Before creating the fast-growing hemp-based company, “Hippie Butter”, CEO Brad Ervin spent his days engineering sound for names like George Strait, Bette Midler, and Paul McCartney. I was curious to learn how a rock n’ roll lifestyle turned into a passionate hemp company, and the story behind the birth of hippie butter.
Hippie Butter’s products range from hemp seed foods, beverages, a hemp skin and hair care line, and hemp oils. What I find even more impressive besides the vast array of products is their commitment to keep the company organic and free of chemicals that may be unnatural or irritate the skin.
Brad was nice enough to take the time for an interview, and tell us the story behind Hippie Butter, specifically how the business took shape from an idea, into a successful company. I hope you enjoy this interview, and would encourage you to check out Hippie Butter, a company who is blending quality products with their passion for health, and natural solutions to our daily needs~
JAY: What was your background when you started Hippie Butter
BRAD: Hi, I’m Brad Ervin, a former chef, 25-year rock ‘n’ roll sound engineer and now the CHO (Chief Hemp Officer) of Hippie Butter Hemp Seed Products. As I toured the world with artists like George Strait, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, and many others, I discovered the “superfood,” hemp seeds. During a tour in Canada, I became sick and exhausted from too many long hours and too much bad food, which is so common in the entertainment industry, and I stopped for a snack at a convenience store that happened to carry hemp seeds. When I tried some, I fell in love with the nutty, crunchy taste, and started eating a handful a day. It wasn’t long before I was feeling more energized, less stressed, and had a heightened sense of well-being.
Hemp seeds were too good to keep to myself, so I took some home to share with my wife, Melete, who is a thyroid patient. She also found that hemp seeds made her feel better, by increasing her energy and sense of well-being! She passed them along to her friends and before we knew it, people were clamoring for my hemp seeds–I couldn’t keep up with the demand!
When I started buying hemp seeds by the case, the problem I ran into was finding a U.S. company that actually carried them. Finding quality hemp seeds was next to impossible, so I thought to myself, ‘There should be a company that makes a wide variety of high-quality hemp seed products in America!’ My wife agreed and that was the “lightbulb” moment three years ago which prompted us to launch Hippie Butter!
JAY: Why Start Hippie Butter?
BRAD: Hemp is our passion. Our mission is to develop, process, package, promote and deliver a growing line of delicious, nutritious, gourmet hemp seed foods, beverages, skin care/hair care and CBD products for people who live a natural lifestyle, love healthy foods and work to leave a healthy planet for future generations. Our motto, “Make it a Hippie Day!”
JAY: What products do you offer?
BRAD: We’re continually developing new hemp/hemp-seed products.
Food Products – Hippie Butter’s current non-GMO, vegan-certified hemp seed food products include: hulled seeds, toasted salted seeds, flour, protein powder, seed oil, coffee, seed butter, cacao /hemp seed butter, and 56% dark chocolate bars made with toasted and hulled seeds.
Beverages – DuBe Hemp Energy Shot Beverage.
Skin and Hair Care – Our hemp seed skin and hair care line includes shampoo, conditioner, hand & body lotion, massage oil, moisturizing cream, and soap
HipCBD Hemp Oil -Our CBD products include Hemp Oil Capsules, Green CBD Oil and Gold CBD Oil – with renewal subscription services available.
Hippie Butter Hemp Seed products are non-GMO, non-irradiated, non-allergenic, never hexane-processed, THC-free, pesticide-free, gluten-and-dairy-free, trypsin-inhibitor-free, Kosher, Vegan Friendly and Vegan-Certified.
JAY: What were the first steps you took after deciding to start a cannabis-based business?
BRAD: We started out making friends in the hemp industry, (HIA), and then we began creating a website.
JAY: What obstacles did/are you running into?
BRAD: Teaching people that hemp seeds are delicious, healthy and legal. That’s why our main focus is on hemp education. Hippie Butter’s multiple-platform, interactive website, and social media showcase educational, historical, and nutritional information about hemp seeds, as well as easy, step-by-step cooking videos that demonstrate methods to incorporate the healthy, nutty goodness of hemp seeds into your favorite family recipes. We also offer free hemp seed food samples so consumers can “try before they buy” at, www.freehempseedsamples.com.
JAY: Did you need funding? If so where did you get it?
BRAD: We bootstrapped our initial funding. We’re always looking for funding and good partnerships with people in the industry.
JAY: Do you need any special licenses to sell your products? (Or not since they are hemp-based?)
BRAD: First, we secured a license to be Hippie – that was super easy. Then we followed our state and local requirements to acquire the necessary business licenses. Hemp Seed products have been legal since 1986. Our products contain 0% THC so we didn’t need any “special” licenses to operate. Just google your state’s business licenses and follow the instructions.
JAY: How did you grow your customer base?
BRAD: Hippie Butter’s customer base has grown organically through “word of mouth” internet marketing. Lots of companies “buy” customers on the internet. All of our followers are real, bonafide folks.
JAY: How are revenues and is the business profitable yet?
BRAD: Our revenues have doubled and nearly tripled every year we’ve been in business. We’ve been profitable since the first year we started our business. Yippee!
JAY: What are your plans for the future? Expanding? More products? Etc
BRAD: Create a Hempire with all of our friends!
JAY: Tools, books, and any other must-haves you recommend for the cannabis entrepreneur?
BRAD: Books we recommend for entrepreneurs of any kind:
Jack Herer’s, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. – Because it’s our raison d’être! (Fancy words meaning Hippie Butter’s reason for existence)
Joseph Campbell’s, The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Because we’re Hippie Heroes in our own story. “The theme of the hero myth is universal, occurring in every culture, in every time; it is as infinitely varied as the human race itself; and yet its basic form remains the same, an incredibly tenacious set of elements that spring in endless repetition from the deepest reaches of the mind of man” Yay!.
A.A. Milne’s, Winnie the Pooh – Because we love hemp as much as Winnie the Pooh loves honey!
Tools we recommend:
Guinea Fowl – as many as possible. We live on a farm. Our best “tools” are our guineas, Larry, Moe and Curly; they are extraordinary watch-dogs, tick-flea-and-grasshopper-eaters, snake-scarers, parade majorettes and comedians. Plus, they look like little dinosaurs. What’s not to like?
FOR MORE ON HIPPIE BUTTER PLEASE VISIT http://www.hippiebutter.com/