Cyrus Schwartz, President of Mountainside Farms, joined host Anita Campbell to discuss rural small business innovation. Cyrus is the 5th generation in his family to be in the dairy industry. As Cyrus became involved in the business, he soon realized that he needed to become innovative to stay competitive and to increase revenue in the marketplace.
From increasing cow’s milk products to soy products and creating such brands as ZenSoy Organic Soy Pudding and Evolve Kefir Probiotic Smoothie, Cyrus shares his personal experiences in securing additional shelf-space in the supermarket dairy business.
This is his story:
- (2:23) Cyrus, did you grow up on a dairy farm?
- (3:41) What is your specific background? Have you been in the business all of your adult life?
- (4:24) How did your family come to make the transition from farming to manufacturing?
- (6:13) Where does the innovation come in? How do you innovate in the dairy business?
- (8:43) How did you convince the farmers to go organic? It must’ve been a risk for you and for them, correct?
- (10:29) Can you tell us a bit about Ultra-Pure milk?
- (12:18) What’s the difference in the shelf life between pasteurized milk and Ultra-Pure milk?
- (13:10) In your opinion, how important is packaging to taking a product nationally?
- (18:56) What gave you the idea to expand into soy products?
- (20:37) Are there other product lines in the pipeline that you’re working on now?
- (22:20) How do you go about convincing retailers to give you shelf space? Is it difficult or are they seeking out these unusual products?
- (24:10) If you had to give advice to a specialty small business, what would you advise them?
- (25:38) I understand that you compete in triathlons. Does this help you in business?
- (26:37) What’s next for Mountainside farms?
- (28:30) Cyrus, where can people find out more on the web?
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