Episode 126
October 4, 2022

Stolen Sauce and Roller Coaster Rides

with Greg Vetter, Co-Founder and CEO of Tessemae's

About this episode

Joining the show today is Greg Vetter, the Co-Founder and CEO of Tessemae’s. Available in retail stores nationwide, including Whole Foods, Tessemae’s offers a variety of all-natural salad dressings, sauces, marinades, dips, and condiments that are gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free. Greg and Lee talked about his childhood growing up in Annapolis, what it was like playing professional lacrosse for three years, to realizing a friend stole his mother's lemon garlic salad dressing out of their own house, and how it sparked the idea to launch Tessemae’s.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • (1:40) More about Tessemae’s, the country's number one organic salad dressing and condiment company. 
  • (5:20) What his childhood growing up as the oldest of three boys in Annapolis was like, with lots of activities, and how he always had an entrepreneurial spirit wanting to invent things
  • (9:20) What it was like going to college at Washington College, playing professional lacrosse, and figuring out what he wanted to do after college
  • (11:30) How when working in sales jobs post-college, he was writing business plans while looking at the infrastructure to see how they were successful, and how he could do that on his own 
  • (14:16) The story of how a friend stole his mom's salad dressing, and it sparked the idea for Tessemae’s
  • (16:50) The first things he did to get the business off the ground, from going to all the local grocery stores and seeing if it was on the shelves 
  • (20:25) The story of how the brand is named after his mom’s nickname, Tesse Mae
  • (24:50) The good and bad that came with fundraising, the advice he has for others in the fundraising journey, and how to build a relationship with investors
  • (31:17) How he keeps going even when times are tough on the ups and downs of the rollercoaster
  • (37:00) How he’s grown professionally and personally as a leader since becoming an entrepreneur
  • (43:00) Some of the challenges he’s had to face, and how new ones come up every day 
  • (49:25) The limiting beliefs he’s had to overcome, especially doubt, but how he realized everyone has it

To Find Out More:

https://www.tessemaes.com/ 

Quotes:

“So I would go home at lunch and stand on my head in the dark and try to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.” 

“The first thing I wanted to do is figure out whether or not it existed, cause I didn't want to just create something that may have already been sitting on the shelf.”

“I called everybody and I said, listen, I don't know shit about shit and my life is on the line and I have an opportunity May 1st, and you are going to help me do this.”

“Each step you kind of level up into a different level of complexity and sophistication and so all of them were critical points in our journey.”

“If you want money, ask for advice, and if you want advice, ask for money.”

“You have to become resilient because the number of no’s that you get, it's unbelievable.”

“If you approach each day with this foundational understanding of you know who you are, and what is important in the world. Then you can overcome these obstacles that come your way every single day.” 

“I want to be the next great consumer packaging good brand that stands for something true.”

“I think everything that you do in the morning will then kind of dictate what you're prepared to handle for the rest of the day.”

“If you're not curating success, you're probably curating failure.”

“Trust your gut, you know in your gut whether or not it's right or it's wrong. Every time I have ignored my gut, it has been the worst situation of my life. Every time I have trusted my gut, it has saved me. So trust your gut.”

Read the transcript

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