Get ready to savor an episode of The Derivative that’s anything but run-of-the-(corn) mill, featuring a guest who’s serving up some fresh and unconventional perspectives. That’s right, we’re delving into the heart of the snack world where the notion of sturdy, thick chips and delicate, thin chips is more than meets the eye. Prepare to have the simplicity of your favorite tortilla chip upended, revealing the captivating intricacies that fuel everyone’s favorite salsa, guac, and queso vehicle, the tortilla chip.
Zack Gazzaniga is the visionary behind Zack’s Mighty Tortillas, a company rewriting the rulebook on what it means to be a tortilla chip. His entrepreneurial journey takes us from the humble beginnings of a small natural food startup to helping build a 60-SKU condiment brand at Sir Kensington’s. Throughout this episode, he generously shares his insights on expanding product lines, managing complex supply chains, and navigating deals with corporate giants. But that’s the boring business stuff… stay for the talk on seed hunting in Italy, making tortillas, then chips – how many growing cycles our US soil has left, the many nuances in GMO vs non GMO labeling, and the informative history of Corn you didn’t know you needed. This episode is a must-listen for fellow entrepreneurs and tortilla chip lovers – SEND IT!
From the episode:
Check out the complete Transcript from this week’s podcast below:
A brief history of Corn, food co-valuations, GMO vs non-GMO, and a guacable chip with Zack’s Mighty founder Zack Gazzaniga
Jeff Malec 00:07
Welcome to The Derivative by our RCM Alternatives, where we dive into what makes alternative investments go analyze the strategies of unique hedge fund managers and chat with interesting guests from across the investment world. Hello there. Welcome back. Quick question for you. What would you do if you had a podcast say like this one. And you had a neighbor who say founded an organic tortilla chip company? Yeah, you’d have a month and you’d ask them to make you a line of carb free tortilla chips. That’s what you do. Yep, we went far and wide to get this week’s guest heading all the way across the street from my house to talk with Zack Gazzaniga. He tells me how to pronounce that shortly here. So Zack of Zack’s mighty tortilla chips, we dive into why it’s better to first make a tortilla than the chips with GMO verse non GMO really means how many growing cycles are left in our rich US soil. If we’re running out of water, food company valuations and an informative history of corn going back about 10,000 years to Mexico, grab the guacamole and send it This episode is brought to you by RCMs ag division, which helps companies such as x hedge and manage risk in markets like corn, sunflower oil, as well as the farmers producing the grains on the other side. Visit rcmalts.com/ag to learn more. And now back to the show. All right. We are here with Zack. And I’m not going to even try it. I just asked him but how do i pronounce the last name? Gazzaniga? Where, where’s that from? What’s the that emoji there?
Zack Gazzaniga 01:48
That is Italian. But over in Italy? It’s pronounced Gazzaniga, and it’s over the generations has gotten Americanized to Zanna
Jeff Malec 01:57
Gazzaniga. And funnily is that work. Yeah, amusingly you are about 30 feet from my house right now. That’s right. We are and I’m here downtown. So we should have done this in person. But I can never figure out the tech how to record and do the video and everything in person. So we’ll do it virtual. Great. But we’re hanging out the other night, Zack’s my neighbor, and got into his business, which was super interesting to me. So we thought we’d have come on and talk tortilla chips. So give us the kind of origin story, how you got your start, where the company is that then we can dig into all the cool stuff we were talking about the other night? Cool.
Zack Gazzaniga 02:43
Well, yeah, just quick background on me, I guess I I’ve spent my entire career post college at small natural food startups. And right before starting Zack’s mighty tortilla chips, I was the first employee and CEO of a condiment company called Sir Kensington’s. And I joined the two co founders in 2011, when it was just a two SKU ketchup company. And it was a wonderful experience, because they put me in charge of the entire supply chain, as well as retail sales. So I got to see the full lifecycle of a product from meeting with suppliers on raw materials, whether those were ingredients or packaging, finding co packers and production facilities to make them within our spec, getting them made sending them to a warehouse, and then it was me and then eventually a larger team, where we would go in and sell these to buyers and get them on the shelf and set up promotions. So as a learning experience, it was incredible to see how to create products and bring them to life and get them to get them to sell and grow. And so I was at sir Kensington’s for about six and a half years, we grew to a 60 SKU condiment brand.
Jeff Malec 03:55
And we for the listener SKU is a UPC symbol like a how do you define SKU? Yeah,
Zack Gazzaniga 04:01
SKU, it stands for shelf keeping unit or stock keeping unit. It’s basically an individual item. So if you were to have, like, if you were to think of Heinz ketchup in a glass bottle, and then that same formula in a squeeze bottle, those would be too skewed because they’re a different UPC and a different item. So basically, you can think of it as an item that you sell.
Jeff Malec 04:23
So usually you have option traders on here talking about skew as Kew which is the shape of the forward options curve and the put calls.
Zack Gazzaniga 04:32
Yeah, so a different SKU grocery scared. Yeah. Yeah. So we had we had 60 skews by the end, which is pretty sizable product catalog. And we grew to be the number one condiment brand and Whole Foods and the natural channel and ultimately sold to Unilever in 2017. We were of interest to Unilever, because for two reasons. One, they’re actually a large condiment brand. They own Hellman’s and best foods, which is massive and is bigger than Heinz, I believe Randy deftly sells more than ketchup. Yeah, gross. Ketchup has a larger foodservice business but but in retail and grocery mayonnaise is king because you use mayonnaise every day, put it on a sandwich, you can use it as a recipe. Res ketchup is a bit more a kind of summer grill focused. Anyhow, it was, that was a wonderful experience. And I went and joined Unilever, I worked with them for the rest of 2017. And then I wanted to leave and start my own company. And I started a tortilla chip company, because tortilla chips are my favorite food. And so without really a lot of data to suggest it was a good idea to start a tortilla chip company, I knew that starting a company of any type is hard. I knew what the grind was like of bringing food products to life. And, and I needed to love what I was doing. So I decided to launch a tortilla chip company. And my mission was was an is to make delicious tortilla chips that don’t break and guacamole, which sounds simple. But to actually build a supply chain that supports flavor and sturdiness is has been very complicated and is one of the unique things about her company. And
Jeff Malec 06:13
so most people would just be like, Oh, I’m dipping it wrong, or I need to come in at a different angle to get that chip not to break, you’re like No, I need a better chip.
