Name: Cameron McCarthy
Business/Location: WeStock/Fort Lee, NJ
Specialty: We bring new products to market and find creative verticals for scaling products that are already in the market.
What problem does your business solve?: WeStock solves the problem of how brands go-to-market. We help put brands in front of new customers, give brands access to data, and help with velocity at the store level.
What makes your business unique?: We are the first crowdstocking app created. We allow everyday consumers to vote on which products they would like to see at their local retailer. We then make that data available to both the brand and the retailer in an effort to expedite distribution and placement for the brand. Once a product is stocked, we notify the user who made the request that it is now available and where they can purchase the product. Our goal is to make sure that more small, emerging, and mission- based brands succeed to in their quest to get on the shelf.
What’s your story?: I started out in the seafood industry where I managed a $10M+ portfolio of food service accounts and spearheaded our efforts to become the primary seafood vendor for Hellofresh. We then launched a CPG brand, and I got hooked on the retail side of the business when I started seeing our product on the shelf. I then transitioned to the chocolate industry to learn more about merchandising and executing product roll outs. Most recently, I was the Sales & Marketing Director for the fastest growing hummus brand in the country, where I helped them expand to 7,000 stores within three years. After identifying crucial pain points in the industry, I decided to launch WeStock to help connect consumers, retailers, and brands. We now have more than 100 brands on the platform--growth achieved in fewer than two months of pitching the platform.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Take a job that forces you to be in the store. Merchandising and executing at the store level is so important, and I wish that I would have worked as a merchandiser or field manager for a few years before jumping into sales.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: That it is lonely. Often you see the entrepreneurial lifestyle as something glamorous, but that is often not the case. There is a lot of self doubt, and it can get lonely working on something where only a few people share the vision. I think knowing that beforehand would have put me in a better mental state before starting.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: The biggest challenge is making sure that our platform resonates with the end user. We are overcoming it by developing a strong feedback loop so we can listen to our users and then quickly accommodate the changes they want to see.
What are you most proud of about your business?: I am most proud of the relationships we have made with our brand partners. These are amazing entrepreneurs who all have a deep seeded mission surrounding their company. I think knowing that we can have a part in their success is what keeps us going.
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur?: I love the raw emotion of food. It is crazy to be in an industry and developing products for the most basic human function there is: eating. People develop such strong emotions to the food brands that they support because it is something that they are not just purchasing, but also putting into their body. There is a level of trust you have to develop with the consumer, and I just love seeing new brands deliver great products and create trust through branding with the consumer.