In this episode of The Physical Product Movement, we’re joined by Pete Maldonado, Co-Founder and CEO at CHOMPS.

Pete shares and discusses how to connect with communities around trends to find customers in an organic and authentic way, the challenges and opportunities associated with positioning a premium product and the importance of focus and limiting SKUs to better serve your customers.

Listen on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here.


Ken: Welcome to the Physical Product Movement, a podcast by Fiddle, we share stories of the world’s most ambitious and exciting physical product brands to help you capitalize on the monumental change in how, why and where consumers buy. I’m your host, Ken Ojuka.

In this episode, I talk with Peter Maldonado, CEO and Co-Founder of CHOMPS. A better for you meat snack brand with products made from the highest quality sustainably sourced proteins. We discuss how to connect with communities around trends, to find customers in an organic and authentic way. We discussed the challenge and opportunity of positioning a premium product.

And we also talk about the importance of focus and limiting the number of SKUs. So you can better serve your customers. You’ll get a ton of great advice from this founder. I think you’ll like it. All right. Hey Peter. Thanks for joining me. How’s it going now? 

Pete: I’m doing well. 

Ken: Hey, pretty good. Pretty good.

Hey, I’m looking forward to talking with you today. Um, I think your business is awesome and, uh, I think, uh, you know, there’s going to be some lessons that will be really, uh, really applicable to the audience. So, uh, I appreciate you taking the time. 

Pete: Well, thanks for having me on, 

Ken: Hey, just to kick it. Um, is there a quote that you could share with the audience 

Pete: for sure oh yeah. Okay. So one of them is actually Mark Twain is the one that actually the secret of getting ahead is getting started. And that to me is like the biggest, that’s like my motto, like the way we run our business now. I mean, it’s every which way, any kind of new task that we’re taking on. And so we just get into it and, um, and then once you’re in it, you can, you can tweak things.

You can, you know, gather feedback and then you can make, uh, make adjustments. Adapt and then, you know, kind of repeat that process. Um, so in my mind, that’s where success comes from just getting in there and getting started. 

Ken: Yeah, I absolutely love Mark Twain, very simple, um, quote, but very profound as well.

So I appreciate it for sure. Hey, so, um, why don’t we start off, just tell us a little bit about yourself, uh, where you’re from your background and any hobbies or anything you’d like to share. 

Pete: For sure. Yeah. So I, uh, I was born and raised in long Island, New York, um, had three sisters and, um, uh, well, I ended up going to school down in Palm beach, uh, Atlantic actually, and, uh, in West Palm beach.

Um, started going to school for, uh, like kinesiology, more of like the physical therapy type, uh, focused, um, uh, majors ended up switching over to business management. Um, I became a personal trainer in college. That’s how I paid my way through school. Uh, and then it was really where I started starting to think a lot about nutrition and, and then lack of products that were out there.

Um, and, uh, it was really kind of what, what, what led me to, to the business? No, to chomps what I’m doing now. Uh, but in terms of my personal life now, I live in Naples, Florida. I’ve got my wife. I have two kids, a four year old boy named Maverick and a about 16 months, a little girl named Rocky flames Rocklin called Rocky.

Ken: I love the names 

Pete: and the names fit them perfectly. Um, and, uh, yeah, I mean, my, my life is, um, It’s work. I get to go home and hang out with my kids. And then my wife’s about that, but it’s, it’s never a dull moment in my life, Phil though. It’s uh, that’s about it right there. So I’m an easy person to find. I mean, you’re not at the office or at home with my kids.

Ken: There you go .

Pete: Mark. Somewhere around the boat. Yeah. 

Ken: Cool. So are you guys based in Florida then? 

Pete: Yeah. So headquarters is, is, uh, here in Naples. Um, and then we have another office in Chicago. Actually where’s where most of the team is based. Um, we’ve found it to be a lot easier to get good talent up in a big city, like Chicago, especially with the big CPG, uh, presence up there.

