can buy it to try it out.

And I think, you know, once you try something out, uh, it so, so that is something that I’ve seen. Uh, have you ever thought about doing 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: something like that? Yes, no, we have, for example, the variety pack on our, uh, that we offer on our shop. And this is a great way for people just to try all the bars at once. I mean, you get all the bars at one and then you can try your, your favorite.

And what we do with physical stores, um, they have it, um, especially in the beginning where we do sampling and stuff like that to try it, uh, in a more like yeah, easy way to try it out. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, In every business person’s, uh, journey, there’s always mistakes, made, failures, lessons learned. Um, uh, by the way, how much, how much time did it take you from like having the idea to actually launching the business and getting your first customer?

Do you, 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: do you know? Uh, I think it was like, uh, almost one year. One year. Okay. Having the idea towards the, the first product and the first product looked completely different. It’s still, well, it was called . Uh, we had two flavors, a hazelnut one, and just a dark one. Uh, we now we have five flavors. It was just something that, um, yeah, I wanted.

Launch as soon as possible, because I really wanted to know, is this actually something that is, uh, possible to sell? Are more people, um, looking for a alternative healthy chocolate bar and not just chocolates and associate chocolate, but being unhealthy because it really isn’t. Kaka is an amazing product.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Looking back, like, do you ever think, because sometimes, you know, I, I think, you know, I’m also thinking about like different e-commerce ideas and things like that, and. When I’m thinking, you know, it’s like, okay, I have an idea, but if I really want to implement it, you know, I have to do research, I have to find you.

There’s a need and.

Could you have done something different that would’ve, you know, accelerated your speed to market? Like, you know, rather than taking it one year, you know, you could have, you know, had understood if there, this is something that’s actually going to sell in the market. 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Absolutely. I did first, uh, we did only, um, like contacting.

So for example, when you have, um, I mean now and with an online business, the world in that sense is kind of like your marketplace. You can sell anywhere. But what we did was in Europe where we, for example, on a specific country, and then we contacted each shop individually. And I think you will grow faster if you, in the beginning as a startup, focus on just making as many distribution deals as possible, uh, just to have a bigger scale at once and also decrease your cost to bigger production runs.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, the question I was asking you, you know, in every entrepreneur’s journey there’s always mistakes made, lessons learned, failures. Uh, is there one or two big mistakes or failures that come to your, your mind in your own journey? What did you learn from it? And what other entrepreneurs can learn from your mistakes 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: and failure?

Yeah, so what I mentioned, uh, now is just really that we at back then didn’t focus on getting distribution deals as much as possible. We just focused on contacting shop’s, individual, and it can lead to a lot. It can lead time. It, and it also, it’s a lot of time where you also don’t have cash flow. And I think if you.

Already start with distribution deals, uh, as much as possible, um, then, uh, to really create a bigger scale at once. And this helps really to reduce your cost because we had a lot of cost, uh, for production runs. So if you can already have bigger deals with distribution deals, You can eventually also, um, have a decrease in your cost for the production.

So this is something I, we see this as a, definitely a big learning that we could have done differently. Um, I would also say waiting too long for the perfect product better to launch a product that you believe in, test it out quickly. Have an M P p test it out. If it’s not good, put it back, you know, uh, modify it and then share it again in the, in, into your, into the.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, just a point on that distribution, uh, point that you mentioned. It’s, uh, you know, when I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs who are just starting out, they many times run into this dilemma. It’s kind a chicken and egg, right? So in order for you to get distribution, you have to way that your product is.

Capable of selling. Right? You know, if somebody wants to promote your product or, you know, sell your product, they want to see some sort of a proof, how do you, like, how would you deal with that? Like when you, when you’re just starting out, you don’t have that proof. How do you get distribution when you know someone is looking at, you know, what, what is this thing?

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: No, totally. I think it’s, uh, one of the things that can help a distribution, a distributor is that you show like, okay, we, uh, for example, in our case, we are very like active in terms of marketing activities. We need to make flyers. If we need to design, uh, any type of market marketing materials, uh, that’s not a problem.

Um, to also have a monthly or weekly, even if that’s needed, uh, meetings with distributor. So these are kind of like things that we just showcase. Like it’s also, I have to say, it’s also a little bit of that distributor has to take a leap of faith and to on, to believe in, into the product if they like it themselves, the product, and they wanna be one of the first, uh, leaders to have this product.

Then it’s also, um, most of the times it works and it’s, it’s something that they want to just test it out. You can also easily say, look, test it out for six months. See how it works. But with the distributor, you are on a, like a, um, close contact to give any type of marketing materials to help in any way possible.

That’s something with at least what we try to, to do with distribution. That 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: makes a lot of sense. So now I’m going to move on to our rapid fire segment, and in this segment I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you have to answer them maybe in one word or one sentence. Uh, and so the first one is one book recommendation that you would make for entrepreneurs or business professionals, and why?

