The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Grammar And Spelling Errors
Tyler Jorgenson 0:01
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world a serial entrepreneur himself. Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz Ninja, entrepreneur radio.
Welcome out to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. I am your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And today we get to have the wonderful pleasure of talking with Sall Schimko, co the founder and CEO and president and probably a lot of other roles right now of the tahini goddess, welcome to the show. Hi, thank you for having me. So for people that are that are that are tuning in what is what is the Tahini goddess? Let’s start with that. What is your product and what do you do?
Sall Schimko 1:08
So I want to start by saying I was born and raised in Israel, so Tahini, something I grew up with. And really that the cleaning goddess was created out of necessity around me and majorly from mainly from my audience on my Instagram platform to really bring the tahini that we made in Israel to the US. When I when I started my food blog. almost three years ago, I used to always have a few unique Thursdays on my blog long before I even dream to have my own or even thought about it. So I really advocate for tahini from day one, it was always such a big part of my diet on my life.
Tyler Jorgenson 2:03
So for those who don’t know, haven’t heard of tahini before, what is to eat.
Sall Schimko 2:07
So tahini is simply made out of sesame seeds. That’s it, that simple. Sesame seeds are so magical, they have so many different health benefits. They’re very rich with vitamins and minerals, they are incredible to improve hair skin nails. For me, the most magical is that they are anti inflammatory. I truly believe in anti informed anti inflammatory food as preventative medicine. And it’s a big part of the Mediterranean lifestyle and the Mediterranean diet
Tyler Jorgenson 2:46
that I grew up on when in your journey of like launching this product. Let’s go back a little bit farther in your life. Right? When did you first realize that you were an entrepreneur?
Sall Schimko 2:55
Wow, you know, I still need to pinch myself. Every day, you know, I am so humble every day that I see sales, I see someone buying my tahini, I am shocked, you know, like wow, someone out you know, I I nothing is for granted, even now after a year of having such an amazing journey, because I really experiment a lot of success with my product. But I think you know, the first day that I created my own shop on you know, Shopify and on the website, the first day you kind of like, you know, start to apply for your trademark. You kind of like, oh, okay, this is like real. Yeah, I’m doing it
Tyler Jorgenson 3:47
to you, but you’ve been in, you’d been a creator. And you’d been in the business for a while, right? Because you started as a blogger. And did you at that point? Did it not feel like a business to you?
Sall Schimko 3:59
No, I felt like I’m sharing my food, my recipes. And I really felt like I have impact on you know, on my phone or in my audience. And I felt like I’m creating, you know, connections and relationships. But I didn’t feel like it’s a business yet. It was very different than really coming up with your own product because it’s so easy to talk and show other products right? Sure. Then finally when it was my own, I was going on I felt like I’m starting from scratch again.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:44
Yeah, it’s it’s it’s a total shift. And so but you had been learning at least how to make connections how to build community. How did your community respond when you launched your, your version your brand?
Sall Schimko 4:57
It’s funny because you know, I had a question not too long. Long ago and in one of my interviews, and they asked, was it helpful to have your audience and your platform before you came up with your product? And the answer is that I would have never created this product without them. And it’s 100% the truth because the idea of manufacturing my own Tahini, and to even try to get into this industry and to realize why it’s a pity that we have in the US wasn’t tasty for the American crowd. I wouldn’t even think about it without them. I would have never thought about it. There wasn’t a necessity around me. And that’s why I decided to do it.
Tyler Jorgenson 5:47
Yeah. So So as a lot of your audience based in the US, most of them, yes. teaching them about the Mediterranean diet, you’re teaching them about, you know, all the things that you do. And one of the things you kept talking about was the Heaney. But But you, so then you decide, okay, I need to launch my own version of this. Oh, yeah. Is that is that as really short summary?
