00:00:00 Scott Reamer
And the seven hundred, $800 billion a year spent on health care associated with sort of the diseases of modern man, right, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, you know, various autoimmune diseases, et cetera. And so those are all, every one of those major, the sort of four horsemen diseases are mediated by inflammation. And I think by luck, what Megan and I did with Jackson, who was more or less an experiment for us, was trying to find the lowest inflammation. Right. We could based on some of the underlying lipid chemistry, which I understood from my studies, but mostly just observationally because he was so sensitive to the things that we fed him that within hours he could have a a clear and negative reaction to stuff that we fed him. And so for many, many years we reverse engineered a diet where in one bucket was all the things that made him react terribly and another bucket made him, you know, more or less comfortable.
00:01:02 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work, and serve through my business Kooler Garage Doors. We’re going to bring you highlights on characters in our communities. Why? Because Community matters, and I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the Community fabric that our relationships make up, and collectively. We can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth and our health. Hello ladies and gentlemen. This is the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn. And today I’m super fortunate to be hanging with Megan Reamer, founder of Jackson’s chips. She’s beaming in from her home in Crested Butte. Megan, how are you?
00:01:59 Megan Reamer
I am great, Matt. I just lost you for a second.
00:02:03 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And we had some freezing.
00:02:05 Megan Reamer
Hold on. Can you hear me?
00:02:06 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, yeah. No, I can’t.
00:02:08 Megan Reamer
I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened there. It’s like uploading. I’m doing great. Thank you. It’s so great to be visiting with you today. Thanks so much.
00:02:17 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, absolutely. I’m really excited to chat with you. I’ve known you for a number of years, my wife, nanny for your beautiful children. And you know, we’ve kind of, I’ve been observing your journey with Jackson’s chips, and I want to talk about that a little bit in our conversation. But first I’d love to get a better understanding of where you grew up.
00:02:40 Megan Reamer
Yeah, I just, I just wanna touch on what you mentioned because we have known each other for a really long time, certainly pre, pre, pre any Jacksons chips and business that we might talk about. Annie was one of our favorite nannies, babysitters, friends like. You know, however you want to put it, ever and um, you know, we had a a really great experience together as a family working with Annie, meeting you and and certainly, you know, having Annie join our family in the way that she did because my kids were so really young. So she was so formative in their growth and their experience and. In our life, so I I really want to give a nice shout out to your wife as well.
00:03:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
She deserves it. She’s awesome
00:03:35 Megan Reamer
She does deserve it. I mean, she was a lifesaver for us in a lot of ways at, at a time that was very, still very hard for us with Jackson. So, you know, we have a special place in our hearts for Annie. So I I grew up in Santa Fe, actually, and I think that. That really the story of. I this is gonna sound really corny because I don’t want to say like my story starts with meeting Scott, but it kind of does a little bit because, you know my family and my my background. Was and continues to be fantastic. Like I I have an amazing family. I have three sisters on the second of four girls. I have amazing parents and just had a very like loving, supportive. You know, warm family that I can’t say enough things about who you know, who who show up when things are good and show up even more when things are bad. So I, you know, and it was very typical. And so I think like why I mentioned maybe this this adjustment or this difference. When I met Scott, which was over 30 years ago when we were in college, we were really young. He was 19 and I was 20. So I think I just. Out in my age on the podcast, but um. But I, you know, Scott brought this different. Experience and and sort of nutritionally at the at the bare minimum to me so right you know I grew up like pretty typical eating ruffles and going to Burger King and you know sort of very convenience food format. I wouldn’t say it was it was junk food but it was sort of like incorporating all those things right and and I think our our oldest daughter Ella who you know probably the best. Would pride herself on saying like she’s never in McDonald’s and and I think it gets a little you know self-righteous to people when she says it but but I think you know some of that certainly all of that analysis and and reading a label and understanding you know the ingredients in that came from Scott and and me meeting Scott and sort of having this. You know, I’m trying to, like, suck down a Diet Coke. And Scott’s giving me an alternative from the health food store when I was 20 and and I thought, wow, what’s going on here? Like, what’s wrong with my Diet Coke? Why can’t I drink this? So. So that’s sort of where I think the root of some of this, of a lot of this story of what we might talk about today or business and and food and how it became this very critical part of our lives early on. But certainly once we had Jackson and had to, you know, get really creative about what we were doing to try to help and support him.