Um, so we’ve been able to find really great people, um, there, and then we have some other people kind of remote, remote and other parts of the country as well. But, um, as of now, we’ve got a fairly small team, but we’re at 23 now total, but yeah, headquarters is here in Naples. Huh? 

Ken: Okay. Cool. So tell us a little bit about chomps. Um, uh, what, and what makes it unique in the market for those who’ve never heard of it before. 

Pete: So we’re in the meat snacks category. Um, what we make are just meat sticks. That’s all. Well, that’s all we do right now. We don’t do jerky. We do nothing else. We just do meat sticks. And we like to think that we’re the best at it.

So if you, uh, from an ingredient standpoint, um, You know, when I say meat sticks, you’re probably thinking something similar to some gyms. Um, they’re in the similar format, they’re like single serve meat sticks, and that’s probably the extent of the similarities. Um, from there, all the ingredients in our product are very different.

I mean, starting with the, uh, the protein we use grass fed and grass finished beef free range, antibiotic free Turkey, um, grass fed grass, finished venison. From a shelf stability standpoint, the product is shelf stable. For 13 months. We do that with a combination of sea salt, celery juice and lactic acid.

Um, the three, three of those things that allow you to avoid all those, uh, synthetic and artificial preservatives and things that these other. No conventional products you’ll find like a gas station, like could like, um, what they would have in there. Um, other cool attributes of our product. There’s no sugar added at all.

So with the whole 30 keto, paleo, they’ll all those diet, diet, tribes. Uh, we fit right in there. Um, those are really our core core customers as well. Um, and, um, yeah. So from a sourcing perspective, we like to talk a lot about that, right. So I know I mentioned the grass fed and finished. That’s not lot, all that we think about though.

Um, there’s three main pillars that we’re focused on. The one is nutrition. The second is going to be the environmental impact. And the third thing is going to be, uh, animal welfare. So when we’re sourcing beef, for instance, we have, um, from an animal welfare standpoint, all the beef is certified humane. I can explain what that, what that means, but there’s a, there’s a certification that from the first day of the animal’s life until the very last day, they’ve they, uh, every step of the way it had been raised in a way that’s in compliance with this, uh, certified humane program, which is very, very important to us.

Um, from an environmental standpoint, we are focused on regenerative agriculture. Um, We want to make sure that all of the producers that we work with are going to be focusing on regenerating, regenerating, grasslands. Um, so that means rotational grazing and there’s all different. It’s all different, uh, aspects that go into that.

But for the, the bottom line is that we want to make sure that the land where the animals are being raised is actually being improved by the way that we’re raising the animals, um, which benefits the environment. And then the last piece is obviously nutrition, which, you know, all of those things I already spoke about all those nutritional attributes.

Ken: Right, right. Yeah. And I absolutely love that you guys don’t have any, any garbage, uh, in your, in your products. Um, it’s very, very clean source of protein. Um, and you do, uh, emphasize this a lot on your, on your website. Um, so is this something that, that you guys have always focused on from the beginning? Uh, how, how did you, how did you come up with, with, uh, you know, uh, producing a product in this way?

Um, and then. What are some of the benefits? Do you think that it brings to your business? 

Pete: Yeah, really good question. Um, so again, going back to my personal training background, um, I, one of the things I noticed was that it was really difficult for me to keep my, my clients, um, compliant on the diets that I would set up for them and a lot of these clients.

So I was doing this up in, up in long Island again, where I was born and raised. And, um, I had a lot of these, um, professional people coming out from Manhattan. That’s their Hampton homes. And, you know, during the summer, which is where I would meet with them and train them. And this is a super busy people, you know, and they’re always on the go.

So I would write up a whole diet plan, Rosa lists for, I mean, they’re like half the time they would just fall, they would sell off the, um, you know, diet plan. Like we made it really difficult for me to do my job and so them to see the results that they needed. So I just. I was thinking, I wish that there were some products that I could say, Hey, go grab a few of these and, um, and keep them in your, you know, in your car and your suitcase, purse, whatever.

