Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Scott George, CEO of Reaper Robs, Inc., located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Reaper Robs was founded in 2019 with a focus on balancing premium, gluten-free, and vegan hot sauces with heat and flavor. Our hot sauce flavor profiles are unlike anything else on the market, and we're confident you will savor every drop!
Although we use some of the hottest peppers on the planet, fear not! Our business philosophy is to serve the greater population of hot sauce enthusiasts using a range of heat and flavors so that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Reaper Robs mild to medium "Medium Caution" creations utilize the tang of the cayenne pepper and the bite of the jalapeno and serrano peppers, while our hotter varieties "Enjoy The Heat Bestseller" and "Hot As Hell" blend the robust heat of both red and orange habanero peppers, ghost peppers (bhut jolokia chili pepper), and the infamous Carolina Reaper.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a serial entrepreneur with a 20-year record of formulating and directing strategic international sales, business development, and marketing initiatives in highly competitive environments. I have a solid history of success in product development and marketing, cost control and reduction, budget administration, acquisition, and retention.
One of the main drawcards that attracted me to business solopreneurship and entrepreneurship as a whole was "idea ownership," the ability and opportunity to flex my entrepreneurial muscles through ideation, identifying consumer pain points and areas for improvement, aka business opportunities and the strategy of how to take this idea to the commercial market. Obviously, not every idea works or is a success, but learning where you went wrong previously and how you can grow and not make those same mistakes is crucial moving forward, all part and parcel of solopreneurship and entrepreneurship.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think franchising a promotional marketing and advertising company at the age of 30 throughout Australia & New Zealand was our biggest accomplishment. Not only did this company win a number of industry awards, but we went on to win and be the recipient of the Australian Business Awards "Marketing Excellence Award" for Marketing & Business Management Services, an achievement we are very proud of to this day.
We are, however, very excited about the future. Our new venture Reaper Robs has gained enormous traction with our products now being offered nationally in Natural Grocers, available online via Walmart's marketplace, and soon in Japan via the business-to-many e-commerce platform Rakuten. We have also had a very exciting introductory conversation with Walmart's Merchandising Director – Sauces & Condiments to supply Walmart directly. In June, Reaper Robs was selected to pitch from over 4,500 businesses and over 13,000 products in Walmart's 2022 Open Call, and we are very excited by this opportunity to partner with Walmart.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think wearing multiple hats and task management, especially in the startup arena, is always a challenge for every business owner. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, focusing on the smallest task, breaking each task into its own compilation of intervals to make it more manageable. I also have a keen eye for detail, and some may see this as perfectionism, I would argue it’s a strive for excellence, sometimes good enough needs to be exactly that.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I developed and followed a "GRIT Philosophy," a four-step process of ideology that helps all team members plan, project manage and strategize the delivery of our overarching corporate vision.
Ⓖ Go above and beyond.
Ⓡ Resilience: Optimism, confidence, and creativity.
Ⓘ Intensity: Passion and perseverance for achieving long-term goals.
Ⓣ Task Management: Focus on the smallest task, and break each task into its own compilation of intervals to make it more manageable.
We have used this approach, which also helps empower, creating a collaborative and engaged team environment, contributing to the overall objective and success of the business and mission to help to motivate a team. I also believe it's important to find continuous ways to support, recognize and reward team members & offer ongoing training and development opportunities (both professional & personal).
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We are currently applying our insight and expertise toward developing a franchise model for Reaper Robs, our new venture. Our concept is the combination restaurant/food truck that offers extended brand presence plus rapid growth with optimized margin opportunity via exclusive Reaper Robs products and dining experiences throughout the United States.
We’re dedicated to the future growth of Reaper Robs, where these new franchising opportunities will promote the success of the company and the organization as a whole. We believe the name “Reaper Robs,” synonymous with excellence, is now trademarked across an array of categories beyond hot sauces so the company can move forward in the bar and restaurant arena.
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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