We had the good fortune of connecting with Dissaya Theerakaosal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dissaya, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting from not knowing anything was the biggest challenge. There are 3 big parts;
First, what drove me to start Shroomeats was the realization to do something important and something that could make an impact I cared about, which was the food we eat. I was lucky to be able to travel and see the World and could really see how nature has changed and died from climate change, and that was when it inspired me to do something bigger than myself.
Second, the practical part was really to put together how what I wanted to do would make a difference, how mushrooms could make an impact on the environmental level from substituting meat, how it would affect the healthy of people and the planet overall. And then, the most practical part was to break down the process and go step-by-step how I could execute my plan that included lots asking around, lots of researching, lots of making phone calls, lots of listening, and gathering as much information and know-hows as possible.
Third, choosing the right people and having the trust in the people you decide to do start the company together. I see this as the biggest foundation of a company.
What should our readers know about your business?
Shroomeats is a mushroom-based meat alternative brand. We believe in the ingredient transparency that we can offer to consumers alongside the sustainability of making our products and the impact it can make. We are proud of our simple ingredients and the versatility of our products can turn into any dish at home because we encourage people to cook, know the food they eat, and celebrate the meal they make.
What challenges the most when you build your own brand is to look both outward and inward as a product. There are things we might think we want to tell the consumers how great we are, but do we solve their problems? We have to think on the consumer’s side of why they want to exchange their money for our products. Sometimes we think we have millions of amazing things, but that has to be narrowed down and simplified as a simple message to send consumers. I’ve had a T-shirt company and a travel company, but what was not sustainable was that I wasn’t trying to understand my customers, I was trying to make them understand me. And that won’t be successful because you should be creating a product for them, that’s what makes a business a business and to grow and be successful, you have to continue to learn and understand your customers.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in San Diego and I’m a nature and a sunset person, anywhere my friends and I can feel at ease and be ourselves with great conversation to catch up with each others’ lives like parks, hike trails outside the city, and if these friends were dog persons, 100% San Diego dog beach for a sunset (because dogs are the best). There is nothing like being in worry-free places with the company you enjoy their presence.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Cradle to Cradle Book! by William McDonough & Michael Braungart
This book has shaped the way I think and see “materials” and “things” that exist in the World. It talks about how every item we use doesn’t just disappear after we throw them into the trashcan. There is a journey an item goes through and ends up a waste, which got me thinking about how everything is made and created. It takes so much to go into a production for things, food, clothes, cellphones, everything. This was when I started thinking….”how was our food made?” and also made me rethink how I bought and used things and after understanding the ecosystem of how we use things more, it makes me commit to what I’m doing. And of course, I would like to thank my partners and all the support from friends and families who encourage me everyday especially through hard times.
Mary Bentdahl – Co-founder Pamas Moleeratanond – Co-founder Young Hsu – Photographer