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Mar 24, 2017

Zak Normandin is a determinedly practical entrepreneur. As a new father, he was concerned that there were few companies selling organic foods for babies and toddlers. So he created his own: Little Duck Organics, a maker of USDA organic snacks. A few years after its launch, he sold the company. Although he had been successful in the food business, he wasn't satisfied with traditional distribution models. Seeing an opportunity to sell direct-to-consumer, two years ago Normandin launched Dirty Lemon, a brand of functional drinks that are sold via a text message-based ordering platform. Thomas Perez has similar views when it comes to disruptive business concepts. The CEO of Alpha Dominche, a manufacturer of ultra high-end coffee and tea brewing machines for cafes, Perez felt that consumers would benefit from learning about how the company’s equipment works and what separates it from traditional devices and brewing methods. He built Extraction Lab, a sprawling space in Brooklyn’s Industry City neighborhood, to educate consumers about the company’s innovative Steampunk single-cup brewing machines. Part cafe, part showroom, the store gives customers an up-close-and-personal view of how these tech-heavy brewing machines operate. Included in this edition of the BevNET Podcast are interviews with both Normandin and Perez, exploring how outside-the-box thinking shaped their respective companies. Also in this episode: a chat with BevNET’s new CMO, Mike Schneider, one that includes his favorite product discoveries as an attendee of Natural Products Expo West 2017.