20 Successful Entrepreneurs Disrupting The Food Industry (Examples + Case Studies)
Starting a food business can involve opening your own restaurant, bakery, food truck, cake shop, or even starting a business or blog online.
Other kinds of food businesses include manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Food businesses prepare a wide range of foods such as snacks, sweets, and meals to sell directly to consumers and also include cafeterias at workplaces and similar facilities.
If you have a passion for food, starting a food business can be an extremely fun, challenging, and rewarding business venture.
Here are some real life success stories of starting a food startup:
1. KÜiK Meal ($144K/year)
Enric Miquel Pico (from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) started KÜiK Meal about 4 years ago.
Hello guys! I’m Enric Miquel and am I the Founder of KÜiK Meal, but I am also working as International Marketing Manager in Laboratoires Grand Fontaine. I am a pharmacist from the University of Barcelona and have been working in the pharmaceutical marketing field for the last 5 years.
To that date, we have already served 14.000 meals throughout Spain, France and Portugal. Besides, this last April, we have gained a new ambassador for KÜiK, Ragna Debats, a world champion leader of running. Until now, she has accumulated titles such as three-time world champion 2018, European champion of sky-running 2017, and recently the absolute winner of the Marathon des Sables 2019, being an ambassador for KÜiK Meal. In this last event, she used KÜiK as her first power supply! We couldn’t be prouder of her and the product.
2. Golden Root ($48K/year)
Andrea Slinde (from Selva di Cadore, Veneto, Italy) started Golden Root over 5 years ago.
Hi all! My name is Andrea and I’m the founder of Golden Root. I manufacture and sell a caffeine-free Turmeric Latte Mix in Denver, CO.
Currently, I sell Golden Root online from my e-commerce site and to over 50 coffee shops nationwide. After a very eventful and strong finish to 2018, Golden Root is making an average of $4k/mo.
3. Ka-Pop! Snacks ($1.2M/year)
Dustin Finkel (from Loveland, CO, USA) started Ka-Pop! Snacks over 3 years ago.
Hey, I’m Dustin Finkel, the creator, and CEO of Ka-Pop! and Awakened Foods (a new Holding Company that owns Ka-Pop!, Bubba’s Fine Foods, and Awakened Food Crafters). We are an innovative and fearlessly delicious snack company. I started these businesses to create snacks that were genuinely authentic and craveably delicious. It’s disheartening how many consumers have lost their trust in ‘healthy foods’ because they are either misleading in their claims and/or require you to give up taste.
4. Love Good Fats ($36M/year)
suzie yorke (from Toronto, ON, Canada) started Love Good Fats over 5 years ago.
Hey! I am Suzie Yorke, a mom, a CPG marketing executive, and 11X time Ironman Finisher. I launched Love Good Fats from my dining room table in Toronto, at age 50, as a single mom. I took a big chance and invested my life savings. Love Good Fats is a family of food products that are all very low sugar (1-2g of sugar), keto, high fat, and all clean healthy ingredients.
I am thrilled to be the founder of Love Good Fats’ expansion as it quickly becomes one of the fastest-growing bar brands in North America. Love Good Fats is just over four years old, and we’ve already exceeded $120 million in cumulative sales! The brand has had an incredibly fast start, especially here in Canada. Our growth has been unheard of. We are currently listed in over ten thousand stores in Canada and the US in Grocery, Mass, and specialty natural health food stores
5. CandyCan ($180K/year)
Krik Angacian (from New York, USA) started CandyCan 11 months ago.
Hi, I’m Krik I’m the co-founder and CEO of Protes Protein Snacks and as you can guess… we make protein snacks : )
Today it’s crazy to think you can find our products in +10,000 retailers nationwide.
6. EatTiamo ($120K/year)
Nicholas Figoli (from Vernazza, Liguria, Italy) started EatTiamo over 6 years ago.
Hello there! My name is Nicholas Figoli and I co-founded EatTiamo (us.eattiamo.com) alongside with my business partner and high-school friend Francesco Pelosi.
Over the three years of activity, our Boxes have arrived to the table of three hundred American families and we are happy to continue growing.
7. Peaceful Fruits ($180K/year)
Evan Delahanty (from Akron, Ohio, USA) started Peaceful Fruits about 8 years ago.
My name is Evan Delahanty and I’m the Founder & CEO of Peaceful Fruits. Peaceful Fruits makes healthy, delicious, rainforest friendly fruit snacks.
Though we are still small, we’ve gone from $8000 in sales in 2015, to $25,000 in 2016, to $150,000 in 2017. We are now employing 30 people with disabilities in our production facility and have paid tens of thousands of dollars in wages to some of the most underserved people in any community.
8. Kyra's Bake Shop, LLC ($768K/year)
Kyra Bussanich (from Lake Oswego) started Kyra's Bake Shop, LLC about 13 years ago.
Hey everyone! I’m Kyra Bussanich, founder of Kyra’s Bake Shop, an exclusively gluten-free bakery in Portland Oregon. You may have seen us on the Food Network dominating the sweet competition on Cupcake Wars!
9. ChipMonk Baking ($960K/year)
David Downing (from Houston, TX, USA) started ChipMonk Baking over 3 years ago.
