Never Been Promoted

Chris Wysong: From Soldier to Solopreneur, His Inspiring Entrepreneurial Journey

December 14, 2023 Thomas Helfrich Season 1 Episode 13
Chris Wysong: From Soldier to Solopreneur, His Inspiring Entrepreneurial Journey
Never Been Promoted
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Never Been Promoted
Chris Wysong: From Soldier to Solopreneur, His Inspiring Entrepreneurial Journey
Dec 14, 2023 Season 1 Episode 13
Thomas Helfrich

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A determined veteran-turned-entrepreneur, Chris Wysong, embarks on a journey to build a successful business after retirement, facing the challenge of balancing passion and profitability.

About Chris Wysong:
Chris Wysong, a retired military veteran, is the founder of Bucket of Bread LLC, a veteran-owned business based in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. With a background in the army, including service during the Gulf War and roles as a broadcast journalist and ordnance officer, Chris transitioned into entrepreneurship post-military service. His company specializes in offering certified organic flour blends in recyclable buckets, promoting sustainability and convenience for home baking. Notably, a percentage of the company's profits is allocated to charities dedicated to combating hunger and food insecurity. Chris's entrepreneurial journey, rooted in his military experience and passion for baking, showcases a commitment to both business innovation and social impact, making his story an inspiring example of post-military success and community contribution.

In this episode, Thomas and Chris Wysong discuss how to:

  • Unveil Chris Wysong's inspiring entrepreneurship journey post-military service, unlocking valuable insights for business growth.
  • Discover the certified organic flour blend, Bucket of Bread, revolutionizing the art of bread making and its impact on the industry.
  • Explore the array of delectable bread products crafted from the innovative Bucket of Bread dough, promising unparalleled taste and quality.
  • Learn about the noble cause of donating profits to combat hunger and food insecurity, igniting a sense of purpose in entrepreneurship.
  • Uncover the deep-rooted inspiration behind Bucket of Bread and its mission to make a meaningful difference through helping others.


Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the Organic Flour Blend

Chris Wysong's innovation, Bucket of Bread, offers a unique blend of certified organic flour, free from preservatives and standard bread-making additives, catering to a broad customer base including vegans. 

  • Explore Delicious Bread Products

Revealing the versatility of Bucket of Bread, Chris Wysong shares how this simple flour blend can create a host of popular bread products.

“Until you have a repeatable product and service, do the bare minimum on your website and make it a sales page." —  Chris Wysong

CONNECT WITH CHRIS WYSONG:
LinkedIn
Facebook
X (Twitter)
Company Website
Instagram
YouTube
TikTok

CONNECT WITH THOMAS:
X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted
Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverbeenpromoted/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@neverbeenpromoted
LinkedIn:

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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A determined veteran-turned-entrepreneur, Chris Wysong, embarks on a journey to build a successful business after retirement, facing the challenge of balancing passion and profitability.

About Chris Wysong:
Chris Wysong, a retired military veteran, is the founder of Bucket of Bread LLC, a veteran-owned business based in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. With a background in the army, including service during the Gulf War and roles as a broadcast journalist and ordnance officer, Chris transitioned into entrepreneurship post-military service. His company specializes in offering certified organic flour blends in recyclable buckets, promoting sustainability and convenience for home baking. Notably, a percentage of the company's profits is allocated to charities dedicated to combating hunger and food insecurity. Chris's entrepreneurial journey, rooted in his military experience and passion for baking, showcases a commitment to both business innovation and social impact, making his story an inspiring example of post-military success and community contribution.

In this episode, Thomas and Chris Wysong discuss how to:

  • Unveil Chris Wysong's inspiring entrepreneurship journey post-military service, unlocking valuable insights for business growth.
  • Discover the certified organic flour blend, Bucket of Bread, revolutionizing the art of bread making and its impact on the industry.
  • Explore the array of delectable bread products crafted from the innovative Bucket of Bread dough, promising unparalleled taste and quality.
  • Learn about the noble cause of donating profits to combat hunger and food insecurity, igniting a sense of purpose in entrepreneurship.
  • Uncover the deep-rooted inspiration behind Bucket of Bread and its mission to make a meaningful difference through helping others.


Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the Organic Flour Blend

Chris Wysong's innovation, Bucket of Bread, offers a unique blend of certified organic flour, free from preservatives and standard bread-making additives, catering to a broad customer base including vegans. 

  • Explore Delicious Bread Products

Revealing the versatility of Bucket of Bread, Chris Wysong shares how this simple flour blend can create a host of popular bread products.

“Until you have a repeatable product and service, do the bare minimum on your website and make it a sales page." —  Chris Wysong

CONNECT WITH CHRIS WYSONG:
LinkedIn
Facebook
X (Twitter)
Company Website
Instagram
YouTube
TikTok

CONNECT WITH THOMAS:
X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted
Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverbeenpromoted/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@neverbeenpromoted
LinkedIn:

Support the Show.

Serious about LinkedIn Lead Generation? Stop Guessing what to do on LinkedIn and ignite revenue from relevance with Instantly Relevant Lead System

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Never Been Promoted podcast with Thomas Hellfrey. Get ready for a thrilling adventure as we uncover entrepreneurial journeys and life-changing business insights every week. And now your host, Thomas.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another episode of Never Been Promoted, and this week I'm practicing pauses. No, I'm just kidding. Thank you again for listening, everybody. I am joined today by Chris Weissung. He is an entrepreneur, he is the founder bucket of bread and in every one of our episodes we're here to learn from other entrepreneurs so we can unleash your entrepreneur and you have a cool brand, chris, and I want you to do yourself. But thank you so much, first of all, for joining the Never Been Promoted podcast.

