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ContenderCast with Justin Honaman

Welcome to the ContenderCast with Justin Honaman, a leadership and Consumer Industries entrepreneurship conversation centered on shining a light on bright ideas. Justin is a digital commerce leader, author, communicator, and Consumer Products / Retail industry thought-leader based in Atlanta, Georgia. For additional information and guest access, visit contendercast.com. Every winner started as a contender!
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ContenderCast with Justin Honaman
2022
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Jan 24, 2022
Bite started with two questions: Why does toothpaste come in plastic tubes and what exactly are we putting in our bodies when we brush our teeth? At the heart of Bite, they want to do better. That means asking each and every day, how we can improve. Whether it’s mindlessly tossing out an empty toothpaste tube or glossing over the ingredients list, small daily actions can shape the future of our planet. By uncovering how we can be better to ourselves and to the earth, we are one step closer to a healthier and plastic-free world. Founder Lindsay McCormick joins Justin to discuss this innovative plastic-free personal care brand!
Jan 20, 2022

Steven and Lena are husband and wife and life-long entrepreneurs. Steven is the visionary and marketer for Xero Shoes. He is a Masters All-American sprinter (one of the fastest men over the age of 50 in the US) and former All-American gymnast. He was also a professional stand-up comic, cognitive psychology researcher, and taught Tai Chi and Zen Archery. Steven is also the creator of Scriptware, the industry-standard word processor for film and TV writers. Lena is an avid hiker. In her previous life she created and sold a home mortgage company, and has managed the back-end of numerous companies. She’s the glue that keeps Xero Shoes from busting at the proverbial seams as it grows, taking care of all things logistical and numeric. Steven joins Justin to discuss launching and growing this innovative footwear brand!

 

Jan 17, 2022

Yet a new frontier of enormous opportunity to improve results is hidden in plain sight. According to a Fortune 500 study, as much as 80% of working time is lost to tiresome meetings, unclear expectations, difficult decisions and other wasteful delays. Overcoming the lack of clarity behind this waste - on both an individual and organizational basis - would reap huge rewards. In The Power of Clarity, Ann Latham exposes the unrecognized confusion and explains how to eliminate it. This fascinating guide to workplace productivity and effectiveness draws upon extensive research and case studies to demonstrate how you can get better results in far less time while also increasing confidence and commitment. Ann joins Justin to discuss her new book!

Jan 13, 2022

It was 2019 in San Francisco when Ian Monat, a sommelier by day and gigging bass player by night, began to imagine a great-tasting, better for you hemp-infused seltzer. He already found that hemp enhanced his live music performances. The clear, uplifting effects helped with mood, focus, and dexterity. But adding hemp tinctures to soda water tasted terrible, and the ready to drink hemp beverages on the market were loaded with sugar. Ian partnered with a professional chef as well as startup investor and avid CBD user Martín Guerrero to create a healthy, better tasting, hemp-infused beverage with all natural ingredients and a clean label. After months of mixing at the kitchen table, experimenting with dozens of flavor combinations and finding the right ingredient suppliers, the trio was triumphant and Rhythm Infused Seltzers were born. Ian joins Justin to discuss this new growth brand!

Jan 10, 2022

Each bag of Kazoo Tortilla Chips is made using 40% upcycled corn germ. This reduces their water footprint by at least 20 gallons per 11oz bag (compared to 100% new growth corn), without compromising on taste. And that’s awesome because sustainable food should taste great too! Founder Josh Death joins Justin to discuss this fast-growing snack food brand!

Jan 6, 2022

Everyone knows that cigarettes aren’t as popular as they once were. As more and more people became aware of the massive health risks involved in their continued use, the popularity of the once ubiquitous oral accessory has dwindled, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still lots of smokers out there who know they should quit but don’t want to give up the allure of the cigarette altogether. There’s no shortage of gums, patches, and other products out in the market, but none of them are quite as cool as Oklahoma Smokes hemp flower cigarettes. Oklahoma Smokes are, as suggested by their name, actual cigarettes. But they don’t have any tobacco or nicotine, or in fact any additives of any kind. Instead, they’re filled with all-natural and indoor grown hemp flower, which is rich in CBD and provides as satisfying and smooth a smoke as you’ve ever enjoyed. Ashwinn Krishnaswamy joins Justin to discuss this new brand!