Zack Gazzaniga 06:20
Yeah, I need a better chip. And at first from the outside, before I kind of took a peek behind the curtain of the tortilla chip industry, I sort of thought it was as simple as thick chips are sturdy and thin chips are weak. But it’s actually really what it is, is the process and how you make the chip, you can have a thinner chip that can be sturdier than the thicker chip based on how it’s made. But but really, it comes down to tortilla chips are made one of two ways you either the authentic and old school way in a way that a lot of restaurants still do it is you make tortillas, you stack them, you let them rest, and then you chop and fry them. And that makes a very sturdy tortilla chip that’s got a denser bite. But it’s a two step process, you make tortillas, then you stop and rest and then you come back and chop and fry them. And that’s not really how large scale food production is meant to be optimized. So most tortilla chips are made in a continuous process that skip the tortilla step. And because it doesn’t have that resting time as a tortilla, it has a different bite has a different mouthfeel and the tensile strength is weaker. So
Jeff Malec 07:28
they’re just like, I’m assuming we’re talking like Tostitos or something right? Yeah. Are they the number one brand? Probably.
Zack Gazzaniga 07:34
So. So Frito Lay is the large I think the largest snack food company in the world. But redoes actually out sells toasty. And but both of those are my Frito Lay,
Jeff Malec 07:46
I wouldn’t count Doritos as a tortilla chip. And we count that as a I guess
Zack Gazzaniga 07:50
it’s it’s funny. It is a tortilla chip that has been just covered and seasonings. It’s a corn based triangle chip that’s baked in fried, and then they just cover it in delicious seasoning. So yeah, I mean, I think you’re right, like most people don’t view it as a tortilla chip. But technically, it’s a tortilla chip with a lot of seasoning.
Jeff Malec 08:09
And so they’re just putting, right they’re making their dough, what do you call it, whatever. And then they’re just stamping out the chip shapes. Exactly, which is ways where you skip a step you save money, save costs. Totally,
Zack Gazzaniga 08:22
I mean, you can a well optimized tortilla chip line, you can, you can be running it with, you know, just a couple of bodies on the line. And in our process is much more labor intensive, because we’re taking stacks of tortillas off the line, putting them on bakery carts and rolling them over and letting them rest for hours and then coming back and grabbing them and chopping them. In our in our process is a lot of regional brands. And old school brands do still have this process. It’s just you know, if you go to the grocery store, probably less than 5% of the items in the store are made from tortillas. Tortilla chips are made from tortillas. So it’s not we’re not unique in doing it. There’s lots of companies that do it. It’s just we all of us that do it this way, are very much in the minority of most chips out there. But
Jeff Malec 09:17
so does it prevent you from scaling, or you have ideas for that ways to tackle that. If 100%
Zack Gazzaniga 09:23
prevented us from scaling in the beginning we got our launch at this great family run business in Northern California. And they they had their own production facility and they had their own brand. And their brand is a powerhouse in California very loved and they didn’t really co pack for anyone and CO packing is the term of when a factory makes something for another brand. And just as a side note, most food items in the grocery store more often than not, even if it’s a big company or little company you is using a third party co Packer to make their items as opposed to being vertically integrated. And so we convinced these folks to be co packers for us because I got close to the family. And they’re wonderful people. And so I was able to launch my tortilla chips in January of 2020. With this authentic tortilla first process, but we quickly kind of outgrew the available capacity to us. And so this got us to a point where we needed to decide how do we move forward? And how do we grow. And a lot of brands had gotten to this point where they had started tortilla first. And often, a lot of brands then just decide to abandon being tortilla first and go to inline because it’s much more readily available. And the core reason why it’s so hard to find capacity to make a tortilla first chip, is because just as I mentioned, 95% of the market does it the other way, that means most factories out there are set up to do it the inline, inline process and not of the future. So there’s just not factories and there’s not there’s not capabilities sitting out there. So we ultimately decided to do a CapEx deal. And what this was, was we went and found a great tortilla company. And we financed the addition of a fry line within their facility. So so we could all began making tortilla chips from tortillas all under one roof. And that that was a great move by us to kind of bridge the gap, we decided we could either go to a snack food company, and teach them how to make tortillas and maybe put a tortilla line and a snack food company. Or we could go to a tortilla company and put in the fry line. And we opted for the latter.
Jeff Malec 11:49
One, what did you study in school? What was your background? Did you say I
Zack Gazzaniga 11:53
majored in econ, I went to Brown, okay. And a lot of a lot of econ majors on the East Coast, just ended up kind of in Boston or New York and finance. And for me, I, it was really important for me to be able to physically touch something. And my first job out of college was working for a small organic granola company in San Francisco. And the brand had this branded Mini Cooper, the company was called 18 rabbits. And so it had 18 rabbits on this turquoise Mini Cooper. And I would go deliver granola in both boxes to corporate corporate offices downtown at six in the morning at the loading docks of these buildings. And I was in complete heaven because taking a heavy case, in putting on a loading dock. And having the person sign the bill of lading, there was all these economic concepts I had learned in college coming to life and physical form. And so I just got addicted to consumer products. And then over the course of my first year there, I really fell in love with the food industry.
Jeff Malec 13:02
Yeah, but it’s weird to me not weird, but interesting that you write all that you’re focused on making the best chip possible. Now you’re doing capex deals. So you have your brain has to work both sides of the aisle there, so to speak. And you told me that you didn’t bring in like investment bankers or consultants to do that you guys just did that in house. So you think that’s the norm or like, smaller entrepreneurial companies need to write to me talk through that a little bit of like, how you thought of that, or it just kind of happened? You’re like, hey, we need this, we’re gonna get it done.
Zack Gazzaniga 13:33
Yeah, it’s interesting. It I have found in general, most food investors, and whether they’re individuals, or are the kind of the many, one of the many food venture capitalists out there. In general, I’d say they’re pretty anti investing in assets, and CAPEX. And they’re pretty anti, kind of doing deeper partnership deals with the CO packer, I think, kind of the standard prevailing thought has been, you know, just find a facility that can do what you need to do and have them handle everything there. Don’t get your cash tied up in assets, and spend all your money on sales and marketing, and keep your focus there. And that’s a fine model. But you can only do that if there is a great existing factory that can make what you want to sell.
