loader from loading.io

Ep. 69 | The Sharks Tried to Buy Her Plant-Based Fried Chicken Company: Deborah Torres and the Atlas Monroe Story

Business for Good Podcast

Release Date: 07/01/2021

Is Plant-Based Meat about to Get Chunkier? Amos Golan of Chunk Foods Thinks So show art Is Plant-Based Meat about to Get Chunkier? Amos Golan of Chunk Foods Thinks So

Business for Good Podcast

For decades, the alt-meat movement has focused on ground meats like sausages, burgers, nuggets, sticks, and more. That’s because it’s just a lot less difficult to create these ground products than a more structured product like a steak or chicken breast. Still difficult, but less difficult. Several companies now though are trying to reach that holy grail of whole cut products, and one of them is Chunk Foods, hailing from the holy land of Israel.  As you’ll hear in this episode, Amos Golan was a guy fascinated by chemistry. He tried a couple business ideas that didn’t take off...

info_outline
“Meat” the Meat Industry’s Journalist: Lisa Keefe and Meatingplace show art “Meat” the Meat Industry’s Journalist: Lisa Keefe and Meatingplace

Business for Good Podcast

If you follow the meat or the alt-meat industry closely, chances are high that you’ve read Lisa Keefe’s work. As the editor-in-chief of both and now too, Lisa has been both reporting on and editorializing on all things meat for the past 15 years. She’s also the creator of the and is a frequent commentator on everything from trends to controversies and more in the meat space. While she’s not a meat company executive, as a meat media (meat-ia?) executive, Lisa’s spent much of her career watching what’s happening as far as plant-based and cultivated meat goes, as well as animal...

info_outline
This Dude Vasectomized Himself! Meet Dr. Esgar Guarin, the Evangelical Vasectomist show art This Dude Vasectomized Himself! Meet Dr. Esgar Guarin, the Evangelical Vasectomist

Business for Good Podcast

Our guest in this episode, , is on a crusade to promote vasectomies, and even gave up his previous medical career to focus on simply being a full-time vasectomist as part of his commitment to making the world a better place. That’s right: his entire business is one thing and one thing only: helping men take greater responsibility in their reproductive lives and averting unwanted pregnancies.

info_outline
Is Alt-Protein a National Security Issue? Rep. Ro Khanna Thinks So show art Is Alt-Protein a National Security Issue? Rep. Ro Khanna Thinks So

Business for Good Podcast

Many already believe that fostering an alt-protein industry in the US is important for helping the environment, but is it also going to protect American national security? We’re already importing much of our clean energy tech from Asia, but will we soon be importing our clean protein from other parts of the world, too?  , a Democrat from California representing Silicon Valley, doesn’t want that to happen. He’s not only to invest in alt-protein, he’s recently in Congress calling on the Director of National Intelligence to submit an intelligence report on the effects of increased...

info_outline
Reproductive Freedom in the Developing World: Anna Christina Thorsheim and Family Empowerment Media show art Reproductive Freedom in the Developing World: Anna Christina Thorsheim and Family Empowerment Media

Business for Good Podcast

While it’s a charity, Family Empowerment Media tries to run like a business in that it relies heavily on measurable, evidence-based strategies that produce a significant return on their investment. Though the return they’re seeking isn’t a financial one, but rather is in the form of the social change they’re working to create, mainly by empowering the use of family planning by families that are seeking to have fewer children in developing African nations.  Started in 2020, the sole mission of the group is to create radio content featuring Nigerian families talking about their...

info_outline
Oat-to-Market Strategy: Mike Messersmith and the Oatly Story show art Oat-to-Market Strategy: Mike Messersmith and the Oatly Story

Business for Good Podcast

If you’ve been listening to the show for some time, you know that replacing animals in the food system is a topic very close to my heart. While the meat and egg industries in the grand picture have still been largely unaffected by plant-based competitors, that’s not the case in the milk industry, where the explosion of plant-based milks has very tangibly cut into demand for cow’s milk. Gone are the days when almond milk and soy milk were for vegans—now they’re for everyone.  But just a few years ago, a new entrant into the plant-based milk world emerged. In 2015 oat milk was far...

info_outline
Ep. 86 | From Tech to Table: Richard Munson and the Food & Ag Tech Revolution show art Ep. 86 | From Tech to Table: Richard Munson and the Food & Ag Tech Revolution

Business for Good Podcast

I try to read any new book that comes out on the topic, and that includes Richard Munson’s new book . I really enjoyed reading this book by someone who’s far more well-known for his deep-dive biographies of visionaries like Nikola Tesla and Jacque Cousteau, but now has written a new book featuring dozens of entrepreneurs seeking to create a more sustainable food system. And they’re doing this not by returning to 19th century agriculture, but by embracing 21st century food and agriculture technology. In this interview we discuss everything from how new tech can displace old jobs, why some...

