A Foodpreneur Interview is an on-going Diva Foodies series where we proudly shine a virtual spotlight on culinary small business owners. As you’ll see, these entrepreneurs are passionate, dedicated and focused on bringing their products to market. It’s our hope that you will help us expand awarness of these entrepreneurs and perhaps if you find a product you love become a new customer!
Andi and Roland Biron are co-owner of, Biron Herbal Teas, a special herbal tea company based in Macon, Ga. With a Masters Degree in alternative health and working on her PhD, Andi brings a unique perspective to creating delicious and healthy teas. Roland’s sales and marketing background, in the hospitality industry, provides the perfect business background to this husband and wife team.
About Andie Biron According To Andie: My name is Andi Biron, I mix herbal teas that focus on wellness as well as flavor.
Diva Foodies: How does your product reflect your passion for food?
Andi Biron, Biron Herbal Teas: My passion is for the herbs. I enjoy mixing the herbs and playing with the flavoring. Sometimes I know which herbs will mix well and other times I am totally surprised. Mixing the primary herbs I wanted to use with flavors and other herbs to help with the boost the flavor we wanted to accentuate is where my passion lies.
I think it is so cool that the earth can provide us with such great herbs and remedies that can help us in so many ways.
Diva Foodies: Love the graphics on your product package. Please tell us the story behind these playful pictures.
Andi Biron, Biron Herbal Teas: I thought it would be cool to work with a tattoo artist for the graphics. I found a site called createmytattoo.com. I decided a fairy on a teacup would be a great representation of what we wanted to convey: wellness tea can be fun, whimsical and uplifting.
Our teas are herbal, and people have an image of herbal teas as being, “medicine”. We need to break through that preconception, which is why we decided on a fairy and whimsical names.
This is also why we added natural flavoring to them, hoping people would enjoy the flavor as well.
We had several tattoo artists submit designs. Once we found one we liked, we bought it, but then we worked with the tattoo artist offline and began the process of creating the labels. She also worked as an illustrator and with my past advertising agency experience, together we created the labels.
Diva Foodies: What one tip would you give to a person who wants to start a food-product business? Why is this tip important to you?
Andi Biron, Biron Herbal Teas: I would do lots of research before hand. Know industry trends, why they work, and also get in touch with a lawyer and someone who specializes in labeling. Our labels are still one of the most complicated and time-consuming parts of creating our teas. What information, where, and nutrition or supplement panels takes hours and hours to get done correctly. In addition, you need to understand where you can sell based on your license and then walk those markets and stores.
Know your demo as well. Who are you selling to? What does your customer look like? This will help you decide on packaging, price point, as well as stores to target to carry your product.
Also, find a competitor, a brand you admire and study them. We have several other tea brands that we love, and of course, I look at those brands and think if this were my brand what would I do to improve it? This helps when I am developing products. It also helps on those days that I feel I am getting nowhere and constantly running into brick walls.
I remind myself, that those successful other brands on the shelves at Whole Foods that I admire, started small too. It helps me put things into perspective.
Diva Foodies: The success of business is selling your product to people who will become repeat customers. Many factors go into the equation. A big one is marketing. Which social media channel works best for your brand and why?
Andi Biron, Biron Herbal Teas: We just started Instagram and Etsy. I would love to get more traction there. We focused on Facebook, however creating content was taking a lot of time. We also do e-blasts and I would love to build up that list.