Jeff Malec 14:28
And that’s just here, you go at this price that you need to
Zack Gazzaniga 14:32
write. And if that’s the case, that means you’re selling something that’s not that unique. But then but then that’s why sales and marketing is really important. And so there’s plenty of really successful food companies out there that launch a product that already exists and they make their slight version of it could be different, slightly different ingredients or different flavors. And they really focus on great brand name and go to market strategy. And that’s where they’re spending their time and their dollars for For us, we wanted to make something that didn’t exist, which I don’t even go into the corn story yet, but
Jeff Malec 15:04
we’ll get there,
Zack Gazzaniga 15:06
we use a weird corn or a rare corn, I should say, there is no one that could make what we wanted to make. So we had to invest. And I’m very lucky that my investors, which are, for the most part, all, just kind of individuals or family offices where those folks have made their money operating their own businesses, they’re much more inclined, and they like hard assets, and they like capex deals. And so I have the support to do that. But COVID COVID has changed this a bit where, you know, pre COVID, even large companies wanting to have as much of their products co packed as possible. And, you know, for their hero items, you know, they would, they might build a factory to to eke out all that margin where they can just run the same item 24/7. But for the most part, you know, they don’t want to be having all those assets on their balance sheet. And so what happened with COVID, it’s a combination of COVID. And inflation, there’s just a labor shortage in factories out there. And when there’s a labor shortage, there were fewer shifts. And so what we saw in the food space was during COVID, all these big food companies that predominantly didn’t want to own their own manufacturing started buying their CO packers in order to secure their capacity, and they were buying crackers, and then kicking out other brands. And so it became the scarcity became even bigger if you didn’t own your own production facility. So we were looking at this as Okay, not only do we need to invest in our unique process, this is just kind of a scary time to kind of own and control your capacity unless you are semi vertically integrated, like we are fully vertically integrated.
Jeff Malec 16:50
And explain co packing for a second. Yeah, so co packing is,
Zack Gazzaniga 16:55
you know, some, some group of people will decide to start a pasta sauce manufacturing facility. And that pasta sauce manufacturing facility might make for, you know, ratios, and they might make for prego. And they might make Classico. And so they get all the equipment so that they can do an operator, and then different companies will come pay them to make their own formula, their own brand.
Jeff Malec 17:23
And how does that work, they switch it over every other week or something like they depends,
Zack Gazzaniga 17:28
it depends, in general, like they’re going to want at your minimum order to be at least a shift. And the shift is anywhere between eight to 12 hours, depending on if they’re doing three eight hour shifts are to 10s and clean or tubewells. But but they want to be running a shift is one item. And so when they complete the shift, you know, take a tortilla chip line, for example. They can if they’re running, someone who was running our product, it would be all of our ingredients are seasoning in the seasoning machine. And then on the Bagger it would be our rules of film, and our specific equipment for the size of bag we wanted. And if after we completed the run, they wanted to run something up, else, they’d clean off the line, they’d swap in the ingredients for that CO packer and they change out the packaging. And then they could run a tortilla chip for another brand.
Jeff Malec 18:23
And then you mentioned VC investors. So what’s your thought? I know a few people actually here in Chicago that run a eggs slash food business PE firm. So do you see it more private equity or VC that’s investing in food companies and then we had talked, roll that into like, the appetite previously, you said was a little less profitable focus? Now it’s a little more profit focused?
Zack Gazzaniga 18:46
Yeah, totally. I would say it depends on the size of the company. If it’s going VC RP, it’s a lot VC and food over pre COVID. And for kind of the 10 years before that had gotten really comfortable and investing earlier and earlier and doing smaller and smaller checks. And what I saw and what we all saw was, you know, some funds were were were realizing that they were missing out on getting in with companies because they were below their mandate, or they wanted money sooner than they got a million and trailing 12 Or five and trailing 12. And so a lot of funds started starter funds or early funds. Because before Russia invaded Ukraine, the valuations and consumer food were just nutty, it was out of control. You know, these are businesses that have no profits that are getting these crazy valuations off of revenue. And and what had also happened in food was a number of food companies have done a good job tricking people into selling them As tech companies as opposed to food companies, there’s a lot of that meatless. There’s and so they would have crazy valuations. And but in general, most of it is a lot of VC activity and food, I’d say more so than private equity.
Jeff Malec 20:15
And I would say those meatless investments probably are all marked as zero now or close to like
Zack Gazzaniga 20:21
that, certainly, if they invested in the pre free Russia, valuations, I think it’s impossible to make your money on it. These are hundreds of million 100 plus million dollar valuations before selling the single item type of things. And it got out of control. And, you know, it was interesting. We, I was, I was I started a fundraiser in November of November of 21. So just a few months before the invasion, and, and I’m using the invasion as a date, because it’s a kind of a clear time when sort of the financial changed,
Jeff Malec 21:02
except I can’t remember what that was, was it? Who’s February
Zack Gazzaniga 21:05
22? Okay, around there, end of January, early February, q1 of 22. Yeah. And, and at that time, you know, as I was fundraising, I was getting a lot of advice of, Hey, your valuation should be, you know, really, really high. And it felt insane to me, but it was comparable to what other companies my size, were asking and demanding. And so we started off kind of doing what the market was at that time. And in the process of fundraising, the market crashed. So our valuation from what we started off to where we ended off was cut by more than half in kind of three month process. And so it happened very quickly. So to your point, there’s just less cash out there now to invest in food companies. And previously, the model had been, you know, get a brand that has high growth, and they’re climbing the rankings of a category. And it doesn’t matter if they’re profitable, because you can sell the business on multiples of last 12 months, as opposed to multiples of EBITA. In food acquisitions, you had seen a lot of food acquisitions that were anywhere from at the very low end, kind of four times trailing 12 months, up to 14x, trailing 12 months and sale price, and just revenues. That’s crazy. Yes, revenues, just revenues, because there’s no EBITA there’s no even a multiple because there’s no EBIT. And so that had been sort of the thought process and food was okay, you make enough noise, you build a strong brand, you get to a ranking in the category that’s high enough that the large food companies can ignore anymore, they’re going to acquire you with the mindset that as long as your gross margin is sound, they can fix everything below the line that’s making you unprofitable by Plugging you into the mothership. It works, sometimes it fails a lot of times, but all of that has changed. We’re now the acquires have gotten burned a number of times by buying non profitable companies and never turning them profitable. There’s just less money out there. So you can’t just keep burning cash by showing you have growth. And so I think we’re seeing the money
Jeff Malec 23:18
cost more with rates much higher. Yeah. What do they also become like the big brands by the cool hip brands? And then they’re not cool anymore? So there’s a little bit of that going on? There
Zack Gazzaniga 23:31
can be you know, I’d say like, it depends on how the integration goes, just the act of buying someone, you know, like, we’ll see that news. And you know, that’ll that’ll be those of us in the industry will know Oh, man, so So and So acquired this company, but for the consumer might not know, got it. Yeah, most of them don’t know. So but but where it happens is how quickly does the acquiring brand, take operational control of the asset it just bought. And if that happens really quickly, a lot of times, that’s where you see things start to go south quickly. You know, one minor example when we were at sir Kensington’s, we had built a really great condiment brand that was trusted among our consumers. And one of the and we used either organic avocado oil or sorry, either organic sunflower oil or non GMO avocado or non GMO sunflower oil. Oh, really nice oils for man is and we were buying millions of pounds of oil. And one of our first meetings, you know, some analysts deep within Unilever had looked at the cost and said, Well, why don’t we just switch everything to canola oil? Yeah. And it’s like the end they ran the numbers and that would save X. It’s like, well, wait a minute, guys. Not like canola oil is demonized in the markets we sell to that will ruin the brand and we were able to fight that off because we still had operational control for a time period. But those are the types of things that I think, you know, when they don’t realize what they bought, and they try to make it more similar to the core is when it can start to peter out, and
Jeff Malec 25:12
or they can’t innovate as quickly or right. It just gets into the big bureaucratic mothership.