And, um, and so that was really where the idea came from. Um, but the thing about it is when I created the product, though, I just wanted to make it as healthy as possible. Right. I want to make it taste great. So my clients or customers would just love eating them anyway. Um, and it worked out really well. Um, We know we have all these certifications, like certified paleo, whole 30 certified Keno.

You name it. It’s kind of like certification overload. Right. But thing to know is that we did not set out creating the products to check the boxes for one of these certifications. It’s not at all how it happens. It’s actually the opposite. Right? So we created a product and it just happened to check the boxes for those certification.

Which I think makes life a lot easier. Um, because we were just focused on creating a great tasting product that was very clean and it worked out perfectly, you know, so we, we, we haven’t changed our products in the last eight years in terms of, you know, what we put in there, um, trends have changed, which worked in our favor obviously.

So I probably just happened to work really well for the whole 30 movement to the keto movement. Um, and so we’ve just gotten a lot of, a lot of customers from that. 

 Ken: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So, uh, when you started, I mean, uh, you wanted a snack, uh, to keep your, your, um, clients, uh, compliant on their diet and make it easy as possible for them.

Um, but I assume you didn’t know how to make a, a meat stick. Um, what are, what are some of the steps that go into developing a product like this?

Pete: Um, and it’s actually funny and making meat snacks, there’s actually science behind it. It sounds, it sounds funny, but they are very difficult to make, especially as self stable product that has the lack of preservatives and sugar that we have. Um, that being said we happen to, um, so the first step in creating a product like that is finding the right manufacturer that has the equipment and know how to make it in the first place.

Right. So we happen to meet a, um, a guy who had a very small operation in Greentop, Missouri, who happens to be our current manufacturer. Now, um, back then had a, I mean, they have a much bigger plant now just to put that out there. But he, um, when we started with him, he was already making some, some products and he was selling them in little C stores around where he’s from.

Um, and so he already had like the, the, you have the equipment and you had the know how we just needed to tweak some of the ingredients he was putting in there. So that was really what all the R and D you know, that we had done with them, uh, and then created a couple of new flavor profiles that we wanted to launch with.

Um, but other than that, I mean, that was the extent of, uh, you know, the R and D process. Um, and he came up with these flavor profiles very quickly and they haven’t changed since. So we got, we got very lucky to say the least that we stumbled on recipes and flavor profiles that were work. 

Ken: Okay. Yeah. How many, how many different, uh, flavor profiles to do launch with?

You know, one of the things that I think a lot of people do wrong is they launch it too many skews. And so the businesses is complicated from the beginning. Um, how did you guys think about that? 

Pete: Yep. And you want them to start small? Because the biggest thing for us, we wanted to test, test the market.

First off, we had no idea how those things would sell. So we started making two, two, uh, two different skews. It was original bees and jalapeno beets. And, um, we created a little website, got some Facebook ads, started putting them out there. The biggest thing for us was really to see if people, other than our friends and family.

Um, and especially our mothers were our biggest, our biggest customers early on. Um, yeah. 

Ken: Oh, your mother’s see, like your, your mom was like a customer of yours. Is that what you’re saying? 

Pete: Yeah, my mom’s, yeah, she denied my co-founder, but both of our moms were buying product from us, you know, but we were like, okay, well, thanks mom.

But, um, we’d like to see if other customers would actually pay for this stuff. So, um, so that’s what we set out to do, and we proved that out. Pretty cool. 

Ken: Okay. Awesome. Well, let’s, uh, let’s switch gears a little bit and talk a little bit about marketing and distributing your product. So, so currently, uh, the majority of your sales are online versus offline or retail.

Um, what’s kind of the break though. 

Pete: Nowadays it is about 45% e-commerce and then the other 65% would be, uh, retail. When we started out with the first four years, we were strictly in e-commerce though. But as we’ve launched into retail, it’s a lot easier to snail that very quickly, because there’s so many thousands and thousands of doors you can be in. So, um, yeah, 

Ken: let’s see. And you guys are on Shopify. Is that a, is that how you launched? 

Pete: Yep. Yeah. 