Unknown Speaker 6:09
No, it’s almost a year I would share recipes with you. And I would be so sad to get so many messages that say Sally, we bought tahini, it’s disgusting, okay? Or Sally, how do you work with that? That’s so pasty. I’m so and I didn’t realize back then. Now I realize as an Israeli girl that grew up with tahini all my life. It’s kind of like, you know, I always say the peanut butter or the catch up, you will make it work. You know, because you’re used to it you know, you’re used to the taste you’re used to you know, how to season it, how to play with it. But really, for someone that never tried the thing before, or for someone that doesn’t have any kitchen experience for him to go and buy the basic tahini that was that’s in the store was completely different. Yeah, I didn’t realize that until they started telling me and I used to take to travel every summer I visit my family in Europe and in Israel. So every summer I would take my audience on a journey with me food journey in in all of my happy places. And they would always message me bring with you to me bring with you Hall of up please, please bring it from Israel. And after a year of sharing one of that summer came again. And I thought to myself, you know what, it’s probably so simple to make tahini because you just need to take the sesame and grind it, put it in the container, I can do it. And I decided to, to do my own research and started visiting that many factories in Israel. And wow, I was shocked. That wasn’t the case at all, there is so many different types of sesame’s, there’s so many different types of factories, and so many types of methods how to do it,
Tyler Jorgenson 8:04
I think a lot of Americans can relate to saying like, for example, peanut butter, they don’t want most people that like peanut butter will like one type of peanut butter or one brand and one style. And so I’m sure that’s similar in any other product. And so you had to find one that and having lived overseas as well, like the things that get exported are not always the most popular. It’s just the one that are the or the best. They’re just the one that had the relationship for the export. So if the products that are being brought into the US aren’t the quality that you would eat, then it’s not going to be the ones that you would share, or hope other people try their recipes. And so you saw an opportunity there. What was
Sall Schimko 8:42
it and I and then I decided I’m taking it to the next level.
Tyler Jorgenson 8:48
So what was the role was that next level, like when you decide to you’re going to manufacture and do your own brand? What was the first big hurdle that you had to overcome?
Unknown Speaker 8:57
removing the sesame peels, I had no idea that when you buy almost any tiffiny on the market, unfortunately even ones that are made in Israel, and if you’re going to take your spoon, I actually have here my tahini. So if you want to take a spoon, and spirit, you’re not going to be able to have this butter texture, you’re going to have a huge co pasty clump and a bottom and I didn’t understood why that happened until I started learning everything from scratch. And I realized that that’s how really the tahini industry make money. Because when you grind your tahini with the sesame skin and that will happen by the way, with peanuts or almonds or anything if you include the skin. Then if you will get double, triple, sometimes even four times the quantity. Once I removed the sesame scan out, I noticed that you know you’re left with Probably third of the tahini, but the quality of the tech store. And most importantly, once you remove the skin, it, it’s so much easier to digest, because our digestive system is not supposed to digest all the skin and appeal of all those nuts and those seeds. So that’s really, really important. Yeah, the second thing that was most important for me, I we don’t know a lot of the time we buy food in a jar. And it says so many beautiful things, you getting protein, you’re getting vitamins, you’re getting minerals that other than that, other than that, but what is the process behind it, if you are roasting, if you manufacture this beanie in a modern factory, which that’s how it’s done today, you roasting the seeds on a very high heat, and you’re basically going to kill all the vitamins and the minerals. So by doing it the old fashioned way was we are millstone round rounding our tahini and the stones are real Israeli stones from like, a million years ago, you cannot get that flavor without it. And that’s a game changer, you know, between a product that is done opposed to you know, from the source, versus, you know, a different product. So we remove that sesame field, we roast them on a very low temperature to keep all the beautiful benefits of the sesame seed that we spoke in the beginning. And one of the things that was really important for me, he’s glass jars, just as other people would think about a beer, or a coke, the difference the taste between a beer in a can or a beer in a glass jar is major. And so the taste will be different. And obviously, you know, the environment that is so important.
Tyler Jorgenson 11:52
So you had a lot, you know, in the consumer packaged goods space, there’s a lot that you have to figure out. There’s not just the manufacturing, but then there’s the packaging, there’s the labeling, there’s making sure you’re doing things in a compliant way, then there’s figuring out how to actually ship it to your customers and handle all of that, right. There’s a lot of pieces in place that a lot of people don’t understand or expect to have to worry about when they’re starting. You figured out the manufacturing. And you figured out that you had people in the US that wanted to buy some of it. How do you bridge you know, the idea and making it in a great way? Like what other challenges did you guys face as you were trying to get it actually shipped to the US and into the end users hands.
