We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophia Karbowski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When my business partner, Austin Patry, and I met our senior year in class at TCU, we noticed a lack in healthy, convenient food options both on and near campus. While in multiple entrepreneurship classes together, we got to know each other through our shared passion for making healthy snacks and meals that actually taste good and fill you up. At the same time, we continually noticed our classmates and peers frustration that they couldn’t get any healthy food they really wanted near campus. We realized we could probably do something ourselves to fix this problem, and that’s when the brainstorming began! Personally, prior to the formation of Rollin’ n Bowlin’, I had no plans to start my own business post-grad. It really happened because of the clear issue college students were facing, combined with my passion for healthy eating and cooking. And we quickly realized that not only TCU students were facing this issue, but students at universities all over the country. Since we ourselves were college students at the time, we could easily relate and understand the problem, which I think is very important for all business owners.
What should our readers know about your business?
When our college campus stores had to temporarily close down in March of 2020, we quickly created an entirely new business model. We didn’t want to waste any time while waiting for our stores to open back up, so we added a business model in which we package our recipes to ship to our customers at home. The product is 9 different flavors of single-serve pouches filled with fruits, vegetables, nut butters, etc that can all be made into either a smoothie or an açaí bowl at home. We launched this product in just over a months time last May, and have since grown it from direct-to-consumer shipping to being stocked in almost 200 grocery stores across the country! I think what sets us apart is our ability to adapt and get things done fast. Creating a line of retail products takes years in some cases – figuring out everything from packaging, labeling requirements, design, recipes, frozen shipping, etc. – and with the help of our team we accomplished it in about 6 weeks! Something that is very important to us is centering our products around being transparent, genuinely healthy, unique and convenient. We list all of our ingredients with icons on the front of the packaging. All flavors are vegan and gluten-free with no sugars added, and we are currently the only retail smoothie kit brand that sells açaí, pitaya and nut butter options. All three of these ingredients are incredibly popular by consumers and only increasing in demand. I believe our new retail product is really helping healthy eating at home become more convenient, and we are really excited to continue growing and expanding our product line!
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