Adventures of a start-up part 7: belligerent banks, more label madness, and the mark of being a ‘real’ business

Adventures of a start-up part 7: belligerent banks, more label madness, and the mark of being a ‘real’ business
Image: Tracey Creed
Here’s what Mr Coconut and I have been up to the past couple of weeks …

Kitchen progress

Since it’s turning out somewhat tedious to get money out of banks, we’ve had a couple of awesome people step forward to loan us money for building our own kitchen. Yay! Between them we are now 70% towards our target, but still need to secure another chunk of investment to make the kitchen happen. Fingers crossed that we’ll find the right investor/s soon.

Hello baby yoghurt!

We launch a new product this week – our 400ml jar! At taste testings we’ve had a number of people, particularly singles and the elderly, tell us that they wouldn’t get through a 700ml jar by themselves. So we’ve been beavering away to organise a smaller size option, and it’s now ready to hit the shelves. Looking rather cute too.

Label madness

Why oh why is it always labels that go wrong?! We had a huge ‘Oh no’ moment when this week we realised that the FIVE THOUSAND labels we’d had printed for our new 400ml jar had the wrong barcode on them. Yup. Not cool. It was Uncle Paul and his barcode printer to the rescue; since there is no way we’re going to waste all those labels we’re just going to have the fun of over-sticking them all. Good times. To all new food producers out there – double, triple, quadruple check your proofs!

Tasting up a storm

This week we’ve had taste-testings going full steam. Our friend Elyse in Auckland has done three tastings at Farro Fresh stores and Naturally Organic, Annabelle in Wellington did our first tasting at our awesome new stockist Commonsense Organics, Julia from Make it Raw kindly asked if she could pair our yoghurt with her yummy Grawnola at two tastings, Tiana from Maiden South Pacific took our yoghurt along to her tastings, and the CleanPaleo and Natural Things teams made Raglan Coconut Yoghurt part of their stands at the Go Green Expo. Love how all these people share our enthusiasm for the yoghurt, it’s so encouraging!

Highs:

  • Funds secured - means we can keep progressing towards having our own kitchen
  • New friendships with other foodie businesses
  • Stockist explosion – in 8 new places this week, and some of the stores are the first in their region
  • Ready to launch our small jar
  • Finally got some cute business cards printed – now we’re a ‘real’ business ;-)

Lows:

  • Knowing that we’ll have to painstakingly overstick 5,000 labels with the right barcode
  • Being sent the wrong size lids which meant cancelling one production session this week