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Revolutionizing Convenience Food with Vegan Masters ft. Danny Galiart


In the latest episode of the Plant Based On Fire podcast, Bryan had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Galiart, the visionary founder of Vegan Masters. Danny's journey into the world of plant-based entrepreneurship is nothing short of inspiring, and his innovative approach to revolutionizing convenience food is changing the game in the industry.


Vegan Masters: Pioneering Veganization


At the core of Vegan Masters is the mission to veganize mainstream convenience food. Danny and his team are passionate about making plant-based options accessible and enticing to a broader audience. Beyond just plant-based nuggets, Vegan Masters offers a diverse range of products, taking inspiration from successful brands like Wicked Kitchen in the US.


What sets Vegan Masters apart is its commitment to supplying food professionals, including food services, with their products. While some brands focus primarily on retail, Vegan Masters aims to make plant-based options readily available in various culinary settings.


A Personal Journey Towards Veganism


Danny's personal journey toward veganism is as intriguing as his business venture. It all started during his days as a world-champion freestyle kiteboarder. Surrounded by fellow athletes who were transitioning to plant-based diets, Danny was initially hesitant. However, a documentary, Cowspiracy, opened his eyes to the environmental and ethical implications of his food choices.

This awakening prompted Danny not only to embrace veganism himself but also to start Vegan Masters. He realized that to create a significant impact, he needed to go beyond personal choices and offer accessible, delectable vegan options to the world.


Challenges and Innovations


Running a plant-based business isn't all smooth sailing. Danny emphasizes the need for aspiring entrepreneurs to be realistic about the challenges they'll face. While the plant-based movement is gaining momentum, the path to success can be demanding. However, the rewards, including positive feedback and passionate support from the community, make it all worthwhile.


Vegan Masters has also tackled the issue of food waste. Initially, they faced significant waste due to the ultra-fresh nature of their products. However, they adapted by shifting to frozen products with longer shelf lives, reducing waste and increasing sustainability.

Expanding Horizons


The future looks bright for Vegan Masters. Danny and his team are exploring opportunities for expansion into new markets, including neighboring countries like Germany and Scandinavia. They are also considering innovative approaches like dark kitchens to reach a wider audience. Their commitment to quality and sustainability remains unwavering.


Supporting Vegan Masters


If you're eager to support Vegan Masters, you can participate in their funding round in the Netherlands. They're using the iVestor.com platform, where you can become a shareholder in the company. It's an excellent opportunity to be a part of their journey and contribute to the growth of plant-based convenience foods.


In conclusion, Danny and Vegan Masters are leading the charge in the plant-based food industry. Their dedication to accessibility, sustainability, and innovation is not only changing the way we view convenience food but also inspiring a healthier, more compassionate world. Aspiring plant-based entrepreneurs can learn valuable lessons from Danny's journey, emphasizing the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and a solid commitment to their mission.


> Podcast episode's transcription


Bryan (00:01.27)

Hello everybody and welcome to Plant Based on Fire, where we talk about plant based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in our industry. I'm your host Brian and joining us today is Danny Geliart. He is the founder of Vegan Masters. So welcome Danny to the show.


danny (00:19.501)

Thank you, Brian, for having me over. Thank you.


Bryan (00:22.675)

Give us the quick background. What is Vegan Masters? And talk to us about why you're here today.


danny (00:28.497)

Yeah, basically we call ourselves veganizers. And what we're doing, we are veganizing the current offering of mainstream convenience food.


Bryan (00:38.886)

Awesome. So give us, give us a more detailed example. It's a lot more than just plant-based nuggets, right?


danny (00:45.941)

No, it's way more. I think in the US we have Wicked Kitchen now. So it's pretty similar to Wicked Kitchen. The only thing is that we do a little bit more than them. We also supply the food professionals, like food services, with our products. So it's quite similar to what they're doing, but they are more retail focused.


Bryan (00:52.183)

Yeah.


Bryan (01:01.031)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (01:08.954)

Awesome. So I want to dive into that a little bit more, but before we do that, I love to just ask that question sort of like, what's your personal journey? Like what led you to become this plant-based advocate and form the vegan masters here?


danny (01:22.589)

Oh, that's a quite funny story. I was holding the world championship of freestyle kiteboarding, and I was traveling with this whole bunch of athletes around the world. And they noticed that I was already like a vegetarian. And a couple of those top riders, they were on a plant-based diet. And they were very motivated to motivate me to become a vegan as well. So they were pushing me to watch the doku, Cowspiracy.


Bryan (01:28.302)

Okay.


Bryan (01:41.521)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (01:45.645)

Yeah.


