The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Erica Rankin is up. And...
In case you missed her story in 2021, you may want to start here first.
What is your name & current role?
Erica Rankin, CEO/Founder of Bro Dough
Explain to the audience what it is that you do, or if it failed, what you did do?
I wear many hats (but my signature one is my cookie bucket hat). I am the chief everything officer of Bro Dough, a functional snack company based out of Toronto, Canada. We currently sell natural, plant-based cookie dough bites that have added protein. Our product can be found in stores across Canada (soon). And why Bro Dough? Well - I used to be a bro.
Back in 2018 I competed in body building and I used to make these cookie dough bites for myself (cleaner ingredients + added protein). They were my favorite thing to eat, and nothing like it existed at the grocery stores. I then decided to package and sell it as Bro Dough a year later.
Since you last shared on Hardly Hustle, what have you been up to?
I have pivoted so much, I got whiplash... haha. In 2022 we launched tubs of our cookie dough into ~100 retailers across Ontario and after doing a ton of sampling/surveying, I realized the product needed some improvements.
It was too expensive, there were too many servings in a tub, and the ingredients could have been better. Hundreds of responses led to the development of our new Bro Dough bites which are now launching across Canada. Gluten free, 100% natural ingredients, plant-based, and naturally sweetened. Less expensive, single serving, grab-and-go style. On top of this, we completely removed our direct to consumer channel. Shipping a perishable product across a big country is a total ~nightmare~ especially in the summer months. Our bites are going to be available exclusively in retail for this reason. BUT... We aren't forgetting about DTC.
We have big plans! We're launching new shelf-stable products in early 2024 and our exclusive wait-list is available on our website eatbrodough.com. ;)
Since your last story, any responses you’d tweak or add to?
I have 2 full time employees now, and if you could change my profile photo to a more current one of me that'd be perfect.
What have you automated or thought about automating in your day to day to make life easier?
I schedule all of my content for LinkedIn a week in advance, and we do the same with Bro Dough's social media platforms.
What hire has made the most impact for you?
About a year ago I had a rock star join my team and we have the same vision/goals - he brings a lot of value to the company and compliments my skill set. I'm very focused on operations right now and he has been helping with Bro Dough's marketing strategy. It's so important to have people on your team with different skillsets.
Has your work-life balance gotten better or worse, and why?
At first, it was a mess - I fell into hustle culture and thought I needed to neglect my personal health/life in order to be successful/get ahead. This led to burnout. I now have more 'balance' and take care of my mental + physical health by having non-negotiables.
For example, I exercise every morning for 45 minutes, I journal, I eat balanced meals, I get outside everyday. When you pour into yourself, you can pour into your business + your relationships. That whole 'you can't pour from an empty cup' is VERY true.
What’s one thing you’re bullish on or think is a good idea?
What is one business tool or resource you can’t live without?
Shield for LinkedIn, Hootsuite for Instagram, FB, Youtube
What is one "life hack" or one tool in your life, personal or professional, that has made a large impac
I have a journal called 'Mindful as F^ck' and it has templates you fill out; what I'm grateful for, reflections, struggles, goals. Takes all of 2 minutes to fill out and on the hard days I read through all of my previous entries.
It reminds me that I've gotten through all of the hard times, and I'll get through these ones too. Puts things into perspective. It's also great to see your growth.
# of Employees?
Any call to action?
We're fundraising and looking to bring on 1-2 more investors. And we're going to be launching new products in the US soon, our waitlist can be found here if you want to sign up (there may be limited edition bucket hats and other fun stuff coming):
@eatbrodough (Tiktok, IG, FB)
@life0ferica (personal IG)