Food And Fashion – Byron Goo And Melissa White

Hi welcome to the high-growth show with HTC this is my first show i’m your host in demotte sookie and we’re coming from the thing tech live-streaming network series and this show is going to be about anything innovation entrepreneurship and manufacturing so I wanted to start off with some announcements for all you start ups blue startups is accepting applications.

For their next cohort so check out new startups com also wanted to let you know what we’re Wednesday our monthly software developer networking event is coming up January 29 so stay save the date it’s gonna be at the fix also startup weekend.

Is right around the corner so get your ideas ready that’s going to be happening februari 7th through the 9th also if there’s any companies out there that have won an SBIR which is a small business innovation research grant.

Please get in touch with us because we offer the state’s matching grant we can offer you up to fifty percent of your award amount and so please get in touch with us at as the.

SBIR at HT DC org also to put on your calendar march pimp is entrepreneurs day at the Capitol so save that data as well and tonight january fourteenth is the chamber of commerce launching their manufacturing initiative at stage last night and it’s a good segue into my guest my guest is byron gu who is president of hfma the hawaii food manufacturing Association is.

That correct not to be confused with hawaii flour mill and associates away food manufacturers association great thanks for having us yes and so what is what is hfma well hfma has been around since 1977 and it’s a network it’s really a network i’ll tell you story.

You know just yesterday we were talking about the power of networking with a colleague of mine one of a one of a big member manufacture here in the state and we talked about not just being in seminars and classes that’s valuable it’s good but also it’s the the things that you can discuss over the luncheon or the things that you on the way to the bathroom in the whole yeah that can actually really be even more valuable than.

Just sitting in a chair and taking notes listening to a speaker so hfma a is really a network of.

Manufacturers as well as allied companies logistics companies packaging companies food manufacturing contributes over a half a billion dollars to the low key local economy yeah we we don’t do a very good job promoting what we do maybe we’re more known.

As brands but we do have some of the biggest brand names as part of our membership members like Hawaiian Sun Hawaiian host these are these are now second even third generation companies and so they’re part of our network and I think what we what we like to think of hfma is it’s a conduit and resources benefits connections they can.

All be dropped into the conduit and called hfma and the members can plug into the condiment condiment condom hungry conduit and then you know they can tap in to all of these resources so specifically like what kind of benefits well I mean you know what’s funny is I i really enjoy from a logistics partner that we have fedex they gave us.

Incredible shipping discounts both inter-island end and to the mainland so I mean our our membership dues or $275 and because of our online business we save over $275 oh wow right on just that benefit we have other you know in collective.

Incentives like car rentals and things like that but again where I think the true value and the Entrepreneurship comes in value comes in here that you know you can you can tap into the network of people if you’re starting a company I think it’s a challenge not knowing where the resources are coming from where to go and find the answers and by having other manufacturers available to you you can tap in you can find mentors within the system yeah within the network that’s a–that’s to me.

I think a real value that’s great and I also wanted to mention that Byron is the owner of tea chest and so you are president as well as a food manufacturer remember that’s great thank you um so what are some of the challenges that base food manufacturing in Hawaii well I think the biggest challenge is is marketing um sorry about that my phone went off oh but you know again because we’re we’re sort of a in the trenches type of.

Category or fortune yeah we don’t really think of it as as you know you know getting the name ugh and people thinking about food manufacturer I think manufacturing in general it’s it’s not a.

Glorified industry um filme I would love the exposure of film and music and crafts and things like that any people take it for granted yeah I think we really do it puts food on the table and it creates a lot of jobs you know I just saw a statistic.

About the job creation of the payroll via food manufacturing and it’s close to two hundred million dollars in payroll being generated by food companies in the state so pretty amazing it’s pretty it’s a pretty big chunk of the economy that’s great so that’s one of the.

Things that I really want to highlight on this show is to visit different manufacturers and see what’s going on in Hawaii because I was telling you earlier i went to the made in.

Hawaii show and i was amazed at how many vendors there were and I had no idea that all of this was being done in Hawaii which is.

Great so I really want to highlight that part of this show so what.

Do you see happening in your industry for 2014 o 4 2014 i think it’s it’s going to be a really big year I I think you know I kind of equate it to maybe that we’re we’re not manufacturing Renaissance in our state if you think about it not only do we eat our own.

Products that we make but food is on the rise food is a way that people connect if you travel often times classic examples maybe Vermont will you bring back maple syrup or something like that you know.

I mean you bring back a local food or a local tradition from that area well a lot of people like to think that Hawaiian.
Made foods the chocolates the math nuts.

The coffee the tea hopefully and so manufacturing i think is really going to go through a birth of renaissance coming back to taking.
It as a gift i think really a.

Peck the fact that a pet came here and got to put you know the the federal export initiative into the minds of our corporate citizens people are thinking even more about how can i how can i sell my my food my team my coffee etc to a new country to a new group.