Nobody hates soup. You can get annoyed that your soup takes a while to prepare and you can’t treat your soup like your energy drinks, but nobody hates soup. So why not try the nutritious soup drink, Gazpacho that will cool your soul. Tio Gazpacho, the cold soup drink with no bowl necessary, is hitting the stores near you and bringing the Spanish culture along with it. Coming off a new round of funding, we are looking forward to the new flavors that it will bring.
Founder Austin Allan spoke with us about the soup experience and what gazpacho has to teach us all.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised our Series A round of $1.25 million.
Tell us about your product or service.
We make a three SKU line of bottled gazpachos (chilled soups) that you can drink on the go.
Our original recipe (Gazpacho Clasico) is authentic of a recipe as you’re going to get. We import the Sherry Vinegar and Olive Oil we use in that recipe from Spain to give it a true gazpacho taste. The other recipes that I created are more fun, playful interpretations of the concept of gazpacho. The De Sol’s sweeter flavor profile comes from yellow tomatoes, yellow peppers and carrots, ingredients not normally found in gazpacho. Then the Verde is more of an exotic spicy recipe with avocado, mint, jalapeño and cumin. Our new variety Gazpacho Rosado is a savory sweet and spicy recipe made with watermelon, tomato, cilantro and cayenne pepper.
What inspired you to start the company?
I was inspired by my time in Spain, where I lived from 2001-2005, and all of the fresh delicious foods that were foreign to me at the time.
How is it different?
No one else is making drinkable soups at this moment
Our goal is to create a new category in the supermarket – RTD soup.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Anyone that shops at a grocery store in the US.
What’s your business model?
We are a sales and marketing company and the production is handled by a contract manufacturer.
How do you leverage tech in your business?
We use a technology called High Pressure Processing to treat our products for safety. HPP is a non-thermal alternative to heat pasteurization and chemical preservatives, which ruin the flavor and nutrition of food, in my opinion.
What was the funding process like?
Long. Challenging. A tremendous learning experience.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Trying to raise money for an early stage company with not a lot of revenue. As I had never raised capital before, just understanding the process was a challenge early on.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The potential to get early on a company that is creating a new category, not just a product.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Launch our fourth SKU – Gazpacho Rosado, a watermelon, tomato, cilantro and cayenne pepper recipe.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
If you truly believe in your concept, and have proof that others do too (this is key), don’t quit.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
Anfora on 8th Ave.