Ken: Um, and, uh, you, you mentioned a couple of things. Um, you mentioned that, that, um, you, you guys were able to gain some popularity in some of these sort of niche, um, nutrition communities, you know, like whole, whole 30 and paleo.

I believe I saw that you guys are paleo certified, um, keto weight Watchers. Is there anything specific that you did to, to reach out to these communities? 

Pete: Not, no, nothing specific. It was really just kind of introducing ourselves. We would send a product out, um, that’s, you know, just seating you send it, send product out, you get this, get feedback from them.

Um, and then, you know, for us, I think the biggest one for us was really whole 30 originally. Um, you know, with them, that was a pretty stringent, um, you know, audit process they go through and they kind of get into the nitty-gritty on every little ingredient. They want to see your spec sheets and all of that.

So. That for us was, uh, was big. And it was a huge turning point for the business. Um, just having and being in, uh, getting that certification. They have, they had maybe 10 to 20,000 followers, I think, on their social media at the time. And with whole 30, you know, just how massive, how many kids grow. So that really allowed us to scale our brands as well.

Ken: So, you know, I’m curious how you guys thought about this. Is it a trend that you saw, you know, that they were growing? Um, were you doing whole 30? How did you even know that this was a certification that you should, you should try to get? 

Pete: Yeah, so I was doing CrossFit at a time and, um, it was really when I, when I came up with this idea for chops. I am. I had been seeing, you know, various, the paleo diet was taking off, but then also I liked the way that the whole 30 was doing it because they were doing, he was like seminars and CrossFit boxes. And I really liked the way that they were delivering the education. It wasn’t just like, you know, here’s a book or here’s like a website or whatever.

Like they would go into the box. They would, or the box is like the other word for across the gym. Right. And so they go into these gyms and they set up like a whole group of people and they actually have their in their training and in doing these seminars and they’re, they’re like, face-to-face like teaching people. Way before COVID, by the way, 

Ken: um, another time, right. It just feels like it was so long ago that we could do things like I know. 

Pete: Right. Um, but yeah, so that was, uh, I really liked what they were doing. I just, I just felt, I liked all of it. The things that were talking about as well and made so much sense to me.

Um, and then I also liked the idea that they were the people that were doing. I knew people that were doing whole thirties and they were having like incredible results. Um, so I’m like, you know what? I think this is going to go somewhere. I introduced myself to the founders and, um, and send some product out and ask them, would you ever give us the whole 30 approval?

And they said, well, you have to go through these steps. And so we went through them and that was really it. 

Ken: Nice. Nice. What about some of the other communities, you know, like WeightWatchers or Quito? Um, how did you get involved there?

Pete:  Um, so keto is a little bit different. Um, t-to we, we, it was more along the lines of the influencer communities.

So, um, there’s actually a guy named Thomas DeLauer. Who’s one of our top influencers and still is. And, um, he puts out really great educational content, um, takes this really. Hard to understand science science-based, you know, nutrition. Um, he would go and actually put them in, put into layman’s terms. And so he’s done this on YouTube for years now, and he’s built up pretty enormous following.

I really, I liked listening to his content for myself. So I was like, well, I see it as falling is growing as well. Let’s let’s see if he would like to work with us. So I sent him product. Introduce myself. And, uh, he really liked it and we decided it was a good fit and it was really great. We approach all of our partnerships though.

Um, especially if you’re thinking influencer a lot of times it’s, it’s a customer would. Yeah. Or an influencer would already be a customer of ours, or they’re already talking about things that are very relevant. So you just want it to feel like super organic. Like these people are making this recommendation because they truly believe in your product, not just because you’re paying them.

Um, so I think that that authentic, um, recommendation is super important.

Ken: Okay. Great. Great. Yeah. And I noticed on your website, you guys have an affiliate program. You also have a referral program and a wholesale program. Um, and, uh, it sounds like, you know, from what you’re saying, that the influencer, um, uh, program has worked well, have there is, is this something that you guys do as part of your marketing efforts or is it just more organic, you know, Um, that they show interest or you see somebody that could promote your product particularly well, you know, what, what does it actually look like in reality to be able to get somebody like a, was it Tom?

