Jeff RichardsFounder/CEO of Mooala
Jeff has been in and around DFW CPG since its early days, having served as a panelist in January of 2020 at the organization’s second event. From Jeff’s vantage point, “DFW CPG continues to evolve, grow and develop, and it’s the best local resource for the CPG community in North Texas.” Jeff’s connection to DFW CPG yielded a mutually beneficial relationship with Polisnelli and DFW CPG Co-Founder Rick Jordan. Jeff shared, “Mooala recently sought legal counsel for a new debt financing, and Rick Jordan and his team were key to helping us efficiently structure an attractive deal.” Jeff’s excited about what lies ahead for the future of DFW CPG, “I look at DFW CPG and see it as a means for me to give back to the industry and the Dallas CPG community. I’m excited about what’s next and look forward to sharing my experience in CPG to help others who are just getting started.”
Brian ParkBrian Park, CEO/Founder of Chef Bobo Brand, Inc., Owners of brands like Crunchy Rollers, Friendly Grains, Ava Organics, and Wowza
Brian has been in CPG for two decades, and as a serial entrepreneur he’s learned many lessons along the path to success. He says "although starting a company is daunting, with the right mindset and resources, start-up founders can navigate the challenges of the CPG world." Instrumental to success in his experience are “ a solid business plan, a strong work ethic, and networking and building relationships with industry experts – and this is where DFW CPG comes in.” They can connect you to suppliers and distributors, provide insights about trends, and educate you about best practices in product development and marketing, helping founders make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. “With the support that DFW CPG offers, I highly recommend joining so that you can accelerate your success and achieve your goals more efficiently.”
Mindy RobbinsFounder/CEO of Happy Sparkles Treats
Mindy is a big fan of DFW CPG and says that the “Stars have been aligned since my joining DFW CPG”. What Mindy means by that is that the information that she has needed to build and grow her business has been provided by the organization exactly when she’s needed it. Mindy points out one specific Huddle session on Marketing that was a game-changer for her and for her company. Mindy states, “ABB shaped me and how I thought about my company.” ABB stands for “Always Be Branding” and it provided the impetus to think of her products in a broader way. “Always Be Branding inspired me to incorporate purple as my brand color, it’s my favorite!” “DFW CPG has been with me every step of the way, and I’m hooked.”
M. Derin RajiGreen Sahara
Derin had the opportunity to connect with the Texas-wide ecosystem, starting with her local resource, DFW CPG, where she gained more knowledge about the industry through the many events she attended. It's also where she learned about SKU's Accelerator program, which she applied to and participated in. "Through these connections, an industry expert became my advisor, and even joined me to help support my first retailer pitch. It was a success! There is so much to learn in CPG, I highly recommend brands get involved locally - it can be invaluable in advancing your knowledge and your network."
Austin PatryCo-Founder of Realsy
Austin is a serial entrepreneur and a graduate from TCU’s Entrepreneurship Studies program. Austin has passion for DFW CPG because it brings together people he wants to meet. “I love DFW CPG because I always meet people who speak the language of CPG and who can relate to the challenges and opportunities that I face as a company founder.” Austin finds that fellow DFW CPG members and guests possess a “How can I help you” attitude. He points to the experience he had meeting 7-Eleven representative Adam Franks at an in-person DFW CPG meeting, who has taken an interest in Austin and his business. While they have yet to transact any business, Adam was instrumental in introducing Austin to key buyers at Sprouts. Austin says, “It was only through my involvement with DFW CPG that I was able to meet and hear from key employees with CostCo, 7-Eleven, Whole Foods and others and their insights have made me better informed in how to approach key retailers.”
Nicole IngramFounder/CEO of Bella Bars
By day Nicole labors away at a Dallas technology company, but any time beyond that she’s laboring away at continuing to build, grow and nurture her business at Bella Bars. Nicole’s experience with DFW CPG dates back one year, but in that year she’s managed to connect with like-minded company founders, established mentor relationships with Richard Riccardi and Derek Ramos and experienced directly the impact of the organization. If that weren’t enough, Nicole says she’s a big fan of Andrea Ridout and the fine work she does as Managing Editor of DFW CPG Insider newsletter. Nicole shares, “I connected with key Kroger employees because there was an article in the newsletter about a golf tournament that I ultimately participated in as a vendor. And because of my involvement that day it’s led me to securing a 9-store test with Kroger.” “I can’t say enough about the level of support that I’ve received from DFW CPG, and as I continue to grow my business I hope to be in a position to help others as they scale their businesses.”
Brett ChristoffelFounder/CEO of All Y’alls Foods
DFW CPG always adds value to my day when I engage with them from a virtual happy hour or speaker, to networking and referrals. I owe a great deal of my brand’s growth over the past 12 months to DFW CPG as they have introduced me to the SKU accelerator program and have connected me with key players that support All Y’alls Foods. I am grateful for DFW CPG and as a CPG founder in the DFW area, it only makes sense to be a part of it.
Nik HallCo-Founder of Vitafive
I have been a member of DFW CPG since a bit after it started, and it’s been one of my best experiences in the industry – networking with so many vendors, entrepreneurs, and other professionals. For anyone who is thinking about joining, it’s one of the best things you can do for your brand no matter the size. Since I joined, our company has continued to scale and I plan to continue to be involved in DFW CPG meetings and events.
Hima PalFounder/CEO of Tin Star Foods
DFW CPG is the first CPG focused organization I've joined, since starting Tin Star Foods, that feels like a community that I truly belong to. It has provided endless support not only in professional growth but they've been a network I can lean on when trying to make large business decisions. The founders, Richard and Rick, have always made me feel like they've got my back. Every single time I've asked for help, they've gone above and beyond to help me find the resources needed, locally. It's been crucial in my growth, not only as an emerging brand, but personally as a leader. The friendships made here are something I will be able to take with me wherever I go.
Quynh Thoa TruongFounder of QT CookShop
Chi NguyenFounder/CEO of Purpose Tea
Chi, the Founder of Purpose Purple Tea, started her business because she had a vision for a purpose led, social enterprise that empowered women. Having researched local growers in Africa, and discovering purple tea there, she launched her RTD tea brand in 2018 with a goal to donate 5% of gross profits to support the mission. And, like so many, she found her way and learned the industry without connections or a support network. She says, “when I found DFW CPG, it’s been enormously helpful to me. I have met distributors, suppliers, advisors, and investors through this network – and I hired a Sales Director whom I met at a DFW CPG event.” Today, in addition to growing her business, Chi is an Ambassador for DFW CPG providing helpful insights on how we can help emerging brands, and to help foster and build connections for the local CPG community.
Susan O'BrienFounder/Former CEO of Hail Merry Foods
Wish we had DFW CPG when I started my business