info_outline
Ep. 85 | A Prime Pivot: Why Kimberlie Le and Prime Roots Are Going All in on Deli Meats show art Ep. 85 | A Prime Pivot: Why Kimberlie Le and Prime Roots Are Going All in on Deli Meats

Business for Good Podcast

For those of you who’ve been enjoying Business for Good for some time, today’s guest may sound familiar. That’s because Kim Le is not only our guest on Episode 85, but she was also our guest on our 49th episode back in 2020. If you’ve not heard it, I do recommend you go back and check it out, which will be helpful in seeing just how much has changed for this young startup which was cofounded by undergrads and has raised $20 million so far.  As you’ll hear in this episode, is undergoing quite a transformation as it settles into its new 20,000 square foot production facility in...

info_outline
Ep. 84 | Investing in a Post-Animal Economy: Elysabeth Alfano and VegTech ETF show art Ep. 84 | Investing in a Post-Animal Economy: Elysabeth Alfano and VegTech ETF

Business for Good Podcast

One of the most common questions I get from listeners is: how can I invest in companies you feature on the show? Well, most of them are startups backed by VC dollars, and that means the average retail investor isn’t typically going to be able to invest in these early stage private companies.  But what if there were a way to invest money in an index fund that only included companies actively working to replace the exploitation of animals in our economy? It turns out that there is now such a fund, and it was co-founded by . Perhaps most well-known as the host of , Elysabeth has now...

info_outline
Ep. 83 | Will Fungi Free Fish? Anne Palermo is Betting on Fermentation at Aqua Cultured Foods show art Ep. 83 | Will Fungi Free Fish? Anne Palermo is Betting on Fermentation at Aqua Cultured Foods

Business for Good Podcast

Humanity’s relentless demand for seafood is emptying the oceans with little end in sight. Does the path to freeing fish from us run through fungi fermentation? That’s exactly what Anne Palermo is betting.  As you’ll hear in this interview, Anne is a former asset manager at Morgan Stanley who decided mid-career that she wanted to start her own chocolate company. After growing her first startup to millions in revenue, this mom of three got hooked on the need for animal-free protein and pivoted to start a new company focused on saving the oceans. Anne began growing mycelium—the...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

So often you hear about start-ups that raise millions or even tens of millions of dollars from venture capitalists before beginning to generate revenue and start making a dent in the marketplace. That is very far from the story of our guest in this episode.

Meet Deborah Torres, founder and CEO of Atlas Monroe, a start-up making plant-based fried chicken. As you’ll hear, a chance encounter with a stranger in a supermarket led Deborah to become vegan, which ultimately transitioned her whole family into a plant-based lifestyle. Pretty soon Deborah was making her own plant-based fried chicken, and people really liked it, leading her to offer it as a one-off at a VegFest in Chicago. Well, one thing led to another, and the next thing you know Atlas Monroe won the best chicken at the National Fried Chicken Festival. That’s not just best vegan fried chicken--that’s the best fried chicken of all the fried chicken offered at this festival. 

As the company’s fame grew, Deborah found herself on Shark Tank being offered a million dollars to buy her newly formed company, an offer she promptly rejected. Today, just a couple years later, Atlas Monroe operates its own factory, is on track to bring in $5M in revenue in 2021, and just keeps expanding. 

Amazingly, Deborah has achieved all this without ever taking outside investment, and she continues to own 100% of her company. It’s an inspirational tale of an entrepreneur bootstrapping her way to success. 

Discussed in this episode

More about Deborah Torres

Deborah Torres is the founder and CEO of the world’s largest vegan fried chick’n manufacturer - ATLAS MONROE. Atlas Monroe was the first and only vegan company to be invited to the National Fried Chicken Festival and was named best fried chicken dish out of all the conventional chicken by Time Magazine’s Extra Crispy. Atlas Monroe was also featured on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank, in a viral episode where Ms. Torres turned down $1 million dollars from Mark Cuban and Rohan Oza. Atlas Monroe has been featured on Yahoo!, Black Enterprise, NBC, VegNews, AfroTech, Clean Eating Magazine, Medium, Forbes, Plant Based News, LiveKindly, and more. Now this plant-based production company has recently acquired a multi-million dollar manufacturing facility and their products are sold and shipped nationwide. In addition to delectable plant-based fried chick’n products the company also specializes in all vegan, non-gmo, plant-based bacon, apple wood-fired ribs, deep fried and stuffed turkeys, signature sauces, decadent cakes, and much more mouthwatering items.