Babson Business: Dahlicious, LLC
Name of business: Dahlicious, LLC
Mission: “Our mission is to create honest, tasty, authentic foods that are 100% natural, convenient and full of meaningful health benefits.”
Year Began: Feb 2007
Revenues: $150-$250K (EST.)
Initial Investment: $40K
Broke Even: Not Yet
Employees: 3 Full-Time
Founder's Past Life/Business: “IT Consultant with specialization in internet marketing. I worked on many consulting projects in Asia, Europe, and North America during my eight-year career. The work involved more than 10 Fortune 500 client organizations.”
How the Idea Began: “Often food that is tasty is not healthy and vice-versa. I wanted to address this dichotomy and create “real” foods with “real” health benefits.”
Initial Preparation to Germinate Idea: “Coming from a non-food background, I had to educate myself on food science and manufacturing. I met with a number of experts in the field, visited a number of dairy plants, and asked numerous dumb questions. All the hard work paid off, as I was able to develop a product that was well received in the marketplace.”
Favorite Thing about the Business: “Meeting consumers face to face to get their feedback. I go out weekly for product demonstrations. It gives me an opportunity to meet people who love the product and also those who hate it. From both groups, I learn a lot, come back and improve the product.”
Worst Thing About the Business: “Working in my kitchen surrounded by food. I have put on five pounds since I started this businessJ”
Biggest Challenge: “Entering the established, consolidated dairy industry was challenging. Initially, I had difficulty finding a manufacturer for my product. Most large dairies needed huge initial volumes to be interested. I called all the major dairies on the east-coast, but could not interest them in the product. My perseverance paid off, and I found a mid-size dairy processor in upstate NY who was very excited about the product and started producing it.”
- Don't hesitate to ask questions.
- There are many more helpful people out there than you think.
- Listen to your gut. It might sound odd, but I do try to listen to my instincts when making a decision.
- Hire slow, fire fast.
- Be wary of consultants.