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00:07:15 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah. I love this. And Scott, welcome. Thanks for joining me.
00:07:18 Scott Reamer
Good to see you, Matt. Thanks so much for allowing me to just
00:07:21 Matthew Kuehlhorn
nice to see you. Yeah. Where did, where did you grow up?
00:07:26 Scott Reamer
In upstate New York, north of New York City, about 2 1/2 hours in the Hudson Valley South of Albany, about maybe 15 miles or so. And back in the 70s and 80s there was more or less just all farm country. Now it’s a more or less particularly post COVID, a bedroom community of Manhattan. There’s more people that live in Manhattan, I think in in the Columbia County, which is the county I lived in there then the natives anymore. But it was a wonderful place. It was actually. Just the the piece of trivia that we always used was the 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren was born where I grew up, so has some history in the early. Development of this year states.
00:08:10 Megan Reamer
It’s really very cool and very old.
00:08:14 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah. Megan mentioned your your line on nutrition where does that come from?
00:08:21 Scott Reamer
I you know the catalyst was my brothers girlfriend my oldest brother’s girlfriend is 10 years older than me. His girlfriend at the time subsequently became his wife that she she had a some friends that owned a health food store and this is in the gosh I guess it would be in the early 80s I guess maybe mid 80s and early mid 80s and. I thought, wow, this is really unusual. I’ve sort of been a contrarian my whole life and I thought what, like, what is all this stuff? And then sort of the the curiosity took over and I started trying to understand like well, why, why, why would people buy this? And you know, asking questions, the people that own the store and and so it was really just an instinct to be contrarian. And then finding out the information effectively, like hey, this is alternative and This is why it’s better. Then say that the Diet Coke and Megan was talking about it and then I was hooked at that point. You know, I’m, I was a chemical engineer undergrad and so I’ve always had this sort of instinct to try to understand the workings of whatever the heck it is is around me. And so that was the first real sort of self-directed research I had done and trying to understand well, what are the sort of mechanisms of food, what is the biochemistry of food and so. You know, I said this to somebody. I can’t remember when my kids or not, maybe. Yeah, it was one of my kids, actually. This past weekend, we were at a hockey tournament. We were eating dinner with one of his friends at a restaurant. And I said, I said to him, you know, we are nothing but a collection of of chemical reactions. And and those chemical reactions are powered by the food you eat. So the quality of your life, it’s a function of the quality of your chemical reactions and therefore the quality of the food you eat. And so I guess I’ve always sort of intuitively felt that. And then the health food, you know? Back then it was granola and that kind of stuff, but yogurt, whatever, it was nearly as as advanced as our. I just became a a really interesting way to look at food as you know you are what you eat obviously, but but a little couple of layers deeper it’s it’s just about chemical reactions and the efficiency with which those happen and metabolites they throw off and all that sort of stuff. So it became super interesting from that perspective for me and that was the hook, I think for me to get interested in it.
00:10:45 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, very cool. What’s the concise or short concise story? So you two met in college? And then it ended U in Crested Butte. How did this valley find you or you it?
