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In Edible-Alpha® podcast #32, Tera interviews Angela Mavridis of TRIBALÍ foods, a national brand of freshly made, frozen grass-fed and grass-finished beef patties. Angela grew up in a big, Greek family that ate a lot of meat (and had a burger business) but became a vegetarian for a period of time due to health concerns. She started studying to be a holistic nutritionist and started learning about how grass-fed meat has a better nutrient profile and reflects better animal welfare practices than CAFO and other methods of producing beef.
After incorporating clean meat protein sources back into her diet, she began making different flavors of patties in her kitchen that resonated with her family. Through a connection at Whole Foods she ended up presenting her patties to Whole Foods executives. They sent her away with some homework to build the packaging and branding needed to go into distribution at multiple Whole Foods, with what became TRIBALÍ getting into distribution at Whole Foods about a year later. TRIBALÍ is now in other grocery store chains like Target as well as independent stores in California.
TRIBALÍ’s products resonate with the “tribe” of people who are looking for convenient, easy ways to eat whole, nutrient dense and ethically raised foods. Their clean, simple packaging that communicates their organic, grass-fed and Paleo certifications stands out on the freezer shelf and helps communicate their brand’s promise to that tribe. Angela champions entrepreneurs getting themselves and their products (through things like demos) out in front of as many people as possible to promote their products and their business in a marketplace crowded with emerging food brands.
Angela stresses the importance of having the right partners and infrastructure to scale up TRIBALÍ’s brand. To get into their first account at Whole Foods, they had to use an approved co-packer partner to produce their patties. Many people have difficulty finding a co-packer because it is hard to get into a co-packing facility with a small test run, because the co-packer would have to interrupt production on larger, established orders. The co-packer they met through the process understands the need to abide by their certifications and is physically close enough to Angela to allow her to oversee all production of TRIBALÍ’s products.
TRIBALÍ won the Winter 2017 Project Nosh pitch slam and Angela recently pitched at the Expo West 2018 pitch slam (where Tera was her mentor). Though she didn’t win at Expo West, she made it to the finals and also won the Nexty award for best new frozen product. Angela reflects that the pitch process forces you to learn every single aspect of the business to anticipate questions about your competition, your brand’s potential in your category / current marketplace and about how you can deliver on your business model to meet the goals of your company and investors. Angela’s family is proud of her as she continues the food business tradition and she looks forward to supporting future growth of TRIBALÍ.