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Dec 28, 2021

This special edition of the podcast features highlights from interviews with six founders, creators and innovators who joined us on the show during the second half of 2021. Our guests include award-winning television host, chef and writer Andew Zimmern; Vanessa Pham, the co-founder and CEO of Omsom;  Erewhon chief growth officer Kabir Jain; Catherine Dockery the founder of Vice Ventures; Foxtrot Market co-founder and CEO Mike LaVitola; and Danielle LiVolsi, the founder and CEO of Nuttzo.

Show notes:

0:42: Interview: Andrew Zimmern, Host, "Family Dinner" – We kick things off with award-winning television host, chef and writer Andrew Zimmern, whose latest TV series “Family Dinner” is now in its second season. In the following clip, pulled from our episode featured on November 30, Zimmern spoke about why he believes that great brands don’t necessarily need to be the best brands, why he believes elitism is hampering solutions to issues of food accessibility and affordability, and his position that GMOs – applied within reason – continue to play an important role in the food system.


8:32: Interview: Vanessa Pham, Co-Founder & CEO, Omsom – Next, we’re joined by Vanessa Pham, the co-founder and CEO of Omsom, an innovative brand of starter kits for cooking Asian dishes at home. In a clip pulled from an episode featured on October 26, Pham spoke about about the inspiration for and meaning behind Omsom, why she and her co-founder and sister Kim set out to build a brand for all consumers, why observers may be mistaken into thinking the company has a niche focus and how Omsom’s PR strategy has been effective in attracting national media attention.

16:12: Interview: Kabir Jain, Chief Growth Officer, Erewhon – We continue with Kabir Jain, the chief growth officer of upscale L.A.-based grocery chain Erewhon. In the clip, from our episode published on November 9, Jain explained why Erewhon describes itself as an “idea,” how the retailer defines innovation, why he describes brand selection as both “an art and science,” and the reasons that the company will say “yes” to some brands and “no” to others.

24:12: Interview: Catherine Dockery, Founder, Vice Ventures – Next, we feature Catherine Dockery, the founder of seed-stage venture capital fund Vice Ventures, which describes itself as “conquering stigmas and striving towards superior returns by investing in good companies operating in ‘bad’ industries.” In the included clip, from an episode published on August 31, Dockery explained what piques her interest in a first meeting and how she works with founders and operators to achieve their collective goals.

27:45: Interview: Mike LaVitola, Co-Founder & CEO, Foxtrot Market – We continue with Mike LaVitola, the co-founder & CEO and Foxtrot Market, a fast-growing chain of hybrid corner stores and cafés that is redefining convenience for modern consumers. In a clip pulled from an episode aired on July 27, LaVitola discussed how the company communicates its business model to consumers and industry professionals, the retailer’s target consumer, how it cultivates an intimate understanding of its customers and how analytical and anecdotal data factor into the Foxtrot’s product selection and merchandising strategy.

36:58: Interview: Danielle LiVolsi, Founder/CEO, Nuttzo – Finally, we close with a conversation with Danielle LiVolsi, the founder and CEO of Nuttzo, a brand of premium nut- and seed-based butters. In a clip pulled from an episode published on October 19, LiVolsi discussed why self-care is great for ideation, the benefits of bootstrapping and why she fears regret more than she does failure. 

Brands in this episode: Spindrift, Jeni’s, Fly By Jing, Omsom, Dunkaroos, NuttZo