Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gina Lommerin, Owner of Jaxs Snacks Inc., located in Newport Beach, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jax's Monster Snack Mix is an innovative peanut and gluten-free snack mix that is school safe and portable. Perfect for your little monster! Jax's delicious blend is a unique mix of gluten-free sesame sticks, unsulphured dried fruit, organic coconut chips, and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. Our fun packaging targets school-age children, but we have many mom and dad fans too! We aim to provide a healthier alternative to popular mainstream lunch snacks. Jax's monster lab has more top secret flavors in the works, which will also be nut and gluten-free, as well as dairy-free options. We want every little monster to be able to enjoy our snacks!
Tell us about yourself
When my daughter Jax was only a few months old, she was diagnosed with several food allergies, which limited our options. Not to mention she was your typical picky preschooler and wouldn't eat any of the healthier snacks I would pack in her lunch. I struggled to find allergen-friendly snacks we could both agree on, fun and tasty for her but wholesome enough to sustain her throughout her busy day. I started perusing the bulk bins and experimenting with different combinations. Jax's Monster Snack Mix was born as her all-time favorite, most requested mix. I understood what a huge impact packaging has on the consumer, especially for kids. With my art background, I set out to create playful packaging that would appeal to our littlest consumers—fun on the outside, goodness inside.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I truly love the feedback and stories from parents; it's exciting and humbling to hear how Jax's Monster Snack Mix curbed a tantrum during a family outing or how an ultra picky eater has discovered their new favorite after-school snack. Knowing our snacks have been invited into so many homes and bringing someone a moment of joy keeps me motivated, inspired and grateful.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My #1 priority is being a full-time mom to my two kiddos, so it is challenging to appropriate time for the business without compromising my focus on my family. Being a start-up, owned and operated by myself, there is constant problem solving and curveballs. It can be difficult to know when to turn the switch off and be present in the moment.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Develop a great product that addresses an unmet consumer need. Start with something you are passionate about. If it brings you joy or helps you in some way, chances are it will do the same for others.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help, outsource when you can, and seek out mentors in your industry. Business is endless problem solving; you will always run into something you can't solve on your own.
- Always stay focused on the consumer. It is your product, but at the end of the day, it all starts with the consumer.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We love feeding monsters, big and little! We have partnered with schools, churches, and non-profits, providing Jax's Monster Snack Mix pouches for community events at no cost. If you have a family-friendly event within the US, tell us about it at email@example.com, and we would love to help!
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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