Genius Gourmet with James Vas Dias feature #15 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #15: Genius Gourmet presented by KLS, freight company.
Some Background on Genius Gourmet
Genius Gourmet started with a singular mission in mind: Deliciously Smart Keto Snacks created for the whole family. Their passion lies in the development of cutting-edge products with low sugars, and minimal carbs, that anyone can enjoy! After years of painstaking experimentation with wholesome ingredients and tasty flavor, they have cracked the code to give you keto snacks that both taste great AND help you on your journey to better health. We had the pleasure of speaking with James Vas Dias, head of sales in this week's "Together Talks" feature.
The company was founded by Lance Rankin. Lance is familiar in the space as he previously co-founded Premier Nutrition. Upon selling that over a decade ago, he waited and watched as he figured out his next venture. Lance settled on entering the bar sector specifically in the Keto department. The company was founded in June 2019. Almost four years later the company is growing year over year and excited about what the future holds! The company currently has seven employees.
The company started with 2 SKUs. They are now over 11! They recently just launched a lemon bar and also an entirely new bar line (Crispy protein treat), which James described, "mimicking the rice krispy style consistency". The company is retail concentrated mainly in the northeast but expanding as the quarters pass by. They also can be found in Costco, Amazon, and their website.
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Lance mentioned that the company entered the market at a great time as Keto was really starting to take off. They were able to make an immediate impact due to their slick packaging when customers saw their product on the shelves. However as more and more people find the Keto diet helps them lose weight and improve their lifestyle, it has provided Genius Gourmet with an incredible opportunity. They continued to innovate and stand out from the competition due to their superior quality.
We asked James, how the company differentiates from competitors..."Many bars primary focus is on hitting certain nutrition macro thresholds. They try to hit certain numbers and as a result, the taste and texture get sacrificed." In years past many consumers would settle for average to above-average taste in order to reap the benefits of what they were consuming. However, in recent years, many companies such as Genius Gourmet have raised the stakes by offering cleaner products that just taste better overall. A recipe for success indeed! James said, "People are so surprised when they try our bars because it isn't dense, chewy, dry, there isn't a bad aftertaste. They are actually enjoying what they consume."
The company while small in numbers, is big in presence and output. James was quick to mention that everyone there grinds and contributes to the brand and company, growing. There is personal ownership within each individual role to continue on the journey. But when we asked him to describe the culture, he smiles and said "fun".
He stated that he enjoys going to work every day. He works with his brother, Peter Vas Dias, who is the President of the company, and other friends. Getting to celebrate their wins so often has enabled the team to come together even more.
One example of this was when we asked James his singular favorite moment so far. "About a year and a half into starting we got into Costco. The company took a trip to see the product on the pallet in the store in person in the northeast. We also visited one of our other regional partners, Wegmans, out there. We were seeing the data, customers sharing their experiences, and celebrating the wins in-house, but that moment of being able to actually see, touch, and experience it in real time was incredible. We knew we were building something that had some real traction, but that moment we got to celebrate together seemed to put it all in perspective."
The company also is proud to partner with VerifyPass in which any order is subject to a 10% discount to military and first responders. They also aid their regional partners which allow them to sponsor many different causes.
When we asked James what the upcoming goals for the company are he stated "more of the same. We are thrilled with where we are at, but we want to keep growing." They currently are in 3 of the 8 Costco regions, hoping to expand on that reach. They also are looking to build on regional partnerships with chains. The ultimate goal is nationwide rollout.
We were curious if when James joined this brand new start up if he could have envisioned this level of success this early. He told us, "I was cautiously optimistic. I believed in the product and our team. But any good success story needs timing and a little bit of luck. We were fortunate with both of those aspects and we have capitalized on the opportunities to get where we are." It seems like there is no slowing them down either!
We always ask, what is your pitch? How do you sell your product. For James he said it is easy because it is the same whether a consumer or a buyer. "Try our product. That is all I need you to do, just try it. Because I can show you the numbers as to how it will sell better than any Keto bar being carried, heck it sells well for any bar frankly. Our bars just provide a different experience with taste and texture. Just try it!"
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
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Genius Gourmet is an incredible story and we were so fortunate to get the chance to learn about this company. We owe a special thanks to James for allowing us the opportunity to share their story. Genius can be purchased at many retailers but also the following locations:
Continue to follow Genius Gourmet's story with their many social media accounts below:
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Genius Gourmet with James Vas Dias feature #15 of Together Talks
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, a freight company is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.