We spoke with Tim D, co-owner of Culcherd dairy alternatives & @iota_creative content production company. We found out what’s surprised him most about entrepreneurship, if it was worth it to get organic certified, and the journey to becoming a plastic-free product.
Why did you decide to turn your Culcherd vegan cheese and butter alternatives into a business?
We started Culcherd because there was a lack of delicious dairy alternatives on the market at the time. We wanted to create something that not only tasted great, but was healthy – and good for you too! We saw this as an opportunity to do something we love and are very passionate about, by helping to remove animals and plastics from the food chain.
We love your new compostable, plastic-free packaging! How did it come to be?
It saddens us how much plastic ends up in oceans, rivers and lakes. As plastics break down, they turn into microplastics and creatures living in the water end up eating it. From the beginning, being eco-friendly was a huge thing for us. The very first stickers we used were hemp based and compostable. As we grew, we started to use a traditional cheese wrapping that had a small amount of plastic in it. But we really wanted to do better. So, with this latest iteration, we were able to remove all plastics from our packaging – even the safety-seal we use is compostable.
Why do people pick your products off the shelf over the others?
Flavour! We strive really hard to have a rich flavour profile in everything we create. All of our cheeses are probiotic rich – and have over 1 billion CFUs in each serving. This supports a healthy immune and digestive system.
Your products are certified organic, which we value for so many reasons, do you think it is good business and worth the cost of ingredients?
I would like to think that doing good for the world, the environment, and for human health, is also good business. 🙂 We have been using organic ingredients from the beginning and were just recently (officially) certified via Ecocert. Back to our origin story, we first created these products for ourselves, we only wanted to eat organic. And think there is a large portion of consumers who prefer to eat this way as well. So yes, I would argue it is definitely worth the cost of ingredients.
Which is your best-selling Culcherd product + favourite way to enjoy it? Why?
Our Herb & Garlic Cheese is tied with our Original Butter. We love to do many different things with our products, which you can see on Instagram by following the hashtag #howtouseculcherd. But our favourite is probably in a grilled cheese, by using both the cheese and butter.
Your social media photography is beautiful. How do you manage it all?
Thank you. 🙂 We are really passionate about it, and it’s definitely become a part of our identity. We shoot everything in house and have a tiny studio area where all of the magic happens. We’ll also be launching more videos in the near future, so keep an eye out for those!
What has surprised you most about entrepreneurship?
I could have a different answer for this every day. I think we’re always surprised by how many other entrepreneurs there are out there. We really like to connect with other like-minded businesses, and we also try and use smaller (and local companies) for most of our supplies/ingredients. It’s really nice getting to know everyone, from our suppliers, to our retailers, etc.
Who do you know you can always count on?
My business partner, Liz. 🙂
To learn more about Culcherd and where to find them, visit culcherd.com, and get inspired @culcherd.