Mary Shenouda made a name for herself online as “The Paleo Chef.” While many would be satisfied with that success alone, Shenouda kept striving to create better food for her client list of actors, athletes, CEOs and other individuals who relished the high-octane lifestyle. Read on to find out how the woman- and minority-owned, RangeMe Verified™ brand Phat Fudge took its success from online to on-shelf with retailers like Bristol Farms.
Going viral, building community
Shenouda knew her clients wanted food with high-quality ingredients, and when she created Phat Fudge—a proprietary blend of stable, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory and energy-stimulating ingredients—she knew it would be the go-to secret weapon for her clients that needed an extra edge on set, in the gym, on the court, or in the boardroom. But what she didn’t know was that when she finally decided to share the recipe online, it would go viral almost instantly.
“Her audience had spoken—they wanted Phat Fudge and they wanted it packaged and sold,” says Phat Fudge’s Marketing Manager, Emily Maloney.
After hand-packing and selling over 10,000 packets of Phat Fudge, Shenouda decided to take the plunge and bring the fudge to a wider audience by manufacturing her product on a larger scale and breaking into the CPG space.
When she learned that she’d need at least 25,000 packets ordered for a manufacturing run, Shenouda turned to her community and put in an online call for pre-sales. And that call brought in just under $80,000 in sales in 30 days—“all thanks to the unwavering support of Mary’s Phat Fudge community,” Maloney says.
As the success of Phat Fudge continued to take off, it was clear that the brand would need some strategic help to keep growing at scale.
“We heard about RangeMe from friends at Mush Foods, another CPG health food company,” says Phat Fudge’s Chief Operating Officer. “They mentioned the value in centralized sales and their experience breaking into the wholesale space. We are a small, previously self-funded team and as we scaled slowly we needed to be everywhere at once. RangeMe helped us start breaking into new wholesale accounts.”
“We’ve gotten a lot of outreach from retailers through RangeMe.”
Since joining RangeMe, Phat Fudge has experienced great retailer engagement through the platform. So many of their clients are looking for innovative organic, gluten-free, paleo, and keto snacks, which fit well with the ethos of many retailers today.
“We’ve gotten a lot of outreach from other retailers, and we have also onboarded with Bristol Farms through RangeMe,” she says. “Their buyer is an absolute gem and we aligned hugely with her vision for strong brands with the highest quality ingredients.”
RangeMe Premium features like Retailer Submissions and Industry Insights were also critical in helping them connect with retailers. “We are tech nerds at heart coming from the tech world, so we use all of our Premium features. Submissions and Insights have been really helpful for the wholesale review calendars and to get a feel for the industry trends in purchasing.”
Shenouda shares all of the ups and downs that come with starting and running a CPG company with her audience, asking for community feedback and involvement. “Her transparency, grit, and passion for optimal living have fueled Phat Fudge’s flames for over two years and continues to do so with the help of her newly-hired team—all of whom are also insanely passionate about helping others Eat Clean, Play Often, and Crush Life; the motto of Phat Fudge,” Maloney says.
Adding RangeMe into the mix is helping push those goals to success. “As a woman- and minority-owned company that has bootstrapped to seven figures, resources like RangeMe have helped us scale,” says the Phat Fudge CEO. “At the end of the day our mission is to help people Eat Clean, Play Often, and Crush Life—and RangeMe is helping us spread that good word.”