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Wynn's Kitchen with Wynn Austin, Founder, feature #106 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #106: Wynn's Kitchen presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Wynn's Kitchen

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the privilege to interview Wynn's Kitchen and Founder, Wynn Austin. Wynn’s Kitchen was founded by a San Diego mom, Wynn Austin. In 2016, she started suffering from anxiety despite being an avid tennis player. Desperate to feel better, she focused on eating healthier, by cutting out sugar, and focusing on whole foods. Although her health improved, she was craving Asian food. Once she started reading the nutritional labels, she realized most of the Asian sauces that she used to cook with contained sugar, gluten, and/or preservatives. She noticed a huge void in the marketplace. In her home kitchen she created the first batch of her Saté Sauce, made with all natural ingredients, with no added sugar. Wynn’s mission is to share natural Asian food products with flavors inspired by the Vietnamese cuisines that she grew up eating. She believes that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for quality.


Solving her problem

With Wynn suffering from health issues starting in 2016, she set out to create a solution to a problem she was facing. She missed cuisines she enjoyed eating, but could no longer consume due to how they were prepared. She started out to solve the problem in her own kitchen. Because she could no longer eat the sauces she had been consuming her whole life or find anything in stores that now fit her dietary restrictions, she wondered if she could produce an alternative option for herself. Having to cut out sugar, soy, and gluten, she began with her first product, her Saté sauce. During this process she shared her journey on Facebook for healthy eating options. Soon after she was delivering small batch orders in mason jars. She jokes this was an accidental business, she never envisioned it would become a business when she first stepped into the kitchen.


 

In September 2019, she officially launched Wynn's Kitchen. Wynn said that competition is other Asian Sauce based brands, however her product is unique in that it focuses on being an option for dietary restrictions. She mentioned that here in the states it is common for American sauces and condiments to have many more options available, but in the Asian sauce space it is limited in terms of what is being offered. Most Asian sauces have high amounts of sodium and sugar. Wynn had created an entirely new option. She was providing the same taste with the option to be healthier. She also credited that there is very little innovation in the Asian sauce and condiment sector which gives her inspiration for more additions down the road. Wynn stated how it has been a challenge to educate consumers that a "better for you" product can actually taste just as good while being unlike any other sauce they have tried.

3 year process

Wynn believes the reason it took her three years to officially launch her company was she resisted it for such a long time. She mentioned how she had no idea how to get a food product into the market. She loved her product and what it was doing for those who she shared it with up until then. She also shared how difficult 2019 was for her as she was going through a divorce, a move, a lot of emotional turmoil that made starting a business and even more daunting task.


She believed she had come to a crossroads and made the decision she was going to move on from creating her sauces. She was ready to close this chapter, but she looked once more at the support from the community she had built. Instead she leaned into that amount of positivity and let the drive her, she had something to focus on. "It made me so happy to make others happy. To be part of their pantry and be an option they know and can trust is so great.", Wynn explained. She decided she was going to really start researching and find out how to make this a reality and convert her hobby into a full-fledged business.


Wynn continued, "It was tough back then. There was no Startup CPG, no Naturally San Diego. These resources available now weren't there prior to Covid. Information was much more limited." Wynn began making about 100 jars per month. She stated she didn't have a food background, just enjoyed being a home cook, but over time has turned into a food scientist. Working with the copacker she had to learn about the pH level to make it shelf stable. Maintaining the product being as clean as possible required about 5-6 changes to replicate what she was creating in her home kitchen. Her first shipment to FBA was 24 jars near the end of 2019. It sold out within a week.


During this time of starting her new company Wynn also was working in real estate. She credits the ability to go at her own pace and slowly learn her new CPG company in the early stages. In May 2021 Wynn faced another crossroads. At the time RE wasn't doing well in her region. Her pipeline went from $8 million to nearly zero. She had to make the decision that she had to be all in with one or the other, no longer could both take up her time. She decided that she was going to pursue her new company and if it didn't work out she would move on from it and find a salaried job. Then Wynn did one of the most creative things we ever heard of. "I called up and planned a dinner party for 10 potential investors I had been talking to. I threw together this party and that night I raised $100,000 for Wynn's Kitchen."

