In The Room with Graham Fortgang, Founder of MatchaBar.
Season 5 continues with Graham Fortgang, co-founder, and CEO of MatchaBar. Graham runs MatchaBar alongside his brother, Max, whom he’s worked with for over 7 years. We asked Graham why he and Max fell in love with matcha and, to break down their mission of bringing matcha to the mainstream whether through grocery stores, online shipping, or wholesale offerings.
From guerrilla marketing in the busiest grocery stores to flying to Japan to study the origins of matcha, Graham has dedicated his life to his cause of bringing more attention to the benefits of matcha over your regular caffeinated drink.
This week’s episode explores insights and themes such as the thousand-year-old origins of matcha, the power of hustle in building a business, and tactical tips on being an omnichannel retailer in 2022. Let’s open the door.
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4:29 - What was Graham doing before MatchaBar?
6:40 - What made Graham and his brother, Max, decide to take MatchaBar seriously?
9:51 - What was it like owning and operating cafés?
11:53 - How did guerrilla marketing become an integral part of the MatchaBar brand?
13:08 - How did it benefit Graham to study the history of matcha?
16:00 - Who were the early suppliers of matcha to MatchaBar?
18:02 - How was the transition from real cafés to a CPG brand?
20:37 - Who was the first retail partner that believed in MatchBar?
22:30 -What brought the decision to capitalize MatchaBar?
24:14 - What has been the added value of having household name celebrities as endorsers?
25:14 - What is Graham’s favorite matcha drink?
26:33 - Why direct to consumer has been successful for MatchaBar and how the company has incorporated E-Commerce?
23:44 - What advice does Graham have for another founder planning to rebrand their business?
30:10 - Graham discusses how customers are the most sensitive they’ve ever been.
31:10 - Who is in Graham’s D2C tech stack?
32:22 - What is the next tool or platform that will help brands connect with their customers?
35:02 - Where does Graham think this current movement for brand and product transparency is going next?
37:05 - What are other trends to look out for in the CPG category?
38:19 - What is Graham looking forward to next in his life and career?
39:35 - Who is a woman in Graham’s life that had a profound impact on him?
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Season 5 of The Room Podcast is sponsored by our friends at Silicon Valley Bank and Cooley.
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