WomenVenture client, Molly Clark is the co-owner of Taking Stock Foods.
Molly Clark and her cofounder Maddy Kaudy worked with WomenVenture almost seven years ago, and since then a lot has changed. “We did a three-month class in 2015 and that was really the jumping off point that we used to develop our business.” They wrote a business plan while they were in the class for a different concept: a fast casual soup restaurant. “WomenVenture really helped us to articulate the costs associated to our business and a lot of people in the expert network were able to give us advice and talk about owning a commercial real estate property and running a restaurant.”
Molly credits WomenVenture with helping the two cofounders to literally take stock of their goals and what they wanted out of running their own business. “We got back to the why of what we were doing and considered that maybe it looks a little different than what we originally thought. For the restaurant we had developed all these soups and every soup had broths that we had spent a lot of time developing.”
While the pair worked with WomenVenture on their business plan, they simultaneously met with a marketing firm to discuss marketing the restaurant. “One of the people working there was aware of the bone broth trend, and she saw the opportunity for a premium higher priced product that would be going after a more niche, functional food: ready-to-drink broth. It was in keeping with our original idea, but we were able to find a way to leverage our ability and our output without completely taxing ourselves.” From there, Taking Stock was born—an organic, ready-to-drink bone broth.
Over the past seven years, Molly and Maddy have forged ahead, and their business is going from strength to strength. Molly says that having a cofounder, along with a network of support from WomenVenture and other similar organizations has helped them to keep going through the hard times. “We’ve had so many conversations where one of us is confronted with a challenge and isn’t able to see through to the other side, but the other one can see it.”
“I received advice from another cohort I participated in, that every overnight success is really a 15-year business. Overnight success cases don’t happen, you just have to keep plugging away and really know what the guiding star is of why you’re doing what you’re doing.”
Taking Stock is already sold in Whole Foods and Kowalski’s in Minnesota, but this April (4/17—5/22) they are participating in a pilot program with Target. “We are doing a five week launch at 26 Target stores within the Twin Cities metro.” After many years under her belt as an entrepreneur, Molly is excited for the future of Taking Stock, the project with Target “is really getting us excited as to the potential future of our business. We’re currently in 84 stores and our three-year goal is to be in 500.” To learn more about the pilot with Target and how you can get your hands on some broth, follow Molly and Maddy at @TakingStockFoods on Facebook and Instagram, or visit their website takingstockfoods.com.