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Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
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Growing pains

Toward the end of last year her company had a huge growth spurt. Wynn shared how exciting it was, but in September big retail stores all came at once. There was panic. "Consumers don't realize how inventory management and capital are needed to have that balance.", Wynn explained. While these big growth spurts are incredible and mean you're on the right track it can be very stressful. Wynn had to be resourceful and she called bankers to try and get a business line of credit. She had a business account with Wells Fargo and was able to obtain a loan through them to cover this added inventory for her new retail partners. Making this quick adaption has put her in a place where she feels that anytime this year she gets the big thumbs up from a new partner Wynn's Kitchen is well equipped to have their process ready.


Despite being resourceful during this huge boom, it was not easy. Running a business especially in CPG is so difficult. Wynn Told us about how hard things were during Covid. She lost her first co-packer with retailers asking for orders that couldn't be fulfilled. "I only had 15 stores at that time, but felt awful.", Wynn shared. She told us she cried all the time and told people around her she wasn't sure she or the company would make it. "It gets overwhelming. But I've found for me that when you have those difficult days you have to go to sleep. Shut everything down. And when you wake up find the easiest thing you have to do and cross it off. Then move to the next. One task at a time to get back on track is what works for me.", Wynn elaborated.


The persistence of Wynn and her great products have helped create the trajectory she is on now. She mentioned how the product sells very well on Amazon, a strong customer base. She also mentioned that as her company gains brand awareness, the possibilities are endless because as a society we are trending towards consumers wanting to eat better and demanding better ingredients. Wynn shared her thoughts on running her company, "I've found my calling. I love the creativity and flexibility it gives. I'm always learning something. I've met so many incredible people, especially those who love food like me. This is a very difficult lifestyle, but I love it, it is a blessing." This year Wynn hopes to launch her third sauce. All 3 will be uniquely different, but benefit each other. Lemongrass stir fry which is a staple of Vietnamese Food. She is anticipating a huge growth once it is released and is focused on building velocity on the west coast.

 

Pride

Starting in the venture and betting on herself has led Wynn to some incredible celebrations. One being part of Naturally San Diego, which launched in 2020. At the start everything was done via online during the pandemic. The following year Wynn applied to pitch, but didn't get invited. She did get to go and attend. She walked away from that event wanting to pitch and had it in her mind that the next year she would make that happen. In 2023, she was picked as one of the finalist. Over 500 people turned out and she pitched first. She was voted for People's Choice and mentioned how critical it was to grow out of her comfort zone both personally and professionally.


Reflecting back on her nearly 5 year journey, Wynn shared moments that mean the most to her. She started with the dinner party she threw. "Having the confidence to meet with potential investors and be able to articulate my mission and vision and ultimately get their backing was incredible. Surreal truly, I never thought I'd have the ability to do that.", Wynn shared. She also mentioned pitching at Naturally San Diego. And the last moment was the most touching and inspirational for her, seeing her product on the shelf for the first time. Wynn told us about that day, "It was in Seaside Market in Cardiff. The first store that gave us a chance. I was driving with my daughters and thought lets stop by and see if we are displayed yet. We walked in to the shelf and my Daughters said, "Mama is that your sauce?!' It is a moment I will never forget."


Piece of Advice

The conversation with Wynn ended with her sharing her piece of advice:

"Always take one thing at a time. Start small and think big. Especially with CPG, you'll hear about unicorns and it can be misleading. Not doing enough or growing fast enough can be detrimental to your true growth. Focus on you and your company. Keep testing, start with your community, your friends, your neighbors, your peers. Will they buy your product, and will the repurchase? Before you invest thousands of dollars in an idea that won’t resonate with people."


Visit the Wynn's Kitchen website and use the coupon code below!

KLS15 ---> 15% off


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank  Wynn Austin, Founder, of Wynn's Kitchen for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Wynn's Kitchen feature #106 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Wynn's Kitchen feature #106

*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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