We recently connected with Guilherme Maia Silva and have shared our conversation below.
Guilherme, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
I grew up in Brazil and was introduced to agriculture and crop production at an early age. Because of my father’s career in agriculture, I got to live around the world in countries like Thailand, India, China, and the United States. Through this journey I fell in love with agriculture and eventually went on to pursue an education in Plant Sciences at one of the top ag schools in the world, UC Davis. It was there that I got hands-on experience by working in organic farms, touring local nut orchards, and taking sustainable agriculture courses. I became deeply intrigued by the concept of water scarcity and how the food we grow affects the environment, natural water reservoirs, and consumer’s personal water footprints. I went on to work in the food manufacturing industry and eventually got the idea of starting my own snack line with a simple mission: to help consumers Save Water Simply by Snacking™. I wanted to provide the market with a new concept and reimagine the act of snacking, so I turned to an incredible superfood with an extremely low water footprint- watermelon seeds. Força’s snacks are an accessible, healthy, and most importantly, delicious way for the everyday person to make a positive impact.
Guilherme, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
At Força Foods, we make Energy Bites with simple, organic, and clean ingredients for a healthy yet sustainable experience. When you look at the world’s water footprint, 92% of it is shockingly from one industry alone- agriculture. Our global food supply relies heavily on sourcing water from reservoirs such as lakes, rivers, and underground storages. That’s why we chose to use watermelon seeds as the main ingredient for all of our snacks. Not only are these seeds very nutritious and pack more protein than almonds, they also have a water footprint almost 100 times lower than commonly used nuts in similar products. We strive to continue educating the consumer on how every day tasks, even as simple as snacking, have an environmental impact. We are proud to be at the forefront of reimagining snacking and providing our customers with more sustainable and accessible options.
Força is also very proud to feed our customers clean food made with natural, organic, and simple ingredients. We are able to craft delicious and healthy snacks from only 5 vegan, gluten free, and organic ingredients. Our three flavors are all made with real fruits with no added sugar or preservatives.
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start your business?
The early stages of Força were full of challenges, both financial and strategical. Being a recent college graduate, I had limited personal funds to work with when starting out. I had enough money in my savings account to pay for administrative costs, to start developing the product, and to source the materials needed to produce the bites. Although it sounds like that was enough to get the business up and running, there was much more that needed to be done.
Looking back at it now, I am so grateful for that challenge as it forced me to be creative and learn a lot of skills. I was forced to learn how to build a website, make appealing graphics with photoshop and illustrator, take product photography, and design the packaging. All of these skills proved to be very cost effective and valuable in the long-term. Starting Força with limited resources taught me a lot about grit and creativity. I became a more well-rounded founder that was willing to learn any skill and cross any barrier to help the business progress.
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
We have found that an “on-the-ground” strategy has been our best marketing and customer acquisition strategy. People have responded very positively to our event partnerships and pop-up booths over the last year. Having a physical presence at events such as marathons, gyms, yoga studios, and fairs has allowed us to effectively communicate our mission to the consumer. As the founder, I feel obligated to be at the front lines of spreading our brand and its mission. I do this with immense pride and joy as I love talking to our customers and diving deeper into the company’s background. Making our energy bites accessible to anyone has been our priority and really helped with boosting our brand awareness and clientele list.
- Website: www.forcafoods.com
- Instagram: @forcafoods
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forcafoods
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/forca-foods