Bryan (01:51.71)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


danny (01:52.041)

And, but I was afraid to see, you know, the stutteries and all the bad things that were going on. So I was, I have been waiting for a while. And then after seeing Cowspiracy, for me, it was a no brainer to become a vegan myself. And like two days later, I had the feeling I have to do more. So it's always good to do, to start with yourself, but if you want to make really impact, I have to do more. So, and that's the moment that we, yeah, we started basically.


Bryan (02:09.708)

Yeah.


Bryan (02:16.097)

Yeah.


danny (02:20.769)

coming up with the idea to start vegan monsters.


Bryan (02:23.53)

Absolutely. Yeah. I can't, I can't say that enough. Like I think, uh, one of my favorite people out there is the daily stoic guy. And he talks about how the warriors way back in Roman times, mostly eight plant base and they're some of the best warriors. So I, I think you're going to see this resurgence where most of the top athletes in the next 10 years are probably going to be vegan on that front. So, um,


danny (02:36.934)

Okay, cool.


danny (02:46.741)

The interesting thing with that was that what I noticed is that in the first couple of months, they were losing muscle. But a lot of athletes, they're always extreme. So they go from one diet to the other diet because they do believe it's better. And for them, it was like to start performing better, but as well for the environmental


Bryan (03:01.314)

Ahem.


Bryan (03:05.518)

Mm-hmm.


danny (03:13.461)

But they started very extreme, so they were losing. So I was following them, but after a period of six months, I saw them progressing. And seriously, the skills, I was training with them in CrossFit as well, and I noticed that they were improving. And that was the moment for me that I was getting more interested. And that was for me to turn around as well, to become a vegan as well, yeah.


Bryan (03:24.279)

Yeah.


Bryan (03:36.522)

Yeah. It's hard to describe like that clarity of mind when you don't eat it too. Like people you say there's this cloudiness when you're a meat eater. And then when you stop and you see that clarity, like really subtle in, like, I don't know, it's hard to describe for people that are so used to it, right? It's like, it's like the people that have kids and don't have kids. You don't know what it's like to have a kid until you have one.


danny (03:56.509)

No, no. And the funny thing, you become a little bit like a rebellion as well. So that's what I noticed as well. I was not a rebellion in the beginning, but in this whole process, then if you see, even my wife, she's like a faxitarian and I'm struggling sometimes over it.


Bryan (04:02.123)

Yeah.


Bryan (04:11.07)

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So tell us, so you went through this, uh, kite, kite boarding, uh, transition and challenge and stuff, and you wanted to do more. And that's how vegan masters came about. What's the story behind those early days with vegan masters?


danny (04:32.141)

Basically, we had a license for two years and we were not able to hold on to it. And I was running another company called El Capone's Pizzas. We were living in Spain. For me, this El Capone's company is as well dealing with pizza pepperoni. And I was losing it. I didn't feel comfortable for me.


Bryan (04:33.827)

Ahem.


Bryan (04:42.938)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (04:46.356)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (04:55.123)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.


Bryan (05:00.034)

Yeah.


danny (05:00.133)

And so, yeah, we started this company, basically we didn't start the company, but we started working on the business plan in Spain for over one year. And after this one year, we were thinking, or starting up in the UK, but then Brexit came up, Germany was one of the target markets. But the easiest way for us was to go back to the Netherlands. We had a lot of...


Bryan (05:09.42)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (05:22.495)

Mm-hmm.


danny (05:28.397)

investing possibilities over there as well, because we needed some support based on to be able to start up the company. And yeah, there was a lot of a huge network over there. So the easiest step was to start up in the Netherlands.


Bryan (05:30.944)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (05:43.714)

That's awesome. Yeah. I think, isn't, is it Cal United's based in Netherlands there or where's, where are they based? I don't know. I have a few investments in a few different European plant based companies. So that's awesome.


danny (05:54.801)

Okay cool, cool. No, but there's a lot of innovation going on in the Netherlands based on food and yeah.


Bryan (06:01.97)

Yeah, absolutely. So tell us about like, what's the business model planning pieces and identifying that gap in the market for its fresh, healthy, sustainable plant base?


danny (06:18.045)

Basically what we know is that my daughter, she is really into cooking. I'm a happy camper in the kitchen and so we have been that for a while as being a vegetarian, as I just mentioned, but as well to become a vegan and for us it was not really like a challenge to serve every day this amazing vegan dish, but we knew that for a lot of other flexitarians.


Bryan (06:23.202)

Mm-hmm.


danny (06:45.489)

it would be a challenge. And at that moment we were still living in Spain and even in Spain it's a bigger challenge than in the Netherlands for instance. So that's how we came up with the idea to create, to build bridges from vegan menu, plant-based menu towards the flexitarians and to help them.


Bryan (06:47.03)

Yeah.


