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Jun 1, 2021

Upon viewing Mid-Day Squares’ Instagram page for the first time, you might be wondering why the brand’s three founders are so prominently featured and look more like modern pop stars and streetwear models than the owners of a food brand. However, the portrayal of Lezlie Karls Saltarelli, Nick Saltarelli and Jake Karls as millennial celebrities is part of a thoughtfully curated social strategy and a purposeful business model that has helped Mid-Day Squares become one of the hottest brands in CPG.

Launched in 2018, the Montreal-based brand, which markets a three-SKU line of refrigerated snack bars described as “everything a chocolate bar isn't, and everything a protein bar wishes it was” is carried throughout Canada and is rapidly expanding distribution in the U.S. at retailers including Sprouts and Whole Foods. Backed by a total of $8 million in funding, including financing from investment firms Boulder Food Group and Selva Ventures, Mid-Day Squares expects to generate $10 million in revenue in 2021 and has a goal of reaching $100 million in sales within three years. The brand’s fast growth and vision has already attracted the interest of The Hershey Co., which reportedly saw its offer to acquire the company rebuffed by its founders.

In an interview featured in this episode, Karls Saltarelli, Saltarelli and Karls spoke about how Mid-Day Squares has achieved its rapid start and upward trajectory, including lessons from prior entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as the keys to its unique and compelling social strategy and why a commitment to clean ingredients and consistent communication with the brand’s consumers gave the brand a solid foundation on which to build. They also explained why a business therapist has been vital to their development as co-founders and leaders, why vulnerability and love are cornerstones of the brand and why they plan to keep the company independent.

Show notes: 

0:40: Interview: Lezlie Karls Saltarelli, Nick Saltarelli and Jake Karls, Co-Founders, Mid-Day Squares -- The co-founders sat down with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif for an expansive conversation, including why “transparency is Mid-Day Squares' currency,” as well as how data validated the initial concept, why it took some convincing to get one of the founders on board and the reasons behind the brand name. They also discussed how they incorporated lessons from other startups into Mid-Day Squares, the influence of “Shark Tank” in their social efforts and why they identified non-traditional grocery sets for snack bars as key to their retail strategy. Later, they explained how they present their vision to investors, why they turned down an offer to sell the company and shared their plans for the brand’s next stage of development. 

Brands in this episode:  Mid-Day Squares, Perfect Bar, Reese’sFlow Hydration, Hydrant, 5-hour EnergyKind Snacks, RXBAR