Eat Good Saturated Fats. Coconut oil is a great alternative to other lesser than oils, like vegetable and canola oil. It has great benefits for the brain, heart, and metabolic health.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Meagher.
In 2009, Erin Meagher established Beneficial Blends, LLC as she saw the desire for ‘Beneficial for You’ products launching the first product, organic coconut oil, according to the company’s 4 Diamond Approach: ‘Beneficial for You’ products, quality, transparency, and social impact.
A decade later, Beneficial Blends is the premier food & CBD manufacturer for food services nationwide. The company’s 50,000 sq ft facility is FDA & GMP compliant, USDA Organic and Kosher Certified. It maintains an SQF Level III certification for dietary supplements, food additives, cosmetic products and upholds its’ Fair for Life certification.
Beneficial Blends manufactures cooking oils, ghee (clarified butter) and CBD including ingestible, topicals and aromatherapy to fit retailer needs. It recently launched NanoLyte™, the first-ever clear, certified water-soluble CBD with non-detectible THC.
Beneficial Blends is recognized on the INC5000, Tampa Bay Business Journal and Business Observer as a Fast Growing Company. Erin is active with the Coconut Coalition of the Americas, US Hemp Roundtable and Hemp Industry Association.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Sure! When I graduated from college, I got my degree in Business Education and became a high school business teacher. The classes I taught were accounting, Microsoft Suite, entrepreneurship, and all the on-the-job training classes. My excitement around entrepreneurship was really evident to my students and they always asked why I was teaching and not out there with my own business. Eventually, I discovered coconut oil and all the health benefits associated with it, and I set out to turn it into a brand sold in grocery stores across the United States.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
There are so many interesting stories and wish I could share them all, but I’ll stick to one back when we were first getting into manufacturing. We were first opening our manufacturing facility around September or October and a national retail chain asked if we could co-pack for their brand. We of course said yes, but they wanted the product in December! We did not even have our certifications on board yet. Somehow, we pulled everything together and shipped them that January. They are still our customers today. I am extremely proud of all the hard work our team put in to make that happen.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Minor disasters used to happen all the time…like leaking oil that hardened over our entire warehouse floor, wrong date codes and us having to go back and re-do entire runs with the correct ones, and wiring money to false accounts. But, the biggest mistake was taking on an ERP implementation when we didn’t have the people resources for a smooth transition. This actually had a multi-year impact on us and cost more money than any of the minor disasters. It just doesn’t seem as jaw-dropping as the funnier ones.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Success is built on a collection of people that help you, along with good timing and luck. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have found great people along the way that added tremendous value at different points in our business life cycle. It would be too hard to pinpoint just one person, but we just recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of our second ever hire, Jen Annenos. She is the Director of HR and we couldn’t operate without her.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
All of our products are in the organic and natural food space and are Better-for-You selections. Mainly, we focus on edible oils, like coconut oil, and more recently CBD oil. We bring foods, beverages, and dietary supplements into the marketplace that help people’s overall health while being high quality and having transparent sourcing methods. We believe that Organic, sustainable, and Fair Trade farmed products are better for everyone in the food supply chain.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Eat Good Saturated Fats. Coconut oil is a great alternative to other lesser than oils, like vegetable and canola oil. It has great benefits for the brain, heart, and metabolic health.
- Get Sunshine. Even with living in Florida, almost everyone is low in Vitamin D and that helps tremendously with our mental health.
- Drink Water. We’re living things like plants, good sun and good water help you thrive!
- Move! At work, we take a few laps around the buildings to release energy and anxiety throughout the day.
- Slow Down. We’ve been conditioned to always be on the go and at maximum stress levels. Slowing down helps us recover from overtaxing our adrenal glands. Our new Chillax’n CBD products help you find that chill amongst your day.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
We are in the middle of the CBD movement. It’s still in its infancy but people are seeing a lot of mental and physical well-being by using the products. Being at the forefront of CBD, we are working hard to regulate the industry, bring consistency, and create delicious and useful products for everyone to enjoy on a daily basis.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
Money, money, money. It takes a lot more money in the consumer packaged goods space than I originally planned. But I’m thankful for a bit of naivety otherwise I may never have started.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health, followed closely by sustainability. Everyone struggles with some form of mental health, whether that’s self-esteem issues or larger diagnosed issues. I think we all need to destigmatize what that means and talk openly about issues. Additionally, a little bit of empathy for each other will continue to help the communities we live within.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!