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We are the only truly allergen free baking mix that delivers on taste.
Annie Slabotsky is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
GoNanas is a modern day baking company that emerged as a solution to the lack of healthy baked good options on the University of Michigan campus. Co-founded by Morgan Lerner and Annie Slabotsky, the venture blends traditional family recipes for banana bread with a unique allergen-free twist, resulting in the creation of exceptional banana bread products.
Initially introducing their ready-to-eat banana bread to the foodservice industry, the founders subsequently adapted their business strategy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, launching banana bread mixes for home consumption. The mixes swiftly gained immense popularity on various social media platforms, culminating in sales surpassing $1.2 million within the inaugural year of offering the banana bread mix products.
The GoNanas team says they’ve “cracked the code to making baked goods taste homemade from a mix” and are really shaking up the sleepy category with their vegan, gluten free, and allergen friendly flavored banana bread mixes.
What is your business advantage?
We are the only truly allergen free baking mix that delivers on taste. How do we do this? Baking with bananas instead of eggs allows us to be allergen free, and also gives our bread a moist texture and decadent flavor that other gluten free products lack, appealing to all eaters, allergen free or not.
We are also the only banana bread with a variety of innovative flavors to meet the desire of consumers for healthy alternatives to the classic, nostalgic flavors and desserts they know and love. Lastly, with our single-serve instant banana bread packets, we’ve created the first ever banana bread ready in minutes, requiring only 1 banana, a GoNanas packet, and a mug.What drives/motivates you to keep scaling your business?We are on a mission to eliminate banana waste.
What advice would you give someone interested in getting to where you are today?
Worrying doesn't help anything. Personally, I struggle with anxiety, and believe that many entrepreneurs do as well. I've learned that worrying does not solve problems. My experience facing recent challenges has taught me that things generally work out in the end and, when they don’t, the consequences are rarely as severe as anticipated.
What has been the hardest part of your business journey?
Prior to the pandemic, GoNanas sold pre-made banana bread at grab-and-go cafes and restaurants mostly in proximity to the University of Michigan campus. However, when Covid-19 hit and food service essentially shut down overnight, we found ourselves with a surplus of ingredients that, financially, we could not afford to waste. In response, we came up with the idea of selling a "quarantine kit`."
We packaged the dry ingredients for our banana bread in mason jars, printed instructions on how to bake our breads, and began selling the kits online. Our mixes quickly went viral on social media, and we realized that this pivot could lead to big things for our little business. Within just one year, and having completely bootstrapped our business, we went from selling under $100,000 of baked banana bread in our history, to grossing over $1,000,000 from our mixes in our first year online. The pandemic forced us to adapt and think creatively, and doing so reshaped our business for the best.
What are 3 things you would say have contributed to your success the most?
1. running the business with my best friend
Who or what has helped you the most in your journey?
Daniel Goetz, our mentor, advisor, and investor
Are there any "musts" you have on a daily basis?
What mindset shifts were required to achieve the success you've experienced?
Always be optimistic but never be naive
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
Superhuman co, How I Built This, You Are A Badass
List the founders
Annie Slabotsky, Morgan Lerner
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
How much did it cost to launch?
How much have you raised?
Any call to action?