organic cereal is going global
Corin Mullins started experimenting with healthy breakfast cereals after her husband Brian was diagnosed with diabetes.
first batch tasted awful, she admitted. was so bad.
had no salt, no sugar and no fruit and it was pretty bland, Brian said. Salt and sugar are still nowhere to be found in the Holy Crap recipe, nor in its sister product Skinny B.
Cranberries, raisins and apples provide the sweetness naturally.
Corin started adding and subtracting ingredients adidas predator , tasting and rejecting formulations. Twenty one recipes later they had a cereal that not only made Brian feel better and helped him lose weight, it was good enough to sell. Selling cereal, though, was not part of their business plan.
had originally intended to include the cereal as a stable food in emergency kits, she said. They had the idea after wea adidas predator thering an ice storm in Montreal. people didn’t want the kits. They wanted the cereal.
Corin got a space at the Sechelt farmers market and hung a sign listing the attributes and ingredients of her cereal, then called Hapi.
sold about ten bags, she recalled. were thrilled.
said I would never sell Holy Crap, she said. he talked me into it because were only supposed to do [the business] for the summer. We are supposed to be retired. They sought a quiet life on the Sunshine Coast.
the first day selling the cereal as adidas predator Holy Crap I sold a hundred bags, she said. never went back; I sell Holy Crap now. The next day they had $1.5 million in orders, an overwhelmed website and a very suspicious manager at Paypal, who wondered whether their sudden flood of orders was the result of some clever Internet scam.
Paypal agreed to release the money only in small dollops, as Corin provided proof of shipment.
They turned out not to need the cash from their Dragon partner, Boston Pizza CEO Jim Treliving, but spent many hours ironing out their business plan with their TV mentor.
Their gross this year, 12 months post Dragon, will be $5 million. They now employ 16 people and have outgrown the office and factory opened just a few months ago.
The Dragon’s Den crew has wrapped up shooting on the Sunshine Coast for a followup segment on Holy Crap to air in the new year.
To weather the initial flood of orders the Mullinses hired what family they had on the Coast and their friends, too. At first, they double shifted and rushed. But people got sore from pouring cereal and fruit by hand and orders were not always filled correctly.
customers complained, we just sent them replacement orders, Brian said. didn’t even check.
Despite the sudden cash flow, or perhaps because of it, the cereal entrepreneurs have their mixing and packaging machinery custom made. They are not only highly ergonomic for the employees who after all, are people who are likely to be sitting across the dinner table from them at family Christmas they take small batches to avoid any damage to the grains of cereal.
you mix the cereal in industrial grade equipment you don’t get the same amount of raisins in every bag and you don’t get the same amount of buckwheat, Brian said.
People really care. One customer counted the seeds in two bags of cereal and sent back a comparative analysis, complaining about the inconsistent number of seeds, he said.
The cereal is designed to be nutrient dense and a catalyst for efficient waste disposal, if you get my drift.
The combination or chia, hemp seed and buckwheat with the aforementioned fruits is more than efficient. The serving size is two tablespoons and I’m begging you, do not exceed that.
But for a lot of people it not so much what’s in the cereal as what is not.
No wheat, and therefore no gluten. No dairy, and therefore no lactose. No meat products or fats, and therefore it is vegan. No nuts either and of course it is all organic.
heard from people that their doctors are prescribing it, said Brian. People recovering from surgery or who are taking opiate drugs during convalescence from serious illness really benefit from the cereal’s mild laxative effects, he said.
Though the company is growing distribution is underway or in process to at least 11 countries and thousands of stores Corin and Brian are dialing back their travel and promotion schedules to stay closer to home, instead sending employees to turn people on at trade shows and bring back the orders.
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