Jeremy Weisz 4:20
talk about the evolution the flavors for a second right so what you started with and you know what you went with next because it’s it’s a serious decision from an inventory and manufacturing perspective to
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 4:36
go may take that one
Bram Bourgeois 4:38
You take that one Jen
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 4:39
okay so and you’ll you’ll learn through the podcast who’s american who’s belgian and we come from different countries where you know really the culture the upbringing the lifestyle there’s different things that you remember from your childhood and from your home country you know as we grew up with peanut butter and jelly here united states belgium grew up with chocolate all the time from from birth to death or eating chocolate. It’s a fantastic country, I failed to grow up in that you’re gonna have chocolate for breakfast. In fact, I kind of giggled The first time I was over there, I’m like, I grew up on wheat germ, you’re eating chocolate for breakfast. So it was a beautiful discovery. So we talked about the evolution of the the flavors, and even the product. It was, you know, like I said, chocolate, you know, to Belgians is like our peanut butter and jelly. So it’s really kind of changed that perception that it’s okay to have chocolate for breakfast in meals. It’s a healthy aspect. Now enter in the Americans and how we like to diversify our palette and the flavor pairings. You know, we really looked at what would make sense for you know, this delicious Belgian dark chocolate spread and pair it with different flavors. So I was lucky enough to go into the lab and play around with some delicious flavors. That really we’ve got about 15 in our vault, for you see the original, and then the three of the Carmel sea salt, the coconut in the Caribbean banana that are available now that you can purchase all across the United States. And we really kind of looked at what were those flavor profiles that we felt matched the American consumer the best for this phase? One. Bram, do an add on to that at all.
Bram Bourgeois 6:19
Yeah, so I’m obviously the Belgium guy in the story. But then besides having a American in Belgium, what we also combine is is a marketeer, Jennifer with 18 years Red Bull experience. And then my background is international business. So you started by saying, Jeremy that that certain products are, are second nature in certain countries, when I came to the states in 2002 it and ever since then, and until we started Lekkco in 2017. I’ve been involved with European products, technologies and services that I was bringing to the US or I was the CO president of the US subsidiary of those European foreign entities. So my past 25 years have been in business and taking these concepts to America. And and as I said last week, in a call, I have become so much American that the Americans don’t look at me as the crazy European was nice guy, but they don’t understand, you know, like, but he doesn’t understand us. And then the Europeans, I’m still a European enough in Belgium enough that Europeans are not like, oh, here’s the crazy American again, asking something that we don’t want to give. So I’m just chameleon that goes back and forth between the two. And so I was able to convince our contract manufacturer to go into a path where they have never gone before. And that was create flavors, because the the American consumer loves flavors, anything and everything flavor. And so Jen looks at it from that marketing perspective. I look at it very holistically as a company and as a product. And if you were not charting on uncharted territory here, the American has proven in his palates of consuming chocolate, that he has a keen, keen interest in flavors. It just happens to be three aisles further in any grocery store, where the chocolate bar has exploded as a section in a grocery store from about a three four foot section, to now 15 feet with the most crazy exotic flavor combinations and texture combinations. So others have gone ahead of us and have created that flavor palate and proven that the American loves Carmel Sea Salt with dark chocolate, that he loves orange peel with dark chocolate that in love coconut with dark chocolate. And so from a business strategy perspective, it makes total sense to bring that and now create that combo into a different form of experiencing the product which is a spreadable. And the reason we pick the spreadable is that the spreadable section is on fire, right? You have the RXBAR guys, they have now created a spread and RX spread. Yeah, Justin’s who led the way. And and we are in a segment where you have Nutter Butter who’ve added chocolate to it. And then you have a chocolate spread that has nuts. And what we are we are the chocolate of chocolate spreads, but with flavors, and that’s the positioning of the company. So it’s a it’s very methodical, it’s very strategic. And we believe that we really capture a whitespace that is currently unaddressed. And that’s why we’re charging full steam ahead.
