This is the first installment of an interview series with the 2021 Target Takeoff Food & Beverage cohort. Participating founders are sharing, in their own words, details about their innovative companies. All interviews have been conducted by the Target Takeoff Program Management Team.
Meet Artisan Tropic.
TT: Describe Artisan Tropic in one sentence.
Jose & Juan Nino: We are a family business making wholesome plantain and cassava snacks to improve the quality of life of our customers, employees and their families.
TT: What inspired you to start your company? What makes your product unique in the marketplace?
Jose & Juan Nino: Artisan Tropic was inspired by Maca Guzman’s journey of battling against an auto-immune disease. Maca found healing through a holistic lifestyle and diet. The Guzman family became passionate about food and nutrition and they used this passion as the vision for starting a healthy snack brand called Artisan Tropic.
If you taste our product you immediately know it is of the highest quality. Our chips are not only delicious, but there is a story behind our brand.
TT: How did you decide it was the right time to join an Accelerator program? What are you most looking forward to getting out of the Target Takeoff experience?
Jose Nino: Over the past 9 years we have been steadily growing organically. We have reached a moment where we have the manufacturing capacity for significant growth but would like more guidance on how to best focus our efforts and resources. We value the veterans of the trade and want to build a comprehensive, evidence based, long term growth plan.
TT: What’s a problem you frequently face as a founder?
Jose Nino: What keeps me up at night is the question: What do we need to do to keep the brand going? Since we are a small brand and have already experienced a retail partner removing us from their sets, we know we are not invincible. We would like to become the number one selling item in our niche sub-category nationwide.
TT: How do you stay motived through the ups and downs of growing your business?
Juan Nino: I always try to focus on the day to day. It is difficult to stay motivated when I think about all the challenges throughout a full year, but if I focus on completing my tasks everyday it really helps to keep me motivated for the next challenge.
TT: How do you see Artisan Tropic growing after this experience?
Juan Nino: After the accelerator program we really hope to keep growing our brand presence in our current retailers. We have been carrying out more demos in important regions and we are excited for more people to learn about Artisan Tropic. Most importantly for us, is to one day walk into Target and see our chips on display!
To learn more about what the Artisan Tropic team is up to and their products, visit them at artisantropic.com