Keeping it Spicy with Farm + Muse

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Tenney Rosenblum Hi there, and welcome to today's episode of The Bite. I'm with Regina of Farm + Muse today. Hello, how are you today?


Regina Watson Hi, I'm Excellent. Thank you so much for having me.


Tenney Rosenblum It's so good to have you today. So tell us a little bit more about yourself. How did you get into food?


Regina Watson Yes. So honestly, it's a very long story, I'll try to make it short.


Tenney Rosenblum We love to hear about people's stories! It's always a fascinating listen.


Regina Watson So I actually have lived in three countries and have traveled to over 15.


Tenney Rosenblum Interesting already, so you don't need, you don't need to worry about keeping it short.


Regina Watson So through exploring culture and food and all of those interesting places, I honestly just fell in love with food and flavor. After which I had an opportunity to work in the restaurant industry. And that just solidified my love for food and how food really brings people together. Years had passed by I had a I've always had a dream of wanting to open up a restaurant just based on the experiences that I've had, and COVID hit and during COVID, I actually made a decision to go into the seasoning business because I felt that I could still be connected to the food industry, even without opening up a restaurant. And I was still able to kind of really be a catalyst for people to, to cook to still be together as much as they could. And still just like just have that togetherness even during a trying time as COVID.


Tenney Rosenblum So if we could go back for a second, that's interesting that you were have been to so many different countries, which ones in particular really made an impact on you? And like, how do we see that kind of fusion in your product?


Regina Watson Yes. So I would say Spain definitely was, that was my first international experience. And I lived with a host family. And the first family I stayed with was vegetarian. So I was really fortunate to be able to explore the different types of Spanish cuisine from the lens of a vegetarian. And it fascinated me how simple the recipes were, but how much flavor there was in every bite. And it really showed me at that point that you know, if it was simple salt and pepper can do wonders. you sprinkle a little garlic and onion Oh man, that just catapults it to a whole nother level. So really this simplicity in the cooking from the host families in Spain left a really big impression on me.


Tenney Rosenblum I actually also did a host family. I went to Russia.


Regina Watson How was that? Oh you're interviewing me, Sorry.


Tenney Rosenblum No, no, it's fine. But it was fun. It but yeah, the culture is very interesting there. Of course it was. I was vegetarian at the time. I'm no longer. But it was somewhat of a challenge because Russia is just so meat heavy and big. So it is interesting just to see the ways different cultures approach food and how it even though it is very different, it can be a unifying thing.


Regina Watson Exactly.


Tenney Rosenblum So what can you tell us about your product? And what have you launched so far?


Regina Watson Oh, wow. So I have been hard at work, creating many different curated blends, seasoning blends. Right now I have five. And I have a few more in the works. So my seasoning blends are really an all purpose seasoning. I want farmer Muse seasonings to be the go to seasoning for every household. And I'm really just bringing some of those flavors, those simple flavors that I experienced in Spain and Turkey and in Brazil in my jars and providing that to customers around the world is like, that's just my dream. So I've in every jar, I want them in some way to be able to experience the great food and culture experiences that I have been fortunate to have.


Tenney Rosenblum Are they like every different package, individual to a region are they fuse together?


Regina Watson Yeah. So right now I have they're all fused together. But the future plan would be to have some very specific geographical specific blends that are really a tribute to the cultures that I've been able to experience.


Tenney Rosenblum Yeah. I love fusion food just because it is such one of those basic human experiences of that cultural exchange of food, and then just mixing it and seeing something new creative. There's Takorean, which is like a fusion of taco and Korean foods,


Regina Watson Yes, I've had it it's so good.


Tenney Rosenblum To me that's kind of part of what one of the great things about America is being able to like be see all those cultures coming together.


Regina Watson To create something new right?


Tenney Rosenblum Yeah, fascinating and delicious, and delicious.


Regina Watson I certainly love eating my way around the world. And I know there are so many other people out there who feel the same way. But really, it's just through farming means just providing that opportunity for there to be exploration of different flavors right in the comfort of your home.


Tenney Rosenblum Any funny mishaps happen during the launch process that you'd like to share?


Regina Watson Mishaps you know, I would say there have been times I've I've put labels on jars upside down. Just in you know, working long hours and keeping up with the production and really just doing that on my own has presented some time constraints here and there. I've also experienced UPS and FedEx Delivery people commenting on how heavy my shipments have been, because I get a lot of my products delivered to my home. So you can see I can see them murmuring underneath their breath sometimes when they're coming to my house to make a delivery. So outside of that, no, nothing too funny. Just a lot of hard work, honestly, well just accepted that.


Tenney Rosenblum Yeah logistics is one of those often overlooked things by a lot of young entrepreneurs just never think about. They come here and they often think, Oh, I have to do is cook and sell. And then it's like, nope, now you got to figure this out this this out. And then you do and then there's another 20 some odd things like okay, like for food trucks, like, Okay, you got the food trucks? How do you plan on paying for gas?


Regina Watson Yeah, it's so true. There's so there are probably 1,000,001 moving parts that you have to manage and you have to figure out and once you make that decision to start your own business, especially a food business, or you're faced with all, you know, million of them at the same time.


Tenney Rosenblum So what's one brand new that you really admired? Was there any, when you were starting out, or any time in the process, a brand new kind of just looked at and thought I want to be like them?


Regina Watson You know, it's really interesting. There are a lot of brands out there that I really love and enjoy. But actually, the business that I really love the most is not a food business. It's Peloton,


Tenney Rosenblum I'm quite familiar with them. And I think a lot of our listeners probably are.


Regina Watson And you know, it is so fascinating how they've been able to build a community around their brand. And that is the component that I will love to harness for Farm + Muse, to really just build that community that loyal following. Some may say a cult following, but just a loyal following of people who trust the brand, trust all of the products are willing to try new things, new new offerings as they are launched, and are advocates for the brand in every way. That is it's just such a beautiful thing to see. And I certainly use them as a benchmark.


Tenney Rosenblum So do you have any pieces of advice, I know we kind of talked a little bit earlier about logistics. But do you have any pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs looking to get in the food business?


Regina Watson Oh man, there's so many things I could, I could say but really the most important thing is perseverance. And I say that because there are so many times when you don't see the outcome that you dreamt, at least not right away. There are times you get a lot of no's, a lot of rejection. There are times when you could even apply for funding and not get it. There are just so many times where it kind of knocks you down along your journey. But if you just stay consistent, like keep that vision in the forefront of what it is that you want to do, and no matter what roadblocks come your way or what how the winds turn, having an eye on your vision is certainly going to keep you moving in the right direction. So perseverance 100%.


Tenney Rosenblum Well said, so what's next for you and Farm + Muse?

Regina Watson Oh man. So there are a lot of exciting things coming up. First and foremost, I am creating some very new recipes. And I am so excited to get those out to the to all of my customers. In addition to that, I will be adding some equipment to my production, which will certainly help me get the seasonings out to homes as quickly as possible, and then to consumers hands. And lastly, it's really just beefing up my marketing, I really want to continue to create this buzz about my company, my company just turned one. So I'm still very new in this process. So I would love to be a little bit more intentional about how I'm approaching my marketing strategy to get other people excited just like I do.


Tenney Rosenblum That sounds wonderful. We look forward to seeing it. Thank you so much, Regina for joining us today.


Regina Watson Thank you for having me. And thank you all for listening to us on The Bite. Have a good one.