Jeremy Weisz 9:34
So how did you come up with these flavors?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 9:38
I mean these specific flavors when you look at data and different palettes across the United States, we kind of wanted those type of flavors that would really embody a majority of you know our consumer base. So you look at the caramel seasol if you look at caramel seasol is a flavor across the board. Just walk the grocery aisles whenever you feel comfortable. You’ll see there are a lot of things that are Normal sea salt flare plates. It’s a very appealing comforting flavor. Then you have coconut, which is always been, you know, really something that’s gravitated, you know, towards certain demographics, as well as Caribbean banana a nice fresh kind of natural chocolate combination. You know, you start the podcast out saying I love Lekkco on my bananas. So right there, we felt that was a very nice all natural kind of flavor combination.
Jeremy Weisz 10:25
What are both of your favorites of Lekkco? And maybe one that maybe it’s out of the ordinary? Maybe it’s not? What do you put on? What do you put your Lekkco on?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 10:35
Bram Bourgeois 10:35
I’ll take that one. As soon as it reminds me of my childhood, right? It’s, it’s the original is to be the favorite. But that’s because what I’ve been used to and on a slice of bread over toast. However, if I eat it just off the spoon as a little snack in the afternoon, then I go with the with the coconut one. Because that that almost gets me that Almond Joy flavor. You know, little snack, I just have a spoon here. Just grab a little spoon, you know, eat it. It’s like I’m eating a little you know that bounty that European? You know, Bounty snack candy. Coconut, like, what it reminds me often. So those are my two favorites.
Jeremy Weisz 11:18
Jennifer, before you answer that, if anyone’s tuning in now live, if you put in the comments what you like eating chocolate with what combination or bonus points for what you eat, Lekkco with we are going to be sending free jars, we will choose comments in the chat to send free jars to so please put it Jennifer, what are your favorites to eat Lekko with,
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 11:43
so I like strawberries. So I will sit and just take a spoon and the original and put it on strawberries. And I can crush the flat of strawberries. nobody’s business. I also am a very seasonal eater. So in the winter with oatmeal, my favorite is a scoop of actually any flavor. But I usually gravitate towards coconut, big tablespoon and hot oatmeal and I put frozen blueberries on top. And to me that’s just such a delightful mix of flavors. And it’s really Hardy and it’s healthy. So those are my favorite ways really to eat Lekkco
Jeremy Weisz 12:19
I want to ask too. So Jennifer, for you, I want to know what you learn from Red Bull of what you bring in to Lekkco. And then Bram, I’ll ask you what you brought into what products you saw that you were able to bring to us that kind of sparked this innovation. So Jennifer, what did you learn from working with Red Bull for so many years that you brought into Lego?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 12:41
So the brilliant thing about working for Red Bull I started in 96 when the brand launched and no one knew what an energy drink was. Even the size can didn’t even fit into the glide racks and grocery. So I’m taking people way, way back here.
Jeremy Weisz 12:56
What does the camera look like at the time I picture the slim, slim.
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 13:00
Slim can. But no, no one had slim cans at the time. So Red Bull was really the first innovator to bring that to grocery. So you know, even that is as well as you know, um, you know, the category itself didn’t exist with energy drinks. So we launched rebel in 96, we had to go out and educate people. What is Red Bull, you know, why do you drink it. And so there’s so much I learned from Red Bull from connecting with consumers trial, listening to consumers, how to position yourself in grocery, how to work with your distributors, but also just building that brand ethos. And you don’t have to be everyone’s darling when you really launch a product or brand. But you have to find that right Nisha consumers and be able to listen to them as well. And so I’ve got a really full backpack from my days at Red Bull. I’m very thankful for that I was with him for 18 years. But so much was learned that really we apply to Lekkco a little bit of an easier sell because most people know chocolate. But it’s talking about the quality of chocolate, our attributes, our benefits, and how it’s really healthy indulgence and can be incorporated at every meal of the day, which I’m sure chocolate lovers across the world are rejoicing right now. Because I just gave them the past keys to the castle of chocolate breakfast lunch, dinner snack.
Jeremy Weisz 14:15
There you go. Yeah. Further Red Bull piece. What did you discover people wanted in the beginning that maybe surprised you? Because and I’m wondering how the marketing changed over the years? Because I imagine the beginning. I don’t know if originally people were like, Oh, yeah, let’s pair this with voc. Let’s pair this with drinks. Maybe I don’t know, what was kind of the thought process in the beginning of what the marketing look like and even the feedback and then how did it change.