Unknown Speaker 12:34
So to be honest, for me that you importing part was a little bit less complicated, because this is something my husband is doing for years. So I do help and advice advices from him, anybody wouldn’t have him, I really suggest anyone. Don’t be shy, go to your friends or other businesses on Instagram, people are so lovely and wonderful. And they want to share, don’t hesitate, put yourself out there, ask for help. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Because, um, especially if you’re like me, and I’m doing everything for the first time, I had my first business in the fashion industry. And it was way before I have kids, it was a different experience. So I felt like I’m coming back and I’m like a dinosaur now. Right with so many exchange. So yes, for the importation, it’s something that went pretty smooth for me, because I had help with that and experience. Um, but you know, the first shipment, almost all my glasses jars was broken.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:45
So that’s the thing you’re like, yeah, I went so smooth, it was great. And then you get and then you get to the real story, which is
Unknown Speaker 13:52
the reality of having your own business. And that’s when people say you need thick skin. There are no joking. You really need thick skin. Because once you think you figure out this ingredients, and the formula and the concentration and the importation and then this happened, you know, and everyone in Israel recommended me to do it in a plastic jar because they say it’s so much harder to work with glass, especially when you’re starting and you never did it before you shouldn’t do it. And I’m like, Well, if I do it on plastic, then I don’t want to do it. Yeah. So you know, I
Tyler Jorgenson 14:27
first shipment where the you know, you know,
Unknown Speaker 14:31
I thought I knew what I’m doing. Yeah, I really thought so. And then I was so excited, you know, the first shipment arrived to my garage, and I opened the boxes you know they’re from Israel and so excited and they and I started to open and I’m like, Oh my god, just this one is broken. I see all the you probably don’t know almost the entire, you know, shipment was broken. And now I’m laughing but Then I was crying.
Tyler Jorgenson 15:02
How did you solve that for your next shipment?
Sall Schimko 15:04
I saw whatever I had. And I, I already saw the reaction was amazing. So I wasn’t scared. The next day I went, I took a warehouse, I placed a bigger shipment, I decided that I’m going to nail this glass packaging, I started contacting, you know, many other companies that importing with glass and, and I’m still working on improving it by the way. Now we’re trying something new, because, you know, things will always happen. So even a year later, I am still working on our packaging for importing it from Israel to here and sending it from our warehouse to the consumer. So it’s it’s an it’s never end.
Tyler Jorgenson 15:52
Yeah, absolutely. There’s always another problem to have another solution to create. So as you guys, you said, you built your first store on Shopify, you have your audience, because you built a pretty good sized following on Instagram. Is that is that the primary place where you communicate with your audience is Instagram?
Sall Schimko 16:09
Yes, I think absolutely, yeah.
Tyler Jorgenson 16:13
any big tips for other entrepreneurs on entrepreneur on Instagram success,
Sall Schimko 16:17
I think that if you are really, you know, transparent, real, and really share what you’re most passionate about, then it’s, it’s something that you can feel through the screen. And I think that sharing ups and downs is very important. And I really also think like, as much as we want to share, we also need to always step back and listen, I always say that I create my content, based on my DMS, I love reading them and night. And then I’m like, okay, that’s what’s going to happen tomorrow. Because I feel the need for that. I feel like, you know, that’s what people are missing. And it’s based on what they write me and on their emails, you know? Yeah. And
Tyler Jorgenson 17:19
that’s really smart. And I hope, I hope that doesn’t just pass over people. Even if your audiences small, pay attention to what they’re saying, right? What they’re commenting, which posts they all of a sudden react to. And then once they get a little bit bigger, and you’re getting DMS and you’re getting comments, that’s your catalyst for what you what else you build, and what else you create. And I think that’s, that creates a really strong relationship where people feel that and they feel that they feel heard, even though they’re just, you know, on Instagram, right? And so that’s really neat. What, as you’re growing your brand is, as the tahini Goddess is starting to get bigger here in the US, what are your big goals for the company over the next couple of years,
Unknown Speaker 17:55
you know, My dream is to really be in more grocery stores. So to be available for people that want to avoid shipping that want to have it locally, next to them. And really, my goal from number one was for people to eat more vegetables, and that’s the reason I used to show the tahini because tahini will encourage me personally to eat more vegetables for me I always say it’s never about the salad, it’s about the dressing. And even if it’s real vegetables or you know fish or meat or steak, it’s never about that I always love an yummy delicious dressing on top. So I realized that you know, that’s what happened when I started teaching people about the tahini that to stay away from all the process you know, dressing You know, when I first moved to the US from Israel, and I always love to go into grocery stores. But when I realized that there is an aisle dedicated for dressing for salad dressing, I was shocked we didn’t have that in Israel like we didn’t have profits because it’s so process
Tyler Jorgenson 19:15
where you just as shocked to see that when you started looking at each product that most of them were all sugar based.
