Heirloom Farms – Vibrant Produce with Less Waste

About the Episode

Get a behind-the-scenes look at building and scaling a food and beverage business that is capitalizing on upcycled produce. Ryan Armistead talks about how he started Happy Moose Juice company and their commitment to family farms, organic foods, and sustainable practices. He discusses the benefits of heirloom farming and the impact this has on fruit quality, the manufacturing process, scaling the company up, gathering customer feedback, and building a challenger brand focused on making a difference to the planet.

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“Build a community as soon as possible – people you can ask for help and who can hold you accountable. I wish I had more aggressively pursued mentors or founders’ communities sooner. These are people who can help you accelerate growth, avoid problems and challenges, and the faster you do that, the better.”

Ryan Armistead

In this Episode

2:17 How did Happy Moose Juice develop its logo and branding ideas?
4:50 What are the benefits of sourcing heirloom fruit, and what impact does this have on the quality of the produce?
9:56 What is an heirloom farm? How do family farms work together with a packing partner?
13:50 What distribution channels has Happy Moose Juice been involved with?
16:56 How did Happy Moose Juice benefit from getting direct customer feedback at juice bars?
19:18 What is the manufacturing process for cold-press juice production?
23:25 What are the challenges of operating in the cold chain of food production with products that must stay refrigerated?
26:25 How does the availability of fruit change through the year and impact the flavor of juice?
30:02 How do the trends of convenience, traceability, sustainability, and other trends impact consumer choices?
32:43 What are the differences between California and Florida citrus fruit, and how do these differences impact the final juice product?
36:48 How is heirloom farming different from monocropping?
43:10 What are the challenges of using seasonal fruits and managing year-round demand?
46:03 What are the barriers to entry for a new business entering the juice industry?
51:20 What’s the most important lesson from starting and scaling Happy Moose Juice?

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Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode

  • DTC: direct-to-consumer
  • CPG: consumer packaged goods
  • B2B: Business-to-Business
  • Pasteurized Juice: Juice that has been heated to a specific temperature to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens, extending its shelf life while preserving its flavor and nutritional content.
  • Hydrostatic Pascalization: A food processing method that involves subjecting food products to high pressure in a water-based environment to kill bacteria, increase shelf life, and maintain the quality of the product.

Meet Our Guest

Ryan Armistead

Ryan Armistead

Founder and CEO of Happy Moose Juice

Ryan Armistead is the founder and CEO of Happy Moose Juice, an organic juice company committed to working with family farms and heirloom produce to create their CPG juices. Originally from North Carolina, Ryan attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and earned a degree in International Business and Spanish.

After graduating, he spent two years with Newell Co., learning full-cycle sales processes and big brand-building and marketing strategies in New York City and San Francisco. After leaving the corporate world, he spent eight months in Spain, living and working on a family olive farm in Catalunya. He has since returned to San Francisco and works with Happy Moose in the CPG natural beverage space.

Location Location: San Francisco, USA

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