Speaker 3:

Oh, it's completely my pleasure. Thank you for having me. I'd really appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

I mean, we've met via LinkedIn. It's no longer the weird to meet men online just randomly. You can just do this now and it's great. It's always been probably accepted in some circles, but it's more publicly accepted now. So thank you, thank you for that, my pleasure, bucket of bread. I usually say something like set the table for us, let's just hear about you. But in this case I truly mean why don't we just go and clean the kitchen and get it ready? Tell me about you, know. Let everyone know who you are. Kind of set us up a little bit.

Speaker 3:

Well, as you said, my name is Chris Weissung. I am the proud owner and founder of Bucket of Bread LLC. Out of La Crosse, wisconsin. This is a veteran owned business that I created and what it is is. I have these certified organic flowers that I blended, mixed together and put into recyclable buckets. So you get it home, add a little lukewarm water, mix it up till there's nothing dry.

Speaker 3:

The next thing you know you have a bucket of dough that will last up to two weeks in your fridge and you can make breads and pizzas and cinnamon buns, garlic knots, breadsticks, pretzels, bagels really anything you can imagine using a dough, for I have a white, a wheat, a seven grain, and there are no preservatives, fats, oils, dairies, eggs or sugars added. It's even vegan friendly, and the best part about the entire business adventure I do say that on purpose is that at least 10% of any profits that I generate are earmarked to go towards charities combating hunger and fighting food insecurity. You can even send a tax deductible bucket donation right from the website and have that sent to various food banks and charities that I've partnered with across the nation.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing, and it's such a you're doing this full time now as an entrepreneur.

Speaker 3:

Yes, this is what I do on retired military, so I've decided to make sure that I'm doing something a little more active than just traveling and sipping on my ties, which is not a bad way to go.

Speaker 1:

Just so you know, I like to niche down right In the military. What were the armed forces where you part of?

Speaker 3:

I was part of the army and I started right out of high school. I ended up driving gasoline trucks during the Gulf War. Later I was part of a Patriot missile battery station in Germany back in the Middle East, where a little stint there got out for a little while, had a small break In my 20s. I ended up staying and living and traveling around Germany with a little job and a stamp in my passport. So I made sure to make the most of my 20s that way.

Speaker 3:

But later joined back into a reserve program, became part with the public affairs and was able to do a really, really cool job as a broadcast journalist, traveling all over the place with that. But eventually I transitioned over back to what they call as an active guard reservist where I was active duty but supporting the reserve program, and I crossed over to the dark side, as they like to say, and I became an ordnance officer, had a couple deployments and eventually transitioned to captain as a logistician. Here in Wisconsin where I'm located, nearby is Fort McCoy and that was my last duty station where I said I'm done and now I'm doing this.

Speaker 1:

When you're in the last aid military, what do they do? Just walk off into the sunset, or is there like a cheering, or do you have to turn it in it's?

Speaker 3:

a little like that, but there was a program that they have in place I forget the name of it, but basically they sit you and civilian clothes into a room with a few other people that are getting out and you go through some very basics how to write a resume, how to use LinkedIn and how to go become a civilian again and some tips and advice on transitioning from military to the civilian sector. So I did that for about a week, but then, yeah, you just kind of are done. They'll send you like typically there's an award ceremony and they'll maybe a little bit of a cake or something afterwards, but you just go do your thing.

Speaker 1:

Man, it's kind of like getting laid off.

Speaker 3:

Well, there's a little more to it, but yeah.

Speaker 1:

I didn't describe it as non ceremonialist. There's no cake when you get laid off. Actually, they may have a cake when you leave, like guy's gone, god. I always say this because I've been laid off lots of times. I've never gotten cake. If you get cake, you weren't laid off to say that you stole cake. All right, let's talk about how we transition to cooking, because we talk about cakes, which is not dough, and you've had your life around gas a bunch, it seems. So you have gas now. Gas is what creates the air and the bread. Right, tell me how you're gassy and how you apply that to your business.

Speaker 3:

So basically the way this whole business started was I'll go back to my childhood and thank my mom because she had this thing about her where she brought me into the kitchen as a young boy and I was always just having fun good memories and eventually I became comfortable enough and that was her goal is to make sure that I could fend for myself when I was old enough. But eventually I was just the guy that made the dinners and that there was a charity event or something. I would be the guy that baked up something and sent it at that charity event and people loved it. Eventually, over time, I kind of became known as the bread guy. If you go to the about me section on the website, there's even a leaner, meaner fighting machine or version of myself in a photo from about 2004 and five.

Speaker 3:

During a deployment somewhere in Northern Iraq I ended up running across some folks with this big tendory oven making flatbreads and I started talking my best broken English and sign language and we had some communication. But I was able to bake some bread with the guys making bread for the Iraqi army and next thing, you know, I'm sitting at their table in their chow hall having a little broken bread for for the lunch and kind of a little guest of honor type situation, but it goes all the way back to you know that background. But for some reason, something clicked at 3am in the morning, about August of 2020. I just woke up and said, hey, all the things that you've been doing, put it in a bucket and just use that as a platform to help people. So that's what I started to pursue. I woke up the other half, the better half and was told do it. And then I heard snores. So I just did it because I had permission.

Speaker 1:

I asked you I think she rolled over as I went to her and you're like that's yes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I went with it.

