Entrepreneur Profile: Daniel Sullivan, founder of Temple Turmeric (formerly TurmericALIVE)Entrepreneur Profile: Daniel Sullivan, founder of Temple Turmeric (formerly TurmericALIVE)
January 16, 2015
What was the inspiration for your business?
To facilitate the highest quality organic non-GMO turmeric to people every day.
To unlock the ancient wisdom of a time-tested adaptogen, grown compassionately in Hawaii.
To be the category creator in drinkable turmeric, and to facilitate our Hawaiian Gold supply chain, considered to be the most potent, ecologically sound varietal in the world.
What have been some critical factors on your road to success?
First to market.
Strong local roots in one of the most strategic markets in the nation.
Our relationship with farmers who deliver rock solid transparency/traceability to the soil.
Our relationship with (and respect for) our ingredient.
Describe a mistake you made with your business. How did you fix it?
The biggest mistake I ever made was to hire too quickly without solid reference checks; the remedy's summed up in this mantra: “Hire slowly, fire quickly.”
What’s your best piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Don’t ever doubt yourself.
Do it for the people. Unlock ancient ingredients and bring authentic products to market with the intention that they will truly bring change, benefit consumers, and improve lives.
Where are you going? What is the vision for your business in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?
I’m a turmeric facilitator; that’s what I do and that’s what I will continue to do.
We will expand into Bio-dynamic, with new and exciting varietals and functionality.
What was the first retail account you landed?
High Vibe, a raw food specialty shop in Manhattan's East Village.
Has anything surprised you about working with independent retailers?
It’s hard work. I admire those who take a chance and start retail operations. I’m proud to say that sales of my product support and sustain the independent natural and organic food stores around the nation.
How do you develop relationships with retailers and educate them about your company's story?
We show up. We make time for retail partners at the store level, trade shows, and tabletop events. We are in it for the journey and enjoy engaging/contributing to retailer community events.
What most helped market your product in the beginning?
Turmeric was predominantly expressed in VMS [Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements] at the time TumericALIVE launched the first RTD functional turmeric beverage. We were able to capitalize on a rising awareness and traction from the turmeric supplement market. Launching a turmeric-based beverage brand five years ago was perfectly timed for a marketplace which was primed to move from a capsule format to a beverage format.
Recognition has helped propel turmeric into the top 10 best-selling supplements in the United States, so it’s that same recognition that really helped to generate awareness for TumericALIVE early adopters.
What's a guilty pleasure of yours?
I love Burning Man.
Give us an inside scoop on yourself.
I rock a serious arm party.
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