Unleashing the Power of Ingredients: Eran Mizrahi’s Journey from Corporate to Culinary Visionary

Welcome to a new post on our Boardsi Leadership Talks series! Today, we delve into an inspiring conversation with Eran Mizrahi, CEO of Ingredient Brothers. Eran’s unique journey bridges his early entrepreneurial sparks influenced by his father’s business ethos, to becoming a visionary leader in the consumer packaged goods industry.

 

Early Influences and Entrepreneurial Spark Eran shares heartwarming anecdotes about his father, an immigrant entrepreneur whose resilience and ethical business practices left a lasting impact on him. As a child, Eran was often at his father’s side, absorbing lessons on customer service and business integrity. His first business venture? Selling printouts from a noisy Epson printer at school!

 

Academic and Professional Path Transitioning from his roots in South Africa to the vibrant hustle of New York, Eran’s academic journey at Columbia University played a crucial role in shaping his approach to business. He speaks about using his MBA years as a sandbox for entrepreneurship, leveraging the city’s dynamic ecosystem to test and iterate business ideas.

 

Ingredient Brothers: Philosophy and Mission At Ingredient Brothers, Eran is dedicated to revolutionizing the food industry by improving supply chain transparency and sustainability. His approach involves a deep commitment to ethical sourcing and utilizing technology to democratize access to quality ingredients. The company’s mission is to be the supplier they always wished they had, ensuring every small business can access the same quality and service as large corporations.

 

Leadership and Scaling Strategies Eran discusses his strategic pivot during COVID-19, emphasizing the importance of having the right people in the right roles and adapting quickly to changing circumstances. His leadership philosophy centers around simplicity, consistency, and empowering his team to take calculated risks.

 

Culinary Passion and Its Influence Eran’s passion for food deeply influences his work. He recounts his transformative experience at culinary school and how it equipped him with a unique perspective on food’s tangible and emotional dimensions, which he now channels into his business.

 

Future Trends and Advice for Entrepreneurs Looking ahead, Eran predicts significant advancements in AI and technology integration within the food industry. He advises aspiring entrepreneurs to engage deeply with industry players, understand market needs, and build a solid network before launching their ventures.

Takeaways
  • Aaron Mizrahi’s early influences, including his father’s business, shaped his career path and instilled in him a passion for entrepreneurship.
  • His experience at Nuts.com, where he played a significant role in the company’s growth and sale to Albertsons, taught him valuable lessons in supply chain optimization and the importance of building a strong team.
  • As the CEO of Ingredient Brothers, Aaron aims to democratize ingredient sourcing and provide the same level of service and transparency to all customers, regardless of their size.
  • He emphasizes the importance of understanding the risk profile of ingredients, building strategic partnerships with processors, and working towards sustainability and quality in the supply chain.
  • Aaron’s personal leadership philosophy focuses on simplicity, consistency, and giving teams the freedom to find their own solutions.
  • He predicts that future trends in the CPG and ingredient sourcing industry will involve the adoption of AI and technology, increased focus on transparency and sustainability, and the constant search for new and innovative ingredients.
  • Aaron advises young entrepreneurs to seek advice and learn from others in the industry, build a network of mentors, and gain experience before starting their own ventures.
  • In his personal life, Aaron enjoys cooking Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, with shakshuka being one of his favorite dishes to prepare.
 
Sound Bites
  • “I think my dad has a lot of integrity and a lot of decisions he makes. And, you know, it’s not about just the bottom line, right? It’s about doing things the right way.”
  • “Every day, you know, it was trying to control the few variables that you knew you had to control and getting everyone super focused on those things so that you could, you know, expand capacity, do it responsibly, and not break the system.”
  • “Food is so tangible. It has this emotional connection. Everyone understands it. And, you know, I’m very grateful that even though I don’t get to cook every day, I get to talk about ingredients and how people are using it and what impact it has and, you know, what people are trying to do.”