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Uh, yes. So, um, one book is Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller and it really basically takes you towards the steps you can take, uh, to make sure people see you, uh, hear you, and understand your product. And this is something I just read this. Year, and I, I was like, why did I not read this before?

Because it’s really clears out your message and you can scream a lot about your products. I mean, I love what we have created and I can tell Hunter things about how amazing it is, but people don’t have time and it’s, they also prefer to just, um, understand what’s in it for them, right? Mm-hmm. and not just like, oh, because it’s, you created this because of No, it.

What is it for them? Why does a customer wants this and make it as simple as possible, and in the beginning, Back like a few years ago, we had a lot of information and maybe too much information and people gets confused. Right? And then another book, book I definitely want to recommend is, uh, think Like A Monk by Jay Sheti.

Mm. I love all his content. Uh, I mean, I listen to his podcast every day, but his book, it deals a lot with negativity because if you’re a startup, I hear until today, still every day. No, no, no, no. And you have to deal with this negativity and deal with this, that it is, turn it around, right? So it’s not something that, um, I hope people that are listening to this, I wanna start a business that you just feel like, oh, it’s never gonna happen.

Please be patient and use this negativity as something positive. And it, uh, really gave, well, this book really gives a lot of peace and, um, mindfulness thinking and uses negativity as something powerful because in business, if you start a business, it’s um, it’s not only going. up, you know, it’s, it’s a lot of, uh, a lot of things and a lot of stress and a lot of, uh, disappointments.

So this book is definitely a must read. Um, yeah, for, for this piece, um, during your journey. And the journey is amazing, and I think people always tell me this, so I hope it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s something that, um, I will see. It’s that the journey is very, uh, nice and not only the end goal. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely an innovative product or idea on the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about.

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yeah, so I’m actually really, I just ordered it because I’m super, and I really wanna mention this. It’s the tone. Uh, what is it? Like the tone, breath, uh, breath ke tone device from, uh, uh, Vanessa, uh, spina. And her website is ketogenic girl.com. and basically it’s a tone device that you can measure your, uh, acetone.

It’s a biomarker or fat burning. Mm-hmm. , I, I love this type of products. So basically displays a number of like, um, the amount of acetone you have into your body so you can also track your progress. Mm-hmm. I think that it’s super cool. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Very interesting. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tool that you use?

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes. So one of the things that we are using literally on a daily basis is, so I mentioned LinkedIn, but we are huge fan of Pipedrive. It’s a CRM system. This is where, uh, our sales director and I have like, we can follow each other. We know exactly what the deal is. We know exactly what’s the email communication, if it was a call or not, or the amount of, uh, the, the order or whatev what so whatsoever.

This is something at least. For me, that is fantastic to use. We use Slack also on a daily basis for communication within the team. Great. Also too, if you work a lot with freelancers like we do, um, this is great because you just can, adds easy to the slack conversation and, uh, have all one common, uh, communication, uh, app basically.

And what I also want to mention is, um, a productivity. Tool I would say is that I am already a longtime using, uh, or doing the breath work of BIM hoof. He is, to me, an amazing, uh, well guru. I would almost say that with breath work, and it’s even on YouTube, it’s for free. I found it fantastic that these things are for free, it’s breath work and it really, it helps a lot for, uh, creativity.

and for, uh, like clearing the minds and, um, I think this is something definitely that people should use more in a daily. It’s a, it’s a meditation, uh, way basically. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s, that’s awesome. Yeah. I’ve

startup or business that you think currently doing great things? 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: Yes. Um, we love with our, with our team, we love Lollipop. Uh, it’s a brand from the us, a soda brand. We love it. I think it’s making something that is like a soda with a, with that statement of being unhealthy and making it to a prebiotic and make it healthy.

This is something with our chocolates that we do. I mean, it’s a chocolate brand that most people chocolate. Is associated with, oh, it’s unhealthy, it’s bad for you. And to, you know, sweep it and replace it for something good with actual benefits and beneficial ingredients. So we always, and we love their marketing and, and branding.

And then another brand I wanna mention is, uh, magic Spoon, same kind of, uh, idea, but then using, doing it with cereals. That’s 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: awesome. Last question, best business advice you ever received or you would give to other 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: entrepreneurs? Um, it’s really, it’s from my dad and he always reminds me every day, please never stop being curious.

Always be curious, curious, curious. Keep on learning, ask questions. Don’t just take, take, um, information just as it is, like question the information and, and, and research and be curious. That’s awesome. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Thank you Louisa. Uh, those were all the questions that I had Really, really appreciate 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: you sharing. Thank you so much.

I hope it was not too blurry and too I know I can be sometime just all over the place. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, no. It was perfect. Thank you. Thank so much for your time, for, for sharing your story, for sharing your business. Uh, and yeah, thank you. Thank you. Really, really 

Louisa Mesquita Bakker of Funky Fat Foods: appreciate it. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Likewise.

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