00:10:59 Megan Reamer
Ohh, you know, I I can answer that. I yeah, we went to college on the East Coast and we’re living there. But one of Scott’s, actually Scott’s roommate, one of our best friends, mutually grew up in Denver and group ski racing in Denver and he, you know, had traveled all over the circuit for many years growing up of mountain towns and ski areas and, you know we came to visit him. Really. While we were still in college on one of the breaks and he’s like, ohh, I have to take you to my favorite town ever, the best skiing. It’s just like the best energy and a real still a real mountain town. And this was probably in. 19 early 90s um and. And so we came here for the first time with him. And and then you know that was in the winter that was to ski obviously you know we I think even at that time heard from somebody like you have to come back in the summer and we were living in New York City like we we graduated from college both worked for different companies in New York City and you know that I think just kept ringing in our head like let’s go back, let’s go for a 4th of July 1 one year and I think it was probably a 1995 or 96 that we came in the summer and. And then, you know, immediately we’re like what everyone says, like how do we? How do we get back here? What does that look like? How do we? You know, kind of change our lifestyle from New York City. Things started for me to become very remote even at that time with the job that I had and more mobile. And so we moved to Denver in 1997 I think and then 1998 maybe and they quickly thereafter bought our house here in Crested Butte and so we we did that for a little while. And Jackson was born in 2001, so we were sort of just, you know, bouncing between places for a little while and then C became our permanent place.
00:13:06 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, beautiful. What do you love about the community of Chris Butte?
00:13:12 Megan Reamer
You know, for for me I think it is very rooted in having this. Collective support in in anything we needed to do at anytime we needed to do it so and whatever that looked like and so to sort of be a bit more specific about that. You know when we first came we didn’t have any kids and we were remodeling this House that we still live in and and met this team of people and collection of people who worked on our house who became our really good friends right the the the people who were painting our house and the roofers. And you know anyone who who was here, in fact, we had this really fantastic party at the end of that project. Which which came full circle for us recently because we did it at the Bucknall and Pete Nichols was owned the bacchanal then and Pete and his and our Pete son Mason plays hockey with Charlie and so was this funny? Kind of connecting the dots a little bit and more recently, but at any rate for us, you know there were. Like Crested Butte has always checked our boxes at different points in our lives and for what they what we needed at that at that point in time. And so you know pre kids a really great community that we could go out with and friends and and just you know have this really lovely lifestyle and go to the lake and go skiing and all that stuff. And then you know once we started to have kids and a family, it was you know tumble bugs and munchkin music and you know all of these other opportunities. To meet other people with kids that are, you know, the same age but, you know, to add in another layer, Jackson, you know, I’ve kind of mentioned this a few times, but Jackson had this rare autoimmune disease that took 12 years to diagnose. And so that experience and that journey here in this valley for us. Was undeniably. You know, unique and supportive and um and something that I don’t think could have been replicated in other places with you know just needing this people from all different parts of our lives from UC and from our friends and from other families. You know kind of pull together or even individually come to us and help support us through this really difficult experience. So and and you know that has just continued. In in, you know, different periods of our lives.
00:15:51 Matthew Kuehlhorn
There’s a couple of questions that are competing, so I’ll ask this one first. When did you fry the first potato?
00:16:05 Scott Reamer
Ohh, it actually we did. It just works. Isn’t it just right? I can tell you the first bag that we sold was July 23rd, 2012, and it was at Mountain Earth here in CB. So I remember that because we we had been making them at home for the kids and for their friends and you know, for picnics and that kind of stuff. More or less for the previous, you know, gosh, six or seven years. And so it was, it was a. Homemade thing, and I actually don’t remember the first time we ever did that. I should go back through my Amazon purchase history because it’ll show me the mandolin that we bought. There’s a very specific Japanese mandolin that are high high quality rate that we bought once I stopped doing it with a knife, which was I only did it like once or twice like, oh, this is going to work. And so I should look through that history, but it’s got to be in the early aughts, CO2000.
00:16:59 Megan Reamer
I was going to say yeah.
00:17:01 Scott Reamer
00:17:02 Megan Reamer
I think even a little before that, I think it was like maybe. 2004 when we started making them at home and we initially were using lard to cook them to fry them in, which is really fussy and I wouldn’t recommend it. It tastes great, just like you know if you use lard in like a pie dough crust, right? Like if you’re making crust from scratch, but it’s fussy. It’s not easy. Coconut oil is fussy too, but that’s worse.
