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Sep 20, 2019

This week, we’re joined by Grant Gyesky, the co-founder and CEO of Rise Nitro Brewing Co., a fast-growing brand that has made waves in the emerging segment of nitro-infused coffee. Launched in 2015, Rise is known for its high-quality, organic nitro cold brew coffee and innovative line extensions, including citrus-infused coffee and oat milk lattes. The company has gradually expanded distribution beyond its home market in New York, and in May landed placement in over 2,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. 

In an interview included in this episode, Gyesky spoke about the brand’s genesis and development, how he and his co-founders determined their roles in the company and the challenges of being a first time CEO. He also discussed how Rise considers innovation and distribution amid a rapidly growing coffee category, why first-time entrepreneurs often make better decisions than industry veterans, and why it’s critical to choose the right advisors.

Show notes:

1:22: Expo East, Advice on Advisors, and Road Sodas -- On location at Natural Products Expo East 2019, the hosts riffed on the amount of CBD-infused products at the show, why modern CPG brands have a longer runway for success, and a booch brand’s brillant booth. They also discussed the importance of aligning with the right advisors and how a gas leak exposed Mike’s thieving ways.

14:24: Interview: Grant Gyesky, Co-Founder/CEO, Rise Nitro Brewing Co. -- Gyesky spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about the accidental creation of Rise, the reason for his tardy arrival to BevNET Live Summer 2017, and how the company elicited feedback about the brand via its cafe in New York City. He also explained why he was hesitant about taking on the role of CEO, the pressure to innovate, why Starbucks has been a boon for the brand, and why being a first-mover is often challenging. Later, he discussed how key retailers with locations outside of the company’s geographical focus were key to Rise’s growth, why entrepreneurs should be wary of letting advisors “feel that they can control the business,” investors’ differing views of the coffee category, and how he thinks about work-life balance. 

Brands in this episode: Medterra, Humm Kombucha, Goldthread, Sunwink, Waku, Kaylee’s Culture, Rise Nitro Brewing Co., Starbucks