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 14:43
So Red Bull existed for 10 years before it came to the states. So a lot of trial and error of Red Bull kind of existed with the ethos of it. pairing it with vaca actually was an accident. It’s a darling story that took place in Salzburg. Austria were kind of the owner shut the doors of this bar hired a DJ and said, Hey, we’re staying here all night, let’s just mix Red Bull and rebel vodka, you know, was kind of born. So it really for that by time it came to the United States, how we went about marketing the core values of the authenticity and the functionality of the product was there and to this day still stands. I think what’s evolved and changed is as things have changed, whether it’s, you know, music, live music, you know, how do you storytel I mean, you’re looking at Red Bull website, now, their athlete profiles are phenomenal, then really kind of taking at least in the Red Bull world an idea and utilize the benefits of that product. And how do you you know, kind of maximize, you know, the effects of the product? So, for example, athletes, you know, how do we make them, you know, a better athlete because of the performance attributes of, you know, a Red Bull. So, a lot of what we did at Red Bull when it came to, you know, that as a brand coming to the states is what makes sense was sports, on the collegiate level, as well as with music to kind of give wings to people in ideas. And like it says, vitalizes body mind. So what do we do to vitalize? That body in mind?
Jeremy Weisz 16:18
It’s fascinating. It must have been fascinating to take this journey with Red Bull Oh, yeah, the you know, I’m sure this can looks different. The logo looks different than Initiative’s. It looks this it looks the same.
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 16:29
looks the same. Yeah. Yeah. Honestly, the only thing that will look different from country to country is whatever, whatever language you’ll still see vitalizes body in mind in English, but the ingredients, it will be in the native language. But to be quite honest with you, the slim can still looks the same brand messaging, the consistency, and you can go anywhere in the world where Red Bull is sold, and identify with the brand quite easily. So yeah, believe it or not over 20 years. It’s still
Bram Bourgeois 17:00
I want to chime in because it’s okay. We talked about Red Bull because obviously it’s a it’s a it’s a keystone of why we’re doing what we’re doing. And it actually is the foundation of Lekkco because Jen and i met over Redbull. Right. So and it actually answers because I still remember your question, Dr. Jeremy, I want to make sure I answer that one about what is it that you see are brought from Europe to the US and what is the complexity around it? My early involvement why I came to the US was we were involved with indoor go kart racetracks like the K one franchise that is out there. That was the business we came with. It is there that I was a rebel consumer. I was an early rebel consumer in Europe. And I made our go kart track a point of sale for Red Bull and a Red Bull supported our business. And long story short, Jen walked in my office in 2002 in the month of July, and everything else is history. And we’re married for 14 year note 16 years. We have a 15 year old and a 12 year old Elena and Olivia. Now the answer the question on what products do you bring through experience? It’s a very delicate balance because you can look at what is out there in the world. And there’s reasons why in certain regions things are what they are. It is key. It’s a very key balance, Jeremy between being too early and being too late. And when are you early? When are you too late? And what are those factors and what he needs to look at. I’ll be I’ll be honest, we were too early with the gold card stuff we went out and it’s only later on because there’s a it’s a very complex model and the American mind needed to grow and gravitate to go kart racing. So we left that business behind in. In the print technology I was involved in. I’ve seen what it takes when you’re too early. And certain components that are underlay, let’s say computer powering, right like processing powering. There were certain print machines that could do something but the computing power wasn’t there so it couldn’t fully function so but you need to have something lead and then something else pulls right What is that? The benefit of a jar of chocolate sprays that’s quite simple. Right jar of chocolate spread someone needs to consume it you need to find a motivated person to eat it. But even there you can be too early or you can be too late. So a common misconception on us is that people always little smirky like little smiling like oh, let’s not say the word right if the guys you compete against are like no we don’t compete against them. We have no problem mentioning them. It’s Nutella. Without Nutella there is no Lekkco Nutella is part of Ferrero Ferrero is a billion dollar like what 30 $40 billion valued company and they happen to have a brand Nutella they the brand was available in the US almost two parallel distribution was a moment where Ferrero came to the US directly. Ferrero is putting tons of money in the US market on educating the US consumer what do you do with chocolates red hands are question people. What do you pair it with? What would you