00:17:29 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, so, I love the the continuum of. Going into nutrition and and seeing the value of this early in in life stages and then with Jackson and his autoimmune. It almost drove the need to identify even more on the on the chemical level of nutrition, and out of this is the arrival of Jackson’s chips. And that’s where Jackson’s legacy lives on. Pretty interesting how that thread kind of sows through over the years.
00:18:07 Megan Reamer
I agree. And what would you?
00:18:08 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Like people to know.
00:18:11 Megan Reamer
Yeah, I agree. I just, I think even like you lining it up like that, where you see this continuum is really. Inherently something that I of course, but to have you. You know, share it in that way is really powerful for me.
00:18:29 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It’s. I find it fascinating and and in these conversations one of the observations I can make just being an observer is is putting together this thread in this continuum and it’s, it’s pretty special. What would you like people to know about Jackson’s chips and the mission behind? The effort.
00:18:50 Scott Reamer
Yeah, I’ll take a stab at that.
00:18:51 Megan Reamer
Scott do you wanna
00:18:52 Scott Reamer
00:18:52 Megan Reamer
Because I feel like I’ve been talking a lot.
00:18:54 Scott Reamer
Here. Yeah, yeah. Can I take a stab with that? I think the. The thing that was so powerful. The others I I think I’ve read the statistic recently. It’s something like. And the seven hundred, $800 billion a year spent on health care associated with sort of the diseases of modern man, right, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, you know, various autoimmune diseases, et cetera. And so those are all, every one of those major, the sort of four horsemen diseases are mediated by inflammation. And I think by luck, what Megan and I did with Jackson, who was more or less an experiment for us, was trying to find the lowest inflammation. By we could, based on some of the underlying lipid chemistry, which I understood from my studies, but mostly just observationally because he was so sensitive to the things that we fed him that within hours he could have a a clear and negative reaction to stuff that we fed him. And so for many, many years we reverse engineered a diet where in one bucket was all the things that made him react terribly and another bucket made him, you know, more or less comfortable. Or at least less uncomfortable maybe is the right description and and after a time maybe 12-18 months realized gosh the the bucket that he can’t eat has got these sort of traditional ancestral fats. It you know it’s got some high quality vegetables, usually root vegetables. It’s got some you know diversity of proteins for instance, but mostly fats and proteins right. And then the other bucket was a lot of processed stuff, absolutely simple carbs, any sugar whatsoever, certainly about. Half the fruits and that are available you know grapes, bananas all native go crazy because they’re high in sugar and so that’s when the the the chemist in me sort of realized gosh what what are what’s the common denominator here of each of these buckets and and it came down to two things. One sugar they particularly high fructose corn syrup and you know process highly processed sugars and then effectively polyunsaturated vegetable oils those were in the you know absolutely do not feed him bucket and what was in the feeding bucket where all these. Estrel fats and then good quality proteins and root vegetables and so the power of that having arrived at that observation. Was. We we pretty incredible for us. And it wasn’t until gosh you know the the PhD MD’s at the National Institutes of Health who had an undiagnosed disease program that ultimately diagnosed Jackson’s very rare orphan disease said hey you you’ve reversed engineered a you know the lowest inflammation diet you can give someone and and still have them be healthy. And and no one had ever said that to us until the smartest people we had ever met said it to us. We were like you know it was just this for me personally. An incredibly profound moment where you felt like you were beat or had against the wall where all the other maybe hundreds of physicians that we had seen who said, well, that that’s not supposed to work but I guess keep going. And so but these guys said no, you like this, it works. And here’s, you know, you you figured it out and here’s why that kind of stuff. And so my, my larger point in all of this is that that reverse engineer diet, what we learned through Jason’s, you know, many trials because there were lots of times we did wrong. Enough, and he suffered for it was. That we could intermediate in a genetic disease using stuff you could buy at the grocery store instead of thirty $700 billion of pharmaceuticals and other things that are spent every year to intermediate. And the inflammation process and all of these other diseases that we talked about, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, et cetera, we could intermediate in a very simple way and it didn’t cure him in any way, shape or form, but it made his quality of life, which as parents that’s all we cared about. We just didn’t want him to cry, right. We’d like to occasionally smile and and any you know just to close the loop there was was an incredibly important part of that particular process because she was there when it was happening and you know she made him smile and so many ways and so you know her presence at that time was really important because it was when he was really starting to stabilize and and have a you know semi normal life unlike you know a life that wasn’t full of of real suffering and and and she was. There for that and and it was an incredibly important moment As for us and as parents but also for Jackson himself. And so that’s one of the reasons we’ve we feel so bonded to that experience that we had with with Annie just to so you know we’ve never verbalized that to you. But in any case the the idea that you could use food in specific ways to intermediate and a genetic disease that’s unbelievable and we felt compelled there that there was a responsibility to share that. Idea through the the story, through the company and that sort of stuff. So everything we’ve done from the start to now has been animated by sharing that one particular insight.