Jan 3, 2022

Tire Agent was founded by Jared Kugel, a tire industry veteran for more than a decade. He has tires in his blood, since his family owned tire distribution centers and retail stores. Jared saw how traditional tire stores stuck with the decades old customer purchasing and installing experience. He believed people should be educated about the tires they purchase, receive top notch care, and have it done at their convenience of their home, work or anywhere else. He realized that a technology driven business is how this dream would be accomplished. Today, consumers have a smooth e-commerce experience that translates to a full service on-site and friendly replacement experience. TireAgent is the internet’s largest selection of tires, rims and wheels, shipped anywhere in the continental U.S. for free. Jared joins Justin to discuss “driving” growth in a consumer direct tire company!

Dec 31, 2021

Hälsa Foods (Halsa means “health” in Swedish) is the manufacturer of oatmilk yogurt. It is one of the first plant-based oatgurt made from whole grain oats and the world’s first dairy-free yogurt without a single artificial ingredient. Co-founders Helena Lumme and Mika Manninen join Justin to share details on this fast-growing food brand!

Dec 30, 2021

Batteries Plus is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing battery, light bulb and smartphone/tablet repair franchise with a nationwide network of stores. With access to more than 60,000 types of batteries, light bulbs and accessories, they have the widest selection of battery and light bulb products available. Batteries Plus offers unmatched service to consumers, businesses and government entities at the national and local levels and delivers national brands at exceptional value. Scott Williams, CEO, joins Justin to discuss retail, ecommerce, consumer centricity, and more!

Dec 29, 2021

Starr Edwards is the charismatic entrepreneur behind San Diego’s Bitchin’ Sauce. A foodie at heart, she initially planned on pursuing a career as a personal chef. Then, with a young family to feed, she infused her fun, fresh flavors into a host of Bitchin’ Sauces. An immediate hit at the local farmers market, it wasn’t long before they made their way to grocery shelves. Today they are in Costco, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Kroger and many more retail stores. Starr joins Justin to discuss this bitchin’ brand!

Dec 28, 2021

Wan Kim was first introduced to Smoothie King while studying at Boston University before going on to earn his MBA at the University of California at Irvine. Wan became a huge fan of the concept and opened the first international Smoothie King location in South Korea in 2003. Within six years, Wan had opened 120 stores in South Korea and eventually grew brand awareness to 94 percent on the peninsula. Wan went on to purchase the entire Smoothie King company in 2012 with the fundamental goal of pushing the brand to rediscover and reinvigorate the foundational values that differentiate Smoothie King as the standalone pioneer in the quick-service restaurant segment focused on health and fitness. Wan joins Justin to discuss this high-growth brand!

Dec 27, 2021

In a quest to find a healthier alternative to traditional burgers, co-founder, Jason, quickly realized that the grocery aisles were full of imitation meats and veggie burgers but all were either highly processed, frozen, bland or loaded with preservatives. Not to mention they didn’t even look appetizing! He was determined to create a better option full of fresh farm-grown veggies and ingredients that were not only healthier, but filling, delicious and colorful. This was the spark that led to the creation of Actual Veggies and its line of chef-created, gourmet, ALL vegetable burgers - Just veggies, actually. Co-founders Jason Rosenbaum and Hailey Swartz join Justin to discuss this “actually” delicious new food brand.

Dec 23, 2021

The first and only spirits line distilled with pure organic cane sugar, that also meets all five official certifications including Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Kosher, and USDA Organic – meet Drake’s Organic Spirits. For hard alcohol that’s not hard on the planet—or your palate, taste the difference organic spirits can make. Founder and CEO Mark Anderson joins Justin to share his incredible story of building a unique, high-growth spirits brand!

Dec 22, 2021

The texture of a proper Japanese drinking moment can be a beautiful balance of experiences. Aroma and flavor are a given, but temperature, feel, sight, and sound all play equally important roles in elevating the sip above a mere drink. This is life in high fidelity. Sip slowly. Sip Honkaku. Founder Christopher Pellegrini joins Justin to discuss this growing brand.

Dec 20, 2021

The city you call home. The neighborhood where you bought your first apartment. The street corner where you shared a first kiss. Terratorie’s maps are designed to honor local community, neighborhood spirit, and pride in all the places we make memories. Founder Torie Partridge joins Justin to discuss this unique, creative and fun growing business!

Dec 17, 2021

At Cleanyst, they combine industry experience with a passion for environmental sustainability and innovation.  They developed a revolutionary platform that empowers you to easily mix your favorite cleaning and personal care products at home so you can reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions, save money and enjoy new and exciting options for product personalization. Co-founder Nick Gunia joins Justin to discuss this growing household cleaning brand!