do with it It’s one of the leading questions. So if that is leading question, you have to think about two things. It drives our own storytelling. So anybody who goes to checkout or social media agenda will give the handles in a bit. It’s all about storytelling. What do you do with Lekkco? What can you do with Lego? How do you eat it? How do you consume it? Can you be creative with it? But then having a big brand, like Nutella lead the way for us? That is to us a driver of why we why Jen and I as a married couple and like, in our 40s, like, let’s try this, because it was one of the indicators of timing. There is no yet there’s no no second leading brand behind Nutella, you have Nutella, and there’s a gap. And then the question is, why is the gap there because in normal grocery, what you find is for every Coca Cola, there’s a Pepsi, there’s an RC, just like in fast food, you have McDonald’s, you have Burger King, you have Wendy’s. When you look at little little paper tissues, you have Puffs, you have Kleenex, right, you have private label, you have high end. So if you look at the grocery dynamic, you always have a lead brand. Secondly, brand, maybe a third private label high ends. Who is the second brand behind Nutella? There isn’t. So that has very much driven the business strategy and identifying that whitespace where we want to be the alternative brand was also a better for you brands. And it’s this it’s got Jeremy, you and I are how we met right. We’re part of this this great program, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program, shout out to the Chicago cohort 28 chapter. A lot of people do what a lot of people try to overanalyze and over, you know, create theories about it, but a lot of gut feeling, Jeremy, because what is the right timing? When are you too early? When are you too late? Well guess what business practice will tell you. And that is why talking about a company culture, what are we trying to do is we try to make decisions fast. And listen and look at what we learned real fast, so that we can pivot real fast. So we don’t we don’t hold on to our decision making we just evolve on a day to day basis with our decision making. Because that’s the only way you can know how to pivot and navigate being too early being too late. Does that make sense?
Jeremy Weisz 22:26
Yeah, I’m just distracted by the chocolate babka. No, I’m just kidding. I’m looking through the recipes here. You know, it makes perfect sense. I love to hear and I’m just, you know, encourage people to go to Lekkco.com slash recipes. If you’re watching the video, not just listening the audio, I am scrolling through some what looks like some amazing things. desserts and foods that you can use it with. So you could check it out get ideas? And at what points you meet. At what point do you go, let’s launch this chocolate company, this Belgian chocolate company together?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 23:02
Yeah, I mean, you know, with
Jeremy Weisz 23:05
Let’s complicate our marriage even more, no I’m just kidding.
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 23:09
Actually, our story is, you know, it’s it’s truly about, you know, a marriage of skill set. It’s about a marriage of, you know, a husband and wife. It’s a marriage of ambition of opportunity, and honestly, a love of chocolate. You know, um, you know, our daughters have been raised on chocolate spread for breakfast, they’ve chocolate every morning for breakfast. I know, that sounds crazy. But they do. It’s part of who they are. And whether it’s an oatmeal or on their waffles or in, you know, a sandwich, it’s something that they eat, you know, or strawberries. It’s great. So for us really, you know, it started with, we’re at my in laws back, you know, backyard. They live in the south of France, which we’re very lucky to still have them with us and be able to go there. And we used to always bootleg chocolate spreads and other products back from Europe, and we would give it to friends. And they would say oh my gosh, this is amazing. There’s nothing like this here in the States. You know, there’s the nut component of Nutella, hazelnuts, I think, you know, you’ve either really liked that flavor or it’s an acquired taste. So there wasn’t a pure Belgian dark chocolate spread. So it really was a one off conversation. It was from what if we, you know, brought a Belgian dark chocolate spread to the States, we start talking about it and you know, what would go into it, you know, with our backgrounds between international business running companies and then obviously with Red Bull, knowing what it’s like to scale in a country like the United States which it is a big deal. Once you hit that tipping point and you go beyond your your kind of local market, you’ve got to get ready You know, and that is you know, supply you know, your marketing your distribution route. And so we spent a lot of time talking about what that looked like and really what it came down to to start was the right contract manufacturer and who can work with us and grow with us. Really is the the question of our skill set and us working to Other, I mean, people say oh you’re you’re married and especially now when times of the pandemic it’s is 24. Seven with the ones you love. But we have found a way to make it work. And we really complement each other skill set and we work together very well.
