Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jenny Heman, Founder of Honeycut Kitchen, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Honeycut is a food manufacturer revitalizing one of America's favorite and most nostalgic snack categories - the snack cake. Our nutritious snack cakes were designed for the fitness- and health-conscious consumer and are composed of clean, gluten-free ingredients. We're focused on sweetening our cakes with minimal natural, organic sugars. We've formulated our flour blend to contribute to a high-protein profile.
Honeycut gives our customers healthy desserts that they can FEEL GOOD about eating and FEEL GOOD after eating. Our snack cakes offer them convenient, sustainable desserts to help them maintain their fitness and lifestyle goals.
Tell us about yourself
I decided to come up with Honeycut - a natural competitor in the snack cake market - after lightbulb moments about the importance of quality food consumption on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Post-college, I started bodybuilding as a hobby, so I had to clean up my diet. The changes I could feel daily from consuming one food versus another were significant and led me down the path of defining what nutritious food meant to me.
Along this journey, I reflected on some of my favorite childhood foods, and snack cake was at the top of this list. I realized this market was underserving the public with heavily processed, sugar-laden foods. There was a real opportunity to create a new, healthy household name in sweet baked goods.
As a proud American (who also realizes we may do a lot wrong in this country), I am excited to continue innovating on one of our favorite nostalgic snacks. I can't wait until Honeycut is not only as widely known as Little Debbie and Hostess but also available at every location that our competitors are so that we can all have the option of a better choice of what we put in our bodies.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm so proud that we were able to launch our nutritious snack cakes on the West Coast fairly quickly across Southern California Whole Foods Markets.
It was significant that they quickly realized our aligned values of clean, simple, and nutritious foods, as well as our shared passion for spreading that product available to as many as possible. Being available in one of the most respected and recognized natural food retailers was incredibly validating that we're building something meaningful with Honeycut.
Whole Foods has been a fantastic partnership. I'm thrilled to continue growing with them (recently launched in Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii!).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The biggest challenge in starting and growing a business has undoubtedly been managing the mental chatter between my ears. I'm a solo founder and not often confident in my decisions. Wrestling with self-doubt has, so far, been part of the daily process.
I'm looking forward to the day when I can get more and more out of my head and more and more into the reality of growing a business alongside other supporters and decision-makers.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip would be one I still struggle with, but try always to envision what you want to build and work backward from there. It can be easy to slip into the weeds and get caught up in minor issues that inevitably pop up multiple times a day, so you constantly have to keep your sights on what you're building and always make decisions with that vision in mind.
My second tip would be to work with coaches, advisors, or experienced people in your industry as much as possible, especially if you're starting to build a business alone. These contacts and touchpoints can point you in the right direction if you're feeling lost and help you through tough times.
My third piece of advice would be to get comfortable with outsourcing tasks that aren't core competencies of your own. As an entrepreneur, chances are you will struggle with this, but leaning on others who have strengths in certain areas is often much more effective and efficient than trying to groom those skills yourself. Remember that you don't have to be good at everything.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.