#LeadershipTalks #Entrepreneurship #SupplyChainInnovation #CulinaryPassion #ExecutiveInsights #FoodIndustry #SustainableSourcing #BusinessStrategy

Martin Rowinski (00:02.574)
Welcome to Boardsi Leadership Talks. I’m Martin Rowinski Boardsi CEO and co -founder. And today we’re joined by Eran Mizrahi, CEO of Ingredient Brothers, a visionary in consumer packaged goods industry known for his expertise in ingredient sourcing and supply chain optimization. Eran’s journey from Deloitte to

Leading Ingredient Brothers showcases his commitment to integrity, customer service, and innovative solutions in the food industry. Welcome.

ERAN MIZRAHI (00:41.664)
Thank you. Thanks for having me, Martin. It’s great to be here.

Martin Rowinski (00:44.43)
Well, I’m really excited and excited to hear your journey and your story and everything else I got in store for us. To kick it off, I want to talk about your early influences. Can you tell us about your early experience watching your father’s business and how it influenced your career path?

ERAN MIZRAHI (01:06.496)
Yeah, I think, you know, my dad had a lot of influence on my career path. And because, you know, he had immigrated from Israel to South Africa when he was quite young and he started the business. Basically, when I was born, he had gotten retrenched from the business he was working for as a salesperson and then landed up starting a very similar business to what he was away from the place that he had been retrenched. And, you know, I think I, you know, the business matured as I matured and grew up. And I think.

seeing him grow his business and also obviously as a kid being able to be exposed to that and going to visit him and see you know be able to ask questions and a lot of his friends were also entrepreneurs right a lot of immigrants and so I think that was extremely influential in me and I think the bug you know was caught really really early on in my life I remember in the second grade he brought home like an Epson printer one of those like dot matrix I don’t know if it was like those made a loud noise and I realized that when I printed something

it looked like a coloring in book. And so I started selling those at school for, you know, what’s effectively like 10 cents. And it got called to the principal’s office for, you know, selling things. I don’t know why they don’t, uh, they weren’t a proponent of that, but I think from an early age, you know, the thought of selling things and just, you know, starting businesses, um, he was also very supportive of that. I think that was, you know, the other thing that he was influential and not only just teaching me,

about service and about how to deal with customers and about how to run a business. And I think my dad has a lot of integrity and a lot of decisions he makes. And, you know, it’s not about just the bottom line, right? It’s about doing things the right way. But he was also very open to me trying new things. And I think, you know, a lot of times you can come up and like, there’s a lot of rigidity to how people grow up and they’re not, you know, allowed to explore everything that they want to. But I was

almost to a fault, allowed to explore every single hobby and take a lot of risks and not be scared of trying new things. And so, you know, I did everything from puppet making to pottery to acting classes. And I think that that really had a big influence in just allowing me to think that anything was possible and that I could try and do anything. So, you know, super grateful for my parents and, you know, definitely for my dad for showing me a lot of the guide, the guide rails of how to run a business.

Martin Rowinski (03:25.678)
That’s awesome. And what age when you were you when you came from South Africa?

ERAN MIZRAHI (03:31.296)
So I was 27, so I was a little bit older. I’d studied in South Africa, I’d worked at Deloitte for a number of years and then decided that I would like to come to the US to go to grad school. Wasn’t sure exactly if I would stay post grad school. I really loved living in South Africa and felt a really deep connection to the country. So it didn’t come with the intention of staying, but then when you’re in New York and you see the ecosystem around you and the startup world around you, I think it’s a really good thing.

it was a little bit hard to resist. And so once I got a job, there was there was no turning back. And I met my wife. So when she listens, she’ll be upset. But I met my wife a few months before graduation. So that that was also a huge that was the number one thing and then the startup ecosystem.

Martin Rowinski (04:14.286)
Yeah, that will change things for a man for sure. And you have an MBA from Columbia. Did that shape your approach to business? Did that help out?

ERAN MIZRAHI (04:27.904)
Yeah, I think so. I think, you know, the I was pretty grateful to having an MBA, you know, 27, not many people get to take two years to almost figure themselves out again. And so from from just that alone, I think gives you so much perspective and allows you to learn a lot of new things in an environment that is low stress. Whereas if you career, you know, continue in your career, you’re working in a job and there’s a lot more pressure. And I think being at the business school, it was almost a

way to have a free entrepreneurship training where we were in New York, we could almost pretend to start businesses and even try to start some businesses where you could utilize all the resources and then use the excuse like, hey, I’m just a student, can you talk to me? And so we got access to so many different people throughout that time. And so I think it definitely helped shape who I was. And I think, you know, an MBA can be whatever you want it to be. I think I used it a lot to try and learn about entrepreneurship in the US and

just try and figure out the rules of the game and, you know, seem to pay off.

