1. Summarize your business in one sentence.
Repurposed Pod hopes to disrupt the cocoa industry through new cacao crop innovations, advancing cacao agriculture and adding value back to the supply chain.
2. How long have you been in business?
We started Repurposed Pod in October of 2014. We launched our first product (100% Cacao Juice) 2 years later October 2016.
3. Why did you decide to start the company?
We have always been in the cocoa industry and spent many years trekking across the beautiful cacao farms. Traditionally, the farmers will hand pick a cacao pod off the tree, crack it open and you pop the cocoa beans in your mouth to taste the sweet fruit pulp which surrounds the bitter beans. It’s always been a highlight to our days on the farm. Some of this sweet fruit pulp is used in the fermentation step of the cocoa harvesting process. However, the rest is simply wasted. We realized we could bring to life this beautiful fruit to the U.S. market and by utilizing this wasted sweet fruit, we could bring additional value to the cacao supply chain, and provide premiums to the farmers through increasing land utility. It was one of those magical “ah, ha” moments we will never forget..
4. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
By reinventing the cacao crop’s 3,000 year old post harvest process. Repurposed Pod had the opportunity to provide a new perspective on “the fruit that brings you chocolate.” No longer is Cacao only the crop of cocoa beans, it is also the crop of cacao fruit juice.
5. How do you measure success?
We measure success against our mission of advancing cacao agriculture and improving the livelihoods of cacao farming families. This is the ultimate success.
6. What have you learned in the process?
Starting your own business is ONE BIG learning curve. In the beginning you wear every hat, you learn every role (even roles you may not excel in or roles your not comfortable with).
7. What advice would you give to someone trying to start a sustainable food company?
As you navigate the rough waters of a start up remember your mission You embarked on this journey for a purpose, a purpose to help make the world a better place. Remember your purpose and stay true to your mission every step of the way. Let it guide your decisions, let it lift you up when you reach obstacles (because you will!) and allow yourself to celebrate the successes along the way (big and small).
8. What’s next?
We are constantly innovating and brewing new ideas. Let’s just say Cacao Juice is only the beginning for Repurposed Pod.
9. Fun question: what was the best meal you ate this week?
I love to cook healthy foods Monday I made this Thai Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce, it was amazing!!! You use peeled carrot as the noodles and sun butter for the “peanut sauce”.
Kayla Weidner, founder of Repurposed Pod