8Myles Brings America’s Favorite Side into the Spotlight

Growing up in a family of foodies, Myles Powell has always been surrounded by quality comfort food. He loves the emotional impact and connection that came with indulgence. When Myles left the comfort of his home and his family’s cooking, he noticed the significant lack of convenient, quality comfort food on the market. This sparked the creation of 8Myles, a comfort food brand packed with great taste and quality ingredients. 8Myles makes comfort food accessible to people with busy schedules through its product line of Mac ’N Cheese.

Learn more about Myles’ comfort food revolution in his Union Kitchen interview below.

Did you always know that you wanted to start your own business?

Definitely! My grand-pop is an entrepreneur and so are my parents. It’s in my blood. I just didn’t know I wanted to start a food business.

Why did you start your business?

I want to love what I do. I knew the traditional 9–5 path wouldn’t provide me with that sense of accomplishment, joy, and pride that I sought after. I also love a challenge and what’s more challenging then starting and running your own business?

How did you pick the product?

Mac ‘N’ Cheese, along with other comfort food items, is near and dear to my heart. It’s a nostalgic dish and it makes people smile.

What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve faced to date?

My biggest challenge to date occurred right after I quit my full time job to run the business. I felt as though I had all the time in the world to dedicate to running 8 Myles. But at the same time, I didn’t have a good sense of direction and I felt like I was making one misstep after another. The challenge was to establish a solid growth plan and really focus in on the core strengths of the business.

What is a piece of advice you wish you’d been given before starting?

Write down the core strengths of the business and focus on those. It’s easy to try and grab all opportunities you see but sometimes by diverting attention away from what’s core to your business will do more harm than good.

What does success look like to you?

Success for me relates to the customer experience. Having my line of Mac ‘N Cheeses in every specialty grocery store across the country and consumers raving about the quality of the product is the dream I am chasing. If I can be an inspiration to other entrepreneurs, who may be hesitant to start their own business…that for me screams success.

How did you get into your first store?

My first store came about when I was at a release party for a magazine I was featured in while living in Lancaster, PA. I met a couple who owned a small shop in Litiz, PA and they expressed interest in my line of sauces. At the time I didn’t even know what a wholesale cost was. It was an experience to work with them and I learned a great deal.

How do you encourage repeat sales? Do you demo? Use social media? Events?

Demos are CRUCIAL. I used to think of them as a waste of money because they don’t generate direct income for the company. However, they increase customer awareness and the store’s faith in your product will grow quickly as the product moves more quickly off the shelf. Sometimes customers are very hesitant to try something new so it’s important to get samples in their hands.

How do you engage with consumers outside the DC market?

Instagram is a great tool for engaging with consumers outside of DC. The challenge is making product available for these consumers. While “likes” and “comments” are cool, getting the product in the hand of a consumer who likes your post is 100x more important.

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