Tips for Current & Future Entrepreneurs
with Jason Karp, Founder & CEO of HumanCo and Co-Founder of Hu Kitchen
I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Jason Karp, Founder & CEO of HumanCo., a mission-driven holding company that invests in food and builds brands focused on healthier living and sustainability such as Cosmic Bliss, Snow Days, and Against The Grain. You've probably also heard of Hu Kitchen, which was co-founded by Jason and sells some of the most delicious chocolate on the market made with ingredients you can trust. Here at Purely Elizabeth, we are all about making foods that are full of the good stuff, so it was great to connect with Jason on our shared values. Jason talks about his personal wellness journey and how that inspired him to start Hu Kitchen, advice on how to scale your business without compromising on what matters to you, and why sustainable snacking matters. Keep scrolling to learn more and listen to the full episode below.
One thing that really resonated with me was when Jason said "Once you admit what you don't know, you know how to surround yourself with people that do know." It's so important to have humility when starting a business because doing things in a quality manner matters. When you're aware that you may not have all the answers to every question and that you may not have all the skills needed to run different parts of the business, you can find those people who do and want to be a part of your company's mission. It's a powerful thing to bring in people who can and want to help you further your company's mission to bring quality, delicious tasting foods that are accessible to all.
When scaling your business, at some point you'll need investors and/or may get potential interest to buy your company. With that, there's a risk that the acquirer doesn't honor the guardrails of your brand. Jason gave some great advice to be very upfront about what you won't compromise on and what your guardrails are before you get in too deep. With Hu Kitchen, Jason & his family wanted to make sure that whoever they ended up selling to, would continue to honor what makes Hu special: using quality ingredients, being a gluten-free brand, etc. because the ultimate goal is to create a delicious product that is good for people's health and the planet. So when you're getting to this phase of your business, remember to make it known that whatever values and mission is critical to the brand's legacy will not be compromised ahead of time so you don't waste time negotiating if they won't budge on that either.
Listen to the full episode here to learn more: