"The most important part of getting to where we want to go is knowing where we are today. As far as working with FJ Cava and the SBDC, this allowed us to have a strong foundation to know where we are today and to get to where we want to go!"
Yes Life Foods manufactures gluten-free raw vegan chocolate under the brand Yes Cacao.
Focusing his chocolate innovation toward education in the holistic health and wellness category, Justin Pulgar, founder and Minister of Chocolate, really loves chocolate. Making chocolate with Willy Wonka style, he is an inspirational cheerleader for everyone to find their YES.
When he is taking a moment away from his educational art project Yes Life Foods, you will find Justin chanting “YES!”, dancing like a wild child, concocting in the kitchen, accelerating the energy level with Zoë, (business partner), drinking tea, adventuring to foreign lands, and engaging plant medicine of the old pharmacopoeias.
The biggest challenge was to focus the organization and identifying strategic growth choices. Once that was determined, a capital plan could be created to allow the growth to occur.
FJ Cava, SBDC consultant, worked with the company to define the organizational structure and improve the goal setting process. In addition, the company put together financial statements that could be used to manage the business. Visual business planning tools were used to help the company determine a path of execution. The company developed:
- Guidelines for business vs personal expenses
- Discipline for not crossing those boundaries
- Implementation of business values into the structure of the company
- Relevant financial spreadsheets from templates provided
Yes Life streamlined many processes in order to function more efficiently. The company learned how to use a strategic plan to focus efforts on core mission and values. A CRM system and an accounting system were implemented and aligned with the core values and goals. Marketing spending was revised with consideration of ROI and capital constraints. The company raised $117,000 in capital funding and increased sales by 40+% in one year.