Was that his name? 

Pete: Yeah. Thomas DeLauer. 

Ken: Thomas, you know, what does that look like internally? Is it, is it, I mean, honestly, is it organic? Like, like you said, you just saw him and liked him and decided to reach out.

Pete: Yeah. I mean, in no case, would we ever reach out to somebody if, um, if there wasn’t an authentic fit, right?

And so the biggest thing is you want to send the product out, you want to get their feedback. And if they’re excited about the product and they’re, they’re pumped up, or, you know, you could tell that this is a real reaction and they’re excited about your brand. Then, then, you know, we can, we can think about working with them.

But early on, I will say, though, we never paid. Influencers at all. Um, what it would be, it was like they would, somebody would get the product, they would post about it on Instagram and we’d say, Oh wow. They have a pretty big following let’s, um, let’s reach out to them. And that’s really how that those would start.

And for the most part, that’s actually how most of our influencer, um, Uh, arrangements work. Thomas was, I reached out to him only because I really liked his, uh, I really liked the way that he was delivering the information. Um, for me, like the way I think about it is like you with, with any kind of product, you need to be able to educate customers, right?

So we’re a premium product. You could be out there buying these conventional brands that we mentioned earlier. They’re about half the price. Or you can buy our premium product, which is pretty, it has premium ingredients. And, um, and it’s a much better, um, option, but does to the general market know that, you know, there’s some, there’s some level of education we’re kind of required there.

Um, and so what we found is that these, these individual diet tribes, they do that heavy lifting for us. Right. So they are already educating the customer on what to look for in their products. So it makes so much sense for us to be, you know, entrenched inside of those, um, uh, communities. And we just, you know, we, we do everything we possibly can to make sure that we’re known, um, But again, yeah.

With, with, with Thomas, I mean, he, he, he was already talking about making his grass DS and he was already talking about all the agreements, all like he was talking about avoiding sugars, avoiding all the, the types of bad ingredients that are not in our products. So I’m like, man, this is an easy fit, you know, he would love this.

Um, so yeah, that’s really how it comes about. 

Ken: Okay, very cool. Um, and, uh, it looks like you guys also, you know, you sell on, on, on your own website, but you also sell in Amazon. Um, how do you guys think about selling on Amazon and how has that experience been 

Pete: he’s on is, um, is a behemoth, as we all know. Um, they, it is a, it’s an amazing platform.

We originally, when we first started on it, it was going to be like supplementing our direct to consumer business. But we wanted to be able to own that relationship with the customer to be able to, you know, speak to them, to be able to send them, um, any kind of emails and education and all of this other stuff.

But, um, what we found over time is that, that you just, you can’t, you can’t compete with Amazon. It’s just too massive and what’s become over time. Is. The number one way for, uh, for customers to do their, um, scouting of products. And for, uh, from a prospecting perspective is there’s no other platform that can, now you can compares, you know, um, it’s just you, if you’re not on Amazon right now, and you’ve got a, um, an e-commerce based product, I think you’re missing out, um, From a, you know, a big portion of the community of the population and just shops there and y’all will even find, even if we’re doing sales, like let’s say we’re doing a sale on, I mean, blast out on social.

And we put a discount code to our website. People will still see that. And we still massive spike on Amazon, even though they can’t use that discount code on Amazon. They’ll still go there just because it’s an easier opportunity option for them to go and buy the product. They probably already have some other stuff in their cart.

They add chumps and they’re like, Oh, this is good. But, um, yeah. Again, peop people will they go for, for Amazon all the time, because it’s very convenient and with a fast shipping. And so all things that we just can’t compete with. Right. 

So you say you kind of have to be there. How do you reconcile, you know, that desire that you initially talked about, where you want to have this direct relationship with your customer?

Um, but you know, they, they want to shop on Amazon. So I mean, how do you guys think about that? Is it just you, you need to be on Amazon or else you’re missing out or is there a little bit more to it? 

