Accelerator Member Spotlight: Revol Snax
Learn more about Nadine Calderon and Dave Birsen, Co-Founders of Revol Snax!
Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about you. What is your passion behind your business?
After meeting each other in Washington, DC in 2014 we discovered a shared interest in our love for food and nutrition. We started exploring healthier lifestyles to maintain high energy, mental clarity, and promote longevity. We discovered a ketogenic lifestyle and realized we were feeling better than ever.
It was nearly impossible to find any keto-friendly snacks in grocery stores that tasted good. We didn't know much about baking/cooking, but began experimenting in our kitchen to make snacks for on-the-go. We wanted to keep it simple with clean ingredients. We eventually created some really delicious snacks and realized other people were also looking for high-quality options.. soon after Revol Snax was born!
Nadine grew up in Colombia (South America) where she developed a passion for entrepreneurship from an early age (she opened a hair salon at her school playground at age 6!). She graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and moved to the US (Washington, DC) in 2014. She became a certified Yoga instructor and began teaching in 2018. She also does freelance graphic design with other members of the Revol team!
Dave is a biomedical engineer (M.S.) and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. He grew up in a small town in Ohio and loved to play sports throughout high school and college. Athletics helped spur his interest in nutrition. Dave worked full-time as a biomedical engineer at the FDA from 2014-2019. He eventually stepped away to pursue Revol Snax full-time and enjoys the entrepreneurial journey.
Did you always know you wanted to start a food business?/What did you think you wanted to do professionally?
We became entrepreneurs by accident. Trying to solve our own problem, we realized we could help other people. That became our passion and push us to launch our product. We both also had a passion for entrepreneurship since an early age. Both of our dads are big examples in our life of what it is like to own your own business and we always thought that we could do it when the moment and idea was right! It happened sooner than we thought but we are thankful to be together in this journey.
Why did you start your business?
After we decided to go on a Keto diet on 2018, we soon realized that the sweet cravings were the hardest part. Given that everything at the grocery store we could possibly crave had some sort of sugar we started making our own low-carb treats at home. Soon our friends and family were all asking for our desserts even though they weren't on the diet, they just enjoyed them and wanted healthier treats. We then started experimenting with different recipes and shelf life and after about a year of research we launched our first product in 2018: Nut Butter filled Cookie Bites. We have been growing our business for the last 2 years while also having part time jobs. Since then, we launched a Kickstarter, a new product line, moved to our own space and hired our own small production team!
As we have grown in our personal lives Revol Snax has also evolved with us. We became passionate about sustainability in our personal lives and since then we had slowly implemented more eco-friendly practices with our company.
Both of us want to live in a world where diet related disease are not the norm and where business grown in harmony with nature and have a beneficial impact in the world without jeopardizing the future of the next generations. We are building Revol Snax to be part of the change.
What did you do before starting your business?
Nadine still is a Preschool Teacher + Freelancer and Dave was working at the FDA as a Biomedical Engineer
What do you like about food?
What is not to like about food? We love food, we believe we are what we eat, so we must choose well. We see food as medicine, energy and nourishment.
What drew you to the food industry? / What's been the most exciting part of starting your food business?
We love making a difference in someone else’s life through our products. We see food as medicine, so creating something that is beneficial not only for humans but for the planet from a nutritional perspective is something we are very proud of.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced to date?
Building a production team has definitely being challenging. Since our product is very labor intensive we needed to find, train and monitor the best team to make it happed. It has taken some mistakes and challenges to get where we are now, but we can definitely say that we are proud of what we have accomplish and of our team.
Has anything surprised you about starting your food business?
The more you grow the more challenging it is. The easiest part is starting. It requires to be persistent and patient to see the fruits of your effort. You must LOVE and BELIEVE 110% in what you do to stand the test of time and costumers.