Zack Gazzaniga 25:18
That’s definitely true.
Jeff Malec 25:26
We’re gonna shift gears, let’s go into the corn. Who I was upset that you don’t. So you’re a newer neighbor, right? When do you move into a year ago? A
Zack Gazzaniga 25:36
year ago? Yep.
Jeff Malec 25:37
Yeah. So I’m like, Oh, this guy owns a tortilla chip, we’re gonna hedge his corn. But you don’t hedge your corn because you grow all your own corn. So tell us about your corn. Yes.
Zack Gazzaniga 25:48
So going back to the mission of my company to have delicious and sturdy chips. When I said okay, how do I make delicious corn tortilla chips, I need to go find delicious corn. And I was very excited by this challenge. Because from Sir Kensington’s, my background was creating and building supply chain. So I love this stuff. That’s my favorite part of what I do is creating new products and building new supply chains. And as I start to research corn, I stumbled down the 10,000 year history of corn. And this, what I learned was all corn originated from Mexico or what’s Mexico today and spread across the Americas. And in about 1000 ad, corn made its way up to New England and the northeast of the US and southern Canada. And because the climate in the Northeast is so different than Mexico. It it morphed and created a new type of corn called Flint corn and less like Flint, Michigan, exactly like Flint, Michigan. And Flint corn was known for being colorful, it was known for being very flavorful. And it was a taller and skinnier ear of corn than a standard ear of corn we have today, because it only has eight rows of kernels going around the corn. And if you think about modern dent corn, which is what we have today, that’s, you know, 1618 20 rows of kernels. So this is a much slimmer, more slender and taller ear of corn with a little bit plumper kernels. And it was really intriguing to me to learn about this corn because I grew up in Vermont. And I had no idea that there used to be this amazing corn from the northeast. So every Native American tribe had its own version of this corn because corn mutates very quickly. So you could have a slightly different type of corn here than you might have 20 miles away in a different sub climate. So there were 1000s of varieties of Flint corn. And then when Columbus came to the Americas originally, he was in the Caribbean, and corn had already made its way there. So they found corn, they brought it back to Europe. But those conditions are so different. And those latitudes are so different.
Jeff Malec 28:10
There was no corn in Europe, pre Columbus.
Zack Gazzaniga 28:13
No corn in Europe, pre Columbus. However, I will disclaimer that with there is heated debate about maritime travel of different cultures. And was there a way that it could have gotten somewhere there?
Jeff Malec 28:27
Maybe some little place there was some wildcard or something but who knows? Yeah,
Zack Gazzaniga 28:31
is is all corners just in America. And it was in all parts of America, Canada down to Argentina and all the all the islands in the Caribbean. And so they bring it back to Europe and it doesn’t grow it doesn’t take so they kind of forget about corn for 100 years. Then the Puritans show up to New England, they find corn, they bring it back to Southern Europe again. Now New England, Southern Europe are on the same latitude. And it starts to grow rapidly across North Africa, Europe and Asia. And it sort of quickly replaces millet as the staple peasant crop. Because corn is such a prolific crop in the sense it takes one kernel to create one year. So you go one kernel to about 100 Plus kernels in one growth cycle. That’s a return on a seed and soy corn just kind of spread rapidly. Corn from New England made its way to Northern California, sorry, Northern Italy and Piedmont in was so delicious. It created polenta. And so polenta was born from New England corn hundreds of years ago. Fast forward to when corn has disappeared from the US because in the early 20th century. Corn we started switching to growing modern didn’t corn, which only came about in the early 1800s that moved to the Midwest in modern dent corn is higher yielding less flavorful, but but but just better yields and so the newest And farmers kind of couldn’t keep up and a lot of them stopped growing corn and soy corn and switching to focus on dairy. And soy kind of Flint corn disappeared. But there have been these pockets of diehard family resistance farmers in New England that have kept certain varieties of Flint corn alive. And I connected with these folks because I was reading about it. I wanted to try the flint corn.
Jeff Malec 30:19
What was the book where you learned all this many books, there’s many books.
Zack Gazzaniga 30:23
There’s a great one by this guy from the organic grain grower, a famous organic farmer up in Vermont, and there is the best one
Jeff Malec 30:38
beautiful corn. Beautiful corn
Zack Gazzaniga 30:40
by Anthony Butare. This is a really great history of corn.
Jeff Malec 30:44
And there you go.
Zack Gazzaniga 30:45
I learned a lot of it.
Jeff Malec 30:46
All right, we’re gonna put we’ll put that link to that in the show notes. Sorry, I interrupted you go for it. No, that’s great. So I
Zack Gazzaniga 30:53
finally got my hands on Flint corn, and I and I did a control. I said okay, I’ve got five types of Flint corn from these five family farms in New England. I’m going to make, I’m going to cook it I’m going to make masa I’m going to make tortilla chips with these five types of corn. And I’m going to do the same with standard corn as a control because, you know, I’ve read that this corn is so flavorful, but once I fry in oil, does that just equalize same. And I was really blown away by how different and more flavorful. The Flint corn tasted and I can equate it to. It just tastes more corny, just like a heirloom fresh heirloom tomato tastes more tomato II than you know, a Ghast tomato you buy in the winter. And so I was really excited. So I called up this farm family farm in Rhode Island. I said, I loved your your corn, they had this tight called Longfellow yellow. I want to buy all your corn, how much can you saw me. And they had about 2000 pounds of grain and two pounds of seed. And that is just not enough to start a business. So I said, Oh my gosh, I’ve just wasted six months on this. And I thought I you know, found this corn and I was really down. And I talked to a buddy of mine named Glenn Roberts of Anson mills. And he’s like the grain guy in terms of landrace grains and heirloom grains. And he knows everything. And he said, Hey, you know, Longfellow yellow might even be an original parent of what traveled over to Italy. And the Italians call it autofill a autofill. A stands for the eight rows of kernels. It’s really good plenty. Maybe they haven’t maybe they’ve kept it alive. So I booked a one way ticket ticket to Piedmont and I went seat hunting for two weeks. And I discovered that the Italians who value foods so much in flavor, they had kept Flint corn alive. Lots of small farms grow it. It’s known in Italy that autofilling makes the best polenta. So I secured 2000 pounds of seed and became a corn importer with USDA brought it back started partnering with organic farms in the US. And our first growth season was 2019. And now we grow our with our foreign partners. We grow our own corn, we grow our own seed on segregated farms to prevent any GMOs from contaminating it. And so we have kind of our own insulated corn supply chain that exists outside of the normal market.