Sall Schimko 19:22
I was like what is that I was shocked because vinegar in Israel in France, where I you know, where my background is so healthy. It’s simply vinegar and all evil, you know, and suddenly you see has color and flavor and all of this. I was so shocked and I realized, oh my god, this is such a misconception because all those people on Instagram eating so much vegetables, but then they pour all of those and they really use it because they don’t know anything else. Yeah,
Tyler Jorgenson 19:51
Americans are really good about making health food candy. They’re really, really good at it. And so it does a lot of it. Exactly what you just said, though, is that they don’t know it. They don’t know any better if you if you’re told that eating a salad is healthy, but then you’re not taught that it also matters what we’re dressing you use, then, you know, you’ll see somebody eating a salad thinking they’re eating healthy, but pouring 2000 calories of a really bad processed dressing on it and still thinking they’re eating healthy.
Unknown Speaker 20:22
Right? And that’s, you know, that’s sad, because it’s exactly like you said, it’s not a choice. That’s what you know. When you go to any place, you know, in in Europe and Israel, there is no salad dressing. There’s only olive oil the table and fresh lemon. You don’t we don’t know anything else. It’s not. You’re like, Okay, I’m brilliant. No, it’s just, that’s what I grew up having around me. But um, that to me was always my favorite dressing. And the reason I love it is because it adds the plant based protein factor into it, and it’s more creamy and dense. If you would ask me to choose my favorite American dressing for sure would be the Caesar dressing. I love mayo. I do. I love mayo. But boy, you want to eat it every single day. No. So um, so that’s why really, I it was important for me and that will always be my goal. If people would buy you get the tahini when they get home, they would use it with vegetables or you know, their animal protein. And it’s, it’s gonna make that tiny, tiny difference between using a bottle that it’s full of sugar and canola oil to a bottle that it’s you know, made out of pure sesame seeds, then that that’s my ultimate goal.
Tyler Jorgenson 21:46
No, Sally, I’m a big believer that we build businesses. One because we want to create impact but two because we also want to create a lifestyle that we love. What’s what is something on your personal bucket list? Not business related, but personal, that you’re going to accomplish in the next 12 months? In in what personal What? Lift or what’s a major life goal that you’re going to do in the next 12 months? Oh my god. Somewhere you’re going to go something you want to do something you want to have anything like that. Um,
Sall Schimko 22:17
I do believe me, I just miss traveling so much. It used to be such a big part of my life. I will do anything I always say if I have a budget anytime in life that’s the my number one is traveling. I love traveling and I
Tyler Jorgenson 22:34
were somewhere that you’d absolutely love to go.
Sall Schimko 22:37
Well, right now home I haven’t been in Israel in two years. It’s the first time that it happened to me. And there’s so many big things that I missed because of COVID. But really, there’s something I learned from the last year that we can’t plan anything anymore. You know, always it’s so sad but it’s kind of like my defense mechanism. I’m like, but really, if you tell me right now tomorrow you can travel what’s your happiest is a ski vacation but it’s summertime already? So
Tyler Jorgenson 23:12
that’s okay. It was in the next year so ski vacation sounds Yeah, good words. All right. Well, Sally, it’s been a it’s been an absolute pleasure chatting with you about your journey and about what you’re doing. I hope that everyone goes and checks you out on Instagram. It is the tahini goddess and on online it’s the tahini goddess calm that’s where people can find you. Any last words of advice for everybody?
Sall Schimko 23:35
No, that’s even if they are looking for healthy recipes I share almost every day many recipes they’re all less than five minutes fresh. My goal is always three to five ingredients very simple. I’m a full time working mom so I love mess free easy fast. Thanks so much for having me.
Tyler Jorgenson 24:00
Thanks so much for coming out. Now my biz ninjas wherever you’re listening, it’s your turn to go out and do something. Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com slash VIP and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor. If this episode was meaningful to you please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something