00:24:08 Megan Reamer
Yeah. And I would only add, I would just add that. Yeah, can I just add that? You know, we’ve sort of danced around this a little bit, not intentionally I think, but just I’ll share that. Jackson passed away from an experimental drug trial he was on in 2017, very unexpectedly, you know, very suddenly and under some difficult circumstances. And so. You know, for us to be able to. Focus and continue to say his name every day and share his story and and have these opportunities like this. You know to to talk about him and keep him alive has been I think all the difference for us. You know it’s provided, it’s continued to provide the meaning and the purpose and and the mission for us to keep to keep going and in a very difficult and tragic situation.
00:25:08 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah. Thanks for adding that. I feel that.
00:25:14 Megan Reamer
Yeah, I mean it’s, it’s a big, you know, it is. Not the outcome that anyone was expecting in all the stuff we did for him. All of the support we gave him and and even the quality of his own health. You know he was really healthy. He he lived in a wheelchair but but he was very happy and very healthy at at a point like once we got him stabilized as Scott just discussed but. You know, it, it was shocking and and and difficult. So it has been very meaningful to be able to continue to share, you know, pieces of him through these other pieces of our lives that continue to exist.
00:25:59 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, yeah. I can only imagine the journey that you’ve taken as entrepreneurs in forming Jackson’s chips, pushing it out to market. I can just imagine that the chip market in and of itself is likely highly competitive and hard to break in. And not only just break in, but. Jackson’s chip seems to have disrupted it quite a bit. How important was it around the community and what types of supports were there that you were unexpected by? And developing.
00:26:39 Megan Reamer
Yeah, it’s a great question actually because we tapped into many resources in the valley when we first started. I mean we were making these by hand. So it was not this idea that we then took to a manufacturer and had them help us create like. And in fact the benefit of being able to do what we did transitioning from a small commercial kitchen here to a large scale manufacturing probably only happened. Because we’ve been making them by hand for such a long time, wouldn’t she say Scott?
00:27:14 Scott Reamer
00:27:14 Megan Reamer
00:27:15 Scott Reamer
Yeah, the Co Packer, the Copacker copacker we used only took us and and he was already at capacity. So there’s no economic incentive for him to take on something as complex as what we are describing to him. He only did it, he said, because we had done ourselves for some amount of time, you know, he said I get lots of folks showing up at my doorstep asking me to make, you know, this, that and the other. Potato chip and I turned them all away because I got plenty of business and, you know, that’s what’s what’s so compelling about it. But he said, you know that you two or Paris, that you’ve done this for on your own already. You gave it a shot and why you’re doing it. Yeah, I’ll, I’ll let you do a couple of runs here in Denver. And so it was the entrepreneurial journey you talked about is fraught with massive amounts of uncertainty, which we had been living with for, you know, 12 years and not knowing what Jackson’s disease was, you know, not knowing, it actually was the worst. Art because we didn’t know where to to focus our efforts and and that was the most at least personally frustrating as parents. But living with that uncertainty is that’s the and you probably know this for sure yourself that you’ve given you’ve gone from nothing to something huge and in the valley you knowing that you’re going to have massive amounts of uncertainty starting any business and being able to metabolize that digest that that’s the trick of being an entrepreneur is you know knowing that you’re likely to fail knowing that you don’t know all the answers. And yet you still go forward every single day and try to do it. And so Jackson’s disease prepped.
