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Myles Comfort Foods with Founder, Myles Powell, feature #83 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #83: Myles Comfort Foods presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Myles Comfort Foods

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the chance to speak with Myles Comfort Foods and Founder, Myles Powell. Myles Comfort Foods, formally known as 8 Myles, was founded by food entrepreneur & aspiring chef, Myles Powell in 2015.

Myles developed a line of fruit based BBQ sauces reminiscent of his traditional family recipes.  While the sauces were delicious, the true magic was in their pairings. Using only highest quality protein and whole food ingredients their Buffalo Mac & Cheese quickly became a fan favorite. The people had spoken! And their convenient, easy to prepare line of comfort foods was born.  


Call them the mac & cheese with moxie. Myles’ authentic soul food recipes savor the nostalgia of childhood flavors with the wholesome ingredients your grandparents would approve of. Myles Comfort Foods is a clean, premium comfort food brand elevating the landscape of frozen foods through the marriage of quality and clean convenience that the modern day consumer is seeking in grocery.


Unhappy path

Myles path to the kitchen started in the environment of his family. Growing up whether a large or small family meal, his day was centered around those meals. Quickly he grew up surrounded by food and it became a passion to not only consume, but also prepare and cook. He went on to school for engineering but disclosed he wasn't very good at it, nor did he enjoy it. Not liking it and not being good at it is the worst combo you can have, he shared.


In the back of his mind he knew where his mind kept wandering back to, the kitchen. That was where his passion truly resided. After graduation with his engineering degree, he leaned into the food space in his spare time starting a food blog. He realized he needed an escape from his 9-5 job. "My brain was misfiring working in that setting", Myles explained. Fortunately for him his devotion to his blog garnered attention from the Food Network in 2013. He was given the opportunity to compete on the "America's Best Cook" series.


Myles came home from that experience with two understandings. One - the kitchen was his happy place. Two - He knew that food and entrepreneurship would be his path forward.


Calling

Competing on the show was the push Myles needed to make a career pivot. From there he left engineering to chase and pursue his dream that was spearheaded by passion, food. He started creating BBQ sauces similar to what he grew up consuming with those cherished family meals. The first step was introducing the product to consumers.


Myles began showcasing his products at Farmer's Markets. He went a step ahead though and provided the entire experience for customers. Rather than just trying the sauces on their own, he would prepare foods to try them with. This all encompassing meal began to gain some real traction. But interestingly enough Myles was listening to the feedback of the customers. He continued you receive the reactions until he came to a conclusion. After years on the circuit, he understood what the driving factor of the pairing was the food.


After three years of producing the BBQ sauces, Myles pivoted his company to focus on Mac n cheese solely in 2018. He knew a huge challenge was ahead of him, but he was prepared to make an immediate impact. Myles believed that the frozen food space, lacked the combo he was about to unleash, convenience + good for your ingredients.

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Shake up

Entering the frozen food space was no easy task for Myles and his company. But he told us why he felt not only there was an opportunity, but need for change. "The players in the space are sort of legacy brands that have been around for such a long time. Their main selling point is the convenience factor, 100%. While our product also meets that need (ready in 4 minutes in the microwave), we bring a completely new take with quality due to cleanliness of the ingredients.", Myles shared.


Myles Comfort Foods is a home cooked meal that just happens to be frozen. The ability to make it taste like a home cooked meal but only require a few minutes in the microwave makes the brand unique. He mentioned they also have some overlapping with shelf stable mac n cheese brands as well. "These products were a solution born during the Great Depression. It was a mealtime solution that could be made for very cheap. While it served that need it has not evolved much. Consumers are more conscious about what they put in their bodies and recognizing those 'ingredients' aren't real.", Myles mentioned.


The company is showcasing that consumers deserve real food. Nothing harmful is required to produce quality food with clean ingredients for their products. As Myles summarized, "that should be the norm, but unfortunately it is the opposite of what customers are receiving."


Myles shared with us that one of the first huge achievements for their brand was getting into Target. It was something he always envisioned, but ultimately it was just a smaller piece to the overall plan. Integration into chains (Whole Foods, Target, etc.) has been part of their story, but something that Myles make sures his group appreciates the hard work. The next phase of the company is nourishing the existing relationships by increasing velocity with each partner.


Mission

Beginning this journey was accompanied by being naive Myles explained. He told us he considers himself an optimistic person and had the outlook that he would figure it out. Operating that solo fight he realized he didn't have a ton of resources at his disposal initially. But because he had his passion to fall back on, he truly believed that any challenge and adversity he would experience, he could overcome it. That didn't mean it was all smooth sailing however, "I took my bumps and bruises. I was knocked down many times and dealt with a lot of rejection. But that provided valuable lessons that I was able to learn from. In the end, those experiences made me a better Founder and a better man.", Myles shared.


He credits his strong vision for the product, the space, and the revolution occurring in the frozen category. He alluded to building a sense of armor with hearing the word "no" so many times. But developing counters to plans not transpiring has allowed Myles and his brand to become even stronger moving forward. He mentioned that while focusing on growing the company it can be difficult to reflect on the journey. "One thing I noticed is talking to other founders in this space is understanding point of views and remembering where we started. They are amazed at what we have accomplished and where we are, it brings me back to when we were at that stage. Now we are trying to enter even higher levels in the space, so understanding that everyone is chasing potential at their own pace I think is really valuable.", Myles described.


Black-Owned, Women-Led

The first seven years in business Myles was running it by himself. He then made a change and brought on Zhanna Godkin. Prior to the addition to Myles Comfort Foods, he explained how lonely it can be running everything on your own. Implementing a partnership became a breath of fresh air Myles mentioned. "It was like a million pounds were removed from my shoulders instantly. Knowing I had a shared vision with someone who believed in our company was incredible. Able to couple that with the fact that her strengths could overtake my weaknesses and it was clear to bring Zhanna on board.", Myles shared.


We discussed the challenges of being an entrepreneur and finding time to stop and celebrate the wins. Myles mentioned that it is always hard to step back and look at things with that perspective because it is always on to the next thing. But with the addition of his new Co-Founder, he found it so easy to breathe as he mentioned knowing that now the machine won't stop. Everything doesn't rely solely on him anymore. Now Myles can direct his focus on his strengths to further grow the brand of Myles Comfort Foods.


The end goal is to build this brand into a billion dollar category leader in comfort food. Myles said while achieving that would be an incredible feat it is more about being known as a pioneer for reshaping and shifting the goals of the frozen space. Bringing sustainable, ethical, and positive changes for the consumer is their biggest goal. He hopes that Myles Comfort Foods can be leading that charge for years to come. Conversely, he believes that will be a huge part of the legacy they are aiming to achieve.

Piece of Advice

The conversation with Myles ended with him sharing his piece of advice.


"I think the biggest thing is knowing the difference between a good idea and what you love doing. No matter what your brand looks like or what product you have it is going to get beat up. The advice is to have some resilience built in and be prepared to hear no. Those that can take a punch and keep running and actually be open to change are the ones who survive. It is absolutely necessary to have confidence and a sense of stubbornness, but not let it overshadow your entire decision making process. Know your why as well I think is imperative to enduring those challenging times."


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In Closing

KLS wants to thank Myles Powell, Founder, of Myles Comfort Foods for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for the Myles Comofrt Foods' journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Myles Comfort Foods feature #83 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Myles Comfort Foods feature #83

*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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