Speaker 1:

You have anything. You ever sign something.

Speaker 3:

That's pretty much the trajectory of how I developed the bucket of bread, bread and baking kits.

Speaker 1:

And those who are just listening. He's in this chef's garden and it's the greatest look, because it's just like he's a happy dude and it's like you have to see it. You should just go out and publicly just walk around like that all the time. People just be like this guy.

Speaker 3:

I have an event after this. Today I'll be in a small town's Christmas market and I'll be peddling my buckets and dressed full of fire, except I'm going to switch the hat out and I'll probably be a little bit more festive with the Santa hat. But that's about it. I don't mind wearing the brand. It's actually pretty good.

Speaker 1:

It's great, it really is, it's well done. So today let's talk about your journey a little bit through this, so beyond just how you got there. Once your wife agreed to your decision at 3 am when she was sleeping and you just said I'm going to do this, tell her, like the early days, of what you were worried about, like what you wish you would have known, just kind of. The reason I ask is entrepreneurs who are listening. This is part of what keeps them from starting is not knowing what to do first or next and all the worries that come with it. So talk about those earlier. They're big. After she agreed to it.

Speaker 3:

So the best thing that I think that is out there, that it's almost that it's in your face, hidden, secret type thing, but it's not hidden at all and it's the local university for your state, wherever you're at, will have a small business development center and it's a free resource. They'll help you throughout your let me build the idea into a business plan and kind of crunch numbers with you. It's just an incredible resource to use. I found them through some ironic fate, if you will, just randomly talking to people and discovering that this is out there. So I talked to the university of Wisconsin in La Crosse, wisconsin, and they welcomed me and helped me put it together. And the next thing, you know, I found an incubator nearby that they also helped me apply for get into. But then there were renovations. There's a lot of money that I had to kind of cough up to have this an inspectable license that ensured facility where I could manufacture these buckets because they are a food item.

Speaker 3:

So there's some rules and I think the best thing is that resource. And then, as far as being a veteran, there's some other resources there as well that there's a nationwide program called Bunker Labs that if anybody's a veteran or spouse of veteran. They are amazing. They will help get your idea and your feet off the ground a little bit and push you in the right direction. But they're a nationwide connection, a network system that if you have a question, they're going to be able to find somebody in that field of expertise. And they're very similar in that regard to SCORE, which is another great resource free, helps you get started and the best thing is, I think, just walking in a little naive and having no fear. Do it that type of a mentality. You're going to run into all kinds of hurdles and challenges, but do it. That's the key.

Speaker 1:

I think you all know that and I think the you had resources and I have to guess from your personality and I think the takeaway for entrepreneurs to listen to is find resources to help you accelerate and small business bureau or local chamber of commerce. There's people who know, like social media, ask yours is specific because you have to have regulations and inspections to be able to do this in a commercial kitchen and stuff. If I'm just a practical standpoint, did you on the bucket? They didn't even consider that right. You have to get that inspected as well. Is that part of like? Do you rent space? Do you have a specific manufacturer that does that? Who's in that industry? That they already have all those checks and they're just producing your thing, or how does that work?

Speaker 3:

So for me, right now I'm the solopreneur, just chomping at the bits to become the CEO of America's next favorite brand, because I need to grow out of that position to where I'm building the buckets by hand and then going out being the face of the company as well. So that's like the next phases as I progress. And right now I fill every bucket by hand to the gram with all the ingredients blended together based off of my suppliers' ingredients and then my recipe blend for this stuff that people seem to really love. So that's the next phase is to take this incubator building that I have permission to manufacture my product in because it's relatively simple as far as the manufacturing side goes. But I would like to grow into where that's packaged, maybe from like a larger co-pack type facility. I've developed this to where that growth and that scale is capable. It's just getting to the point where it's self-sustaining, and that's the next challenge is to be able to make more than 100 of these a day and have them shipped out through the direct-to-consumer website purchases.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you need distribution. It sounds like. So it sounds like you need a localized distribution. Do you? Once the ingredients are in bucket, does it have a shelf life?

Speaker 3:

Yes. So I had to transition a little bit. I took a little bit of a step back. So I have these little buckets. This is a half gallon size and what I've got is right now, if I were to dig into here, I've got a little bag and then I've got a bigger bag. If it's mixed, the two together with the cup and a half of lukewarm water, you get it right in the bucket, let it sit and that's the packaging, is the container that you keep in your fridge for the next couple weeks.

Speaker 3:

But before I was putting everything just dry straight to the bucket and people could mix it up that way. But the shelf life was a little inconsistent that way because it's exposed to the oxygen, to slowly dying, even though the buckets are airtight. And some people's experience was you know, hey, it's 10 months old, it works just fine. Others might have had a hey, it was a little slow rising experience. But now with this bagged system, the ingredients dictate the shelf life and no matter when you jump into the life cycle of that product, you get the same experience because of that. So that's going to open up the capabilities for those manufacturing facilities to fill the bags and also allow it for more shelf stability in a grocery store down the road. So part of my future is knocking on doors and saying, would you like to have this product in your shop? And right now I have one shop in Wisconsin, madison, wisconsin's Wisconsin Veteran Museum at their gift shop Right now. If you buy a bucket from them, they will also send a bucket to a food pantry.

Speaker 1:

So that's, that's the way they do it. And talking to the lessons of entrepreneurship in this, the point is, you took up and this is a I don't like the word pivot as much as evolved. But in this case, and in many businesses, even though I often look at it and go, what should I do slightly different? And I'll give you an example. So this is 20, in the 2023,.

