Sit down with: Ninja Goat (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
We got the opportunity to sit down with Ben Levin, from Ninja Goat Nutrition. We asked Ben some questions about himself, and a few about fatCoffee ; the butter you put in your coffee!
Ninja Goat is totally focused on providing highest quality nutritious ingredients, like their ghee, which is a class of clarified butter. Their ghee comes from cows that are raised and maintained on a completely all-grass/organic diet.
To learn more about Ninja Goat and fatCoffee, check out their site here.
What got you started with Ninja Goat Nutrition? And what keeps you coming back for more?
I’m motivated by the fact that I get to interact with customers directly everyday; I’ve spent the past 20 years consulting in the digital product space, and I was always limited by the fact that I could make recommendations to a client about how to create a customer-centric business, but I didn’t get to actually do it. This was my chance to put my own recommendations to the test! Every day brings a new challenge, an interesting bit of feedback from a customer, and a chance to put that directly into effect
If time travel existed, and the 10 year old version of youself walked up and asked you for advice, what would it be?
I ’d tell a 10 year old version of me exactly what my father did: love what you do; the rest will take care of itself.
Besides money, what is your biggest challenge to overcome this year?
Moving into the foodservice arena. We currently sell only in grocery stores, but next month we will be offered on the bar menu in a fancy uptown hotel bar and we hope to expand that part of our business this year. We are also getting on board with a distributor. It’s quite a seismic shift for a small company, but it’s very exciting when your business makes a leap to the next level.
What is your favorite go to snack?
In a pinch, I love pork rinds :). Beef jerky that doesn’t have sugar in it is also a plus, and I’m a huge fan of almost everything that Epic Provisions and Steve’s Paleo make – and I’m very much aligned with their respective missions.
What is the most unique thing about your business in your eyes?
I think what’s most unique about NinjaGoat is that we are making things that are 100% “transparent” – you’ll know exactly where our ingredients are coming from, and who’s putting them together for you – and that second part means that we are empowering our teammates to take a personal stake and pride in what they’re making; that’s huge, because for decades employment opportunities for people on the Autism Spectrum have been almost non-existent, much less empowering.
Most wacky use of your own product you’ve heard of to date?
Other than eating it straight out of the packet (which is fine if you need a very quick boost of calories, say while on the trail hiking), I know people who make grilled cheese with it. (They’ll spread a packet of fatcoffee on the side of two slices of bread, and grill the sandwich with those sides facing down.) We’ve also made popcorn on the stove with the Pumpkin Spice fatcoffee; that’s actually amazing 🙂
What drives you crazy about the nature of your business, or the food industry in general?
I think the thing that drives me nuts about the food business is the fact that manufacturers have so much latitude to “fake it” when it comes to ingredients. “Natural Flavors” can mean anything, and while some ingredients that are chemically-synthesized from natural precursors, I think the vagueness of “natural flavors” is needless. Let people make their own decisions, but give them as much information as they want.