Jeff Malec 33:21
And when so you get it wasn’t a one way ticket. You eventually came back. But yeah. So when you get there you just how do you know it’s the right? They have it grown actually too, right. So you’re tasting the corn. You’re not just like cool. Give me the seeds. Yeah,
Zack Gazzaniga 33:37
it was interesting. It was. So I I did a couple of things. I had the chef who catered my wedding who’s Italian call a large polenta, grain milling family business in Italy, to see if they knew of someone who could I just thought it’d be simple as hey, tell me your supplier and I’ll buy some corn from your supplier. And this is a really cool company called Molina Merino. And they’re in and you know, like a lot of these European businesses multi generational family business and they were so confused by the call because they get a call from America where a guy wants to buy their polenta corn to bring speak Italian. I do not so that’s why I had a kid on my wedding call because he’s Italian. And I said okay, this deal is not getting done over the phone. Can I come meet you next week? And they said Sure you can show up at this day. So I show up and I connect with the guy they make me an espresso we sit in their conference room. And and he basically he was like, he was like oh to filet is the best corn. It makes the best polenta I said great. Do you have suppliers votes affiliates say yes, we have suppliers about to feel like I said I’d love to buy from your supplier and they said we can’t give you our supplier because we’ve run out of it. Every year, so why do you run out of every year? And it’s, there’s not enough. You said, but I do know some people say they
Jeff Malec 35:06
don’t grow enough. They don’t have enough land area, probably. They
Zack Gazzaniga 35:10
will it is true. Like I think the average the average size farm is just a couple hectares, which is two and a half acres. And so it’s a lot of these smaller farms all mixed together that kind of feed in and you don’t have these 10,000 Acre Farms there. But it’s so funny. So I started going farm to farm connecting with folks. And the conversation was so interesting, because they would always be like, they’d say, Oh, you want to feel a yes, it’s very good corn. So yes, I want to be able to feel it. And like, oh, we we we run out of it every year. And I go, Well, is it a profitable item? Do Is it? Is it have a good price? So yes, we sell it for a great price. It’s one of our best items, and go how many? How much do you grow? And then we grow, you know, half a hectare a year? And I was like, Do you have more land to grow? And they were like, yes, we have more land than that. And I go, so why don’t you grow more? Yeah, that just that didn’t compute. It’s not a mindset of like
Jeff Malec 36:09
American concept. Like, yeah, if you make money on this, do more of it. And
Zack Gazzaniga 36:13
to convert your farm into being like, we’re corn farm, because they’re rotating, you know, much more different items altogether to keep their soil healthy. And it’s just a different mindset. And so eventually, I found a seed supplier that hadn’t even more relationships, and they went and kind of collectively through a number of growers got me 2000 pounds of seed.
Jeff Malec 36:44
And so it’s all organic, as you mentioned this seed, so you’re not putting any fertilizer, any chemicals. But then you also have oil needs, what are you doing when you make it? Yep,
Zack Gazzaniga 36:57
we, so we bind, go
Jeff Malec 36:59
real quick, we left that out in the beginning of just how it’s made. I didn’t know this. But
Zack Gazzaniga 37:03
sure. So corn, soy Flint corn, like, the main dent corn that’s traded in the US is what’s called field corn. So you grow it in a field. And it’s different than sweet corn. So just to the average consumer, when you say corn, they think sweet corn. And what sweet corn is, is it’s a high sugar content variety of corn, that is actually picked early on purpose. So that it is a has a high moisture content, and you can bite into it. And that’s why it’s soft. But sweet corn is what less than 1% of the corn sold in the US it’s a tiny amount that just goes to the grocery store. Most of the corn grown in the US is dent corn, which is a type of field corn. So what you do with field corn, you grow it. But then once it’s done growing kind of in early September, you want it to you want the plant to die and kind of start to turn brown. And you want the corn to dry out in the field. And you want to get the corn to dry down as low as possible in the field anywhere from 14 to 18% moisture, because ultimately you want to store your corn between 11 and 14% moisture. And you don’t want to be adding heat. After you harvest the corn to get the corn down lower, you can cycle air through it, but you want most of the moisture to dry down in the field. Long story short, all of this corn that that you guys work with and that we work with, it’s very hard. And so if you were to just take it and bite it, you would crack your tooth, right. So if you were to take this corn and just boil it in a pot of water, it would still be hard because the outer paracord can kind of withstand just being in a pot of hot water. So in order to break it down and make Messiah there’s this old old old technique called nixtamal. And so the corn is cooked with calcium hydroxide which is known as culinary lime or pickling lime. And you you boil it with the calcium hydroxide, which is completely natural mineral mineral and that that breaks down the pericardium. So now the corn can start to absorb the water that it’s cooked in and expand into a softer thing. So at the end of the cook cycle, you can actually take a kernel between two fingers and squish it. So you take this kind of waterlogged corn and then you grind it we grind it through lava stones, and that creates a dough which is called masa. You then take the masa and you roll it out like you would a piece of pasta into kind of a thinner sheet and from there you can stamp out whatever shape you want to bake for us. We stamp out six inch round tortillas, we bake them in an oven and then eventually they get chopped and put into a fryer. And the in the fryer is where you get the moisture down to about 1% and you absorb the oil and then from there it goes into a season or where you can add salt or Nacho seasoning
Jeff Malec 39:59
And then it gets bagged. What type of oil isn’t.
Zack Gazzaniga 40:03
Our oil is high oleic organic sunflower oil.