Bram Bourgeois 25:14
And I’ll Bram chime in as well. So So the moment truly was 2014 July on the back deck of my parents. But then we went through a three year process a full three years 14 1516. And we started the company on January 10 2017. And we we took that that initial journey and that initial timeline to really draft out that that blueprint. Because the beauty of America what really drove me to come to the States, I mean, I’m, I’m the immigrant, right, I was 28. I left my life behind in Belize, and people didn’t understand that I actually worked in TV, Jeremy, I was a television director. My background there delve into television director and I raced rally cars. And, and we were like, why are you going to America? And I’ve always been intrigued. First of all, I’m fundamentally a very curious individual. I’m always looking like, Oh, this could be interesting. Let’s I want to know more about that and let it be what it is. But what really intrigued me was the unmatched scalability of a single good idea and a single good product in the US. There is not a market in the world that covers this continents, east to west, north to south, where you have an internal market of Twitter and 30 million people that with a simple, delicious product that 599 available in any grocery store, hopefully, in the next four or five years. There’s not a single market out there like the US. But you have to understand before you start in an adventure like that, what are all the components that you need to make sure that that scalability can follow? So as Jen mentioned your contract manufacturer, if scaling is the objective, if then scaling would lead to to the bottleneck be in manufacturing, or rent Then why are you starting because you can’t fall flat? So for example, in August 2020 Kroger took us nationwide run in 1600 crossovers Nationwide’s, we’re in 42, Metro markets, we’re in 2050, stores right all along. You need to be able to gear up on a dime and make sure you can digest going into 1600 stores. And that is only a
Jeremy Weisz 27:25
lot of challenges there. Yeah.
Bram Bourgeois 27:27
I mean, there’s capital this this capital restraint is working capital, there’s there’s manufacturing there’s, but if you want to play ball with the big guys, right, then you better have this all figured out. Here’s a bit of the irony. If we’re talking to other food entrepreneurs, it has never been more easy near me to enter the market with a food company. You can buy online 500 empty jars, download a little software on your computer, make a label right and and now you can send it to an online to an E store platform and you get your label printed, it comes home you put in the kitchen, you make whatever you make that you want to bring to market, your incorporates, through whatever .com that sets you a legal entity, go to a farmers market and I can tell all your friends, we have a food company. So many people do that. And kudos to them, right? It’s good. It’s everybody starts with their dream. But it may be the entry the ease of entry is so easy right now to do that, while at the same time to scale and go play with the big guys. It has never been more complicated. It’s never been more complicated. And that is why because of the competition or why market conditions, Jeremy consolidation. It’s it’s COVID COVID did not make it easy for us. We have to pivot we can talk about that. But if you look at consumer, you’re a brand new brand that in August goes into Kroger nationwide. And here’s the behavior of the mom, the average mom in America has changed. He puts everything on instacart or she’s in the store. She just grabs what she needs. And she’s in and out because of the pandemic right at the time. They’re not browsing
Jeremy Weisz 29:03
around for new products, they are basically going to what they know and they’re not exploring.
Bram Bourgeois 29:09
You can sample in the store you can go to advance you can put your name or
Jeremy Weisz 29:13
just here’s the idea. Just go to the all the Kroger’s buy out all the Nutella because then you know when you’re going to instacart it’s like substitute so people forget to do the substitute, then you just get all the substitute orders.
Bram Bourgeois 29:26
But Jeremy, let’s say let’s tell everybody to not buy the Nutella
Jeremy Weisz 29:33
I’m saying you will be the single best buyer of it and then everyone else will have to get Lekkco.
