Opening the Liquor Loot with Joel Hauer

Joel Hauer is the Founder and CEO of Liquor Loot – one home for two subscription services, delivering three premium whisky and gin tasters from around the world each month. These brands, Whisky Loot and Gin Loot are designed to take subscribers of all knowledge levels, on a deeper journey to understand whisky and gin. 

After an early career in advertising, Joel started his own agency – to help businesses navigate the digital ad world – and later combined this experience with his passion for spirits, to build Liquor Loot.

As the sole-founder and CEO of the business, Joel’s role involves sourcing the monthly product and implementing changes in its delivery systems, managing supplier and investor relations and ensuring continued growth of the near-five year old business.

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Kaddy and The Beverage Industry with Mike Abbott and Rich Coombes

Co-founded by high school and university mates, Rich Coombes and Mike Abbott, who have each had previous entrepreneurial successes – Rich, with Batlow Cider, Capital Brewing and Will & Co Coffee and Mike, who co-founded Uber in Australia – Kaddy, was designed to evolve the antiquated methods of ordering and payment in the beverage industry and operate as a centralised platform to connect venues and retailers – to discover, order, invoice and pay.

Following an $800,000 angel investor raise in June 2019 and launch in September, June 2020 saw the business raise another $3.5 million dollars in an oversubscribed round to ultimately list names like KTM Ventures, SpringCapital and a previous guest and friend of the show, Stevan Premutico (the founder of Dimmi and me&u) all on their cap table.

Now, having grown to over ten times the size it was pre-COVID, Kaddy is rolling out across the East Coast of Australia with significant plans for the future.

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FMCG, Chocolate and Koko Black with Nicolas Georges

Nicolas Georges is an innovator and a system thinker leading Koko Black through major transformational change. Challenged in his first year of leadership by a global health pandemic and business lockdown, Nic’s previous FMCG and retail experience was put to the test. 

Before Koko Black, Vitasoy Australia and Bakers Delight, Nic had already spent 15 years with Nestle in Europe and then time with Kraft Foods and Mondelez in Australia – where he helped spearhead the AUD$2billion multinational to become one of the most innovative food manufacturers in the country – and joined Monash University to create the Food Innovation Centre – where he remains an adjunct professor in Chemical Engineering.

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SPC, Much More Than Baked Beans and Spaghetti with Robert Giles

SPC is Australia’s leading producer of premium packaged fruit. It’s a company with over a hundred years of history and one that has subsidiaries that many of us have fond memories of. Robert Giles – a recognised senior leader of large scale FMCG and multiple channel businesses – leads them as their CEO.

With 30 years of experience across brands like Simplot, Nestle and Coca-Cola, Rob believes that despite Australia’s small market, if executed correctly, SPC will put Australian food manufacturing on the map.

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BioPak, Plastics and Food Service Disposables with Gary Smith

Gary Smith and his business partner Richard Fine set out to reduce the impact of single-use plastics in 2006 and in the space of only a decade, led BioPak to become a leading supplier of foodservice disposables.

Now, as a serial entrepreneur with an accumulated 30 years of experience in packaging, logistics and information technology, Gary guides the award-winning company as its CEO, towards a sustainable and zero-waste future.

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Food Systems Innovation with Sarah Nolet

Sarah Nolet is an internationally recognised food systems innovation expert, the CEO and Founder of AgThentic – a global food and agriculture strategy firm – and co-founder of Tenacious Ventures – Australia’s first dedicated agri-food tech VC firm.

Sarah has been instrumental in building the early stage AgTech ecosystem in Australia by advising entities of all shapes and sizes – governments, universities, startups and more – to develop and implement forward-looking initiatives in food system innovation.

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Specialty Coffee and Wolff Coffee Roasters with Penny Wolff

Penny Wolff is the Co-owner of three distinct retail coffee brands – Dandelion & Driftwood, Queen of Pops, and Big Bad Wolff – and a roastery – Wolff Coffee Roasters – of which she is the CEO and operates in a Non-Executive capacity.

With a strong background in education, Penny brings a creative touch to the craft and sheds a unique perspective on the industry. She’s very spiritual and has a mantra “to act with intention, integrity and persistence”.

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Three Generations of Taylors Wines with Mitchell Taylor

Managing Director of Taylors Wines, Mitchell Taylor, follows in the footsteps of his father, Bill Taylor and grandfather before him, Bill Taylor Snr – but his career began with a large stockbroking firm in London in the mid 80s.

His passion for wine led him back to Australia, where he worked across all facets of the family business – from export and finance director to winemaker. Over 30 years later, he now oversees all aspects of the business. 

Mitchell has degrees in Commerce and Science and is deeply involved with key industry associations, including as a Director of Wine Australia and The Drinks Association and founding and current director of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW). 

One of the first major companies to transition to the screw cap, Taylors has continued to hold its strong international reputation as a highly-regarded Australian wine company.

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Blackbird Ventures and The Future of Food with Samantha Wong

Samantha Wong is a partner at Blackbird Ventures, a technology venture capital fund with $1B in funds under management. Blackbird was an early investor in Australia’s startup successes: Canva, Zoox and CultureAmp.

More recently, the fund invested in Fable Food Co. – Founder, Michael Fox, was on the show back at Episode 106.

Prior to joining Blackbird, Sam was a startup founder, product manager with multinational e-commerce startup, and a corporate lawyer with Minter Ellison.

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Stagekings Makes Furniture with Jeremy Fleming

Jeremy Fleming is the Managing Director of Stagekings – the company behind the sets of events like the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Ninja Warrior and Ultra Music Festival.

Navigating the company through this very difficult time, Jeremy saw an opportunity for Stagekings to manufacture WFH office furniture and thrive over 2020.

After reemploying his staff and another 70 more, the company has built the IsoKing range and donated over $50k to Support Act – a music industry crisis relief charity.

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