Hi there! My name is David Downing and I’m co-founder & CEO of ChipMonk, a specialty mail-order bakery based in Houston. We make low carb, gluten-free desserts, and ship them all across the country. Our mission is to help people indulge mindfully and make better nutritional choices.
As an early-stage company, we’ve remained focused on growing via e-commerce before we attempt to tackle wholesale or get into grocery stores. Right now, we sell around $25,000 a month, with most of that coming directly from our website.
10. janori ($36K/year)
Johanna and Raphael Spannocchi (from Munich, Germany) started janori over 1 year ago.
Hi there! We are Raphael and Johanna Spannocchi, the founders of janori. janori sells delicious, local, organic food. Like organic coffee, great, slave-free chocolate handmade in Munich, Germany, and some of the finest Gin on the planet.
Our other bestsellers are the original sugared almonds usually sold at the Munich Octoberfest. Since this massive beer celebration was canceled in 2020, we were able to secure a portion of this delicious original for our customers. Made from just 3 ingredients, you get an amazing taste without the additives like wax and shellac often found in these products from bigger, industrial manufacturers.
11. The House of Leaf & Bean Inc. ($360K/year)
Wen Raiti (from Jacksonville, Florida, USA) started The House of Leaf & Bean Inc. about 6 years ago.
I am Wen, the founder, and president of House of Leaf & Bean, organic restaurant and cafe. I am passionate about Lifestyle Medicine due to my personal health journey. I believe that good lifestyle medicine is better than magic pills. "Let the medicine be the food; let the food be the medicine".
I’ve taken many leadership roles in organizations like Jacksonville Sister City Association, National Asian American PAC FL, Jacksonville Chinese Association, Jacksonville Mayor's Asian American Advisory Board, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Leadership Jacksonville, and more.
12. ABS Protein Pancakes ($300K/year)
Ashley Drummonds (from Tampa, Florida, USA) started ABS Protein Pancakes about 8 years ago.
Hi, I'm Ashley Drummonds, and I am the creator of the ABS Protein Pancakes High Protein-Low Carb meal replacement line! The ABS Protein Pancakes is an All Natural, High Protein, Low Carb Meal Replacement that allows people to enjoy pancakes and waffles every day while sticking to a healthy nutrition program.
We have three flavors of ABS Protein Pancakes: Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Cake Batter, and Cinnamon Roll. It's great for fitness enthusiasts, those who follow a low carb nutrition program, on a weight loss program, or anyone who just wants to enjoy a healthier option for pancakes and waffles. It's also great for individuals on a low sugar or gluten-free diet, or if you're just looking to get more protein on a daily basis!
13. daily-harvest.com ($240/year)
The Shake Up hosts spoke with Daily Harvest CEO Rachel Drori about how she navigated investor relations, how algorithms fuel the brand and marketing mix.
Read the full story on blog.hubspot.com ➜
14. LEAN BENTO À LA CARTE MENU ($1.01M/year)
Charles struggled to find wholesome, nutritious and tasty food that are not wraps or salads. This sparked him to start his own healthy bento delivery firm.
15. Shake Shack ($595M/year)
In less than 20 years, Shake Shack has transformed from a small hot dog stand into a gourmet burger and milkshake chain that operates in over 270 locations around the world.
Read the full story on successstory.com ➜
16. Grain ($1M/year)
They run a full-stack service that handles all aspects of the supply chain from sourcing ingredients, preparation to delivery.
17. Trini Pepper Sauce ($27K/year)
Mustafa (from Raleigh) started Trini Pepper Sauce over 8 years ago.
Hello! My name is Mustafa Mannan, co-founder and co-owner of Trini Pepper Sauce by Findlay Food Group llc. Undergrad friends and I started producing two varieties of sauce, mild [also known as “Original”] and hot, five years ago.
Today, the sauce is sold in specialty stores in Raleigh and Washington DC, with the majority of sales coming from our online store front. All in all we are averaging $3000/month in revenue.
18. Huy Fong Foods ($150M/year)
David Tran (from Irwindale, CA, USA) started Huy Fong Foods over 42 years ago.
- David Tran is the founder of Huy Fong Foods.
- Huy Fong Foods is an American hot sauce company based in Irwindale, California. Beginning in 1980 on Spring Street in Los Angeles's Chinatown, it has grown to become one of the leaders in the Asian hot sauce.
19. Tubby Tom’s ($105K/year)
Tom Hughes (from Gloucester, UK) started Tubby Tom’s almost 8 years ago.
- Tubby Tom's is the perfect combination of all of my passions. I spend all day working with amazing food, creating sauces and seasonings, and selling them to awesome, like-minded people.
- It all started with a single batch of BBQ sauce I'd made in the summer of 2014. My friends loved it and joked about how I should sell it and brand it as 'Tubby Tom's. I thought it was pretty funny and it seemed like a great idea, so I made some more, drew up some sketchy labels, and took it down to our local farm shop.
20. Sienna Sauce ($192K/year)
Tyla-Simone Crayton (from Houston, TX, USA) started Sienna Sauce over 5 years ago.
- Fifteen-year-old Tyla-Simone Crayton is the CEO of her own business, Sienna Wings.
- She's been making a special sauce for chicken wings since she was 8.
- The way that I got into it was that my favorite wing place closed down, so I decided to recreate the sauce that I love so much. I ended up coming up with our original sauce.
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