Bryan (06:56.362)

Yeah.


danny (07:09.957)

At that time we saw a lot of meat substitutes, but that was basically it. So we didn't saw convenience meals, we didn't saw pizzas or even burger kits that we started up with. And so the amount of convenience food, what was already being veganized, was quite poor.


danny (07:39.221)

After doing a lot of research, interviewing a lot of millennials, generations, and we figured out that there would be an opportunity to start vegan masters.


Bryan (07:55.69)

Yeah. And so, uh, how, how is it, how is it working right now? People are ordering on your website, et cetera. Have you gotten into certain grocery stores and food chains as well and convenience stores or


danny (08:08.925)

Yeah, I have to go back a little. September last year, we made a, or even before we made already like a big decision. We noticed we were selling through retailing and some of the bigger chains in the Netherlands. And we noticed there was a lot of food waste going on in ultra fresh. So basically nine of ten products that we had were ultra fresh. So daily made with a shelf life of three up to five days.


Bryan (08:14.786)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (08:29.699)

Mm-hmm.


danny (08:38.949)

And all those retailers, they are, for them, like a waste on 30 up to 40%, it's okay, they can work with it. And that's for us, it was not okay. So it felt a little bit like greenwashing, being this, yeah, number one on sustainability. And then on the other hand, 30% of your product is going to be in the garbage bin.


Bryan (08:53.015)

Yeah.


Bryan (09:04.646)

Wasting so much food, yeah.


Yeah.


danny (09:08.617)

So it didn't work with us. So basically what we told them is that, okay, this is something that you guys cannot solve. You're not gonna solve that. And so we have to fix it. And at that time we were still producing with our own production company and production plant. And we moved on and we started working with partners who were able to, as we call it, yeah.


fresh frozen, that's how we call it. And we start freezing basically, so we have been tweaking all our culinary recipes towards frozen, and now basically all of the products that we are producing with partners are with a longer shelf life. The shorter shelf life is one of the spreads that we have that is five weeks, but all the other products, they have a shelf life. And that has to do with as well with foods.


Bryan (09:39.083)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Bryan (09:45.954)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (09:54.275)

Good.


danny (10:05.125)

with how do you call it, food safety or not. Once more, there's so much waste going on in our frost, it didn't work. So, and now we have that covered as well. And yeah. Yeah.


Bryan (10:15.569)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (10:22.274)

That's good. So when does the production plant open in America?


danny (10:27.689)

A lot of doors are opening because we moved from ultra fresh, what is always challenging, we moved to frozen and therefore expanding international is a big opportunity for us and that's something that we are looking into right now. But honestly, not yet to the US, but like our neighbors, Germany, Scandinavian countries, they are expanding quite rapidly as well.


Bryan (10:29.356)

Yeah.


Bryan (10:32.567)

Yeah.


Bryan (10:44.036)

Awesome. So all the American


danny (10:56.537)

on plant-based products and we are quite eager to start over there as well. Yeah.


Bryan (11:02.05)

Perfect. So all the American businesses that are listening here, reach out to Danny to help him bring it over the pond here to this side. So what's, what's been the most rewarding aspect of running vegan master so far?


danny (11:09.377)

Bring it on, bring it on. Ha ha ha.


danny (11:18.613)

I have to say we are a love brand and all the people around us even like investors because we have been it has been a bumpy ride for us as well so we started up in 2019 November four months later we had our first lockdown yeah so it was like a bumpy ride and quite challenging and they have been supporting us all the way and that's so all the love and all the


Bryan (11:31.242)

Yeah, pre-pandemic. Yeah.


Yeah.


danny (11:46.693)

it's unbelievable and that gives the right energy to start up early in the morning till late at night. So every day, yeah.


Bryan (11:56.174)

Awesome. Well, I applaud you on your efforts and really appreciate you bringing more people to our lifestyle through those convenience foods. Like the, the.


danny (12:04.343)

Thank you.


Bryan (12:06.166)

the vegetarians and the vegans and plant-based that I know, like they love their meal prep. And, but you know, that's, it's not a viable option for some of us that are on the go all the time. And, you know, you get pretty sick of eating the same, same two things you know are vegan. So having those choices are, are amazing. So as a plant-based entrepreneur, such as yourself, what advice can you give to others looking to enter into this plant-based industry and make a positive impact like you have?


danny (12:19.21)

Yeah, yeah.


danny (12:36.113)

I think one of the most important thing is don't expect to march and we all know the curve of the hockey, we call it the hockey stick, but be realistic. So it's still, you know, there's still a lot of work to do. You get confronted by a lot of challenges. So it's a long way. It's not like bringing a pizza to a market.


Bryan (12:36.622)

Ahem.


