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Shane Robbins is the Owner of Bulk Wild Bison, a brand that produces high-quality bison meat that’s healthy and incredibly tasty. He is an industry expert in bison production and spends most of his time caring for his herds. Before Bulk Wild Bison, Shane worked for Coca-Cola as a merchandiser salesperson for 15 years.

Michael GoldsteiMichael Goldstein is the Co-founder and President of Shrewd Food, a brand that offers hi-protein, low-carb, low-fat, and keto-friendly snacks across the globe. He is a dynamic, multi-faceted professional and leader with over 25 years of experience in product development, commercialization, co-packing, global key account sales management, budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning. Michael is also a partner at Clever Cookie Corp and has a culinary and pastry background that adds to his resourceful executive skills.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [02:07] Shane Robbins shares the genesis story of Buck Wild Bison and its products
  • [02:49] Shane’s experience working for Coca-Cola and lessons learned
  • [03:53] The evolution of Buck Wild Bison’s flavors
  • [04:59] Shane’s proudest moment with the company
  • [05:55] How do you grow your own business while working?
  • [07:46] Michael Goldstein introduces Shrewd Food and its products
  • [08:19] How Michael got into the food business
  • [09:42] Shrewd Food product and flavor evolution
  • [11:35] The challenges Michael faced growing Shrewd Food and how he overcame them

In this episode…

Are you aspiring to be an entrepreneur in the food and beverage industry? What can you learn from experts to help you thrive in this space?

Starting a food brand can be both exciting and challenging. With the market already saturated with different brands, it can be difficult to stand out and make a name for yourself. However, with the right strategy, you can overcome these challenges and grow your brand. Shane Robbins and Michael Goldstein share how they are scaling their food brands by attending exhibitions like the Sweets and Snacks Expo. They recommend them as the ideal platforms for food businesses to showcase their products, interact with potential customers, and network with other industry players.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, host Dr. Jeremy Weisz welcomes Shane Robbins, Owner of Bulk Wild Bison, and Michael Goldstein, Co-founder and President of Shrewd Food, to discuss their entrepreneurial journey in the food industry. They explain how they started their companies, their product and flavor evolution, the challenges they’ve faced growing their brands, and the value of attending expos.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here. I am the founder and host of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today’s no different and this is a special episode. I am actually interviewing founders and CEOs live at the Sweets and Snack Show. And so check it out. We have some amazing companies featured check this episode out and before I get to that this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships. How do we do that? We help you run your podcast we are an easy button for an organization or business to launch and run your podcast. I’ve been podcasting for over a decade now. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way to do that than to profile the people in the companies I most admire, feature them on my podcast, and shout from the rooftops what they’re working on and what they’re doing. So if you’ve thought about starting a podcast you should if you have questions, you can go to or email [email protected] to learn more. Now check out today’s episode, live from the Sweets and Snacks Show. Jeremy Weisz here live Sweets and Snacks Show. I’m here with Shane and I have this delicious teriyaki bison meat stick this is amazing. Tell people about the company and the products.

Shane Robbins 2:07

So I started the company six years ago, I was driving home from my brother’s one day in Virginia. I live in New Jersey and driving through all the farmland and whatnot. And I thought to myself, man, this is the life like I need to figure out how can I make a living off the land? Right. So I got home started Googling and researching farming, farming practices and whatnot. And stumbled upon some people that were raising bison or Buffalo they call them and it was like, man, that’s awesome. I need to get into that. So with no farming experience in my family whatsoever, I decided to buy a farm and start raising bison.

Jeremy Weisz 2:48

So what were you doing before?

Shane Robbins 2:49

I worked for Coca-Cola as a merchandiser salesperson for 15 years.

Jeremy Weisz 2:56

You have a lot of experience in the food and beverage industry.

Shane Robbins 2:58

Yeah, that was an advantage working for them, I got a good chance to learn how the whole convenience retail sector and all that distribution and all that work. So I was able to translate that experience into my farming business. And that’s why we’re here today at this Sweets and Snacks Expo.

Jeremy Weisz 3:17

So what were some of the lessons you brought that you learned from Coca-Cola that you brought into Buck Wild Bison?

Shane Robbins 3:23

I think it’s just the entire whole process of the relationship between supplier and distributor, and a retailer. Most people if you’re not in that world, you have no idea how that process works. So, you don’t know where to start. Whereas I already knew who to contact first for supply and who to contact for distribution who to contact for retail, and it was a extremely valuable.

Jeremy Weisz 3:49

Talk about coming up with the flavors. What was the evolution of the flavors that you came up with?

Shane Robbins 3:53

So flavor-wise, it was a lot of thought went into it? Do I want to start with something super unique and different that no one’s ever seen? Or do I want to go more mainstream that is the staple that everybody likes and we just kind of decided to go with start off anyway, we’re new with this but start off with the mainstream staple flavors that everybody likes already. So we played with ingredients with our co-packer and came up with original, spicy and teriyaki that everyone loved and we’re rolling with those three for now, but many more flavors to come.

Jeremy Weisz 4:32

Where can people find it?

Shane Robbins 4:34

So if you go to a, you can order it directly from us. We shipped direct. We’re in a handful of seven elevens a bunch of mom and pops mostly in the Philadelphia area but we’re here at this show to meet distributors and big buyers and hopefully get this product to go national.