Bram Bourgeois 29:38
But back to the point of of how easy it is to start and why 99% of starting food companies fail. It is that there are so many hurdles to overcome. Yeah, that that ultimate scaling and those that make it and it’s so so so complicated. Too many are too early. A lot of them are too late. If you’re right, are you financially backed? Can you manufacture? Can you grow to scale? We made mistakes Jeremy, so many that we don’t even want to start in the podcast, how many, but the mistakes that are being made is not the problem. It’s make sure you identify him as early as you can that it was a mistake and make sure you find a path to correct them. And that is the roller coaster. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 30:25
What was the key mistake that led to a great either innovation or part of the company?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 30:32
I mean, I think it’s our packaging, quite honestly, um, you know, when we entered the market with a different label design, we were manifest manufacturing glass, we thought fantastic. Then you come to find out when you’re in retail and you have a PLP display, point of purchase display. The retailer’s hate that why because if someone bumps into your display, and it’s glass, it’s all over the floor. It’s also heavier to ship, you know, we are sold as well on Amazon. So you know, Amazon doesn’t handle glass products. So if we want to plan that arena, we had to take that into consideration. So here we thought, you know, out of the gate, you know, and now you see our our jars in a environmentally safe PE t plastic. You know, we had to pivot way to change even our labeling we felt in the beginning. Like Brahm said, you can make a label, it was good, but it wasn’t great. And it really didn’t describe what our product was about. You know, nowadays, you know, when people were shopping the aisles has failed more time, you really have about three seconds to make an impression on a consumer three seconds. So your label better tell the story pretty quickly. So we really felt changing our label our packaging, was the right next evolution and step,
Bram Bourgeois 31:47
our short Chairman on that journey. So So here and this is so funny, because this, this shows why it’s working between Jen and myself. Jen answers you from that consumer engagement, right? The label? Can they read it? Can they not? What is the perception glass plastic, I look at it’s the business, the business metrics, and we need it. We went to Jewel, you go through your margin calculations on a paper napkin initially. And everything starts from what is your suggested retail price when we got into Jewel, where we thought our suggested retail price was 999. And we had modeled a margin structure underneath because there’s, there’s a lot of businesses that are involved I, I describe it as such, Lekkco as a brand is a brand new business to the consumer, which is a b2c However, our business model is a B, the brands to B to B to B to see which is the brand to the distributor, the sales broker, the grocery store, those are all four B’s to the consumer, because only if those four are in line, can the consumer find it to buy it, when the brand message makes the consumer want to buy it. So you have to marry this very complex, right? rent to the consumer and communication. And now it is very complex underlaying metric to scale, you have to figure this out. These four entities plus the consumer, this is now translated to your product price setting. It starts with what is the cost of make it? What can I sell it for? What are the margins that everybody needs to make ultimately, to set a suggested retail price? Well, we set it at 9.99. And when we went into Jewel direct here, Chicago as a local company, Jewel put our product for 6.99 on the shelf, Jeremy what that did, and to listeners what it did effectively, it undermined and wiped out our entire margin structure to scale our business nationwide. And it was compromised over lunching in 160 stores. Now what do you do with this go back to the drawing boards. We were sitting in front of somebody an industry expert, and he flat out told me you’re completely efts and you can’t recover from that. Well, my personality doesn’t take that nor Jen so there’s always a way out. But you have to go back and so what was our solution was go from a 14 ounce glass jar of which I could only ship by 18,000 and a 40 foot container, go to a nine and a half ounce plastic jar where now I can ship 15,000 jars and the cool thing. So and then the the suggest that retail is actually not 699 anymore, it’s 599. And then with 599 we were able to solve our entire margin, you know chain which you have to have in place to scale. We were able to preserve that model that and operate proper again. So we dodged that bullet.
Jeremy Weisz 34:46
I just want to say you know next time zones, a jar of anything, especially Lekkco. Think of how much goes into that. And the evolution of that it’s pretty remarkable. To hear about it. I want to hear about the first retail order That’s always the first is always exciting.
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 35:03
Yeah, you take that one how that one’s a?
Bram Bourgeois 35:06
It’s it’s a little Jewish deli on the North Shore in Skokie. Okay, yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 35:12
What’s it called? Do you remember?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 35:13
Kaufman’s deli? Okay?
Bram Bourgeois 35:16
Yeah, well, two great ladies, mom and a daughter. And, and they were literally our first $77.88. And, and they wanted it, they loved it, they liked it, we went there. And our first order was lifted, delivered in the back of the car, with our two kids in the back of the vehicle as well. Just go drop off that product. And then, you know, you’re like, Jen, Jen, we’re here by route of Red Bull, we promised every retailer that took us to come and sample in the store and why. And this was very gentle on the table. Because the end your brand story and what you engage with and what you tell to a consumer, only by telling your story yourself directly to your consumer, will you notice what are they resonating with? And what are they dismissing? Right? If you start telling Hey, man, you want a little sample, you want to try it? And if they shrug their shoulders the next time you’re gonna leave your question with a different attribute of our product, right? If, if nobody seems to care about the sugar content, well then start maybe with the better flavor or whatever it is that you need to pitch. So Jen was out weekends in a row and so that first sell April 1 2017 12 jars 70 $77.88 as a check, we still have the check. And then the idea that that first sampling, I think what you had six, seven people bought a jar. Yeah. And we were so giddy Jeremy that like that means six, seven households will have a Sunday breakfast and Lekkco on their table. We’re like, How cool is that? Like, how cool is that? And that’s one of those little silly pinch moment. You know what I mean? And then it just evolves right once you get into Jewel now you’re in 160 stores. Now the whole Chicagoland can get to know your product. And then you go to Kroger. And now the idea that our product is in 42 Metro markets 42 major cities in America, you go from San Diego to LA all the way to Seattle, or you go you know, across the US all the way to the Midwest all the way to the Carolinas Atlanta. There’s 42 Metro markets that carry Lekkco and we started this April 1 2017.
