Startup Spotlight™ features innovative, consumer-based startup companies and their passionate founders.
Startup Spotlight™ focuses on Start Right Foods. Founded in St. Louis, MO, Start Right Foods is a startup company that makes delicious, protein-packed breakfast favorites that fit a hectic, on-the-go lifestyle. Their waffles and waffle sliders are gluten-free and contain between 15 and 19 grams of protein per serving. And this healthy breakfast brand is on trend for those busy households who demand convenience. Introducing Start Right Foods….
Clint Matthews, Co-Founder of Start Right Foods, recently sat down with us to discuss…
Start Right: Best Lesson Learned (1-min)
Start Right: A Funny Story from Their Startup Journey (1-min)
Start Right: Where Did the Idea Come From? (1-min)
Sponsored by Adori Labs
Who is Start Right and how did the company get started?
Start Right creates delicious, protein-packed breakfast favorites that fit a hectic, on-the-go lifestyle. As entrepreneurs and former college athletes we both were constantly trying to find a filling breakfast for our busy lives and were sick of protein bars and shakes. After a few mouth-watering brainstorm sessions, we decided to launch a line of protein-packed Belgian Waffles into a few stores in Columbia, MO.
What makes Start Right different than other breakfast brands?
Rather than creating a niche new product, Start Right re-imagines traditional breakfast staples as powerhouse nutritional meals that bring all the flavor and familiarity consumers crave with the filling, protein-rich and natural ingredients they are seeking. We aim to meet consumers where they are and encourage a healthier lifestyle by making their morning choice a simple one.
Who are some of the key Start Right team members & backgrounds?
Co-founders Clint & Kyle operate the business day-to-day and lean on their experience as athletes to fuel their passion and drive for brand growth. Clint’s background in raising capital and business degree help fuel the company’s growth, while Kyle’s background in engineering helps improve efficiencies and scale effectively. Third co-founder Gene Gerke brings a wealth of experience in the CPG world to help guide, advise, and push the brand to the next level.
Where can consumers buy Start Right today?
Start Right is sold in select markets throughout the US, including Albertson’s/Safeway in the Northwest, Lowes Foods in North Carolina, Woodman’s in Wisconsin, Lunds & Byerly’s in Minneapolis, and in most retailers in the St. Louis, Missouri area including Schnucks and Dierbergs. Starting this month, we’ll also have our Waffle Sliders available in all Sprouts Farmer’s Markets throughout the country.
Who is your primary target market and how do you best reach them?
Our products resonate with the fit and active community, especially moms hoping to feed the family a nutritious meal that everyone enjoys. In St. Louis, we’re proud to be supporters and friends of Burn Boot Camp, a community-focused gym that creates an amazing experience for mothers. Their support in our local market has really expanded our brand awareness. You can also find us in the community at a handful of 5ks, marathons, and fitness related events serving tasty waffles at the finish line. Outside of St. Louis, we rely on influencers and word of mouth reviews, as trial is our best way to find new consumers.
How do sales look over the last 12 months? How are they trending?
We’ve made great strides in both sales velocity and volume over the past 12 months, including a nearly 200% quarter over quarter sales velocity increase from 2018–2019. With the addition of Sprouts this month, we hope to continue that exciting growth for a successful 2020 and beyond.
Any new, innovative products coming soon from Start Right?
There are a lot of things in the works as we aim to build Start Right into a brand that has breakfast covered, but unfortunately, we can’t share too much about our projects. One thing to expect this year is an additional SKU or two to add to our Waffle Slider line sometime in Q3. We do have one innovation that’s becoming more widely available — our Sprayable Maple Syrup, now branded as Maple Stream from Coombs Family Farms. It’s a great, convenient way to keep Maple Syrup with you wherever you may be!
Are you currently raising capital?
We’re currently raising capital to help us scale into both Sprouts and new retailers throughout the course of 2020. One of our largest spends will be on a packaging redesign and overall brand/marketing strategy to further support our retail sales. Our main focus in 2020 is boosting our brand awareness, and we are eager to have a more robust budget to spend on a comprehensive marketing strategy.
What’s one thing people should remember about Start Right?
Taking that first step in the morning to eat a protein-packed breakfast can set the tone for your day. Be sure to keep a box in your freezer — because coffee isn’t breakfast.