Jeff Malec 40:07
Got it. And then we had talked, there was some Ukraine problems when that happened because most of the sunflower oil in the US comes from Ukraine. Most
Zack Gazzaniga 40:16
certainly most of the organic sunflower oil. The US isn’t a big grower of organic sunflower oil, there is a fair amount of non GMO sunflower oil grown kind of in the Dakotas. But organic sunflower oil, the big producers are kind of the Netherlands and Turkey, and Ukraine and Argentina. And I feel like Ukraine, taking the mantle as number one happened in like the last 10 years, because I feel like at one point Argentina was was was was number one, but I can’t remember for sure, but you painted the powerhouse of organic seed oils.
Jeff Malec 40:57
Is it still coming out of there? It’s been totally shut off. No, it’s
Zack Gazzaniga 41:01
still coming out of there. But when the right when the invasion happened, it there was a I can’t remember the exact number. But there’s some large percentage of that year’s crop because the invasion happened. And, you know, January February, start planting again in April, May, that planting cycle missed a lot of things. While the acres didn’t get planted, that planting cycle was shot the price up. So in that period, there was actually a scarcity of organic oil available throughout the market organic sunflower oil. And some folks weren’t getting any organic sunflower oil. But we luckily worked with a great company out of Canada, which is one of the largest organic. I think it’s one of the largest organic food companies, but certainly one of the largest organic oil companies, and they have stuff out of Ukraine, they have stuff out of Turkey, they have stuff out of Canada. So we were able to get our organic oil.
Jeff Malec 41:57
Let’s go down the organic path. So we talked a little bit about here, but what what is organic, let’s get into organic GMO, what all that means. Exactly. Yeah. How you feel about it? Yeah.
Zack Gazzaniga 42:12
So organic is the main pillars of organic are trying to prevent chemical pesticides, chemical herbicides, and chemical fertilizer fertilizers from being used to grow your product. And organic requires, in addition that the seeds you are using are not genetically modified. So there’s a lot of overlap between organic and non GMO. But separate of that there can be items that are just non GMO and not organic. Non GMO is an interesting debate about about kind of which side are you on and and I think for me, the conversation around GMOs is much more nuanced, nuanced, and being pro or against GMOs.
Jeff Malec 43:02
The concept seems like a lazy label. It I think
Zack Gazzaniga 43:06
it is a lazy label. In many respects, I think it’s a, it’s a good label, in terms of like, by by being non GMO, you can clearly show the consumer that you are non GMO. And if that’s important to them, that’s clear. And they can rely that none of your ingredients came from Jack and modified organisms. But I don’t think GMO foods are necessarily bad. It just there’s some GMOs that are bad. And there are other GMOs that aren’t bad. The example of kind of, for me, in general, whether we’re talking about GMOs, or we’re talking about organic, a lot of times to the consumer, those are health related conversations. And I think there’s a lot of merit in there. But for me, what’s always held the most weight is looking at the environmental and agricultural side of those. And I think growing organically makes more sense for the soil than growing organically or growing GMOs. So in the world of corn, corn is very important in the GMO history because one of the first GMO crops that came about in the US was in 1996, Monsanto created Roundup Ready corn. And the concept here,
Jeff Malec 44:21
they didn’t they didn’t put that on the sign in the grocery store, you know, to Roundup Ready corn?
Zack Gazzaniga 44:25
No, they didn’t. The concept was, Roundup was one of their chemical pesticides, one of their weed killers, and they’re also selling, that they’re also selling and the from their perspective, what’s great about about Roundup is it’s a highly effective weed killer. The den pest killer. The downside of Roundup is that it kills everything. So as we’re spraying it, it was killing the crop they were trying to protect as well as what they were trying to prevent the pest from being
Jeff Malec 44:57
like chemotherapy like We can kill the cancer, but we’re killing everything else at the same time.
Zack Gazzaniga 45:03
Exactly. So GMO, so the Roundup Ready corn was a genetically modified corn where they they bred into the corn a resistance to round up so that the crop can be sprayed, this corn can survive and everything else can die. And so the arguments for this are that that had a significant impact on increasing yields per acre. And this is stuff that matters in many parts of the world that are trying to increase crop outputs and trying to combat combat hunger. So I think there’s many, there are a lot of pro yield arguments for GMOs, but in terms of you think about, okay, let’s look at this cornfield. In America, that’s using Roundup Ready corn, it’s getting a lot of chemical chemical sprayed on it. And so is that good for what ultimately gets made into food and consumed? Is that good for the soil? Those are the debates that I’ve always found stronger. And the reason why we kind of lean on non GMO and
Jeff Malec 46:05
organic, is there any research or anything that that chemical actually makes it into the corn and hurts people health wise, the that there
Zack Gazzaniga 46:14
is research and but it’s it’s one of these things where it’s like, you can find the paper done by doctors that show it’s harmful. And you can find the paper done by doctors that show it’s not harmful,
Jeff Malec 46:26
right? It’s hard to control for it, right? Like, who knows what else the people were doing? Exactly.
Zack Gazzaniga 46:31
And that’s why it’s that’s why I say it’s like, it’s hard for me to say definitively. You know, eating non organic food is bad for you. Because I don’t I don’t feel that way. And I don’t only eat organic food, I have just found in my experience working with organic growers, the principles that they grow by make a lot of sense to me make a lot of sense to the soil, I think they’re they’re they’re kind of organic material that they’re able to retain in their soil makes a lot of sense.
Jeff Malec 46:57
So is your opinion that these big farms spread the whole field is they’re killing the soil eventually? Like does the soil degrade over time, that’s one of
Zack Gazzaniga 47:09
the big kind of conversations in food is what’s happening to the health of our soil and how many crop cycles do we have left. And so the argument there is, you know, if you have, if you’re basically bringing in chemical fertilizers to give the soil all the nitrogen and nutrients, it needs to grow corn, and then you plant the GMO corn, and then you spray it with the pesticides to prevent any pests from growing, you can get this great yield on corn. And that happened separate of what it was actually the health of the soil. And furthermore, you can come back on that same plot of land the next year and do the same thing over and over again, the doesn’t even really matter what’s in the soil, it’s just holding the holding the plant up, essentially, it’s a Petri dish. Yeah. And you add everything you need to get what you want. Right. And so that math equation has worked in for many years, where the yields justify the reliance on these off farm inputs. But when I’ve talked to growers who have made the switch to organic, one of the things, there are kind of two things that reasons why they switched. One is the profit per acre is really thin on growing kind of standard corn. And some years you make profit some years you lose profit, my grower had sent me this graph that showed over 20 years, the average profit of corn growers of generic Corn Growers was $1 an acre, which is kind of crazy. And so there’s more profits to be had in organic farm growing. And they also they also view that they’re in the process of growing organically, they are increasing the health of their soil, and they have less reliance on off farm inputs, which can, you know, go through the roof with macro events like Russia and Ukraine, it can go through the, through the roof with just a company trying to charge you more. So a lot of books.
