Melissa Webb is a partner and brand manager at The New Primal. She’s wildly enthusiastic about the entrepreneurial culture and excited to be a part of the natural food movement. She lives in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina with her 2 kids, Cooper and Jonathan.
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In this episode you’ll learn:
- How business experience translates into the food world
- How to build your retail presence
- Tips to combat inner dialogue
Tell us a little bit about you, Melissa Webb, and what you do.
I live in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the greatest places in the world in my opinion, and I am the brand manager and a partner at The New Primal. At The New Primal we make healthy, clean, portable protein snacks. We started in 2009. We know enough to be dangerous, and we’re just having a really good time. It’s really an exciting time for us.
How did The New Primal get started?
My partner founded The New Primal. He was looking for a clean portable protein when he adopted a more paleo lifestyle. One of the challenging things about adopting that new kind of lifestyle is the snacking portion. It’s the 2:00 sitting at your desk, snacking element that can be challenging. He was looking for protein option and really just started making it for himself. In 2009, it was really challenging to find something that met his dietary needs. He bought a dehydrator, Googled how to make beef jerky, and the company started from there. He started making it for friends and families and grew out of his kitchen. He had like 60 dehydrators going, and his wife said, “This has got to go or I’m going.”
He created a website and people started ordering. Ashley Zager, our Operations Director, and I knew Jason from our previous job. He saw what we were doing the community and really liked what we were doing. He asked, “Do you guys want to do this with me?” I don’t have food business background but, sure, why not, let’s just go for it. Seven years later and with six full-time people on the team, we’re in about 6,000 stores across the country. It’s been quite the adventure.
What was your background before you came on to The New Primal?
Ashley and I work for Lululemon. We worked for the company way before t was as popular as it is today. They launched these showroom concepts. Ashley and I worked on to the one here in Charleston. It was really our job to get word out in the community. We had so much fun building that brand in this community and really gave us a lot of entrepreneur freedom to do what we needed to do to expand the brand into this market.
What would you say is the difference between growing a business like Lululemon and a food business?
They encourage a lot of out of the box thinking which translates really well when you’re building your own business because you’re creating your rules and how you want to go about the world. That definitely carried over. It’s different in the sense when it’s your own company you’re invested in a couple different ways. I work in the day-to-day business. I’m also an investor. I also sit on the board. I’m really part of growing this brand whereas it’s not the same when you’re building another company’s brand.
Do you have a specific sales strategy?
It seems like a lot of companies are primarily online first and then they build their retail presence. We did it the opposite way. We started in the retail world. We basically went door-to-door, and we were just selling to any little store that would buy our products.
How do you managed to stay balanced?
I try to be mindful of my inner dialogue. I try to eliminate words like busy or this is hard. Everything is just how you present it. If you’re so busy then you’re just busy and you’re never going to be able to see that for yourself. You do have time. There’s time for everything that you’re prioritizing. If you figure out you’re wasting 30 minutes a day on Facebook, you did have time to work out you just chose not to. As long as I stay with the inner dialogue in my head, everything else just seems to feel more balanced. If I’m eating right, if I’m exercising, if I’m really prioritizing my time well, then I feel more balanced.