[Me] & goji – Interview with Alexander Renzi

This week we are honored to interview Mr. Alexander Renzi, one of the founders of [me]&goji, a US company that makes custom artisanal cereal.

Design your own cereal mix! photo courtesy of meandgoji.com

Could you please tell us a little bit more about [me]&goji? How did it all start?

[me] & goji is the dream of three friends – adam, alexander, and carl – combining our passions for healthy food, unique products and good design: cereal couture, if you will. adam and I met our freshman year while playing soccer at Northwestern University, sharing many 6 a.m. dorm-crapeteria breakfasts before practice or class, and being asked to perform at a very high level without the proper fuel. This created our need.

After college I went to Los Angeles to run a tech start-up in Los Angeles while Adam took a job at Def Jam music group in NYC. Carl – who hails from Stockholm, Sweden – answered Adam’s craigslist post for a sublet while in the States for a consulting internship. Along with his slick blond hair and analytical mind, carl brings a dazzling knowledge of muesli, an extremely healthy, uncooked form of cereal popular in Europe. I decided to visit one weekend and after a spirited karaoke performance of “Sussudio” by phil Collins, we realize we have a talented group on our hands.

We dabbled with many business ideas (an american sake?), eventually deciding to address the need Adam and I discovered in college. Our solution results in America’s favorite breakfast food, cereal, revamped with the nutritional focus of muesli and the flexibility of customization.

On your interactive website, customers design their own mix. Which are the most popular ingredients? Is there a tendency like…let’s say, 2009 ingredients?

When we first started our company were surprised at how many different ingredients people were willing to try. People are really taking advantage of adding ingredients conventional cereals don’t offer. To alleviate the concerns people have about trying new ingredients, we adopted the return policy of if you do not like your mix for any reason, we will happily send you a new one, and even cover those pesky shipping charges! Some of our current top sellers are goji berries, bananas, coconut (my favorite), flax and chia seeds.

I love your “out of the box” packaging! Is there any benefit of having your product in a cilinder instead of a standard rectangular box? Or is it just for esthetic purposes?

The decision to use our Cereal Capsules was a very conscious choice. The following points were the rationale behind the choice:
Big value: packed with 50% more cereal (21oz, 600g) than the average box.
Freshness is locked in with an easy, pull-off foil seal. once opened, a tightly fitting cap keeps cereal fresher, longer.
Convenient and portable: fits in standard cupboards (if there is already one on your countertop) and makes taking cereal on-the-go easier than ever.
Art meets science: both functional and attractive, the cylindrical design makes pouring easy and mess-free. no more difficult-to-open bags or flimsy boxes. Easily recyclable.
Influenced by modern-minimalist interior design, we aimed to create an aesthetically appealing package that sits on your countertop and not in the cupboard.

We have featured [me]&goji on our sister site 1HappyCorner.com and have recommended it as a great gift because it is healthy and every cereal capsule can be personalized. Is there a message or customized title (that you can remember of) that makes you smile each and every time you think of it?

We absolutely love looking at the orders that come in every day to see what clever names people come up with on their Cereal Capsules. When we first started out, the messages were from friends and family, so notes like “This better be good Alexander” or “Wash your hands Adam!” would appear.

We now list our top 5 names each week on our blog: http://sincerealyyours.wordpress.com. My favorite to date has been “added the gojis so the monks in silk gloves can hire repair workers for their stone monasteries” simply because I haven’t the slightest idea of what this person is talking about.

What does the future hold for [me] & goji?

As we approach our 1 year anniversary in September, we couldn’t be happier with all the support and positive feedback from our friends, family and customers. We hope to continue growing our company while upholding our high standard of customer service, and establishing [me] & goji as the go to cereal company. We firmly believe that healthy and natural doesn’t have to mean boring and tasteless.

Thank you very much for the interview!

To read more about [me]&goji or to order, please visit their website at www.meandgoji.com