Jeff Malec 49:05
Turns out, we get all our fertilizer, basically from Russia. So yeah, yes,
Zack Gazzaniga 49:08
major producer of chemical fertilizer. So again, for me in terms of why I think it makes sense. I just a lot of I’m not an expert on ag my growers are experts on ag and we’re very close with with our growers, and when they explain why they’ve tried why they’ve made a commitment to organic, why it makes sense to them, why it makes sense of their soil, because the purpose of having healthy soil is it increases yields. And so being an organic farmer doesn’t mean that you are not doing everything you can to increase and maximize yields. Every grower in the history of agriculture has been trying to maximize yields. They just within the parameters of organic farming. And so, you know, just as I mentioned the the field that has the generic GMO corn can you Use the same field to year over year and bring in the nutrients they need in the form of chemical fertilizers. Inorganic farmer does crop rotations, so they’ll grow corn one year on this plot of land, and corn takes a lot of nitrogen. So now after they grew the corn, that soil is nitrogen deficient. So instead of growing corn in the next cycle, they will instead plant something that is nitrogen infusing like alfalfa. And so they will build their whole crop rotations so that some crops are taking some crops are giving but the whole collection of it creates healthy soil.
Jeff Malec 50:43
Where do you stand on like ethanol? High fructose corn syrup, right, like corn, you could argue is a very bad thing for the health of the society overall and carbs, right? We’ve put this high fructose corn syrup and everything. Iowa being first on the primaries makes it bigger than it probably should be. Why do we have ethanol? There’s lots of arguments for it. We don’t need ethanol. So got any thoughts? We don’t need to get super political. But you’re welcome to if you want. But yeah, what are your thoughts on it?
Zack Gazzaniga 51:12
I think there’s no question high fructose corn syrup is bad for you. And sugar in general is not great for you. And even if we’re talking raw organic cane sugar, that should be minimized. But certainly, high fructose corn syrup, which is stripped down and kind of quickly turns into carbs isn’t good and should be avoided full stop.
Jeff Malec 51:35
Can you make me a non carb tortilla champ? There’s talk about that.
Zack Gazzaniga 51:38
Tortilla chips, or low carb ones? They those exist, and there’s some good ones. But it’s not. I mean, I like corn. So if you bring up a good point, because what you’re touching on is like the corn the larger corn conversation where corn has been demonized in certain because of whether it’s GMOs or ethanol, or high fructose corn syrup. And I my answer all those things are yes, yes. And yes. But the answer isn’t no more corn. Our answer is better corn grown responsibly in a different way. In and so I’m not anti corn, I’m anti into the status quo of corn.
Jeff Malec 52:22
Yeah, but there’s bread huge, like, Okay, what if we get rid of high fructose corn syrup and all those products? double in price? Because, yeah, 100%. Right, then there’s more inflationary problems. So yeah, it’s a tough reason. It’s a tough nut to crack. Yeah, what
Zack Gazzaniga 52:37
we have been interested in at our farm in Iowa is seen if we are capable of growing, regenerative corn that is cheaper than standard GMO corn, you’ll net will never hit the yields of GMO corn. It’s possible. But those growers spend so much as we talked about in the chemical pesticides in the chemical fertilizers, and that’s all accounts in the price. And if you have a regenerative process, you don’t need all those off farm inputs.
Jeff Malec 53:18
And what do you mean by regenerative? Just let the soil do its thing? Basically, exactly.
Zack Gazzaniga 53:22
Focus on having the soil have high organic matter material, increase your crop rotations, do winter cover cropping, all these things carry costs, but but the chemical pesticides and fertilizers are very expensive. And so the question is, can we get enough yield growing items regeneratively that have less per acre inputs where you could create profits?
Jeff Malec 53:45
Roughly the same? Exactly.
Zack Gazzaniga 53:47
And and we haven’t we haven’t done that yet. But there’s a lot of optimism that that can happen. But to your point, like one of the reasons why there’s a lot of corn subsidies. And so I think folks do get political about this conversation that saying, Well wait, if we shift the subsidies in a different direction, could we incentivize, you know, a lower cost item that is better for us? And I’m not the expert on that.
Jeff Malec 54:12
Right. And then you go into right like the subsidies feed all the cows all the that create the method like you can go down to a global warming rabbit hole there for sure. Yeah. Water. What’s what’s your take? You have the was aware of your farms. You have one in Iowa, one in Iowa and one in Northern California. And how big are those?
Zack Gazzaniga 54:34
They’re big farms. We grow more in Iowa, the farm in Iowa is it’s about 10,000 Organic acres under contract. Not not for us, but just in general. And yeah, we’re growing a couple 100 acres there. And then we we grew less than 50 acres in Northern California. The yield is a little bit better in Northern California but that Land is more expensive.
Jeff Malec 55:01
Really? Don’t tell the Iowans there. Their whole culture is corn. Don’t tell them they bless you. They probably know. So, yeah, just started this by like, what’s your take? Is water a problem? Will it become more and more of a problem moving forward? Or the aquifers declining all that good stuff?
Zack Gazzaniga 55:19
Water is always at the center of every ag conversation in California. And that is something that there’s there’s the aquifer conversation of, are they getting depleted? Are they caving in? Are they getting replenished? But then on any given year, there’s the question of just water rights and how much is the county going to allow or allocate for certain growers? When I was last in at our farm in northern California, they were showing us all these walnut farmers that basically just no longer got the water they needed to to be able to grow walnuts, and so they were just kind of falling in disarray. So there’s the water conversation, California is very complicated. And I don’t know enough about it other than it’s for across my career, I’ve bought lots of items from California, whether it’s corn or tomatoes, or peppers, and everything is about water out there. And so that’s, that’s a big can of worms to open up. Out in Iowa. A lot of the water we need for the corns comes from the rainfall, a lot. It’s not irrigated, and we used to grow in the Northeast as well. And just sort of the summer rainfall was what we needed. A lot of the purpose of regenerative farming is to have deeper roots and more organic matter in the soil so that the ground can retain water more and longer was the kind of hitting and brushing off. So I think it’s it’s going to become a factor. But it hasn’t been the main pain point that we hear from our growers in Iowa more recently, we’ve there have been some winds in the Midwest that have kind of come through and then taken down corn and fields of corn. We’ve had in the time that we’ve been in the last five years that we’ve grown corn, we’ve had weather that has caused us to plant late or we’ve had early Frost’s. So those are the things kind of right in front of my nose that we’ve dealt with. And so far, we’ve gotten less of a red flag on water. Yeah.
