Q: Please give us your backstory. How did you meet? Where did you get the idea for the Sriracha2Go keychain? When did Sriracha2Go first become a company? When did you realize this was more than an idea?
Farbod: We met in 2011 at a start-up in San Francisco called Extole. We were both on the sales team, and became close friends fairly quickly. Then in April 2012 I moved to NYC, and shortly after Kyle moved as well. We moved in together in an apartment in the East Village, and during that time we were going out exploring NYC's food scene fairly regularly. We both had a love for Sriracha, but realized that it wasn't as readily available as it should be at a lot of restaurants, so there were times we'd literally bring food home (mainly Artichoke Pizza) so we could add some spice to our meals at the house. Then one night in September 2013, it hit us. Bringing food back to our place just to throw some Sriracha on it seemed ridiculous, so we needed to scratch our own itch and come up with a way where we people could always have Sriracha with them, no matter where they were.
Q: Describe the early days of Sriracha2Go. How did you create brand awareness?
Kyle: The first month was crazy. We started out by reaching out to press, posting on Reddit, and creating a presence across various social media platforms. We gained a lot of traction by logging into the Sriracha2Go Instagram account and liking and commenting on thousands that were tagged #sriracha.
As we started gaining traction, our days consisted of waking up early to pack boxes, going to work, coming home to pack more boxes until 4AM, and making multiple trips per day to USPS with our largest suitcases filled with boxes to ship out.
Q: Have you ever toured Huy Fong Foods? Did you meet David Tran? Give us the spicy details!
Farbod: Yes we have. We've been there a couple of times, and highly recommend it. Their factory is a well run machine, and they offer a great free tour to the public. We haven't met David himself, but we are in close communication with the team over there and highly value and appreciate the relationship we have with them. Without Huy Fong, there would be no Sriracha2Go so we're forever grateful to them.
Q: Happy 5th Birthday to Sriracha2Go. Congrats! 5 years in the start-up world is definitely an accomplishment. What do you think has lead to the success and sustainability of Sriracha2Go?
Q: Sriracha2Go is backed by Mark Cuban. Tell us the story behind that.
Kyle: Mark Cuban has always been an entrepreneur we both admire. Months after launching the company, we reached out to Mark directly. His email is public so anyone can email him. We told him our story, laid out our vision, and proposed a partnership. At the time we were only selling one keychain (the original 1.7oz version), but we had a vision and Mark was on board. Since then, the Mark Cuban team has been instrumental in getting our products into big box retailers and introducing us to some valuable vendors. Having the Mark Cuban stamp of approval behind your company, especially as a startup, goes a long way.
Q: What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs (or future entrepreneurs)?
Farbod: Go out of your way to seek the advice and input of your friends, family, and ultimately your customers, but definitely don't let the negativity of a few discourage you.
Kyle: Everybody has good ideas but more often than not we allow our fear of failure to inhibit us from chasing our dreams. Don't get stuck in your own head. Take a risk and you might surprise yourself.
Q: Where do you see the future of Sriracha2Go?
Kyle: We'll continue to launch new Sriracha related products while also focusing on the growth of our foodservice business where we have an enormous opportunity with our packets.
Q: The Christmas and holiday season is coming up. What would be your favorite gift(s) to give someone from Sriracha2Go?
Q: What's your favorite food to put Sriracha on?
Farbod: Eggs. Have to start the day off right.
Leap Day (Feb. 29th) only comes once every 4 years, basically. To celebrate, check out this list of 29 signs that validate your Sriracha obsession. How many are true for you?
"If you like Sriracha, then you will love these cookies! Chewy and chocolatey with a hint of chili heat." ~Steve Cylka, Recipe Developer~