Speaker 1:

A year ago, I looked at our offering for what we did and I said it's just, that's not, that isn't hit enough value, that doesn't work. And we I fundamentally changed it in the last quarter of last year, where then we lost about 80% of our customers because it just didn't. What we were starting to do wasn't going to fit what they had sold, and we took a huge revenue hit because of it. And but this year we fast forward, we doubled our revenue, we've improved profitability by 450% and we've increased the value to the customers while we charge more. Because we charge more, because you add more value, because that's the customer we wanted, and if for you, you said, hey, listen, I think it's easy, I'll put it in here, but let me take a step back and let me go through that thinking manufacturing head.

Speaker 1:

You thought ahead of I need to get a 10 million of these bags made and then I need to be able to have someone to shove it in and close the bucket up. You know, clean the bucket at a time or something. You know, definitely tell people not to use soap when they clean it or something, because it's just you can't get rid of the soap. It's going to be in there, it's going to take, and I knew that was going to happen. People are going to see the packages are like, oh, it's 30, and then they're going to clean it and it's going to ruin it.

Speaker 3:

So these come. These are food safe, 100% recyclable buckets. There's an option on the website for those that aren't interested in the plastic bucket. That is recyclable, though. You can even order the bags without the bucket, should you? So? Yeah, if you buy 10 at once.

Speaker 1:

I know you can. You can order the. If you buy 10 at once, I'm going to add in or no, you can just call it. Got you and it was people he's changing that I would. If you're not going to use the bucket, which is your brand, you still should sell it to them in a bucket. Just hit them Anyway. So if you look at your distribution, that's a challenge. There's a lot of phone calls really to make and little shows and things. There's a partner like Amazon work for that. Do they have a? Because they have food now, so do they have the food ability to say, hey, we can, we can bag that for you and then distribute it and just drop it all. It's basically just sold through Amazon. Now I don't know if it's expensive, but is it possible?

Speaker 3:

So right now there's been a with the Amazon. There was a little bit of a challenge in the beginning and that has to do primarily with my name here, Bucket of Bread. It's registered with the trademark office, the US PTO, and it hit the secondary registry, which is important in the Amazon world because at that point you don't own your brand as a secondary register business name and the reason I'm on that is because of the name is Bucket of Bread. They're common words and I need to develop a five-year history to where people associate my name with a product. So that's just down the road. But I also have my little cartoon character here. His name is Bob Bucket of Bread. He's a little acronym but he's also registered.

Speaker 3:

So this year I reattempted to go through Amazon and reset up the store with some motivation from another fellow I met on LinkedIn. But it's just recently happened. They've accepted Bob as my brand. So now I actually own the brand that I've owned before and developed myself, so I can now go in and start adding products and create it. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.

Speaker 3:

That's another one of those. Well, you're a solopreneur. You got to prioritize right now or in a little bit of a holiday rush and people are really making sure they buy these buckets as gifts and I'm very thankful. But, yeah, we'll see where it brings the future.

Speaker 3:

As far as Amazon goes and how the pricing is done, because I did change my prices because I thought, well, with this half-size bucket, let's just lower prices. People complained that the big bucket, which is two bags of the big and two bags of the little, so you don't have to make it, it's basically just two little buckets put together, but I dropped the price on that because I thought, okay, this is working now and the real big push for that was also another change where I was able to connect the backend of the website's shipping mechanism directly through to the post offices live rates, so now you can choose between priority shipping or you can choose a ground advantage. I think is what it's called. But yeah, so that's been a huge change. This is all relatively fresh and I think these are game-changing advances for evolving.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and relatively fresh. He was referring to the website now that his product is very fresh. So just be clear. You're just trying to be right. They say, well, it's relatively fresh. No, we don't know what you get. Did you, united States Post Office provide the regular package option, and how much does that cost?

Speaker 3:

So part of the shipping that I have available. They're insured to up to $100.

Speaker 1:

I'm playing in United States Post Office because I think it should be defundant. I don't like it. We'll take that on another podcast. They lose every one of the packages. I've sent the last three gone. Oh no, I can take it back. Sorry, guys, you return this one after two months, anyway.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's a hundred number. I have the number for you to call to start a claim process.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I have. I just sent one of those and I ensured one of. They said I'm just going to go to Tanzania people, so you can check out, get coffee, come back, I'll be done in two minutes. I did this. I insured Golf Club. I was sent to a friend in Slovakia, and so I insured it and filed a claim as time, and they kept delaying this from investigating and by nine months later they said hey, listen, it's lost. I'm sorry, but and I said so I wanted to say, well, okay, cool, you could complete the insurance claim. And it said and it's been too long, it's expired. And so I did a post on LinkedIn and it got like 50,000 views and a bunch of comments, and the next day I had to check in my inbox. It had been a reason for the thinning mount. It's the best I've insured it for. It covered shipping. Basically, anyway, not happy, all right.

Speaker 1:

So here let's talk about something, though. So that's a very important thing you said there you continually, as a sole brewer, are prioritizing, and I think this is where entrepreneurs need to understand you cannot do everything at once, and probably the first priority was obviously to get a product right. You did a lot of branding early, which is good, but that's related to selling the product, because the other goal is you're trying to fill out a hundred. You can do a day or whatever your current capacity is. You start looking at the next things when you're like I need more time because I have a 120 requested a hundred capacity, so do I hire somebody, do it? What do I do?

