Inspiration for Breakfast
Episode 38
January 26, 2021

Inspiration for Breakfast

with Margaret Wishingrad, Co-Founder and CEO of Three Wishes Cereal

Recently winning the Best Clean Label Award by NEXTY this year, Three Wishes Cereal is a high protein, low sugar, grain free breakfast cereal that tastes just like the cereals from your childhood. Founded three years ago by Margaret Wishingrad and her husband, Ian, Three Wishes is completely free of wheat, dairy, soy, oats, corn, rice and peanuts and has 70 percent less sugar, eight times more protein, and better for you ingredients such as chickpeas, pea protein and monk fruit. In this episode, Margaret shares with us her journey from growing up in Brooklyn, to working in real estate, to joining her husband's advertising agency, where they helped brands like Pepsi and AT&T, as well as early stage companies, launch new products. She talks with us about how she came up with the name and concept for Three Wishes, how she spent two years on product development, and why it was important for them to have early conversations with retailers.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How being born in Israel and raised in New York City in an entrepreneurial family shaped a lot of how she approaches life and work
  • How learning to stand out in the real estate market in New York City taught her skills and ways to think about standing out in the cereal aisle of a grocery store
  • Why working with her husband on his advertising agency, helping big brands with their campaigns and new brands build everything from the bottom up, really helped them develop the know how and confidence to build something themselves
  • What led Margaret to realize how much the cereal category lacked innovation,healthy, quality ingredients and options for adults and children 
  • How they came up with the name Three Wishes
  • Why the process to develop the perfect product took two years, why they started building strong relationships with retailers before their final product was ready, and how that set them up for success as soon as they launched the product officially
  • What fundraising was like as a husband and wife team and what lessons they learned along the way
  • What advice she has for moms who want to build a business and how she manages work and family life each day
  • What’s next for Three Wishes Cereal, how they are striving for excellence, and why you’ll love what they have coming up

To Find Out More:

threewishescereal.com

Quotes:

“My dad always likes to say some people work with their brain and some work with their hands. So for me, it wasn't school. It was really getting in the workforce and understanding how to navigate within a company, what culture looks like, and how to just build products and build businesses has been a real interest for me.”

“But for me, it was I couldn't sell someone else's product. It needed to be mine. So that's kind of like the beginning of realizing I wanted to do something on my own, but really, truly mine.”

“We really covered all parts of the brands that we worked with... It was everything, A to Z of understanding the brand, the consumer, and how to mesh those two together. And I think that really gave us an advantage coming out of the gate.”

“I couldn't believe that cereal was one of these categories, and granted, this is now probably three years ago, but one of these categories that had no innovation. It was still literally every cereal I had as a kid, which is crazy.”

“It took us two years of product development, hundreds and thousands of pounds of crappy cereal that we did not like until we got to the product that we truly, really loved.”

“Eventually we got to someone and we kind of gave the parameters of here are the ingredients we want to work with. This is what we want it to taste like, the experience, the shape, all these different things to help narrow down what we wanted. And then the next part of that step was now that we found someone that could create the product or test to create it, how do we find the right facility?”

“Before we launched, we started having conversations with retailers. And for them, they were so excited to have something that allowed the consumer that left cereal to come back and eat cereal again.”

“Taking people along the ride makes them feel really invested in your brand.”

“It's practice not makes perfect, but practice makes you pretty good. So you learn what to expect that investors are going to ask you or to be prepared for those questions. It helps you also fine tune your strategy.”

“‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’" 

“I reach out to almost all my customer service requests personally, because I think it's so important that they hear from a Founder. I really want to help resolve those issues and I want to make sure that everyone loves the product as much as we do.”

“it's tough. There's a ton of rejection. There's a ton of doubt. Then you have the investors that tell you like, "Oh, I don't know if it's going to happen." And then you prove them wrong. And that's really fun.” 

“If you really think you've found a solution to a real, existing problem, don't let anybody tell you otherwise.” 

“Building your own and molding your own destiny is really a beautiful, liberating thing.”


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