No, I think it’s. You know, so for us, it, Amazon, we, it helps us build out a brand, you know? So if you think about it, it’s, if we think about we’re driving trial, we’re getting the product into many more people’s nodes and on top of it, it’s good business, right?

It’s it’s good profitable business for us. So the way that we feel about it, I mean, it’s, it’s all part of the omni-channel approach. Um, you know, and who knows, we get people that just show up to our website where we can’t really pinpoint where exactly they’ve saw the product or tried it for the first time.

Nowadays, you know, back back when we were only on with e-com, you can always tell exactly where someone came from. Right. Nowadays I’m in so many different retail stores. Um, people could be trying the product really anywhere, so we’re not quite sure, um, in terms of attribution and where they’re, where they’re coming from.

But in the end, you know, I just feel like Amazon, if you’re, again, if you’re not doing it, it you’re, you’re missing out. And we know for a fact that if we did not have product on Amazon, we would be missing. It’s probably a lot of people that actually buy from our website now, too, you know? 

Ken: Right. Okay. And, uh, just switching gears a little bit, um, you guys are also in a bunch of retail outlets. You’re in Kroger, Walmart, Safeway, trader Joe’s, whole foods, and many others. Um, how did these partnerships come about? 

Pete: So our very first, uh, retail customer was trader Joe’s and, um, they, they reached out to us and, uh, 2016, early 2016, we launched in August. Um, so that was really, that was a turning point for the brand.

You know, we, we were suddenly overnight is getting into the hands of millions of new customers that all shop at trader Joe’s. Um, so with that, we were able to use that momentum to, uh, springboard into other accounts and other channels. Um, one big thing though, I would say is if you’re a brand owner and you’re doing the same thing, You need to go very slowly and, um, be selected with the retail partners that you work with.

We got lucky in return in terms of that, like trader Joe’s is an amazing partner and working there. They’re just, they’re great. And especially if we’re a new company and with your first, uh, being your first retail account, it’s, uh, it’s a major blessing. Um, but, uh, so what we did, actually, we, we decided, we were like, no, this is a huge opportunity for us.

We love trader Joe’s. We just want to be the best possible vendor to them. So we spent the entire rest of the year, like for all of 2017, just focusing on being a great trader Joe’s brand right. And selling to them and supporting their customers and getting all of our systems and processes and QA processes and all of that in, uh, in check.

And then making sure that we were great and we didn’t launch another retail partner in soul over a year after our first launch with trader joe’s.

Ken: So why, why would you say that you need to be selective about your retail partners? You know, what are you guarding against, uh, by doing that? 

Pete: Yeah. They’re not all great partners for them to say, to put it bluntly.

I mean, you’ve got a lot of retail partners that are going to be more interested in the upfront slotting dollars. Then they are truly growing a brand and getting people to actually buy products. So there are a handful of retailers out there that will make probably the most of their money from brands.

And just getting a check cut to them upfront, to put you on the shelf with no real interest at all, in making sure that the product turns that their customers are seeing it. That it’s merchandised properly, that it’s in stock and it just becomes a, uh, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a drain, um, financially. And, um, I think it’s, it’s physically draining too, to be dealing with that type of a partnership right.

Where you’re kind of, you’re doing everything you can to, um, to be a great partner and then it doesn’t, it’s not reciprocated. So it makes, it makes it really difficult to build a business together. 

Ken: Understood. Yeah. And, um, you know, I think it’s important. We’ve used this word several times, but these are, you know, these retail partners are, are truly partners and you gotta think about it more in a long long-term fashion.

Pete: Absolutely.

Ken: Yeah. So yeah, I guess let’s switch gears just a little bit. Um, I want to talk about sourcing your ingredients, um, and, uh, you guys have got lots of content on your website, um, about, uh, the, the care and the time, the effort that goes into sourcing the highest quality ingredients. Um, and it looks like a, you get, you get a bunch of your ingredients from New Zealand. Is that right? 

