On Starting A 7-Figure Food & Supplements Business

Published: March 31st, 2020
Colin Stuckert
Wild Foods & The ...
from Austin, Texas, USA
started January 2015
Discover what tools Colin recommends to grow your business!
social media
Discover what books Colin recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Wild Foods & The Ancestral Mind.com? Check out these stories:

My name is Colin Stuckert and I am the CEO/ Founder of Wild Foods Co and The Ancestral Mind.com.

Wild Foods started out of my passion for food and nutrition. The first year selling on Amazon 2015 we did $500,000 in sales (Started in Jan with one product and $350 in sales).

We hit 7 figures in the second year in business and have grown every year since.

We sell Real Food products and supplements focused on supporting a healthy body and mind and living in accordance with nature.


What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?

I never did well in school. I went to community college because I didn’t know what else to do. I found poker a year into that and quit soon after to focus on being a pro. I made some money but soon realized that it’s a “hard way to make an easy living,” as they say. So I took my 100K+ bankroll and bought a franchise juice bar inside a local LA Fitness in my home town in Southwest Florida.

Build a Deep Work routine and make it the most important thing you do each day.

A year after that, I caught the CrossFIt bug and soon opened a gym with 2 friends. That taught me a ton about people, systems, delegating, leadership, etc. Eventually, I decided to sell my share to my partner so I could move West and do something different. Wild Foods was a complete accident that happened soon after moving to Austin, Texas in 2014. At the time I was sourcing high-quality grass-fed whey protein in large 44lb bakery bags that would deliver to my front door in Austin.

So I wondered if other people might be interested in paying more for a premium whey-based on principles of Real Food and quality process. After listing the first SKU under the name Wild Whey by Wild Foods, I did $350 in sales that the first month. By the year’s end, we were doing around $50,000 a month between about 10 different SKUs.

Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?

A couple of years into the business, I was getting burnt out. So I spent a lot of time on systems and hiring good people and training them as best I could. This was a never-ending process and not one anyone masters if you ask me. But having certain principles in place for your company as well as spending time paying attention to your culture can reap huge dividends. Eventually, I started toying around with the idea of bringing on a partner or some kind of capital investment.

At least 2 years into “thinking about it,” an interested private equity party reached out. 6 months later we finalized a deal with the focus on growing the company while sticking true to our core values. This was not an overnight process, nor that fun of a process, but I still feel like it was the correct decision to grow the company.

Cash is King when it comes to growth, not to mention having other interested parities invested in the growth of the brand were my primary reasons for bringing on a partner. We are now 7 months into our transition and while there have been many issues we've had to sort through, we are on a 25% growth projection from the year before, with all signs pointing to continued growth through optimization and our expanded product line.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Here are some various tips growing/starting a business, in no particular order.

Be frugal and scrappy. Having money doesn’t guarantee you anything. Just look at the companies that flame out because they get a huge capital injection without any of the hard money lessons you learn through bootstrapping

Hire very slowly and fire as fast as you can. Just do this. The candidates you like the money at first glance aren’t always the best. Many times, in fact, they can be the worst.

Track everything, especially every penny you spend.

Find a good accountant and hook everything up to a business debit or credit card so all your expenses and income flow through something digital.

Learn from entrepreneurs around you, and not just those in similar businesses. You can learn a ton from people in various fields

Don’t file taxes late. #lessonlearned

Set aside money every month for your taxes. Just do it.

Build a CEO routine around your daily work. Deep work, shallow work, rules around notifications when your employees can expect answers from you, etc.

Use something like Asana as the centerpiece to managing your team. Then enforce compliance.

I wouldn’t give cash or food bonuses to employees that are one-ofs. Meaning, the only perks employees should get are those that are on a schedule that they can expect. Otherwise, they will find reasons to ask you for things all the time, which will backfire because they will expect it.

Write out a simple bullet point list “agreement” for employees or partners. Have on that list every possible expectation/standard you expect from the other party. Then have some language into what happens if things go awry. The more you can put here the better for making sure no one "forgets” something you both agreed on. (When people have an incentive to forget, they will.)

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Figure out your mission, your WHY, then build 1-3 First Principles that will direct your working life, and ideally, your personal life as well.

Then review those every morning so you never forget or veer.

Understand 80/20, outsourcing, delegation and basic GTD method (David Allen).

Build a Deep Work routine and make it the most important thing you do each day.

Where can we go to learn more?