Martin Rowinski (05:29.134)
Yeah, that makes sense. Now let’s talk a little bit about your work history and a significant role that you played, played and played it. You played out played it. Can you share how your work there contributed to its $300 million sale to Albertsons?

ERAN MIZRAHI (05:49.088)
Yeah, I mean, I was definitely, you know, at the beginning, I was, you know, when we when I joined there were 30 people. But when I left, there was, you know, probably close to 200 people. So I was a, you know, small part in the big success that the exit was. But I was when I when I joined, I really came into the operations team. It was it was relatively lean. You know, I think with all these companies, there’s so much overhead and a lot of cash going into so many different places that you’re, you know, you’re always strapped and you’re always having to figure things out. And.

It was really exciting to come in and try and help figure out how to optimize the supply chain. And especially as a company is growing so fast, every stage you get access to better suppliers, better relationships, better costs. And so it was just really, really fast in terms of just being able to help the company expand its supply chain. And so a lot of the focus that I did was, I worked a lot on the sourcing team and trying to elevate the ingredients that we were sourcing, trying to…

find really good strategic partners, build those out and do a lot of work also on the planning side. So it was, you know, we were, I would say that that was really my supply chain, my supply chain MBA where I really got to go and go into the weeds. It was less, I had less leadership responsibility at that company, but it was like just get stuff done. And it really taught me about the speed that you have to operate in.

in the US when you’re growing and especially when you’re venture backed, it’s unapologetic in the speed and the intensity that you have to work at.

Martin Rowinski (07:22.414)
Yeah, now speaking about stepping up from there to leadership, not to go nuts about it, but leadership at nuts .com, you are the CEO of nuts .com and you quadrupled the company’s capacity. What were the key, key strategies you implemented to achieve this growth, especially during the challenging times of COVID?

ERAN MIZRAHI (07:24.)
Mm -mm.

ERAN MIZRAHI (07:32.512)
Hehehe.

ERAN MIZRAHI (07:50.048)
Yeah, I think, you know, there are a few things that we did prior to the pandemic when I joined that, you know, probably that definitely helped. I think, you know, the first thing we did was the company was relatively lean when I joined and we started to put, you know, you know, the right people in the right seats. And I think identifying areas that needed extra leadership or additional resources, even prior to trying to quadruple the throughput of the business. And so I spent a lot of time.

leading up to 2020, really trying to stabilize the operation, really trying to build, put people in the right places, build process, build reporting, so we could have a better handle on running the operations. And I think that was natural in the maturity of the organization, not knowing that what was around the corner. And I think in March that suddenly we got put to the test of, do we have the right people and can we use the team that we’ve built?

to scale and do it responsibly while keeping everyone safe. And I think that was definitely, you know, thankfully we did that. And, you know, the leadership structure changed significantly where we went from planning to working on longer term projects to really going into war mode. And every day, you know, it was trying to control the few variables that you knew you had to control and getting everyone super focused on those things so that you could, you know,

expand capacity, do it responsibly, and not break the system. Because as you’ve seen with supply chains, once they break, it’s really hard to rebuild. And it takes a long time. And I think, you know, when you’re in a situation where there’s unlimited demand, and Amazon is breaking, and everyone’s breaking, and if you have the capacity you can sell, there is a desire to just open the floodgates. And I think what, you know, the CEO of Nuts did,

Martin Rowinski (09:21.07)
Yeah.

ERAN MIZRAHI (09:37.696)
And where he was super responsible was he really turned to me and said, you let me know when you’re ready. You let me know when you have capacity and we’ll open. We’ll do it. We’ll be ready. But you let me know when that time is. And I think we spent probably three months nonstop just slowly building that out. And then by the time we got to the summer, we were able to really scale and do it in a way that felt good. Still incredibly difficult and tough. But.

you know, we managed to get through that. And I think the growth has sustained. And I think that that’s been a testament to, you know, the hard work that the team did at the time.

Martin Rowinski (10:12.782)
Well, if it was easy, then everybody would have been doing it right. Awesome. Now let’s talk about your culinary passion. You attended culinary school during a college gap year. How has this passion for food translated into your professional life and influence your work at ingredient brothers?

ERAN MIZRAHI (10:15.584)
That’s true. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

ERAN MIZRAHI (10:36.896)
Yeah, I think again, testament to my parents and you know, they probably weren’t well, they definitely weren’t happy at the time. I’d studied one year of finance and then did not enjoy it and thought, you know, I need to go and figure something out. So effectively dropped out, not knowing if I would return but you know, went and did culinary school for six months. That was the compromise with them was, you know, choose a six month course, don’t go and do the 18 month course and see, see if you like it. And I think, you know, it was, it was actually an incredible experience and

You know really grateful that I got to do it because I got to learn on my own I think you’ve sometimes you’ve got to make not your own mistakes But you’ve got to have your own experiences to figure out you know that the the answer that your parents have told you is the right answer and I think that that you know allowed me to explore the culinary world work in a restaurant learn, you know certain skills that you know, you know, I serve today and you know feeding my friends but not know none of people in a restaurant, but I think it gave me good perspective on you know, where my skill set was and

It was actually teaching. I was working and teaching people to cook and I was teaching a group of people from Price Waterhouse and I was having conversations with them and I was like, okay, yeah, that’s the environment that I want to be in. Those are the people I want to talk to on a daily basis. And so that was like my aha moment where I remember getting home and being like, okay, I’m going to go back to college and finish up my degree. And I never thought I would get into food. It just wasn’t, you know, when I looked at like the world in South Africa and like where the opportunities were, I…

you know, had like almost succumbed to the fact that I would go into private equity or something. And when I came to the U .S. suddenly, you just realize the opportunity and it’s played such a significant role. You know, I think food is so tangible. It has this emotional connection. Everyone understands it. And, you know, I’m very grateful that even though I don’t get to cook every day, I get to talk about ingredients and how people are using it and what impact it has and, you know, what people are trying to do. And so, yeah, it’s been a.

It’s been an amazing journey to be able to combine those two passions and I think just plain luck that it all worked out. So, yeah.

Martin Rowinski (12:43.502)
No, no such thing as luck. It was all meant to be. So let’s talk about ingredient brothers mission. At ingredient brothers, you aim to be the supplier you always dreamed of. What does that mean? And how do you differentiate your company in the competitive market of ingredient sourcing?

ERAN MIZRAHI (12:45.792)
Yeah. Yeah.

ERAN MIZRAHI (13:07.616)
Yeah, I think that’s a great question. You know, obviously we’re still very early on in our journey. So, you know, we’re not where in terms of hitting that mission, I think we’re, you know, at day one, you know, trying to get that done. But our whole philosophy is trying to democratize sourcing. There are so many barriers to sourcing ingredients from all over the world that for large companies have big teams are able to, you know, solve these problems and understand different commodities. And, you know, when you get to smaller companies,

that may be using good volume, they still don’t have access to the type of information and the type of service that you would get if you were a really, really large accountant. So I think for us, it’s about building the team and the tools needed to democratize the process and give everyone in the supply, all consumers, all B2B consumers of ingredients, the same experience. And I think we’ve started that by really building out our own technology, trying to…

improve systems. We have a very big global team. We, you know, I think we use the global workforce in a really unique way that allows us to, you know, give our customers really fast turnaround. And so, you know, every day we’re living into it. I think if you ask the team, like we’re definitely the feedback we get from customers in terms of our service, our integrity, how we treat our customers is different to what they feel with their incumbents. And that’s why they use us. But I think,

where we’re going and the exciting thing of what we’re going to do and what we’re going to achieve is, you know, how can we unlock that same value for any small business in the US? How can we give everyone that type of service? You know, it doesn’t make sense that buying a tub of ice cream on Amazon comes with better service than buying a container of almonds. And I think that we’re trying to solve that. And I think it’s going to take some time, but we’re definitely on the right path.

Martin Rowinski (14:55.95)
Yeah, and speaking of sourcing, your team specializes in sourcing ingredients like coconut, cocoa, alternative sweeteners from Asia, Central, South America. How do you ensure sustainability and quality in your supply chain?

ERAN MIZRAHI (15:14.912)
Yeah, I think those are two great questions and almost opposite end of the spectrum. I think in terms of just building out a really robust supply chain, we have quite a big team for the size of company we had. We spent a lot of time really understanding the ingredient, the risk profile of the ingredient. What does it mean to actually source that ingredient regardless of what the process is? And then once we understand that, then we go and try and identify a processor.

that aligns with those values that we feel reduces the risk around certain ingredients that has the right controls in place, that has the right compliance in place, and has the right reputation where we believe will be good strategic partners with us. And I think, thankfully, the world has come a long way in terms of standardizing a lot of the practices that are needed within food to ensure that they’re safe. Consumers don’t really open food these days.

and think about safety as a number one thing. And I think that’s a testament to, and almost everything you eat contains something from around the world. And so I think that’s a testament to how things have improved and stabilized. And I think we want to continue to push on that to increase the safety for our customers and the quality for our customers. In terms of sustainability, I think that’s a much harder question. There are so many pieces. And I struggle to not.

not necessarily to embellish the truth because it’s really hard to say to you with a straight face that we can really control sustainability. I think the thing that we can do is give transparency around how these things are made. What are the processes and what does the whole supply chain look like? And try and work with our customers to understand how we can push on suppliers to make improvements. And I think there are many, many pieces to the supply chain. Each of those have to improve just a little bit, right? Every year to improve sustainability. I think.

We’re trying to do our part as much as we can. And I think, you know, you’re seeing a lot of our customers, which are big businesses, also try and push on understanding what suppliers are doing to, you know, utilize solar energy, you know, to do regenerative farming, you know, take on how are they taking on some of those challenges. And I think, you know, that’s naturally happening because the end consumers pushing for that. And I think the best thing we can do is be that conduit, be that communication guide to.

ERAN MIZRAHI (17:37.088)
ensure like, hey guys, this is what’s happening. You need to react and you need to make changes to ensure that like you remain in business, right? And money talks. And I think that, you know, consumers are voting with their dollars and I think it’s pushing the market in the right place.

Martin Rowinski (17:52.11)
Good, good. Let’s jump a little bit into your personal leadership philosophy. How has your personal leadership philosophy evolved from your early career to your current role as CEO?

ERAN MIZRAHI (18:08.544)
Well, I think a lot, which I think is, you know, experience is an amazing thing. And I think, you know, I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by great leaders throughout my career and learn from each of those in different ways. And I think that’s almost formed like some version of all of them within me, you know, and obviously I’m still growing and learning a lot. But I think, you know, my philosophy really is I really try and get everyone to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Martin Rowinski (18:10.446)
Yeah.

ERAN MIZRAHI (18:36.16)
I think for me that’s really important. So keeping everything really simple. You know, I think that leaders underestimate the power of just simple, consistent messaging. I’m a very big believer of repetition. We have a meeting every two weeks where we go through fundamentals of the company and I tell people at the company, this should be the most boring meeting of the week because you should be hearing almost the same things every week because it’s really important for everyone to align and understand.

You know, what are the important things that we’re looking at as a business? What are the important things that we’re measuring? But we don’t need to change every week and chop and like be so aggressive with the pivots, right? It should be consistent. Like we’re really at ingredient brothers, a big believer of like the 1%. Right? You know, you can control. It’s really easy to climb one step. It’s really hard to like leap to the top of the mountain. And so, you know, really trying to like promote this, you know, going one step forward every day. And so, you know, what we do at, you know, what we do at ingredient brothers to like build that, you know, that

Cohesiveness is we, you know, we do a lot of planning. I’m a big believer in planning and setting goals and getting real alignment between the leaders on the goals and what are the most important things and making sure that we have the right resources to attack those goals and then giving the teams the freedom to figure out the right way to do it. Right. You want to almost give people, I think it’s important for leaders to have an opinion of where you’re going. I think that that’s a leader’s ability. You know, I think to some extent, the responsibility is setting the strategy and I think telling people where they should go.

but not telling them how to get there. And I think when you do that, you know, and you give some constraints around that, then that’s when you start to see creativity and people solve problems in a way that you never thought were possible. And so that’s almost, you know, I don’t know if that answers the question of how it’s evolved, but that’s, you know, a little bit of how it’s evolved and where I am today as a leader.