00:28:47 Megan Reamer
All that madness like this? Someone caught that, like it’s the district or I don’t know. But. We’re just, I think that’s a great positive spin because you extend way outside your comfort zone, right Matt? Like ohh my gosh.
00:29:03 Matthew Kuehlhorn
That’s right, this.
00:29:04 Megan Reamer
Is tough. That’s right. But yeah, I think, yeah, I, I think you answered that really well. Sky, we, we got a lot of lucky breaks in this experience. But you know, it all started in this valley and it was buying potatoes from farmers in Paonia who would bring them every Sunday when they came over for the farmers market, it was, you know, using space that danazol jobs and Stacey van Ardham, who started CB personal chefs, you know, they had a commercial kitchen at the four way and so we would hop in there. Night when they were done cooking and they allowed us to use that space and we were like these traveling, this traveling band with all of our coconut oil and our potatoes and our gear. We go to the Fred Field. Yeah and our kids we would go to the Fred Field kitchen in Gunnison and use that. It’s a really lovely wonderful commercial kitchen with a lot of space and you know wherever we were able to make them we would and bring our bring our like vacuum sealer and put them in bags and seal them right there. So and and a lot of help from from folks in the valley who like through a lot of potato slices and oil for us. And, you know, really gave us a lot of support. And cinny at mountain Herb and Terry at Gunnison vitamin right. Like yeah sure, we’ll, we’ll take these bags and see if anybody likes, likes them and wants to buy them. And you know, two days later they both called and said we need more like people really like these. And we had, you know, it had taken us like three weeks to make probably 50 small bags, just trying to find time to do that with our family so. It was a really special validation for us locally that people liked them and wanted to buy them and really provided the impetus for us to keep going.
00:31:07 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that the stories of entrepreneurialism is is so diverse and and the uncertainty that you mentioned is. Is there the entire time. And so I honor, I honor your your grit and I also see the the mission behind it and it’s it’s the legacy and that is part of the fuel that that keeps it moving. You have a a beautiful website. There’s a clip of of you 2 on Shark Tank on that website which is a really fun clip to watch. Where is Jackson’s chips today?
00:31:43 Megan Reamer
Ohh Jackson’s chips is doing really well actually. Um, we now have our own manufacturing plant and that has made all the difference really. You know the the challenge we ran into, we we grew very quickly with a lot of different products. The challenge on that is is capital right like having the right amount of cash to support that kind of growth but but the but tied into that very closely for us where the economics are around using an outside manufacturer to make our products. We were limited in the type of products we could make the type of formats like like a multi pack box or bag or you know just even a certain snack size right like it had to be 1 1/2 ounce versus 1/2 ounce or one ounce. And you know so, so we were restricted by what we were able to do and the amount of time we had to produce because of our copacker and and having our own manufacturing facility and the investors who believed in that opportunity and invested in building that out has made all the difference. Like really kind of I’d say catalyze the business from one level to probably two or three above it just by having. Those pieces in place and so you know we’re nationally distributed, we’re we’re working with retailers around the country, Whole Foods being you know still a very important partner for us. They were for us right at the beginning and they continue to be and so we sell nationally through Whole Foods as well as other very big regional grocery stores and and online. And so we’re focused right now only on sweet potato chips and we cook them in coconut oil and we have also started cooking. In avocado oil and you know those ingredients of really line up still for people who are looking for a really clean, healthy alternative to to something they really enjoy. Like people like crunchy, salty things and want to feel good about eating them. So the business is doing really well and thriving I would say.
00:33:57 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Awesome. What are you too excited about over the next few years?
