Artwork by Katya Havok
"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."
- Charles Mingus

Hey hey and welcome to Starter!

Well, here we are 6 months into this project. Half a year already, dang! THANK YOU for subscribing. This little email magazine has grown from only friends and family to new Starters from all over the world. This month we reached a new milestone, our first contributing editor! Welcome Alli Ball who’s taking over the monthly product round-up, now with an official name: The Starter Pack. With her background curating products for Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco to now consulting the best boutique brands, I'm stoked to have our own tiny Bi-Rite-ish section of Starter. 

Ok, so onto this issue, albeit rather late this month because...I blame the name. I am in the naming process and it dominates every waking and probably dreaming thought. As a person that loves the branding process, I always think it’s something I’m going to enjoy but it ends up being so head-banging-against-the-wall hard. It consumes every thought until it's done. WHHHHY. After naming a human and now three businesses, I can say naming the business baby is absolutely harder. 

What do you want your audience to feel when they hear your name? That’s the kernel of your positioning. Then you have to think about domain names, instagram handles, and trademark laws. As I have learned the hard way with my second company (after getting sued), it’s not just who has the trademark either, it’s anyone with the same name in the same category— as common trademark law can protect a name in certain instances. Not to fill this letter with legal ick, but it’s thinking about these nuances ahead of time that helps you down the road.

After my second company (first called Forage) was sued - we decided to proceed with the path of renaming for various reasons. That led me to working with the team at A Hundred Monkeys who led us to the name Din. What I was most impressed by was their process. Typically working with a group like that can run you $10k or more, but Eli Altman the founder, wrote a book revealing how to find an exceptional name. So after what was a pretty painful process of re-naming, what surfaced was actually a more keen understanding of how to work through the naming of any company. I hope to share these learnings with you to make your process of naming a bit easier. After 3-4 weeks of it dominating my thinking space, we finally landed on THE NAME (!!!). There is still some trademark work to be done to secure it, so we won’t divulge it just yet. Stayed tuned to future issues for the reveal.

Ahead in this issue we share, the book Eli wrote, Don’t Call it That as our Starter Book Club pick, one of my favorite exercises from the book to kick off your brainstorming, stories from other food founders, AND of course the new Starter Pack with Alli Ball. 

Sending the good vibes your way. 

In Good Food We Trust,

*one more thing* Remember last month I talked about a co-founder? Next month in Issue 07, you will meet her. :)

The Starter Pack
1. Amäzi - Papaya Strips: Bringing the tropics to your snack habit with chili, fresh squeezed lime, and organically grown papaya. Love their transparent supply chain too.
2. Burlap & Barrel - Black Urfa Chili: Found in southeastern Turkey on every table - think raisin + espresso + heat. This superb version also goes beyond by ensuring product traceability for human rights and they grow the spices biodynamically, using traditional techniques.
3. The Better Sugar - Just Date Syrup: Sweetening with dates is a trend we fully support. Captured in a bottle? Genius.

4. Curious Elixirs - Curious No. 1: You might want to slap us for suggesting a mocktail over a classic negroni, but tbh with Curious Elixirs it's been happening more and more frequently.
5. Better Almond Butter - Beet + Cashew Butter: Sprouted, organic, non-gmo (yes, yes, yes!) and it's hard to resist upgrading toast and smoothies with the vibrant boost of beets.
Meet Alli Ball our new Contributing Editor to The Starter Pack!
Alli Ball is the creator of Retail Ready™, an online course for food business owners who are looking to grow their packaged food businesses. Prior to that, Alli was the former Head of Grocery at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, where she supported the sales & growth of thousands of products. Find her on Instagram at @itsalliball.
Werk it: Start with 15 Terrible Names
Starting your name brainstorm seeking the perfect name is no bueno. Instead make it easy and start with the horrible ones. That's Eli Altman's advice from our book club pick, "Don't Call it That." Worked for us... Here are our terrible, horrible, no good names. 
Read: Behold the Beefless ‘Impossible Whopper’
- The New York Times
"The Impossible Whopper creates an interesting alliance between a fast-food chain that promotes its devotion to beef on every Whopper wrapper (“100% Beef With No Fillers”) and a start-up that is committed to getting people to stop eating beef." Read more.
STARTER SAYS: I have mixed feelings about the product itself, but the fact that Burger King put this new brand's name onto their menu and packaging is naming success fo sho. - ELO
Read: How Curiosity Propelled the Entrepreneur Behind Justin's to Grow a $100 Million Brand
- Entrepreneur Magazine
“It's a blessing and a curse to name your business after yourself. The blessing is that it creates this authentic voice. The curse is you're really in high demand, because everybody wants to talk to Justin.  Read more.
STARTER SAYS: Eponymous names are one way to go. Justin spills the pros and cons of going this route, many of which I wouldn't have considered. - ELO
Listen: Trader Joe's No-Buck Chuck
- Household Name
"I just thought it was terrible because my friends in Napa Valley blamed me for this low priced, former Napa brand coming in and making them look bad. Here I was trying to sell my old Napa Valley vintner guys that it wasn't me that did it." Listen in.
STARTER SAYS: This is a fascinating tale of selling your wine company, but your name is still attached. And then the wine goes on to be one of the most notorious wine labels with over 1 billion bottles (!!) sold. Everyone knows your name BUT it's not actually your wine. - ELO
Starter Book Club: April

Don't Call It That

By Eli Altman

As the founder of the naming company, A Hundred Monkeys, Eli took their successful naming process and turned it into this workbook style book, peppered with quips and fun stories.
Get your copy and follow along at @thestartermag where I'll share my aha moments and highlighted passages.
Between the Issues on the 'gram
ICYMI: Every month we continue the conversation on the 'gram, these are our most loved posts last month. If you are aren't following us yet, get on it!
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