Pete: So the beef comes from yeah. Tasmania and Southern Australia. So that’s where all the beef comes from. And then we have, we actually use Bennison, which comes from New Zealand. Um, but we use a lot more bees than we do venison. We have a single venison’s view and then we have four beef skew now actually make that side, we have side.

So, um, yeah, the bulk of our, the bulk of our protein used between. Beef and then Turkey. So Turkey is all domestic here in California and Minnesota. 

Ken: Okay. So when, when, uh, considering the quality and really looking for the best suppliers and manufacturers, um, for, for a food product like this, um, how do those decisions affect, you know, things like, like your lead times or your cash flow, um, and obviously leads to a better, um, Better product quality.

Um, but I’m just curious about, you know, some of the things that you guys have to consider, um, when obviously going after some of these premium ingredients and, and, uh, premium sources. 

Pete: Yeah. So you hit the nail on the head on that timeline piece, because I mean, when you’re sourcing from Tasmania, um, and you’re buying container loads of a beast that takes a very long time to get here. Um, what we were doing, actually it takes about two weeks. Um, and yeah, well, 

Ken: the shorter than I would have thought, actually I thought it might, might take a little bit longer, but two weeks 

Pete: actually, as short as is at least it’s at least two weeks, but it will be, it can be longer like three weeks, but you mean two weeks to a month, depending on what, you know, the time of year, but what we’ve actually been able to kind of get around that.

By getting an, um, domestic distributor that handles all of the actual importing of the product. So they handled two things for us. So they bring in the product and they, they store it and the Slack it out. So this, this distributor is actually about, maybe it’s about an hour away from our plant in Missouri.

He’s all in Missouri. And he holds, you know, whatever, however many pallets of beef that we have. And what he’ll do is just slacks it out, which sawing it out, getting ready and, uh, for production. So when, when he pulls up and he delivers it to my, my manufacturer, it’s already to temperature. It’s ready to go right into the processor.

Um, because if you have frozen beef that they, we try to go and put in our grinders that does not work well. Um, and it causes a lot of different things with, with shrink and all that. So, yeah. Would you want to be able to do, is we get the, we get the beef to a certain spec and at that point is when we want to deliver it to the manufacturer.

Ken: Okay. Awesome. And, uh, from your manufacturer then, where, where does that get delivered to. 

Pete: So the manufacturers actually make the specs, I’m going to put them in the wrappers and then pack them into our caddies, uh, put them in case boxes and then ship that to our Chicago warehouse, to another USDA facility.

And that, that point, what we do is you let the product sit there for about 30 days and it, we call it an incubation process when it really just kind of sits there and, um, and it’s dry stored. So at that temperature and. Then after 30 days we do a hand inspection. So we had, we literally had inspect every single thing that we need.

So we just made three or $4 million million, a six. For that, that month, we go on 10 and specs three and 4 million snacks. And it’s a huge undertaking. That’s very expensive to do. Um, but it’s something that we choose. It’s how we do it to invest in our money. 

Ken: Sure. And then from, from that warehouse, does it end up going, do you guys use fulfillment centers or is that warehouse in Chicago where everything gets shipped out of?

Pete: We do, we actually use other, so we have another, uh, so from Chicago we can add from that Chicago warehouse, we can actually do palletize or truck, truck load orders. Um, and so we shipped those to, it could be distributors to the grocery stores. Uh, so even if I K he, um, McLean. Um, and then we also ship over to a third party order fulfillment website, um, uh, orders from one partner that warehouses product that’s only for direct to consumer Schumer and smaller retail partners.

So if there shipping like a case or might be like up to like 15 cases of product, it could come out of that warehouse, but anything, anything, half a pallet or larger is going to come out of our Chicago warehouse. 

Ken:  Okay. Awesome. Well, um, uh, what, uh, what does the future hold for chomps? Is there anything in particular you’re excited about.