Dec 15, 2021

Meet 4Front. They have combined proven large-scale cultivation and manufacturing leadership with long-standing retail, regulatory and strategic growth capabilities to create a cannabis company built for the long haul. 4Front currently owns, operates or manages cultivation and production facilities and retail facilities across five states with headquarters in Arizona. Their focus is on key markets where they can achieve operational efficiency at scale. Chief Investment Officer Andrew Thut joins Justin to discuss this leading Cannabis brand.

Dec 13, 2021

Edible spoons?! Yes. Incredible Eats is on a mission to reinvent the way we eat the food by replacing all plastic utensils with edible options. Founder Dinesh Tadepalli joins Justin to discuss this new fast-growing, game-changing sustainability brand.

Dec 10, 2021

The Vegan Knife was formed to help those who suffer from food allergies and enjoy a vegan lifestyle. After struggling with some health challenges and unable to eat gluten, dairy or shellfish any longer, Julie Butcher left her job in the corporate world and spent two years perfecting the recipes so the company could deliver a product that was truly “free from” the Top 8 allergens. All the delicious baking products are gluten free, wheat free, egg free, soy free, nut free, dairy free, and vegan. Julie believes that a great dessert can be made with clean, healthy, and high-quality ingredients without compromising flavor. Julie joins Justin to discuss this growing Vegan brand!

Dec 8, 2021

Wilde Brands is a new innovative snack company delivering complete whole food protein snacks made with lean meats, gluten-free grains, seeds and super fruits; all slow-baked to perfection with some Wilde herbs and spices. Wilde Brands could only ever have a wild founder, enter Jason Wright. He fell in love with chips early in his childhood, with a household mantra of “an open bag is an empty bag”. When he realized his favorite snack would not support his quest for a stronger and active lifestyle, he turned to making his own snacks, but nothing gave him the satisfaction like a good old fashioned potato chip. Thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit and never-give-up attitude, Jason’s bold idea took shape in his Boulder, CO kitchen: replace the potato with protein using “chicken breast.” Jason joins Justin to discuss this fun, delicious chip brand!

Dec 6, 2021

As founder Matt Cohen says, “We get it: we all have our favorite foods (we'd eat ‘em every day if we could). As parents who believe our families deserve the best, we created a version of kid classics that are as mouth-watering good as they are good for us all. How? By choosing the best ingredients for every recipe. Now that's what you call real mealtime goodness.” Matt joins Justin to discuss this delicious (and healthy) kids food brand!

Dec 3, 2021

Stryx was founded on a basic insight: Men seek to look handsome. Stryx began when a pimple nearly ruined a wedding. Every man has an experience from a first date, important meeting, or daily video call where a blemish can distract from their best performance. Somewhere along the way men’s faces got neglected. Left uncared for, the male face has become a hot spot for trouble: zits, redness, dark spots, oiliness, and more. So Stryx became the first company ever to conceive, from start to finish, what cosmetic and skincare products would be – if they were made for men. CMO and co-founder Jon Shanahan joins Justin to discuss this hot new brand!

Dec 1, 2021

Mother Nature knows best. That’s why she added a peel to fruit -- more vitamins, fiber and antioxidants have been shown to be present in the rind than any other part of the fruit. As nature's original packaging, rinds are prized for their various healthful properties. Keep it real, eat the peel! Founder and CEO Matt Weiss joins Justin to discuss this “a-peeling” brand!

Nov 29, 2021

Plant power to the people! Plants survive and thrive by releasing endogenous biochemicals that help them flourish under various circumstances, and many of those plant botanicals can help humans perform at their best, too. That’s why Zolt superdrinks are powered by plants (a whole entourage of ‘em) and optimized for performance. Each formulation of adaptogens, antioxidants and terpene botanicals is tailored to key areas of human function like sleep, immunity, energy, balance, and overall cognitive performance. Co-founders Doug Siegel and Ani Collum join Justin to discuss this “super” brand!

Nov 26, 2021

When Lin Jiang was a child in China, her mom would make black sesame cereal for her when she got home from school. The smooth, semi-sweet, toasty flavor made it one of her favorite foods. In China, black sesame cereal has been a staple food for hundreds of years because of its flavor and wellness benefits. As an adult, she began working and found herself reaching for unhealthy snacks often throughout the day. She needed something healthy and convenient that she could eat and kept coming back to the black sesame cereal that had been her favorite for so many years. However, products in Chinese supermarkets were high in sugar and calories. She decided to start making her own recipe from scratch for herself and her American friends. She saw this as an opportunity to bring black sesame cereal and the “food as medicine” concept to more people in the world. Lin joins Justin to discuss this new fast-growing brand!

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