Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Guilherme Maia Silva, Founder and CEO of Força Foods, located in Hayward, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Força Foods makes clean, healthy, vegan snacks that help consumers "Save Water Simply by Snacking™." We crafted delicious energy bites with only five simple ingredients for the perfect on-the-go snacking experience. You might be asking, "How do these snacks save water?" It's simple! Our main ingredient, watermelon seeds, has a water footprint 99% lower than almonds. The average protein or energy bar relies on the use of almonds and other water-intensive nut or dairy ingredients. We decided to do things differently. Our bites are vegan, gluten-free, packed with protein, made with real fruits, and contain no added sugar. All while helping you lower your personal water footprint. Just imagine that… A delicious snack that is not only good for you but also good for the planet. Our customers love eating healthy and being active. We provide them with a convenient and delicious way to have a positive environmental impact and contribute to their body's well-being.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up admiring my father's career in agriculture and eventually followed in his footsteps to study Plant Sciences at UC Davis. I fell in love with learning about how we grow our food and the environmental impact it has. During a sustainable agriculture class, I learned about water scarcity and the concept of water footprint. From that day on, I began questioning every snack, food, and beverage I saw at the grocery store as I realized the impact of the ingredients used.
I decided that there must be a way to make delicious, healthy, and inclusive snacks that also had a lower environmental footprint. That's when I stumbled across watermelon seeds. These superfood seeds have a rich protein and mineral content, all while boasting an incredibly low water footprint.
My motivation is to continue growing the brand and introducing new people to sustainable snacking. I want to show others that there are better alternatives to our favorite foods without the need to compromise our personal well-being. As a brand, we are always looking for ways to continue innovating and lowering our own environmental personal footprint. This mentality is what keeps us moving toward a better future.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As simple as it may sound, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is creating a product that people enjoy and support. Nothing means more to me than introducing someone to our low-water footprint snacks and seeing how they truly care about our mission.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think that the hardest part of being a business owner is persevering through failures. As an entrepreneur, you are bound to fail repeatedly, regardless of how prepared or confident you are. Being able to continually get back up from the last failure and view it as a learning curve is just about the hardest but most important thing you can do as a business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Learn from your mistakes and focus on the next step forward.
- Be open to new ideas, methods, and opinions. Learning from others can be very important for the development of your own success.
- Be patient and have confidence in yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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