Jeremy Weisz 37:28
I love that. First of all, I have one last question for both of you. I want before I ask it I want to just tell people they can check out Lekkco.com it’s Lekkco.com check out the products that they have available. They’re really good. I’ve tried them all. And check it out. Um, the where can other people find though we talked about Jewel Kroger Where else can people have Amazon? Where else can people find Lekkco?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 37:58
Well, I mean, it depends where you live the United States. We’re in Ralphs Mariano’s locally here in the Chicagoland area. Dillons King Soopers QFC, Fred Meyer Smith’s Fry’s. So these are all banner stores of Kroger across the United States. Of course, Kroger stores Amazon.com if you are a coffee shop and or a bakery, and you are on the Faire platform, we do make, you know our product available for smaller format kind of stores and local stores on faire.com, that’s not necessarily public facing. But then and also our own .com. Of course, would you had up?
Jeremy Weisz 38:38
Last question. Okay. This is really interesting to me. You know, we talked and I showed a little about Red Bull. And when I when I look at your site, the recipes look amazing. But I would love to know, who are the brand ambassadors that you see, are really taking Lekkco to the next level and it could be individual people, and it could be types of people like I see. Chef Corina here. I don’t know Chef Corina is but I could see chefs being a brand ambassador, how did you connect with Chef Corina and who are the other brand ambassadors?
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 39:14
So Chef Corina is actually our in house chef and she comes from a college page. So we partner with them with their internship program. So we do give young talent, our videographer photographer and our chef and actually our marketing assistant all came from cod College of DuPage. And we give real life and real world real environment working experience. There are an integral part of our team. So for us, that’s obviously you’re somewhat of an ambassador. Also, I mean, it is you know, the the local home chef, the chef’s, the moms, you know, who are making products with their kids or for their family. Anyone who likes to cook, they’re really our ambassadors, you know, and really we get recipes all the time that come our way. Hey, have you tried Lekkco, this one Or I just made this recipe and they tag us all the time on social media. And so you know, Bram answer as well, you know, his vision of, you know, our ambassadors.
Bram Bourgeois 40:10
Well, we’re actually we’re actually in the midst of rolling out, large scale opportunity. We’re in every form in all 42 Metro markets. We’re gonna go and hire mom’s profile of mom, because we believe in the power of word of mouth, and mom’s referring moms to our product. And so we’re actually actively recruiting and hiring for each of the 42 Metro markets that we’re in to bring, you know, what we call the lack of market makers, somebody who can have their local market as a territory where they’ll help us to position Lekkco in their community. A big a big focus for us is be a better company in every aspect of it from being a better products, better health wise, lower calorie, lower sugar, but also give back we have we have, we have great goals and ambitions personally to create much larger awareness around dyslexia. But in the first place, what we want to do is tap into those 42 Metro markets and set up fundraisers or allow people to be our ambassador, and then with the proceeds of product sales that come in that market that we can give back to those local communities. And that is an active program that we are starting to build right now. I would say if you want to submit your resume and you want to become a brand ambassador for Lekkco in your markets, there are all the changes in the markets that you can buy us I would say send it to [email protected] Lekkco. So h e l l o at Lekkco. And Lekkco is LEKKco.com. You know, reach out and we would love to engage with you and see how we can bring make you our ambassador in your market for
Jeremy Weisz 41:51
everyone check out Lekkco.com check out your nearest store Amazon everywhere else. First of all, I want to be the first one to thank both of you for sharing your story and the Belgium chocolate also with the US and we’ll see you next time everyone thanks both of you.
Bram Bourgeois 42:08
Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois 42:09