Speaker 1:

The other piece you looked at, which is automation and I'm a fan of automation when used correctly is that so you made a better experience for the customer and a way better way for you to protect your business, because you're pushing the cost onto this person's, shipping it and not eating it or look like you're bearing shipping costs into your product. So that was very smart, because that's a thing I hate when I'm like why they charge me 25 for this. I'm gonna say eight bucks Maybe to ship this, whatever it is, and so I think those automation and steps, but they're all tied a big thing which is selling things and would you agree that's your top priority, or what would be your top priority sets looking now as a product owned business or a product type business.

Speaker 3:

Well based off of the model that I've created. I think that the bigger I can grow, the bucket of bread brand and having that profit sharing mechanism where any profits, however big or small, at least 10% are earmarked to go towards charities, combating 100, fighting food insecurity that's the why behind the business, and If I can get this huge, then it's a bigger impact in someone's life. That's the benefit of creating this thing is because I have a mission behind it, right.

Speaker 1:

Is that the and more so it's bucket of bread and more Is that the and more part.

Speaker 3:

So the and more part. It represents the mission, but it also represents you can make more than bread. You've got pizzas and cinnamon buns and garlic muts all those things that I mentioned. I put out recipes on the first and the 15th. You can scroll through the recipe lists if you want and go through all of the archives, or just sign up for the newsletter and see what pops in your inbox on the first of the 15th.

Speaker 1:

Was another branding idea glob of gluten.

Speaker 3:

No, but I like that.

Speaker 1:

I feel like we should do a little bit on some other alternative names just for fun, but we're not going to Because I think you said it's a gluten free option.

Speaker 3:

I do not have a gluten free option. Part of the science behind this depends on the gluten being created and that's sort of what helps this last up to two weeks in the fridge. About those preservatives, because that's the way it works.

Speaker 1:

I think a gluten might be fake. We don't know. I'm kidding. I think vegetarians are friendly. I think you said earlier the vegetarians are friendly. I'm not sure they drive pre-assist and they can't take right turns, and so if any vegetarians listen to this or that vibe, but vegans, you know who you are, we're like yeah, vegan friendly bucket option right here.

Speaker 3:

One of the things that I do like about it is it does have a wide audience, that this caters to Not so much the gluten free folks, especially for the Celiac types, and that's one of the reasons why I will do a gluten free as well. I have a great recipe for it and theoretically I could put it in a bucket. It just won't last two weeks in your fridge. But my environment, my space, I deal with wheat, so there's that dust in the air. It's absolutely up there, and I would feel horrible if even a little amount got into somebody's stuff. So I'd prefer to get big, have a separate building you know, down the road as my gluten free facility, and that way I can cater, once I'm large enough, to those folks.

Speaker 1:

Even people who have gluten allergies. When they smell warm bread, they eat it. I've seen it happen live. They use it irresistible. If you're keto, you're like you just look left, look right and know why it's your own thing and you still eat it for sure.

Speaker 3:

One of the things that people have said and these are the folks that are. Just maybe they get a little tummy ache. They're not necessarily at the Celiac level, but without the preservatives and all of those hard to pronounce chemicals or even those other chemicals that are just outlawed in other countries because they've been shown to be horrible for us, this seems to be easier to digest, according to those folks. So I like that type of a comment, and that's one of the reasons why this was also created is because why should we have corn syrup and all of these other things? To make it last for millennia, you know?

Speaker 1:

but you know one of the bread scary. Tell me a little bit. So in your business model, as you're doing this, you're thinking through it. You didn't go the Walmart route, which is how cheap can I make it? You said, let me find flowers that are better. And one of the things that comes in mind and the entrepreneurial lesson there is you gave thought to where you run a position, your product, your price and your brand, and you didn't want to do it inexpensive because there's no way you're going to compete with that. And secondly, it didn't meet the mission anyway, which is to give a great product and then have somebody left over to run a business At the same time.

Speaker 1:

You know, create a wellness and great. You know good things in the world, like right to make the world better and so that there's a conscious decision with that. How did you grow about selecting flowers in a world? I got to ask this question of where in weeds is there so much stuff? That's just, it doesn't matter where it's, it's, it's already from. You know, time it's grown, it's bad for you, so to speak. So how do you do that?

Speaker 3:

Well, as the idea came during the 2020 time when everything was shut down, I did a lot of mail order for various types of things that came through, and I was always on the internet looking around for different mills that were grinding their stuff up, and one of the ones I came across was was constant, located near me, near here, and I was able to set up business accounts where the delivery charges were like $4.

Speaker 3:

So it's really really nice to order a thousand pounds of flower and only have to pay four extra dollars and then have it as a, as a you know, a discounted rate because you know there's a business account associated with it. So I think the that mill has all of the certifications to ensure that the quality is there, that it is certified organic, that it's non-GMO. There's some stone ground in the wheat, for example, but having them be a trusted source and be local, from the state of Wisconsin where I'm at, really ties the whole thing together as a higher end, premium product quality. But even at the price point that I've got it out, people still think this is a great deal. I think it's a great deal and they love it. And lately, since I've put by the caseload, you can order by the case on the site. I've noticed a huge influx in people ordering 12 buckets at a time because of the way the price instructions develop.

Speaker 1:

Well, also, and if you eat bread regularly and you can just have something over a two-week period, you know so a lot of family cooks. But it doesn't, doesn't cool off before it's gone, and who wants to? It's the best? Like, oh, that's it. They're like uh-huh, like it's. You know it's gone. Like you know it was a fight for the end piece. Always my wife always wins.

