We had the good fortune of connecting with Brady Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brady, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have worked in the food industry in some form or fashion my entire (almost 15 year) career. I have a degree in Biosystems Engineering (Food Engineering). Short of head chef I worked almost every job in the restaurant and bar industry (i.e. short order cook, bartender, barista, bar back, etc.). I have worked for large, major food companies as an engineer my whole career. I come from a family of people who love to cook and love to eat (in fact, my mother’s actual name is Martha Stewart). In short, food is an absolute passion of mine. Aside from that I always wanted to start a business or passion project of my own. I knew I wanted to to be creative and I wanted it to be food/beverage related. One day my wife noticed me mixing my own seasoning blends in the kitchen and said, “you should do THAT”. After that day I decided to run with it and here I am over 4 years later and in ~130 retailers including a large grocery chain.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professionally I am an engineer. That is what I went to college for and that is what has paid the bills. While it has been a rewarding career, personally, I am more of a people person and love entertaining and being creative. My outlet for this has always been food and beverage. I love entertaining friends and relatives. I love food and experiencing new cuisines. I enjoy trying new food and beverage products. My small business is my creative outlet that checks all of these boxes.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think when it comes to visiting Colorado, let Colorado speak for itself. As someone who loves experiences very in their element, I choose to experience what Colorado is well known for. Entertainment wise you have to start with the outdoors. Hikes, fishing, or skiing in the front range and I-70 corridor. Any way to get in the mountains and get some sunshine, do it. A concert at Redrocks or other outdoor music venue is always a one of a kind experience. In fact because of its geographic location, Denver gets almost any act you want to see in any type of venue. Denver is a professional 4 sports city and 2 of the 4 sports can be experienced outside; I wasn’t a baseball fan until I went to games at Coors Field. When it comes to local flavor, you have to start with beer. Colorado’s brewing industry is second to none, so pick one that looks good and go for it….and then try another and another. Food wise, anything that goes with beer, wine, or spirits is the way to go. There are a couple fantastic Spanish/tapas places (Ultrea and Barcelona) that great for drinking and eating until you’re fat and happy. Any brewery and taphouse location will hit the spot for an amazing burger or anything smothered in the famous green chili. A little off the beaten path food wise is a fantastic dim sum restaurant called Star Asian cuisine that rivals anything I’ve had in NYC or San Francisco. Also, breakfast and brunch are staples here. It’s hard to beat a hearty breakfast and a boozy brunch cocktail to stave off a hangover. Denver a metro area is a place that in my opinion doesn’t do one thing GREAT (aside from the outdoors), but a huge variety of things done WELL so mix and match a few things and you can’t go wrong.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are two people in my entrepreneurial journey that without I would not be where I am. The first is Sean Godbey, Owner of Old Town Spice in Fort Collins, CO. He is my co-packer and without him, I would still be making my products in my home kitchen and would have never been able to scale up. The other individual is Sari Kimbell, Owner of Sari Kimbell consulting. She is a business coach and consultant for food/beverage startup businesses. She has been an outstanding business guide and sounding board for developing and growing my business. Both individuals have helped me professionally and personally throughout my time running and expanding my small business.