We had the good fortune of connecting with Ro Zinniger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ro, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
First, Diversification of product use. For me, I have worked in the food/baking industry over 2 decades, and when I decided to launch my brand, Ro Z’s (pronounced Rosie’s), I had to launch in the beverage industry. I was working in food manufacturing at the time, all the while working my business on night’s and weekends to earn extra money for my daughter’s last years of college. Who knew that it would be the very stepping stone to resurrection of my business on a whole new level. Outsiders / consumers may think that because a product is used in one application, it can’t transfer over to another. This takes a bit of education, lots of marketing and creativity to change their view. Second, and most importantly, perception of products. Just because it looks the same, it is not the same. Many believe that, sprinkles for example, are the same because of their look and sales presentation. Well, they may look similar, and ingredients are similar, but what they don’t know is that those sprinkles at the chain stores are not necessarily manufactured in the USA. While my branded sprinkles are manufactured in the USA, I know the process and ingredients that go into my product. Many others are manufactured abroad in other Countries, and do not go through the rigorous testing for metals and such.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being an entrepreneur is not for the weak, that is for sure! It is a challenging road, but can be exhilarating at the same time. I will compare it to a roller coaster. For me, I learned that it is important to persevere, try to be humble but firm, trust but be aware, ask for help, re-invent, and most importantly, give to others. When I began my career after college, I was in a completely different field. The one constant has always been my passions for art, baking, writing, nature, music, and people – – which led me to my ultimate passion of helping others by teaching. My brand, Ro Z’s, encompasses that end goal, while offering a fun US made product to enliven drinks and desserts! As I continue to develop my brand and add fun products to the line, the underlying goal is encourage and educate others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, my best friend better pack hiking and beach attire! San Diego, my home town, has 70 miles of beaches. While the present pandemic has limited all of us to go to restaurants, I would hope for a Sunny day, and start with a tour of Coronado beach, The Del, and shops/cafe. La Jolla, another fav spot, with a hike down from Torrey Pines to the Torrey Pines State Beach. Then hit all the spots up the coast, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside. So many great spots to catch a meal when they are open … definitely a breakfast at the Encinitas Cafe (great banana walnut pancakes); lunch down in Point Loma at Pt. Loma seafood and watch the boats come in the harbor; and dinner on Shelter Island at the Bali Hai. Of course the wineries and mountains – like Palomar and Julian are great for hikes, with many cafes / shops to explore.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, the support/love/encouragement from my close family and friends – they know who they are – was very instrumental in the process, and remains today. Secondly, I have to give credit to a dear friend that was working for a local college. She believed in me and my vision to continue education/mentorship, continue to evolve a program “we” developed to help our community in career and work force development, in a new brick and mortar location – which I called Ro Z’s Sweet Art Studio. (Ro Z’s is pronounced Rosie’s). Working in tandem with Palomar College was the most gratifying time in my career, as I was able to not only touch people’s lives, but assist in mentoring them to assist them in achieving their dream / goal.