Speaker 1:

But the idea I think you know I talked about this, like you know, as you think you're marketing and you're thinking about the use cases of how you sell it. What a great thing for grandma and the kids to do. Mom and the kids, the dad says, hey, listen, we're going to bake bread today and we're going to mix it. It's simple. I still don't know what Lukeman bread is, but that's okay, I told you, I'm telling you like I try to make bread. I still don't know what the whole lukewarm water is. And you said, if you put your finger in the water and you don't really feel a change in temperature, that's generally correct. But how important is it to be whatever? 83 versus 88? Does it matter? Does it all come back to room temperature?

Speaker 3:

It's not really that important. You might if it's cold water, which I've done before, just by accident. I wasn't paying attention when I first started playing with this. It just takes a little longer. It eventually gets there Just the moisture that you're helping all of those little yeasties create that environment where they're hungry and then those glutons are forming and all of that reaction's taking place. But ideally, if it's just slightly warm to the touch, that's perfect and you'll not be too hot.

Speaker 1:

But not too hot, because that would kill the yeast.

Speaker 3:

Is that right, correct? There ain't a lot of boiling water, but I mean just slightly warm to the touch and you're fine. Really, all you're doing is making sure it's mixed up so there's nothing dry left in the bucket, and once you have all of that done, it's just a matter of time. Let it rest.

Speaker 1:

So in theory, you could mix it up, put a refrigerator, let it go for a while. Does it have to, or could it be like a starter, like that, like a starter for, like a you know?

Speaker 3:

I keep it at a room temperature to do the rising, but as a starter I haven't really used it like that. If somebody wants to try it as that, please reach back out and let me know how that works. I'm not going to move on my list of things to do, but I haven't got like an order something and be, and I think, anybody who does this.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to give you a marketing tip entrepreneurs, especially if somebody early stage company, they are going to appreciate social media posts more than you can possibly fathom, as long as they're positive, of course. Don't be mean, you don't like, you don't like something to come. A card is always an email directly to the, to the owner, not social media rant. Come on here. If you do, though, and you say listen, we did this, this is fun. This is my like 1, 30 seconds, 60 second.

Speaker 1:

Now, I mean, is that person going to reshare your thing like endlessly on their channel? They're going to super appreciate it, and so, as you look at your marketing, I'm certainly going to film it, because I'm like I have no clue how to make bread, but first here I'm going to try it, and then, you know, I'm going to do an AMS on this and nod out that whole thing, but I'll definitely order some off from you as we do this, because in other shit as well, but I can talk about this in the sleep, but I wouldn't keep giving entrepreneurial trips tips. This is. I always ask this question. You're. You're alluring another way right with this, just one thing you wish you would have known, though, right now, at the beginning that there is a pretty expensive cost.

Speaker 3:

I guess, when you're putting your website together and you're just kind of trying to figure it out yourself, don't get sucked into the SEO tricks of the trade, because you're gonna come back with all kinds of stuff. And I blew 2,500 bucks that I totally regret on this big package deal. That's gonna be the best ever and I got deadly for it. So I was kicking myself in the tail feathers for at least still so six months plus.

Speaker 1:

Well, I will tell you so. 25 million is probably you didn't get overly charged for something like that, but as a marketer, I will tell you that. I tell most of our customers this too. Until you have a repeatable product and service, do the bare minimum on your website and make it a sales page. Make it about getting people to buy things from you and less so about SEO.

Speaker 1:

Seo is a long-term strategy game that becomes much easier to do when people provide you social media, when you have interviews, when you have real, authentic interactions with customers, and that becomes your articles, your how-to's. Here's a customer that submitted this. That's all you need for SEO, for your brand is when someone's looking for a specific way to cook bread and you're like, hey, this is how we do a bucket of bread and here's the ingredients we use and here's how. That's all you need. There's no more secret to it than that. You could do some other stuff and headlines, but the truth is you're not trying to get people to find you organically, not, so to speak. They're going to find you because of honestly advertising and in your social media, and that's how it's gonna be for the initial, through the first few years, and then you can back into SEO when you're big People don't jump into SEO right away.

Speaker 1:

If you do go to a website and you got a little money and you got everything, I would definitely take an SEO approach. But I bet I'll make this question to you. I bet you anything. Your initial hypothesis has changed a little bit. Where you thought you'd be, it's shifted to something slightly different.

Speaker 3:

The premise is still the same have a high quality product, no question, use it to help people. I did not expect some of the interest that's been shown in it, so I have had an opportunity to do a lot of we'll just run with it type of scenarios, and that's been pretty fun. When the unexpected happens or somebody that you're just talking to, because you've decided to go to an event and just meet somebody who all of a sudden they wanna write an article about you and-.

Speaker 1:

I'll show the broadcast. I'll tell you why I was like you're coming on this podcast, and what I meant by that is the version hasn't changed. The bigger goal picture what happened is this is to tie in back to SEO and marketing the nuance of who you might market to initially, based on the opportunities you're gonna find through randomness, through opportunity. Those would become what you're gonna SEO about. So until you really have a line on what the repeatable thing is and you wanna attract more of that, that, you just can't scale to go do. That's where SEO starts playing. If you even find veterans don't wanna buy this at all, and then who does? Are kindergarten teachers, for whatever reason. The plug is you will do the SEO around hey, how does that school? And take teachers but that you never discover that you'll learn these things.