00:34:02 Megan Reamer
I think continuing to grow the business for me I am. You know, it, it’s really fun to be part of that and exciting because because we’re still finding a lot of opportunities for that growth and that feels like this scrappy startup to me still and and that’s really exciting to to you know stand something up from nothing and create the process and and create the success. And you know there’s a lot of there are a lot of failures along the way and lessons learned and and that’s part of life too. So I think you know. For me, it’s still being part of the business, continuing to to raise our family in this valley. They’re all you know, our kids are all thriving and and launching and and you know sort of embracing the phases of their lives here and that’s very rewarding and fun to experience with them.
00:34:56 Scott Reamer
Yeah, for me Matt I would just say that the from a jetson’s standpoint it’s the capabilities that we now have that we didn’t have before. You know we were operating you know sometimes with two hands tied behind our back one from a capital standpoint as Megan had mentioned we ran into some real capital challenges multiple times throughout that that growth journey that she mentioned. And then also the the other big challenge was you know not own AR manufacturing facility and and having to beg. Throw in steel for Co Packers, Co manufacturers that we would rent their space from them to, to make some of our products around the country and indeed even in Canada. It was a super challenge to do that. It restricted the things we could do, the products we could make, how much we could make, when we could make them, how we would make them later, what packaging, what boxes they would go into. And So what we’ve come to realize from a capability standpoint is owning your own facility allows you to effectively. Be much, much better partners with the retailers and distributors that ultimately are the choke point for all food CPG businesses. You know at the end of the day that product whatever you’re making has to find its way economically in the right package at the right price point with the right marketing and boxing and all that sort of stuff to some place where consumers are going to buy it. And then that was until we could never optimize that or. Frankly even serve it properly without having our own facility. And so now people over the next year are gonna see explosion in where we can, where our products can be bought, at what price point they can be bought, what format, so bigger bags, regular size bags and then the small snack size bags and in various sort of combinations within boxes, so Costco and Sam’s Club. And so all of these things were unavailable to us before assembly. Because we didn’t have our own facility and we didn’t, we couldn’t control those variables. Now we can and and the retail business as you head into it earlier incredibly calm, competitive and so now that we can compete on that basis, we’re now you know going head-to-head and and winning in many respects against some very, very large brands that have been around for many, many decades and that feels great. It’s like we can you know actually sort of you know use two hands. In in this business, whereas before we used one and sometimes none.
00:37:32 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, I love this story. I really appreciate your. Your passion, your willingness to open up and and share with us. Today as we close out and round out this conversation, I know we’ll have more and I have tons more questions. I’m going to start an entrepreneurial show at one point and I’d love to know more of that journey. But for folks listening, where can we find and follow the story?
00:38:00 Megan Reamer
Yeah, I mean, I think you mentioned the website, that’s a great place. Um, certainly our social media accounts and. You know I’d say those are probably the two best places to to at least understand the business story and and then of course you know I I I think people stop us a lot and and refer to us as the chip people in in town and in this valley. Right. Oh you guys are the chip people. Yeah like great you know and and so I I get stopped a lot asking you know how things are going and just showing support for us. Which is really lovely and and warms my heart so.
00:38:44 Scott Reamer
Yeah, that’s good. Good anecdote, Matt. Just last two this past Tuesday, those playing sort of beer league hockey and CBS at the outdoor rink and at the end of WIT. Everyone’s in the locker room getting changed. And I hadn’t met up, you know, the vast majority of the other players. And they didn’t quite know who I was. And and I was making introductions and then I realized after just saying who I was that they didn’t really know me. That was like, well, actually, you know, my wife and I for from Jackson’s chips and they’re like, everybody was like. Ohh, you’re the chip guy said exactly what Megan has said. Everyone knows the chips if they didn’t associate me with it. But once I said the chips, it was kind of this great ice breaker and all of a sudden everybody knew my story and knew about Jackson and that sort of stuff. So it was a really wonderful anecdote to what you you had just asked about the community and about how supportive everyone has been historically and and and now still are.
00:39:39 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah. Yeah. I love it. We’ll include social handles and the website in our show notes. Um, so folks listening can jump on follow Megan and Scott, thank you so much for your time today. Thanks for sharing your story. Thank you.
00:39:53 Megan Reamer
Matt, thank you. Thanks for having us.