Jeff Malec 57:31
You mentioned the other night, there’s like a short corn coming up. Talk about that for a second.
Zack Gazzaniga 57:35
Yeah, I just got sent that there is a short corn coming out. And I think the idea here is that corn can grow really tall, it can grow to be 10 to 14 feet tall. And, and it one thing that has happened a lot in the Midwest recently is high winds have kind of blown corn stalks over. And so I think the thought process here is can we create a sturdier stock by having it be shorter, that can withstand wind, but that can still prevent pest control of and when people use the word pests, it covers not only bugs, but things like deer? And is there a balance of a winwin variety of corn, that can be short corn, and it looks like they’re doing it in Mexico successfully? And it’s just one of the early, early kind of thoughts on a new way to grow corn to reduce to increase yields.
Jeff Malec 58:30
And how do you think about like, if I’m creating the short corn, right, I’m mixing two genes are right or not genetically modifying it to create
Zack Gazzaniga 58:41
would assume that the article I saw made it seem like it was more of a mass corn product, which then would very much be genetically modified. This is a good example of, well, how bad is this genetic modification, if we’re talking about choosing kind of different height attributes to promote, and, you know, one of the original thoughts of GMOs was okay, farmers are always selecting traits. And it might take them 10 years to go from this crop today. And then they’re going to seed select every year to to focus on larger ears to focus on sturdier stocks, and they might get to where they want to go in 10 cycles. And GMOs can find those attributes, target them, and shorten that time period to have those attributes in one to two years. So it’s where you listen to that and be like, well, that doesn’t sound so evil.
Jeff Malec 59:41
And that’s just confusing. It’s like, Well, to me, all farming is genetically modified, right? Like we put the orange tree with the pear tree and we got whatever and like you’re, you’re doing that all the time, but it seems GMO as it’s used as more of like, involving the Monsanto example the chemical protection, right so yeah, whatsoever
Zack Gazzaniga 1:00:00
is everything now is this just gene editing is all follows falls under GMOs. But, you know, I think like we were saying there’s probably totally fine examples that don’t hurt one’s health don’t hurt the soil. And then there’s other examples that allow for the dumping of chemicals under product and soil. And is that a good thing or not? But yeah, you know, like the our corn is what’s called open pollinated, which means that you can literally take a kernel from one of our ears and plant it, and you will get the same corn next year, most corn that is grown is a hybrid variety. So the hybrids, you can’t take seed from a hybrid corn ear and grow it. You can only buy hybrid seeds from the seed manufacturers,
Jeff Malec 1:00:48
they do that on purpose. That’s one argument is that
Zack Gazzaniga 1:00:51
they created a seed market that they could control. But the hybrid, the idea of of hybrids was to buy by breeding two varieties together, you can increase the prevalence of certain traits in either one of them in the offspring, more so than how it exists in the state. But so our staff is open pollinated. And when I first first getting started, and I was working with the Italians and the old timers up in New England, very much a big part of what we did before harvest was seed selecting for the next year. So before we put the combine into the field to harvest all the corn, we walked with bags in the field, and we would look at stocks and figure out which stocks are the sturdiest. We like the best. Okay, like stocks. Now let’s look at those ears which ears are the prettiest what? And when I say prettiest meaning they’re the largest looking Colonel’s tips on the corn and all these we were making all of these assessments and selecting the seed based off of that, and that is the old school version of kind of gene editing is over time we’re going to try to have our seed be a collection of the best attributes
Jeff Malec 1:02:12
or what are your last thoughts tell us where we can get the chips.
Zack Gazzaniga 1:02:15
You can buy the chips we are at Whole Foods Market nationwide. We are in a caravan East Coast like Wegmans. If you’re down in Florida, we are in Publix, all public stores. And then there’s a good chance we’ll be in whatever your local organic Co Op or regional grocer is.
Jeff Malec 1:02:36
And what you got one flavor 10 flavors, what’s the mass how many SKUs we
Zack Gazzaniga 1:02:41
have here we go. We have three skews of, of tortilla chips. And we have one food service size SKU of tortilla chips that we use to sell the sweet grain. So if you get tortilla chips in your salad at sweet green in either the west coast or the East Coast, that’s our tortilla chip. You
Jeff Malec 1:03:01
should have led with that all the all the kids love the sweet green.
Zack Gazzaniga 1:03:04
I know sweet greens great and and then we just launched two skews of a new product line for us which is rolled tortilla chips where if those tortilla chips that are rolled up like a like a I keep saying cigarette but people are telling me I need to think of a different thing describe chips other than cigarettes.
Jeff Malec 1:03:24
And you also got to change the SIR Kensington condiment company my brain my adult adolescent brain goes to condom company. Yeah.
Zack Gazzaniga 1:03:35
When we were at sir Kensington’s there was I think there was a condom company that launched called like Sir Richards
Jeff Malec 1:03:42
were like a condiment? You know ketchup. Yeah. And but talk about that for a sec. You those rolled things are like the talkies. The kids like, yeah. Which is what just a roll up chip that’s then fried.
Zack Gazzaniga 1:03:54
Exactly right. It is a rolled up. It’s a it’s a chip that has rolled up into that shape before it is baked and fried. And by kind of rolling up the chip, you get a really dense hard crunch, which is kind of a fun snacking experience. But in addition, you know, these chips are meant to be heavily seasoned with kind of provocative flavors, whether they’re really spicy or really tiny. So we have a chili lime. which the heat is it? There’s a little bit of heat in there for sure, but nothing crazy. And then we have a fiery Nacho, which is pretty hot.
Jeff Malec 1:04:27
Pretty Yeah. And then you were those taki people are they think that’s their proprietary role? Technology?
Zack Gazzaniga 1:04:34
Jeff Malec 1:04:36
No comment. All right. The taki people. All right. We’ll leave it there. Thanks. We’ll see you when I get home maybe.
Zack Gazzaniga 1:04:43
Awesome. Sounds good. Thank you.
Jeff Malec 1:04:44
All right, Zack, take care. All right. That’s it for the pod. Thanks, Zack. Thanks to you listeners for entertaining a non current pod here. Thanks to RCM ag for sponsoring thanks to Jeff Burger for producing we’ll be back once or twice the next two weeks before taking off for the holidays from Thanksgiving through new years will bring you a whole new slate piece.
This transcript was compiled automatically via Otter.AI and as such may include typos and errors the artificial intelligence did not pick up correctly.