Speaker 1:

The ultimate benefit of it might be veterans and people in the communities you wish to serve and help, but they may not be the buyers and the SEO is different pieces. And so just entrepreneurs know that your plan once punched it. What's the map that I'm saying? Everyone's got a plan till. That's Mike Tyson, and we've got a plan to your punch to the face. But like all, like the man right. It's like you know any ballot plan is. It's gonna change as soon as the first shot's fired. It's like no, looks like it is this plan. You know You're supposed to jump in here. You're the military guys like this is what they teach us.

Speaker 3:

Well, there's all kinds of philosophies out there and I'll just go reap the art of war and you'll be fine.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, does it Tanzu Tanzu Shanzu.

Speaker 3:

There you go.

Speaker 1:

Hey, so let's do, let's buy a resort, give it opportunity to and you've done a little bit of this, but give me like 30 seconds. Where do we go right now At any point? Really, actually, you're listening to this. I'm interested, I wanna buy some of this stuff. Where do they go and who do you want to go there?

Speaker 3:

So everybody is who. I'd like to go there, but it's easy bucketofbreadcom. Do the Google if you need to, but bucketofbreadcom is the website and I would appreciate if you go there. You look at all those little social media icons at the top. Feel free to jump in, send out a thumb like a share, tell everyone you've ever met that I exist and it's awesome and I'm ready to serve those who want to try a bucket of bread, awesome, and anybody.

Speaker 1:

I'll give you one more call to action bucketofbreadcom go buy 12, and then give a rabbit a lulloy. How about that? That's the only way to go, do it? Go buy 12 and give a rabbit a lulloy. It's any holiday season, just buy it away. Or holiday to round you can just call it for that. And Christmas, anika, new Year's. I'm terrible about holidays because I'm an entrepreneur and they don't exist in our world. You just keep working. It's funny.

Speaker 1:

That being said, by the way, definitely go to bucketofbedcom and get one I know I'm going to order one as well, or a bunch, and give them out and then to say hey guys, I bet this guy please go do a social media review. The other thing, too, is if you've bought one of these and you do go to Google Review and do positive it's like a fours and fives please, if you're that critical, send him a note directly via the website. Don't do that to an early business. It's really got a good place in the heart. But if you really like something, take the time five seconds to go, do a good review, take a picture. So let's do a hot seat. Hot seat. No, no, no, I'm sorry. Do a luke warm seat. Okay, warm seat, because we're trying to learn what that word means exactly. And why is luke the name in it? It doesn't matter, let's just keep talking about it. What is your favorite cooking book?

Speaker 3:

So the one that I look at is most fun is the flavor Bible. It's kind of like this big chart in a book form that you go okay, I've got this that tastes well with that, that and that, let me create a recipe now on the fly so you can just have this incredible number of things that you can create just by looking at what's in your kitchen and how can I blend these together. And then you now are the, the uh magnifique person than the in the kitchen for everyone in the household.

Speaker 1:

You, um, you described a very good use case. I think it already exists, though, for AI. This is what I have left. What can I make there? You go, there's a, that's a. That's a form of AI based on the science of taste, and they said hey, if you take, you know tarragon, you mix it with I don't know pre-experiose, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a little I don't know. Whatever, I'm making this up, I don't do that. That sounds disgusting, but it was. They had ones that are like oh, that feels right. This is actually quite savory and get interesting. I think it really hits all levels of your tongue, but anyway, I like that. So, uh, in in your current business. You're in early stage in the in the e-commerce side. I'd rather be here about this. What kind of technologies are you leveraging that you like? Like what's helping you accelerate?

Speaker 3:

So I started out. The website with the equivalent of a business card online is what I kind of like to refer to it, as it's one of those plug and play. You can build a website and if you're done, I probably shouldn't mention the brand name. But no, we need probably not.

Speaker 1:

What's that? I'm on my right with honesty here.

Speaker 3:

Uh well, I I wasn't too fond of some of the the back end operations of it, so I migrated everything to WordPress and thankfully there was. It was a little pricey as far as my penny pinching behavior goes, but I was able to take like two months worth of uh, just call them up and they'll help walk you through it, and that was more like a ground guiding to make me like an instant expert, if you will. And there's plugins available for the, for the WordPress just so many to choose from. But I'd based everything in the WordPress because it's friendly to the Google algorithms. When you write the blog or your recipe, those keywords are flowing through, and then that's where that long game comes into play. For the SEO, naturally, where I shouldn't be spending as much as I did, still kicking myself in the tail feathers. But yeah, the whole transition to a properly developed website that can track sales and you've got the proper cart and all of that good stuff in there. It was just night and day and I think that really helped out.

Speaker 1:

Well, I had no question and I would tell you the 2,500, I want you to look at that as you actually saved yourself point $5,000. And the reason is, if you hadn't been so disdained about it or you felt even so, money's success, the chance you rebind a million other things in that price point are off the charts. And I see this. A lot of entrepreneurs that work with us. They've tried all this stuff. It's 2,500 here, it's 2,000 there, it's a huge for this, and they're just like I'm dropped like 20K on this stuff and they're like for no different spot and anyway, there's fun to do this. So take that as yep, cheap, I got off cheap. You're not going to miss that in a year. Now, you're not. You're going to. It'll be a funny story to tell.

Speaker 3:

It's still a funny story now.

Speaker 1:

Well, it'll be a lot less funny when you're like you're making that an hour, like with your business, so you'll. You'll be like, yeah, I'm going to go hire that SEO company again just for fun, so I can fire them. You have a. You have like a favorite quote you go to in life?

Speaker 3:

Well, I guess we can follow Nike's just do it. That's how we started.

