The Challenge

With mounting concerns surrounding today’s food supply, the global appetite for plant protein and meat alternatives continues to escalate. On top of those biggies, add the cry for personal choice, the demand for local food options, a renewed appreciation for fermented, unprocessed foods, and a massive uptick in entrepreneurial activity and you find one hell of a need and opportunity. Ultimately, we set out to build a DIY plant protein system that answered that confluence of needs. But, as we say, good ideas alone are the easy part.

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The Approach

We first put the idea of TempehSure through the, “is there a there there?” litany of tests and projections… huge opportunity? CHECK. We leveraged an obscure ‘pine wood derby’ prototype, a big purpose, a story, a brand concept, an initial prototype, some t-shirts, a 6 foot booth NPEW and over $100,000 worth of passionate KickStarter believers to test and cement our resolve. Then it was design-prototype-test-listen-design-prototype-test-listen… UL safety tests, NSF Food safety compliance, formulary development and organic supply chain for our Starter Culture. GRAS, BOMs, COGs, MOQs, P&Ls, global voltage standards… we embarked on all that it takes to convert an idea into a legitimate product for market.

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As of writing this case, we are finalizing tooling costs with an established manufacturing partner and the timeline is set for shipping the maiden run of both the TempehSure Protein POD (for home and chef use) and the larger Protein POD Plus (for foodservice and artisan scale production). We have a growing B2B and B2C online business with our TempehSure Organic Starter Culture which solves for a range of needs in tempeh production. Our community building activities have been focused on driving interest and consumption in the broader tempeh market to help set the stage for the widely anticipated release of our one-touch fermentation and protein system.

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