I (virtually) sat down with Peter Walters because I adore him and the company he keeps, Two Degrees. For me, shuffling through the market for a health bar is more challenging than choosing a nail color. The shelves are stacked high with shiny wrappers and fancy claims, luring me into a flavorless mistake. Let’s turn our attention to a food company that goes far beyond the industry standard…
Two Characters for Two Degrees:
Sofi, Second year Two Degrees advocate, vendor, and consumer.
Peter, Two Degrees Director of Campus Program, Corporate Sales and Social Media
Sofi: I just ate a Chocolate Banana bar to really get into character for this discussion, and I fell right back in love. It was like a fit brownie.
Peter: You know this! Our Product Developer, Barr Hogen, (former Odwalla developer) helped us create gluten-free food bars with quinoa, chia, and millet. She’s extremely health conscious, and the food industry is flavor driven. Together we’ve managed to create a super delicious bar that’s also great for your overall well-being.
Sofi: Okay, it’s time…Two Degrees Elevator pitch, Go!
Peter: Two Degrees was founded in an effort to connect consumers to children in need. We decided to sell a food product that would in turn provide a meal to hungry children through one of our NGO partners. We believe that the one-for-one model can be incredibly powerful because consumers do want to do good and help others…we just need to make it simple and affordable for consumers to get involved.
Sofi: How many of you are there?
Peter: Six of us are holding down the fort. In San Francisco, your favorite.
Sofi: The perfect city for food innovation! So, Two Degrees is run by a small, passionate team. How do you keep each other motivated when it gets tough?
Peter: I think you nailed it. We’re all motivated by passion for our mission. We all believe in the power of consumerism for good– “conscious consumerism” if you will. When business slows down, or one of our Whole Foods regions isn’t driving as many sales and we would have hoped, we all get back to the grind– call the stores, set up demos, befriend employees, and really try to give attention and focus to each one of our accounts– whether Facebook, or a tiny little coffee shop in Oklahoma. We want everyone to be able to help in the fight against childhood hunger.
Sofi: Tell us a Two Degrees secret..
Peter: But then it wouldn’t be a secret….? Okay, Co-Founder and President Will Hauser has an 8-pack and is THE healthiest man alive.
(What Peter really means is that Will is a handsome Harvard grad, with a huge heart, and a firm handshake to boot)
Sofi: Peter, can you tell us a misconception about Two Degrees..
Peter: That we only give one type of meal, and only in Africa. In reality, we give various types of meals around the world through different NGO partners. We are very considerate of the type of food typically eaten in a region, and the form of hunger or malnutrition that needs to be treated.
Sofi: If someone gave Two Degrees a big chunk of change, how would the funds be used?
Peter: This money– that we do need— would be used to rebuild our team, jump-start our marketing and demo efforts, more product development, bring on full time designers, and engineers. With the right investors and continued customer support, we’ll be able to continue our goal, to feed 200 million children.
Sofi: I’m going to help.
Peter: Yer damn skippy!
Sofi: I’ve chopped the Chocolate Peanut bar up and mixed it into my vanilla ice cream. Has anyone outdone me with Two Degrees versatility?
Peter: Nope. You win, you sweet Graceful, Olives lady.
Bow and curtsy.
The two scurry off to spread the word about Two Degrees.