Speaker 1:

I like that. I mean, he would have thought like a shoe company would be so well quoted, but the truth is, just do it, I like it. Get off your butt and go. I like that. What's one regret you think you have that you would take back besides the SEO? Besides the SEO, I got life regret on your entrepreneurial journey. Would you know? Some of the answers are like I started earlier. I wish I would have whatever, but I think it's important to understand, like, beyond just entrepreneurship, what's a life regret?

Speaker 3:

Oh man, that's.

Speaker 1:

That's a really good hot seat question or lukewarm seat lukewarm that way, a little warmer. I turned the heat up on that one a little bit, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

So so, going into a personal realm, I guess you know, just I and say that I would have to say, goodness, congratulations, let's see Digging deep, maybe, just like the whole marriage and divorce thing in life. You know, that's kind of a big kick in the ass. So you know, it takes a little while to get through that and over it and put it behind you. So I tell myself my past self, hey, it's going to be fine, just get through this, you're good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, it's mindset you're referring to there too is that. I collect a quote from a little jam. A lot, you know there's, you know, matter all clever, but winter, there's a spring time ahead. It's a song called Thumb in your Way Back, thumb in my way back to you. Thumb in my way back, any better? Just Eddie, come on the show. That's all I'm asking. Anyway, here it is.

Speaker 1:

I want to say thank you so much. I'm coming today on the show. I really appreciate what you're doing. I do mean it. I'm all sincerity, because it's just such a cool idea and it's like it seems obvious and those are like the best ideas. I hope you keep making great decisions so you can grow this and light yourself to outward facing charities, and I think that's a great way to grow through. Yeah, I don't see it's faith based but maybe just a bigger purpose based approach, because I think that's that works and you don't have to do anything more than keep getting flour from your local piece and you know, and you know, just build it right out of Wisconsin there and deliver. It may go, but I'm proud of you. I'll tell you that. I don't believe anyone else has told you that, but I'm proud of you, thank you.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much.

Speaker 1:

Thank you everybody. Thank you Once again, once again, for listening to the Never Been Promoted podcast. Chris Weissong, bucketofbreadcom. Go follow him across socials. Is it bucket of bread, traditional spelling across all socials, or is there anyone that you like more than the others?

Speaker 3:

Well, facebook seems to be the more popular one, so that would be a great start. But every one of those little links are on the header of the website, so it's easy. It opens in a new tab. You can just go click, click, click, click, click and follow.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I forgot to ask this one question Is there somebody you'd like to follow on social media that you'd want to give a shout out to like, hey, listen, this person's content's great, or these person makes me laugh? Anybody you want to, you know, give them a little bit of a pivot for it.

Speaker 3:

They're like, they're already pretty much like with, you know, millions of followers or whatever. But there's this fella things like Gary Vee.

Speaker 1:

He's got quite a few.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he's got a few, so he's just got to follow the followers on LinkedIn.

Speaker 1:

So, gary Vee, I'm happy to mention you and notice that Chris Weisler and I both agree that that's a person you should follow. Linkedin thought so much that they hired him to do some stuff.

Speaker 3:

Well, I just like his positive message. You know, and sometimes, being the solo prettier, it's lonely and you get a little bit of like that little monster on your shoulder telling you you know it's all bad, it's all bad, but you need that reinforcement that, hey, things are good, you're doing good, you've got this, so. So that's just always nice to scroll through and go oh well, there's a nice message, I love it, I feel good you know you're always exiting the interview.

Speaker 1:

I got to address this now because this is part of my book. I've never been promoted. You are going to feel the negativity of so much in your own thoughts of people just passively telling you you can't do it in their own way. There is some kind of like, oh, you're just doing this or that you really have to make some hard decisions in life of who's going to be in your circle and who's going to be out. And I will tell you that if you have the ground to be in with a vision that you know it's working, you're going to. You're going to. You're going to be surprised at how many people are going to exit your circle, by your consciousness or the fact that you'll just be too busy to deal with them or they don't get time with you. Just be proprietary entrepreneurs. I'm sure you're this way and unfortunately, I'm not sure how your situation. Sometimes it's it's spouses, sometimes it's really close friends, it's even family members. But you'll have to prioritize what's really important to you and your wife to be happy and then bring in the people that are going to help you be supportive. And I think what you just described it is you don't get that with some kind of support system, because you'll be in your own head at times.

Speaker 1:

Am I doing it? What else do I need to do? It's 6, am I don't know? I know I do something up too much. You need support and you need to be able to have the right mindset. So I like that and that's what I think. Gary B is great too, because he is those hats suck. I don't like his hat. I like you, gary, a bit man. I just I get the brand. It's just not. You're too old now for that. You got to take it off. Get something else.

Speaker 3:

That's about the message, though. Yeah, I got the message.

Speaker 1:

I got another one right there, all right guys. Hey, chris Weissam, I brought you a bread founder. So go ahead and have some bread and give some to some people and do a good cause. Because they give a bunch of money back to charity. Even this early stage, when they need the profits, they're still committing to that almost tithing to a better cause than that's very noble. Thank you, chris, so much for coming on the Never Been Promoted podcast. Thank you ever for listening. We'll go out there and unleash the entrepreneur.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to Never Been Promoted with Thomas Hellfrey. Make sure to check the show notes for our guest, contact information and any relevant links. Connect with Thomas personally at NeverBendPromotedcom.

Unleashing Entrepreneurial Journeys
Starting a Small Business
Growing a Mission-Driven Bread Brand
SEO and Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs
AI and E-Commerce Technologies