Martin Rowinski (20:19.95)
Oh, happy to hear it. Happy to hear it. With your extensive experience in operations and supply chain, what future trends do you foresee in the CPG and ingredient sourcing industry?

ERAN MIZRAHI (20:35.584)
Yeah, I think, you know, the number one thing which is everyone’s interested to see is how will AI and, you know, all this, you know, computing power impact what we do. I think that post pandemic, the world is definitely smaller. And I think that, you know, a lot of technology has evolved where, you know, having remote people all over the world and dealing with people through zoom screens, you know, actually has become even more normal than before. And I think that’s actually led to a lot of

Martin Rowinski (20:42.35)
Yeah.

ERAN MIZRAHI (21:05.184)
progress in an industry that’s, you know, let’s say a little bit older, you know, it’s, you know, less, you know, there is a lot of evolution in technology, but to some extent, it’s still very old school the way things are done. And so I think that that adoption of technology has really helped move it along. I think we see people are still pushing a lot for transparency and to understand more and more about the ingredients, understand more and more about not just the ingredient, but

your point, the sustainability of the ingredient and sometimes even more about how people are treated, where the ingredients are made, right? How is the farmer treated? How is the person in the processing plant treated? So I think you’ll see a lot of technology and a lot of companies trying to tackle those types of challenges. I think that, you know, there’s everyone wants to find the new quinoa, the new chia seeds. I think, you know, you’ll still, if I knew what that was, I wouldn’t be here today, right? I’d be doing that.

Martin Rowinski (22:02.286)
Ha ha ha!

ERAN MIZRAHI (22:03.616)
I don’t know. I’m not a taste makers. I’m not sure where that will come from. But I think you constantly see that push. And I think it’s amazing when we’re just at Expo West a few months ago, which is one of the largest natural food shows in the country. And it’s amazing to see that people are always challenging the way we’re eating certain things and trying to improve them. So I have a lot of…

confidence in the food space. And I think it’s amazing to see if some of the things that are being done. So I think you’ll it’s a very iterative community. And because there’s relatively low barriers, people are always pushing pushing the barrier on what they’re trying to do. And I think that so we’ll continue to see those improvements. And, you know, there’s also bad and in terms of like a lot of industrialization of products and products that use a lot of power and very highly processed products. And

I’m hoping that that will reduce, but given history, I don’t know if that will happen so soon.

Martin Rowinski (23:06.35)
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs aiming to make a mark in the CPG or supply chain sector?

ERAN MIZRAHI (23:17.696)
I mean, I think the biggest thing for me has been just speaking to a lot of people. I think the, you know, the beautiful thing about the US is it’s such a big market that there is a, there’s less feeling of competition here than anywhere else. And not that I’ve experienced many economies, but then anywhere else I’ve seen where people are so open and are just willing to give up their time, whether it be at a meetup or at a conference or even just cold outreach through LinkedIn that you can gain.

You can almost gather a playbook and learn from people before you even start. Right. And I think that’s my advice is that, you know, there are some mistakes you have to make on your own. And those are, you know, those are the things that you, you know, you’ll have to tackle no matter what. But understanding the mechanics of the industry, understanding how much money you’re going to need, understanding how people scale and how people think about scale, you know, you’re not going to be different from them. And everyone almost follows the same pattern. So you use that to your advantage. And I think.

you know, for me it was, you know, maybe I don’t wish I knew that how much money you need to to run a business, but yeah, you just always need a lot more cash than you think to scale. And those are the things that keep you up at night. But I think not knowing that is sometimes better. And, you know, the best thing is just taking the decision to do it. I think the one thing I appreciate, then I apologize for talking on, but is that I did work in the industry. And I think that, you know, unless you have some

really new technology that you’re going to bring to market where it doesn’t, you know, your experience matters, but not as much as the new technology matters. There is a great advantage where I was in the industry for a number of years. I got to see the opportunity. I got to learn who the players were. I got to build a network and I got to build capital because I got to save for longer. Right. I started my business a little bit later. That gave me a little bit more control over my debt. It feels like it gave me more control of my destiny. And I think that that

Don’t be scared to get experience and learn an industry and earn your stripes to someone else. Get an education with someone else so that when you start something, it may be easy, you may be in a better position to do it.

