Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tal Garden, Founder, and CEO of FUN Sesames, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
FUN Sesames is a Local, Minority, Woman own business. We create Organic ready-to-eat TAHINI dips. Tahini is an Ethnic condiment made from Sesame seeds, lemon juice, and spices. Versatile- as Tahini is bigger than Ketchup in the Middle East, it is used as dip/spread/drizzle, and so many other ways- daily. Ingredients: As clean as it can be: no preservatives or oils, real, local lemon juice, and herbs being chopped in the facility. Attributes: the only seed-based sauce in the deli, which allows us to be relevant to the flexitarian needs or ANY other diets. Flavors: 4 colorful, unique options: Spicy Harissa, Parsley Mint (Herbs), Turmeric Za'atar (Earthy), and Lemon Cumin (Classic). Our colorful Tahini is the answer to many customers' motivations'. Our Customers: Our goal is to become the healthiest condiment in every American household. Tahini is the #1 Middle-Eastern condiment; yes, more prominent than ketchup! Tahini works with ALL popular lifestyles the Mediterranean, KETO, Paleo, VGN, Whole 30, Plant-Base, Dairy/Soy/Gluten/Nut/Egg/Sugar-FREE. We carry the cleanest labels on the deli shelf-no preservatives/concentrate EVER.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Tal; I grew up enjoying flavors from around the world. Although my family couldn't afford culinary luxuries at all, our dinner table was always fresh, colorful, and tasty. (Today, I also know how my mom recycled all the food- zero food waste). One of the few constants on our table was Tahini! Whether we spread it on our bread, dressed it on our Shakshuka, or dipped our veggies in it, Tahini made it taste better! From this, I learned that we could enhance even the best food with the right additions… and TAHINI is one of the best additions out there! Today, those interested in healthy plant-based dips tend to buy Hummus. Those interested in Tahini currently must make it at home by purchasing Sesame paste and mixing it with other ingredients themselves. Our Tahini is ready to eat and mixed with Mediterranean flavors such as Harissa, Za'atar, Turmeric, date syrup (the sweet option), etc.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We manufacture our Tahini using state-of-the-art facilities, allowing us to reach 130 days shelf life by using HPP and 0 preservatives, making FUN Sesames the cleanest Tahini available in the Market today. With combinations of grit and hard work, FUN Sesames Tahini is now available in 900 Stores in 16 States all over the US. Our reach continually grows and opens new opportunities in retail and the food service industry.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a woman, I have never felt that my gender has limited me in any capacity. On the other hand, I have found that it may be necessary for me to approach challenges a little differently as a woman. I believe that a pervasive challenge for women founders is being taken seriously among colleges in our industry. As a woman founder, I have dealt with decision-makers that instinctively look to men for input or counsel on a decision. Instead of taking it personally, I have found that connecting with people on a personal level will often result in healthier and more fruitful business relationships.
I use these personal connections I have developed today to ensure that I stay on their radar during this extraordinarily challenging and uncertain time. Even if I have no business activity at the moment with an individual, staying in touch during this time conveys the importance I see in my relationship with this individual. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to reach out and connect personally with my network. These conversations ensure our long-term relationships stay intact.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research your competitors. No matter what type of business you're starting or running, you'll have competitors. Even if there's no other business offering exactly what you plan to sell, there are very likely to be other products or services your target customers are using to satisfy their needs.
- Plan to succeed. If you're not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your business, you may not need an elaborate business plan, but you still do need a plan — one that specifies your goal and your destination — and then lays out at least a skeletal roadmap for how you'll get to where you want to go.
- Know the operational needs. Most people who are thinking about starting a business focus on what they'll sell and who they'll sell it to. What they often don't consider is how the business will actually operate.
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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