When I met Meredith, I was rabidly curious to find out why she created her own brand of snacks. What inspired that? Was she scared? Did it take a long time to get it going? What challenges does she face?
Watch or read on for my Passion Profile interview with Meredith Grey, founder of Kiinoa Snacks. She’s a 34 year old inspiration who hails from Edina, Minnesota and who calls Brooklyn, NY home.
Video watch time: 11 minutes
Transcibed by Danielle Abadies
When did you make the decision to start your own business?
About 4 years ago. I was sitting at my desk in my corporate job and realized I had just eaten a whole bag of the family size Pirate’s Booty. WHAT? From that experience, I wanted to make a healthy and heartier snack that would be able to sustain you.
Why Kiinoa snacks? What inspired that?
I became inspired through my travels in South America, the Middle East, and Asia. They have unusual flavors you don’t find in the US. I initially wanted to make a quinoa popcorn because I was eating a lot of it. Kiinoa Snacks is like a cheesy quinoa popcorn. The consistency is like a healthy cheeto so it’s light and fluffy but also has the heartiness of the quinoa. The protein and fiber keep you energized. It’s also a fun snack to eat.
What were you doing before?
I was doing international sales for a startup tech company. I really liked that piece of it but I wanted to go into a different industry.
What has your greatest challenge been?
Doing it on your own and trying to find a partner to bounce ideas off of. I would recommend finding like-minded individuals in the same industry. Funding is also another challenge but you can find ways to get funding.
What has your greatest triumph been thus far?
It’s the execution of the product…getting the product put to life and seeing it in stores. From there, building a model on how you can grow.
Who is your greatest supporter and how do they make you feel supported?
My family, especially my dad. My friends have all been supportive. I seek advice from friends with design backgrounds and financial modeling backgrounds.
What gives you courage to continue?
Well I’ve come this far, so I can’t stop now. What’s exciting for me is seeing people’s reactions, such as “This is quinoa? I never envisioned that as quinoa.” or “That’s really cool and tasty. I can give it to my kids.”
What in your life makes you feel strong?
Reminding myself of previously frustrating days. I need to take a step back and breathe for a little bit. So I need to make more time for the decision making process. I also seek advice from people that I trust when I need it.
Women like Meredith fuel the reason behind the Iron Strong “She believed she could, so she did” Necklace