Martin Rowinski (25:26.798)
Yeah, and I couldn’t agree more failing is the best lesson you’ll ever have.

ERAN MIZRAHI (25:32.224)
Yeah, that’s true. I mean, yeah, we’ve had a we’ve had a few of those, let me tell you.

Martin Rowinski (25:34.094)
And on top of, you know, getting the advice, that’s why I love what we do here at Boardsi is, you know, providing advisors for companies, whether it’s a startup or a growing company. It’s you’re absolutely correct. There’s people out there that definitely would love to help. So don’t be shy. Yeah, don’t be shy.

ERAN MIZRAHI (25:54.944)
Yeah, you’ve got to build a bench. Yeah, you’ve got to build a bench. I have people that I can call for different problems I’m having. And I’m, you know, again, unapologetic in doing it. I think that there are people out there willing to help. And obviously, I would help them, you know, if needs be and if someone in their network needed assistance. But I definitely have a bench that I lean on for different things. And I think that’s been invaluable as we grow the company.

Martin Rowinski (26:19.982)
Yep, I agree. So here’s a couple of fun questions. What is your favorite nut?

ERAN MIZRAHI (26:24.032)
Okay.

Macadamia nuts from South Africa. A lot of them are from South Africa. They’re really, really rich in flavor, so I love macadamia nuts.

Martin Rowinski (26:34.222)
They are good. When you were at Nuts, was there ever a nut created with a certain type of a flavor that just never went to market? Did you guys experiment with that?

ERAN MIZRAHI (26:49.728)
I wouldn’t say nuts that didn’t work. I would say that if they’re listening they’re gonna laugh. We did try like a gooseberry, I think it was, that was infused with pineapple juice and that did not work. And we did go to market but it didn’t sell so well. So I don’t think I, you know, I think I heard about that for a long time. And you know, but in terms of like the flavors, you know, it’s surprising how many flavors work when you coat them in chocolate and

Martin Rowinski (27:02.254)
Ha ha!

ERAN MIZRAHI (27:17.952)
put a little bit of flavoring and put a nut in the middle. They tend to work really well.

Martin Rowinski (27:22.894)
Doesn’t everything work with chocolate? Just about. Do you personally ever mix with nuts or play with different flavors? Or no?

ERAN MIZRAHI (27:25.312)
Yeah, I think so. Yeah, exactly.

ERAN MIZRAHI (27:38.72)
I mean, yes and no. I mean, I do. Well, now, like focusing on the business, I don’t have as much time as I want to. I cook a lot and love to entertain and try different flavors. And, you know, I would say that not always with nuts, but, you know, do you enjoy cooking and using? I’ve been using sumac a lot lately, which I’ve been really enjoying. And a lot of a lot of the chili crunch, you know, craziness, they’ve been enjoying putting that into different foods. So, yeah, there’s, you know, I enjoy messing around and.

Martin Rowinski (27:43.982)
Yeah.

ERAN MIZRAHI (28:07.264)
I get a lot of random samples, which I get to taste. I have freeze dried bananas on my desk. I have turmeric. I have a few other things that are lying around that I, you know, we’ll test out later before I send them out to customers. So, you know, I get to, you know, get to explore a lot of, a lot of raw samples. You know, my wife doesn’t love having them lying around the apartment, but it’s, it makes for an interesting day.

Martin Rowinski (28:30.382)
Sign me up as a customer, send them my way.

ERAN MIZRAHI (28:32.)
I don’t know if you want a hundred pounds of cassava flowers sitting in your apartment. Yeah.

