November 29, 2023

Hazelicious Interview

What product or service does Hazelicious offer?
Hazelicious is on a mission to reinvent how people think about hazelnuts, separating them from all the sugar and chocolate found in other hazelnut products. Our goal is to the make healthy and delicious hazelnut products, in the most sustainable way.

How did you come up with the idea for this business?
My grandparents were 5th generation hazelnut farmers on the Black Sea Coast of Turkey where 600,000 small family farms produce 70-80% of the world’s annual crop. When they passed away from Covid-19, I left my career in finance to focus on reinventing hazelnut products to show consumers the real potential of hazelnuts.

Why did you decide to participate in the HI Hub Incubator program?
For me, there is nothing better that defines hospitality than delicious food. After finding out about the incubator program focused on hospitality, applying was a no-brainer.

What do you enjoy most about creating your own startup business?
No single day and no single task is ever repetitive or mundane.

What advice would you give to someone contemplating founding a startup?
Success will take a lot longer than you imagine, and you will need to make many personal sacrifices for long periods of time.

What is something you learned through this process that you wish you’d known before you created your startup?
I spend many, many hours of my day working on legal, financial and administrative tasks necessary to keep a startup running.

What does the future of your startup look like in an ideal world?
We will have redefined hazelnuts in the consumer's eye with our products being a standard for non-dairy and low-carb/gluten-free lifestyles.

Have you worked with any alumni or mentors on this project? If so, who and what was that experience like?
We are just beginning to connect with alumni and mentors and are super thrilled with the advice and support we are beginning to receive. 

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