Brett Vegas

 |  May 28, 2024

I’ve spent my entire career in the natural food and beverage space in nearly every role from manufacturing, brand marketing, sales, and logistics. I grew up working in manufacturing plants, but started my career in earnest after getting my MBA and starting at WhiteWave Foods (now Danone), where I worked on brands like Silk and So Delicious Dairy Free. I’ve since moved to my family food processing company, which specializes in manufacturing frozen rice. I started the brand Grain Trust, which is a leading brand in the natural freezer and in over 6000 stores, and also manage our portfolio of Private Label products in the nations leading retailers. I’ve also managed a number of our own investments into startups in the food and beverage space, and thoroughly enjoy working with startups to help plan and execute go-to-market strategies in the retail space.

What area(s) of focus would you most like to address with your mentees?

Helping startups address fundamental product and business issues that will help them set up a long term sustainable business. There are so many pitfalls that a young business can fall into, especially in the food/bev industry, and I feel like my experience can help identify and and avoid them.

How do you plan to structure your monthly meetings?

First, I feel there needs to be a mix of open discussion to help identify some of the major issues facing a business. From there, following up on previous weeks topics, with the goal of establishing accountability. Finally, ending with the tasks that they intend to work on for the following meeting.

Finally, who would be an ideal mentee for you in this program, given your areas of expertise and experience?

I’ve worked with a number of people in formal and informal relationships in the past, but the main thing the best relationships had in common was honesty. Often harsh, raw, honesty. This business is really tough, not everyone succeeds, but opening up about challenges and failures really helps to get to the point faster and build a successful business.