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Jar Goods, success with a passion: One on One with Melissa Vitelli

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    Earlier this year we had a chance to talk with the owners of Jar Goods Melissa Vitelli to talk about business and how to stay motivated during rough times!

    What was the inspiration behind you becoming an entrepreneur?
    When we started Jar Goods, I had been vegetable gardening. The closer I got to my food, the more I thought about entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. I wanted to write my own narrative and start a food business.
    Concurrently, life was busy. I was constantly turning to my in-law’s tomato sauce recipe to make dinner quickly. I used it for everything. I wondered why more people didn’t use tomato sauce beyond pasta. Ours is so good, and good for so much more! I studied center store and became perplexed – so many choices created complexity and chaos. All these brands had themselves as the center of the store, but, in my mind, the consumer should be the star. We started Jar Goods to put the consumer first.

    With the goal of becoming an “inner aisle disruptor,” I joined forces with my sister-in-law, Laura. Using an initial investment of $150, we began bottling Pa Vitelli’s tomato sauce by hand and branded it Classic Red. As a scrappy food start-ups, we sold at farmer’s markets. We tested the market and proved our concept. We employed grass-roots efforts and a can-do spirit. We amassed a loyal local following and began getting Classic Red on store shelves. We graduated from self-produced to professionally packed and expanded our line with Classic Vodka and Classic Spicy in September 2015. 

    One year later we were offered a coveted spot in the Chobani Incubator and learned a ton about creating a consumer-centric brand. Today, we’re proud to offer restaurant-quality foods that simplify delightful meals at home.

    Did you face any obstacles that made you think to give up during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic? 
    Yes, so many! Our biggest problem was that our entire supply chain was disrupted. Our production capabilities were blown out of the water due to such sudden, increased demand for shelf-stable foods. As a result, we suffered some serious out-of-stock issues…we learned a lot and we’re better for it now on the other side.

    Did you always have family support or did they encourage you to get a regular job?
    I’m so lucky to have an amazing husband and family support. My husband works on the business despite having a very demanding regular job.  I am blessed to have a family that has believed in me from day one. Not one time has anyone suggested I get a regular job. They seem to know I’m a born entrepreneur (whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know!)

    \What is the most important thing you love about doing your work?
    I love the structure that I have had to instill into my days. That probably sounds nerdy but I find comfort in it. I’m constantly dealing with uncertainty and there’s so much about my business that is precarious. Having a set structure to my day offers some stability and safety.

    Any advice you would give a younger entrepreneur looking to start? 
    Just get started! You can read and learn and talk until you’re blue in the face but nothing takes the place of just getting up and doing what you say you’re going to do.

    What can we expect from you in the future?
     Innovative foods across multiple categories that will help you get dinner on the table easier, faster, and happier! 

    Could you tell us what is your most favorite sauce loved by your customers?
    Our Classic Red is our most popular unsurprisingly. Our Classic Spicy is a close second!

    How can we follow you online?
    Find us on Instagram and Facebook – @jargoods!

    Apply Now. Hodler Capital Group will build your business website. We will show you how to establish business credit and access business financing with one on one support. Contact us now and start building your business for the future.


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