Bryan (12:45.268)

Mm-hmm.


Yeah.


danny (13:02.281)

and making a better pepperoni pizza. So it's a different road and yeah, can be very challenging, but you get a lot of feedback, a lovely feedback as well. And so that gives a lot of energy, but it's a challenge. And you have to be just, or even more professional as an entrepreneur than if you start in a regular business.


Bryan (13:18.498)

Good, good.


Bryan (13:26.178)

For sure. For sure. Yeah, absolutely. And it does. It is some long days at times. I'm sure even, even


danny (13:31.477)

Yeah, but not only the long days, but the challenges as vegan moths as we started and with our marketing completely focused on sustainability, environmental course as well, the animal cruelty that's going on. But now we are like three years further.


Bryan (13:43.671)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (13:52.306)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.


danny (13:57.289)

This is a story that we don't have to tell anymore. That's what we figured out. They know that now. And so now the focus is completely on health. So what a vegan diet can do for you personally, based on a different kind of your skin or being pregnant and what can it do for you. And that's more the focus and that's something that you will learn and that's, yeah, we are...


Bryan (14:08.62)

Yeah.


Bryan (14:18.06)

everything.


danny (14:25.745)

walking a lot of paths that others did not been going on before. So yeah.


Bryan (14:32.642)

Yep. Good, good, good. So what's in the future? Obviously expanding into some other countries and stuff, but what other aspirations does vegan masters have for the rest of this year and into next year?


danny (14:46.757)

We did already like a lot of research towards other opportunities. One of them are dark kitchens and I do believe that there are still opportunities as well for a brand. We had like 14 or 15 of them in the Netherlands and we did quite well. But this is something that now we have all our frozen products. I think it's even more suitable than it was before with the ultra fresh products that we had.


Bryan (15:00.651)

Mm-hmm


Bryan (15:16.119)

Yeah.


danny (15:16.849)

So that's an opportunity. But as I mentioned, international expanding is very important as well. So that we can scale the production and have longer runs and get... Pardon me?


Bryan (15:33.268)

I almost picture you doing some sort of ultra fresh pop-up in a big, big city to get the word out and then say, hey, coming to all your local grocery stores next week or something like that. So some gimmicks or something to get them hooked. Yes, absolutely.


danny (15:45.329)

Yeah, sampling is very important with our product. With a vegan product, sampling is one of the most important things. We do a lot of exhibitions as well, and they are always so surprised about the quality. So there's a lot of people, they still have to learn that plant-based food can be amazing, mind-blowing.


Bryan (15:52.427)

Yeah.


Bryan (16:06.614)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, the different flavor, you can have every flavor profile you can think of. So I still think the one to master for when you come to America is the barbecue flavor. We gotta really nail that barbecue flavor really, really good.


danny (16:19.037)

Yeah, yeah, for instance, what we love to do is, we're always looking for, we don't go for meat subters, we go for meat innovations. So we like to work with an oyster steak, for instance, that's the layers and you see those guys from Wicked Kitchen doing it as well. And we were able to scale this now in a new production plant. And that's what we, and we have that with a smoky barbecue flavor as well, so yeah.


Bryan (16:29.184)

Mm-hmm.


Mm-hmm.


Bryan (16:37.708)

Yeah.


danny (16:48.981)

Yeah, yeah, cool. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Bryan (16:49.226)

Awesome. I look forward to trying it here. Well, Danny, it's been an absolute pleasure and congratulations on your successes with Vegan Masters. So how can people support your business? And what's the best ways to get in touch with you and the team?


danny (16:58.081)

Thank you, Brian.


danny (17:03.245)

If you want to support the business, we are in the middle of a funding round right now in the Netherlands. We work together with a platform from iVestor.com. It's an option to get shares of it's a community share funding platform. So you were able to get shares of our company. And so that will be the biggest support that we need right now. And yes.


Bryan (17:12.417)

Okay?


Bryan (17:20.693)

Awesome.


Bryan (17:26.606)

Mm-hmm.


That's awesome. And then what's the website again, for those of them that want to check it out and learn more.


danny (17:33.653)

this ivester.com and then you have to go to, of our, that's vegan masters.


Bryan (17:35.89)

And for, for your website, it's vegan. Yeah. Vegan masters is dot NL, right? I think. Yep. Awesome. Well, we will definitely check that out. You'll have to drop me an email with the link for the iVester and stuff. We'll make sure that's in the show notes as well on that front, but that's all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire. Thanks again, Danny, for joining us and sharing your insights and experiences with our community. Until next time everybody keep that fire burning.


danny (17:43.146)

That's Dalton Elio.


danny (17:51.749)

I will, I will, perfect. I will, Bryan.




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