Pete: There’s a lot that we’re excited about. Um, but yeah, we’ve got some innovation in the pipeline, which I can’t talk about yet. I’ll be happy to share with you when, when it’s, uh, when it’s going, but, um, you know, w right now, though, what we’re trying to do is to stay laser focused. We had three of our biggest launches that we’ve ever had, um, like sprouts, whole foods, Kroger, Walmart, um, and we have some big ones coming up this year as well.

And, um, you know, so we’re just looking to keep our heads down and execute. Um, but at the same time, you want to be able to continue just building our brand and, um, making a bigger impact and really telling our brand story and our reason for being and all of those good things. So, um, a lot of that for this year, we’re going to tell that story with added content.

So. Content is key right now, especially with people. So many people being home, working from home, shopping from home and all of that. We want to make sure that we’re meeting our customer where they are, uh, and continue to tell our story. 

Ken: Okay. Awesome. Awesome. And congrats on the, on the success. Um, so let’s, uh, let’s get to the quick fire round.

I’ll just ask you a question and you just give me a quick answer, um, name one tool or resource that you use to run your business. 

Pete: Recharge 

Ken: recharge what’s that?

Pete: Recharge is a Shopify app that’s used for subscription. 

Ken:  Okay. Uh, what is one book, uh, that you, that you feel has helped you the most in your product? 

Pete:So it’s a, book’s called upstream.

It’s Dan Heath. And, uh, it says the quest to solve problems before they happen. So it’s a, it’s actually a book that my, I have a leadership coach that, uh, we’ve been working with for a few years now. She’s amazing, but this is a book she recommended to me that I’ve been reading and it’s it’s awesome. 

Ken: Cool. We’ll make sure to put a link to the book in the show notes. Um, what is one piece of advice that you would give your 21 year old self stay 

Pete: focused, do pick, one thing, and do that to the best of your ability and. Try to be the best at it. Right. Um, if I look back when I was 21, I was doing way too many things.

I had my hands in, uh, you know, way too many opportunities and it was unfocused. And I feel like I would have been much more successful if I were to just focus on one thing. 

Ken Okay. Who is one person in the world that you’d love to take to lunch? 

Pete: Hmm today. I would actually probably say like Tim Ferriss. I like that guy is he’s pretty good.

I’ve been following him for a very long time. And this changes all the time. By the way, I’ve been asked this question before, but for today I would say Tim Ferris, 

 Ken: right? Yeah. I love that Tim Ferris as well. I’ve been following him since he began actually since the beginning. Um, and, um, I think you mentioned this a little bit earlier, but what, what’s your situation?

You single married kids.

Pete: I’m married, married two kids. 

Ken: Okay. Nice. All right. So as we wrap up here, I’d just like to ask you if there’s any advice that you’d give to people who are currently grinding it out in the world of physical. 

Pete: Yeah. Again, I would definitely do whatever you can to stay focused. Don’t get excited about that next shiny thing, that next opportunity.

But I would say if you have something that’s working, continue building that up to scale. Um, before you, you try to add any kind of line extensions or, you know, adding or building the brand. Um, in my mind, I just feel like if you, again, if you could just focus on that one thing and be the fast it’s going to serve you well, 

Ken: awesome. And, uh, is there anything that you want to, uh, promote or plug. 

Pete: Chomps man,

I will say actually, if you follow our social media account, um, where there’s one, uh, charity or nonprofit that I’m really excited about partnering with in, in February, it’s called harboring hearts. Um, so they, their focuses, um, working with people that have had heart conditions, um, and they’ll go and actually, um, they raise fund funds for, for these, these, um, It’s basically heart condition patients, and there’s all different types of heart conditions involved there.

So harboring hearts, I would say check that out. Um, very important to us.

Ken: Okay. And Peter, if anybody wants to reach out to you, what’s the best way to contact you? 

Pete: Email or you can hit me up on LinkedIn. I’m on Instagram. They’re easy to find. 

Ken: Okay. Awesome. Well, Hey, uh, it’s been great talking to you.

You’ve got a great story and your products, uh, top quality. So I appreciate you taking the time. 

Pete: Thanks, Ken. I appreciate it. 

Ken: And good luck with everything. See ya. Bye. 

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