If you're reading this right now, you're joining me on Phase 3 of Project "Phat Fudge, All Growns Up" as I move this operation into the big leagues with a co-packer.
But, wait! How did we get here? Let's go back into time, 6 months ago, when YOU (Instagram) asked me to make Phat Fudge into portable squeeze packets.
After several requests, I decided to test out demand by selling 50 12-packs of Phat Fudge here on Shopify.
Not expecting much, when I launched it LIVE on Periscope, wearing a Unicorn Head on my couch, it sold out in ONE HOUR.
That meant I had to hand-pack 600 Phat Fudge packets. No biggy, I can handle that.
I tried again a week later, only this time, I didn't hit SAVE on capping it at 50 orders and in 24 hours 268 orders had been sold.
Oh. Em. Gee! That's 3,216 HAND PACKED Phat Fudge packets I had to deliver upon.
HAND PACKED, DUDE!
And I did it. Then, I kept doing. Up to the point in which Phat Fudge would sell out in less than 1 SECOND every Monday.
Finally, I was the pretty girl at the dance! I mean, Phat Fudge was in HOT demand. And you guys wanted more, A LOT MORE, so it was time to jump into the world of CPG manufacturing and really crush it.
THE DILEMMA, EVERY GOOD STORY HAS ONE...
After over 30 calls, we (you and I) have a co-packer, BUT they have some aggressive minimums so I had to think about what my options were at this juncture for funding 25,000 squeeze packs.
Investor? I've said "No, Gracias" to a few because they just don't align with how I want to grow this business. It's not just about getting funding and my gut just didn't feel good in those conversations.
Kickstarter? Dude, that's a full-time job. I'd rather the fees those platforms charge just go straight back into the business and that your money goes straight towards your pre-order.
Shark Tank? Mr. Wonderful terrifies me. Maaaaybe in 6 months I'll be ready to face that shark when I want to go REALLY BIG.
I was stumped and too close to my own project, so I called upon my friend Noah Kagan to talk it out and he slapped me with the obvious: "Cut out all the middle noise and just pre-sale it directly - you have the demand."
SO HERE WE ARE!
I launched an EPIC pre-sale to hit 2,083 orders so I can meet the co-packer's minimum of 25,000 packets and CRUSHED IT.
Remember, I accidentally sold 268 orders overnight with a single Instagram post AND to-date, and I've hand-packed about 10,000 squeeze packs, strong wrists to prove it.
WHAT HAPPENED ON LAUNCH DAY?
We rallied! We rallied SO hard. You placed your orders. You tagged your friends to place their orders. You shared the fudge out of this post. You rapped about Phat Fudge on the streets. You get the point. YOU MADE SOME NOISE!
2,083+ orders happened with the help of ALL OF YOU!
WHEN DID THIS PRE-SALE HAPPEN?
Friday, August 21st we DANCED!
Oh, and Phat Fudge has it's own Instagram and Twitter now too: @phatfudge
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
After we hit the minimum order count, I handed a PO over to the co-packer and they produced our long-awaited packets.
But there was more roadblocks ahead, as things were not going to work out longterm with this first co-packer.
*whomp whomp whooooooomp*
I went back to hand packing while I sought out the right co-packing consultants to get set up with a new co-packer to produce the next run of 50,000 packets of Phat Fudge, Original.
I'll be honest, at first, I was absolutely crushed by the bump in the road. BUT, the deeper knowledge I acquired about scaling a food business, the more I understood that these events are all part of the process.
Remember, to date, I have hand packed over 10,000 packets of Phat Fudge, so there is no stopping me now.
Once Original is running smoothly with the co-packer, I'll be able to mature this website, set up subscriptions orders, design the boxes, as well as produce a VEGAN and BURN (COFFEE/HONEY FREE) on a large scale next.
Don't worry, I have MANY other versions in mind to add over time, but as Bob says, BABY STEPS.
Contact me at email@example.com to inquire directly. I am SO humbled by the number of stores wanting to rep my product on your sites!
ARE YOU READY TO EAT PLAY CRUSH THIS?!
Of course you are! Thank you. THANK YOU. Thank you SO much for encouraging me to create this product. You guys saw the opportunity and I want to follow through on it in a BIG way.
How cool is this social media driven - REAL INGREDIENT- product adventure?
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS, MARY!
Bring them on over to me on Instagram. I'll group the most common FAQ and update this page accordingly. As always, I'll be keeping everyone up to date through the whole process, just as I've kept it fully transparent from the start.
THANK YOU FOR BEING AN EARLY SUPPORTER!
Come play on Instagram: @paleochef or visit paleochef.com for more fun. You can learn more about who the heck I am and what it is I do when I'm not slanging fudge on the streets of LA.