Savoring the Sweet Life
Paul and Pam Frantellizzi, founders of Good Superfoods, LLC., savor the sweet life, in all its variety.
The groundwork for their current success started with 13 years of life in New York City as tech entrepreneurs. The journey to Idaho was rich, sweet and full of adventures. Paul explained, "We came to Idaho [Stanley] on a trip to see some friends. All it took was one look at the Sawtooths, and I bought a house on that trip." The scenic beauty was overwhelming and they soon realized that they were meant to be in Idaho full-time. They sold everything in New York and became permanent Idaho residents.
While in Stanley, they built their own home from the ground up, including milling the wood. Paul served as Mayor, they adopted a son, and life was good. With an eye on the next adventure, they soon moved to Boise and set out to create a company around healthy organic eating. Everything was going well and the concept was about to be purchased from a multi-billion dollar corporation when the recession hit. "We had an agreement to purchase and literally within 2-3 days after the CEO left Boise, the market crashed. We hung in there for about 9 months and spent all of our own money,” Paul shared. The CEO retired and the deal fell through.
This was a setback, but adventure was still ahead and they would not be deterred by adversity. One idea from the earlier business stuck with them – functional food with chocolate. "The recession was a good time to innovate. A lot of companies were scaling back, and I was developing the world's next great product."
They partnered with Dr. Michael T. Murray, a leading authority on natural medicine. "With Dr. Murray on the team, we learned that we could develop functional foods in a way that not only tastes good, but were evidenced-based," Paul explained. Within a few weeks, Good Cacao was born.
For Paul and Pam, the goal was to not just create a chocolate factory, but an innovation center around functional food. Good Cacao’s motto, ‘Be good to yourself’, reflects their desire and drive to help others. As Paul explains it, “good chocolate equates to a good wine or good beer. You start developing a palette for something better. We are selling a chocolate that just happens to have all this great stuff in it.”
Good Cacao’s chocolate comes from single origin, Fair Trade, specially selected Ecuadorian cacao beans. The company's Superfood Chocolate incorporates all-natural ingredients containing antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins and minerals that work to boost the immune system.
While other companies have tried creating superfood products, many fail because the products simply do not taste good. For Good Cacao, life is sweet and the company is thriving. Paul credits their success to creating products people trust. "A big part of my job is being a service ambassador to find the right companies on the nutraceutical side and incorporate organic ingredients. If we can't use organic, everything is plant based, non-GMO and cleanly extracted. There is nothing synthetic about it."
In 2012, Good Cacao produced more than 1 million bars of chocolate. Clearly, ‘be good to yourself’ is resonating. For the Frantellizzi’s, life keeps getting sweeter. "I see us being here forever…we love Boise. We aren't looking at this as a stepping stone."
On operating a food-processing business in Boise:
“Idaho is known for its potatoes. I think long-term, we could be known for a more diverse food culture. There is a great opportunity for a strong foodie based culture here. I believe it is happening, and I [Good Cacao] am a part of that. There is a good small business culture here.”
On Idaho's Landscape:
"I have a nephew that came to visit me once. I took him to Redfish Lake. We climbed up Alpine trail, sat on a cliff, and when I looked at him as he sat there, I realized he was crying. I asked him what happened, and he said, 'nothing', he had just never seen anything so beautiful."
On the Boise Personality:
Despite being thousands of miles apart, Paul found familiar traits in both New York and Boise. Growing up in an Italian family, Paul learned early the value of a strong work ethic. His father was a brick-layer in Long Island and taught him to 'show up early, stay late, and always sweep before you leave.' Fortitude is also a trait that resonates with the Frantellizzi family, "You have got to be the same person sitting at the top of the hill as at the bottom of the hill…treat people the same no matter what." Paul wanted his son to grow up in a place where people illustrated those same quality traits, which is part of the reason Boise has been so key for their family life. "It's nice here. People say hello, smile and ask, 'do you need something'? I have had people come to visit us in Boise, and they want to buy a house after visiting. People get it once they are here.”