Jeremy Weisz 4:54

So Shane, what’s an especially proud moment at this point with the company?

Shane Robbins 4:59

Proudest moment by far the company was the day that me and my body and my best friend who grew up with me and helped me build this company, were able to quit our day jobs and go full-time into the Buck Wild. Business, it took us six years, five, six years to get to that point where we hustled work in our day job 40 hours a week, and then doing this on the side as we slowly build it up. And about a year ago, we were able to finally be able to sustain our income and quit from the day job and go full time and just see where we can take this thing.

Jeremy Weisz 5:36

Shane, that’s amazing. And I love hearing those stories. And people don’t see that behind the scene, what it takes to get it, they still see it across all the stores and all the success. But take me back to the time and what the schedule look like in a given week when you’re working your day job, and then working probably 100-hour weeks.

Shane Robbins 5:55

So, I started out building a farm, I bought a vacant lot, which is a big open field with nothing on it, no electricity, nothing. And I’m working 40 hours a week for Coca-Cola service and grocery stores and go into meetings and whatnot. There’s days where I’d get up at seven, I go to work, I hit five customers, I get their orders, then I drive down 40 minutes to the farm, and pound 10 posts into the ground to get my fence started, then go back to work, finish my route. And then after that, go back to the farm pound another 10 posts. And when you don’t have any money to start with, that’s what you have to do. And that’s why it took us so long to get to this point. Because we didn’t go out and get a big loan and say, hey, you can supplement our salary and we can just go full time. It was just grassroots, day in and day out, put as much time as I can into the new business, while still sustaining my family. I have a wife and two kids that I have to provide for. So we did it the hard way. But I would say I think I’ve learned so many valuable lessons doing it that way that I wouldn’t change it.

Jeremy Weisz 7:05

You do what you have to do. I love it. So tell people the website again where they should check it out.

Shane Robbins 7:10

So the website if you go to a and we sell meat ribeyes New York Strip steaks, burgers, sausage, all that stuff shipped on dry ice directly to your door, you can get the bison fuel sticks there as well. And hopefully you can pick up these bison fuel sticks in your local convenience store in the very near future.

Jeremy Weisz 7:32

Thanks. Thanks everyone. Jeremy Weisz here alive in the Sweets and Snacks Show. I’m here with Michael, he’s one of the founders of Shrewd Food and Michael, tell people about the products. What kind of products do you have?

Michael Goldstein 7:46

So we do high protein, low carb snacks better for you snacks and products.

Jeremy Weisz 7:52

What was the idea behind starting the company?

Michael Goldstein 7:55

So really what we wanted to do was offer better for you options and alternatives for people that were looking for great tasting products that really didn’t have a go-to product to really look for with all of the, I guess fat-laden and high-calorie products that they see every day.

Jeremy Weisz 8:17

How did you meet your co-founder?

Michael Goldstein 8:19

We actually were neighbors and just walking around the block when I moved into the neighborhood. And our wives started talking about that we’re both in the food business. And we should get together and talk and one thing led to another and the year later, here we are.

Jeremy Weisz 8:37

So you both happened to be in the food business. What were you doing at the time?

Michael Goldstein 8:40

I actually just left a business that I was in. And he was in a different business as well. We got together started talking about this product if you would, what we can do and he was in a cookie company. And we wanted to do it sort of became a product out of another product if you would, we were doing a better for you cookie which we do a protein cookie and we wanted to develop a better for you line of cookies. And our protein cookie that we do today is high in protein. But it also has prebiotics, probiotics, as well as serving of fruit and vegetable in every bag. So with that being said we started doing our protein puffs and they are high in protein low in carb low in fat but great tasting. And that’s really where we are.

Jeremy Weisz 9:22

So Michael take me through the evolution of the product. So like what were some of the flavors of protein cookies and then what was the first flavors of the puffs?

Michael Goldstein 9:42

Yeah, so what we did was our original product being the protein cookie, we did a an oat and berry and an oat and chip cookie. And then from there we started doing all of our protein puffs, brick oven pizza, our number one seller was our original flavor. And then from there we’ve done a variety flavors everything from just a standard, a big cheddar, which is like a cheese ball to avocado toast to serata cheddar. And then we also have one of my favorites here is Buffalo ranch. And we also do a sour cream and onion, which is a great-tasting flavor. And we also do croutons, just another item, we do protein croutons, which would be a bacon ranch. And we also do a parmesan and herb. And it’s a great item because it adds protein to your salad, low carb and high protein options.

Jeremy Weisz 10:35

You guys are ambitious, I feel like it’s hard to come up. I mean, from the flavors to the packaging, what made you branch out beyond the cookies, I could see you just keep going with the cookies and not even branching out beyond that.

Michael Goldstein 10:49

Well, we say it’s the smartest way to snack really what we want to do is we want to give options to the consumer, having alternatives to everyday products and looking for items that you would want to eat at home, that you still feel good about eating and you don’t feel like you’re deprived when you are eating them. So we do have a line of keto products as well, are puffs that milk protein-based that high protein center, we cover them with chocolate as well. And we also make something that’s an alternative to like Nestle’s crunch bar. We call it our keto crack bar. So we’re just really again, like I said, we’re offering alternatives to everyday snacks.