Martin Rowinski (28:36.462)
Oh, no, I was talking samples. When it comes to culinary, what is your favorite dish to prepare?

ERAN MIZRAHI (28:47.456)
I mean, I love Middle Eastern food. So for me, shakshuka for some reason is always my go -to, which is, you know, if you can find really good tomatoes with onion, Cuban, and then you put eggs in a little bit of feta on top and bake them in the oven. It’s like a baked -ed dish, which you serve with bread and hummus. So for me, that’s like when I think of comfort food, that’s what I always lean towards is like Middle Eastern food, the Mediterranean food. Yeah.

Martin Rowinski (29:13.646)
Love it. If your wife is going to ask you to cook something and it’s a nice sit down, just you two, romantic dinner, what would she ask for?

ERAN MIZRAHI (29:26.336)
Yeah, what would she ask for? She’d ask for like a fresh pizza. Maybe that some pasta. No, I make a really good lemon mushroom pasta that she really enjoys with parmesan and tons of acid, tons and tons of acid, lots of lemon that she really enjoys. Simple, but if you use fresh pasta and some good ingredients, it tastes delicious.

Martin Rowinski (29:30.67)
Ha ha!

Martin Rowinski (29:51.182)
So speaking of fresh pasta, do you make it from scratch? Oh, I.

ERAN MIZRAHI (29:54.4)
No, when I had time, yes, once upon a time, but yes, it’s much harder to do when you know that the store downstairs makes really good fresh pasta and you could just go and buy it. It’s a labor of love.

Martin Rowinski (29:58.574)
Hehehehe

Martin Rowinski (30:04.942)
Yeah, that does make it tough. I love making fresh pasta. Actually, I just did it last night. My granddaughter loves it. What was that?

ERAN MIZRAHI (30:14.88)
Amazing. Taji, what did you cook with it?

What did you cook with it? What did you put with it?

Martin Rowinski (30:21.87)
My wife made the meatballs. I made the pasta Yeah, it was good she makes great meatballs, but I got I told my granddaughter I said, okay, I’m gonna do this for you, but you got to get involved So she got her hands dirty

ERAN MIZRAHI (30:25.504)
That sounds good.

ERAN MIZRAHI (30:35.424)
Yeah, it’s a lot of fun and it does taste really good, but it does it is a lot of work. I don’t think people realize how much work it is. Yeah, it’s a bit of work. Yeah.

Martin Rowinski (30:41.966)
Yeah, it’s a little bit of work. Yeah. I took a class in, or me and my wife took a class in Italy, so we got some shortcuts, but it’s still work anyway you look at it. Awesome.

ERAN MIZRAHI (30:51.648)
That’s great. Yeah, yeah. But you know, some people find cooking therapeutic, which is what I do, right? I think it’s having people over, I enjoy the cooking part more than anything else. And so and some people find it a chore. So it’s, you know, there’s always one person willing to clean and one person willing to cook.

Martin Rowinski (31:09.23)
Yeah, no, I feel the same way. I love having people over and especially if they’re okay with pizza and I got a pizza oven wood fired and I can sit out there all day. So yeah, it’s fun. Awesome. Thank you, Eran, for sharing your insights and journey, your experience with from Deloitte all the way to ingredient brothers illustrates a profound commitment to excellence and innovation and the food ingredient industry. And I do have one last question.

ERAN MIZRAHI (31:16.384)
That’s great.

That’s great.

Martin Rowinski (31:37.646)
Ingredient Brothers. Is there brothers or is it just you?

ERAN MIZRAHI (31:41.376)
It’s brothers me and me and I love him. He we work together in us calm. We’re not biological brothers. But he we work together at nuts .com and we always were fascinated by this store called Patel Brothers and his surname is actually Patel. And so when we were thinking of a name, we’re like, what about ingredient brothers, you know, homage to Patel Brothers and, and it also confuses a lot of people when they meet us. So it’s a lot of fun.

Martin Rowinski (32:07.086)
That’s awesome. Again, thank you for spending time with us and for the information. Love it. Thank you.

ERAN MIZRAHI (32:11.648)
Thank you so much. That was great being here. Thank you.

 

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