Paleo Supply Co: Celiac Diagnosis Turns into a Food Business
This is the fifth post in a series of interviews with successful food businesses. We’ll go over how they started, successes and failures, and general advice for other food entrepreneurs.
This week’s guest is Kirsty Briscoe, owner of the Paleo Supply Co, which is based in McKinney, Texas, just outside of Dallas. Inspired by Kirsty's own family's health and quality of life, Paleo Supply Co is committed to bringing you delectable Paleo treats and daily staples. With foods that are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, GMO, artificial everything, and refined sugar free, you'll be amazed at how mouth wateringly delicious this stuff is. You might even be convinced with a few of these photos.
What is your background? Were you involved with food before Paleo Supply Co?
I have been a creative cook my whole life. There was always a big emphasis on health in my home growing up and I knew the way you ate dictated your quality of life.
Tell us how you got into paleo.
I was diagnosed with Celiac disease after years and years of being plagued with different illnesses. Cutting gluten out of my diet made a big difference. Still, I knew I could feel better. I was an active young adult who was so fatigued everyday that I could barely walk the block. I continued researching and eventually found the Paleo diet. I cut out all grains and dairy and my life changed 180 degrees.
What pushed you over the edge from cooking and baking at home to selling your paleo creations?
I think I ate steamed broccoli and grilled chicken for a year and half during my healing time. After a while, I longed for cake, cookies, hot chocolate and a hamburger I could pick up with my hands. I started using my kitchen skills to change my traditional methods to be more paleo friendly and magic started happening! We have an amazing bread recipe that people don't know is gluten free, let alone Paleo. My recipes gained popularity among my friends and CrossFit circle and I realized I was meeting a real need in people's lives.
How did you get involved in the Crossfit community? Are you a crossfitter yourself?
Yes, I love love love CrossFit - I started after a few months of healing from Celiac and haven't looked back! I work out at Kodiak CrossFit in McKinney, TX. I started Paleo and saw a definite informal partnership between that and CrossFit. I had just had my first baby so I decided to try it to tone up a little and I haven't looked back. I'm actually 3 months pregnant with my second and still CrossFitting.
Where do you prepare your food? Do you use a commercial kitchen, produce at home, use a co-packer?
We have a commercial kitchen, but we actually had to build our own facility on our property because there is not a gluten free kitchen rental facility in the whole state of Texas. We are passionate about ingredient purity and we didn't want to risk using a rented kitchen. However, we started out in a home kitchen and grew beyond very quickly.
We know you sell through your e-commerce website. Where do you sell aside from online?
Now we have online sales, multiple farmers markets, and lots of CrossFit and food events. People eat our foods at events and usually say, "How is that Paleo?!" or "Ohmygosh, that's good." It makes us so happy to hear people enjoy food without compromising their health!
How did ReciPal help your company get started?
ReciPal helped us out so much when we first started! It provided us a way to cost our products so we could know the lowest price we could pass on to our customers. We couldn't find anything that offered the level of customer service and functionality that ReciPal offered, so it was really critical in getting us started!
What are next steps for Paleo Supply Co?
We have met with a major national natural foods retailer and we hope to partner with them and have Paleo Supply Co. products on shelves by mid-2014.
That's fantastic. Any advice you can offer other food entrepreneurs from your experience?
Keep going! Pursue your dreams! There will be roadblocks but stay committed to your cause, no matter what it is!