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Glonuts with Kristin Charbo, Co-Founder, feature #80 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #80: Glonuts presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Glonuts

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Glonuts Co-Founder & CEO, Kristin Charbo. Glonuts are donuts that aren't a day ender –– they are raw vegan, gluten-free and less than 1 gram of sugar each. Healthy, but who cares because they are cute, mini and sooooo good!


Complimentary piece

The beginning of glonuts started with a focus on a different product. Kristin and her partner Grover both worked full-time jobs and had wanted to find something as a side hustle. They decided to start a coffee cart to pop-up on the weekends in Los Angeles. Accompanying the coffee were mini-donuts. One day while experimenting in their apartment kitchen, Kristin told Grover, "I don't know what I did or how I did it, but these are amazing." In 2019, their coffee cart and donuts were fully operational. Kristin explained that at a local farmer's markets they had trouble getting space because the coffee space was so populated, but the farmer's market wanted the donuts!


The initial feedback was extremely positive for glonuts. Customers would ask where can we buy these, where can they be found, but there was not an answer. Kristin and Grover contemplated their next move given the customer demands. They realized that there was a real opportunity to pursue creating this product at a larger scale for customers. They decided to pivot the business to focus solely on donuts and enter the CPG space with their product, glonuts.

Full traction

In December 2019, Kristin and Grover started their company. Glonuts are made with clean ingredients to help you glow from within. They were created as sugar free and gluten free because Kristin suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which comes with insulin resistance. To meet her dietary restrictions she created a solution to a product she loved but wanted to enjoy without feeling tired and sluggish after. When they started selling them at the local farmer's markets they almost instantly went viral in Los Angeles and shortly after landed on the shelves at Erewhon and popular LA coffee shops like Alfred.


The pivot to fully focusing on glonuts and selling them involved making the donuts everyday in the home kitchen of their 1-bedroom apartment, packing each donut themselves, and delivering within a 20 mile radius. In their first year of business Kristin & Grover made, packed, and delivered 100,000 glonuts just the two of them. The traction was undeniable and the demand was increasing, and as Kristin told us, "We saw the product market fit for glonuts, there was nothing like it on the market. The word we hear most often is 'obsessed' –– customers are OBSESSED with glonuts!"


Their product being highly differentiated sets them apart. As Kristin mentioned, their product market fit was so obvious once they had the initial traction. She said customers love that their products taste fresh, not like they are produced in a factory. Having the trifecta of being raw vegan, gluten-free is so difficult to achieve at scale, let alone sugar-free as well. Glonuts are mini so you can practice mindful indulgence, but whether you eat one or three (an entire package) it doesn't end your day because glonuts do not spike blood-sugar. Kristin mentioned many new products check the boxes for macros or benefits, but the taste is lacking. Fortunately for them, their customers tell them glonuts taste SO good that they ended up using that in their marketing. Kristin explained the overall benefit is inclusion, she continued, "Because of my past with PCOS and struggling with weight, it was either eat these types of indulgences that everyone else was enjoying and sacrifice feeling good physically or mentally after, or skip them altogether. Glonuts is about being included, fitting in, and being able to have a donut, enjoy it, and feel great after.  It's the feeling of eating a donut without the feeling you get after eating a donut."

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Fearless

Kristin mentioned that she has always been a foodie and loves cooking. She comes from an Italian family and was always surrounded by food growing up. She shared she was an overweight child and growing up didn't understand the impact of diet and lifestyle to health. It came to a head when at 22 she had to have an ovarian cyst removed that grew to the size of a football. She asked how she can prevent this from happening again and the medical professionals did not provide anything in regards to diet and living a healthy lifestyle. Kristin took it into her own hands and started creating sustainable changes that over time produced beneficial results for her. She saw the impact on her own personal health and how she had the potential to feel great.


Incredibly when they started out with the coffee cart, Kristin mentioned she didn't feel any fear. They each invested $3,000 into that start up and were working out of their home kitchen. As she described it was a side hustle. But when they went all in with glonuts it changed. Having overhead with the commercial kitchen and hiring individuals and dealing with investors changed the stakes. While there is risk including their own personal investment, Kristin maintains that she wasn't fearful because she believes in the mission of the company and the product. "I truly believe in what we are doing. I know there is a giant opportunity that exists. We created a better donut for people and I believe it is something the world really needs especially with all of the health issues in our country," Kristin mentioned.


She credits their community being so supportive to what they are creating for her trust that they are on the right path. Kristin reflected on an email she got that made her so proud, she shared the story with us, "A college student was running in the San Francisco Marathon. He was avoiding gluten while training.  He told us whenever he had a glonuts the night before training he would have his best run. He ended up finishing in the top 5% and was so grateful for our products. It really touched me and made me emotional knowing we are on the right path."


Next phase

For four years it has been Kristin and Grover with a small team making each and every donut they have sold. Kristin told us that the hardest challenge for them was finding the right partner to take on the manufacturing abilities. The concerns of attention to detail, keeping the integrity of the product, and a unique process has prevented them from securing a partner. This has also been the biggest hurdle for glonuts to overcome because they couldn't produce enough volume to take their company to the next step.


Scaling has been on the forefront for Glonuts. Kristin explained how taxing it has been on them both, "Most people start a company for freedom. For us we haven't experienced that. We have lived and breathed this every day for four years straight. Hand making every donut has been grueling these last four years." But Kristin was happy to announce they had just returned from their new co-manufacturing partner who will take over the production starting in January.


With the ability to scale and grow the company entering 2024, Kristin is planning on changing her focus and getting more into the sales aspect which she truly enjoys. She said it will take a little to get used to not being in the kitchen every day, but she is eager for the new challenges presented for Glonuts. She said her and Grover have been asking themselves, "who are we without making donuts every day?" It has been their lives for four years straight, but she is relishing the opportunity to reinvent herself. Kristin shared how excited she is to see what kind of leader she is, to direct her company to new unchartered territory, and to devote time, energy, and resources to continuing to build their fun donut brand.


After not having days off, waking up at 4 AM to make donuts, Kristin is appreciating the next chapter to be able to work on her brand and company but do so in different environments. While she still most likely won't have a day off, she can at least do the new duties of her job in new settings outside of the kitchen.


Piece of advice

The conversation with Kristin ended with her sharing her piece of advice.

"We started this by accident in my kitchen and because we wanted to do something chill and fun together. We wanted to spend more time together and create something fun. I think it is important to not lose sight of what drives you and not to take everything so seriously. You must have fun doing whatever you choose. Remember you will hear a lot of "No's", but with the mindset that it is just not the right time or that this might come to fruition later on, when we take that approach to life, it seems we stay more balanced. But you have to start. Whatever it is you want or your mind is on, just start. Do one thing each day to put it in motion and start."


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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In Closing

KLS wants to thank Kristin Charbo, Co-Founder, of Glonuts for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for the Glonuts journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Glonuts feature #80- presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Glonuts feature #80

*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, 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!


Why KLS?

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.


Our Process?

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.


Services offered?

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 of 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.

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