Once upon a time, Wisconsin-native, Justin Hoffman, was staring at the lengthy list of ingredients on a bottle of mustard. How could something so simple have so many additives? Doing some of his own research, Justin whipped up his first batch of homemade mustard. Soon, mustard making became his hobby until he moved to Seattle. He began working for Molly’s, a company whose goal is to provide the Seattle community with a filling, tasty and affordable meal option that contains the finest fruits and vegetables.
Michigan-native, Bryan Mitchiner, graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 with a degree in Community, Environment and Planning. He also found himself working sales at Molly’s and discovered Justin’s mustard-making talent.
With their backgrounds combined, Bryan and Justin decided to start a business together, Mustard and Co. With the support of Molly’s, who generously offered after-hours kitchen space, what started as a two-man operation in 2013, has slowly evolved into a powerhouse in the world of small-batch accouterments. Of course, they had to do their share of research and patience put into this establishment to develop it. They started from scratch, from finding the supply for raw material and establishing distribution processes. Also, like most business owners, they read up on LLC agencies like the incfile review to safeguard them from personal liability.
From the support Bryan and Justin received from Molly’s, the idea for Stocked was born. While growing Mustard and Co., Bryan began taking inspiration from all of the other makers in Seattle, and he knew that he wanted to share more beyond their bold mustards. He wanted to create a co-op for other businesses to help with the distribution of production. Starting with one brand in Portland, Oregon, Stocked now helps over 40 food brands distribute to over 700 retailers.
How does Stocked work?
Based in a warehouse in Ballard, Stocked provides a communal space for food entrepreneurs to share ideas and resources. Whether they just need to store their products on the pallet racks Greensboro, manufacture their goods, or brainstorm, there’s a solution for any entrepreneur. Most of the time, they craft a variety of small batch items in-house, all with special attention given to simple ingredients, bold flavors, and striking packaging. They work with over 700 specialty shops, markets, and restaurants across the nation to share products with the world.
Stocked Studios is the creative workspace within Stocked that features an office, warehouse, conference room, food production kitchen, as well as a kitchenette. All of the workspaces include the necessary equipment needed as and when, such as the oven and utensils, computers for the office space, and rolling ladders for the warehouse (from places like Platforms and Ladders) to get to those hard to reach places – everything one would need is provided by Stocked! Its located in Ballard with a view of Salmon Bay and the Ballard Bridge. The space is home to Stocked, Mustard and Co., and Krista’s Baking Co., and has additional space for creative entrepreneurs to rent (which could include desk space, prep kitchen, storage, etc).
Stocked Kitchens is the food lab in Stocked, where new food brands are designed and created and everything is made in-house from scratch.
Stocked Distribution focuses on developing relationships with shops all over the country, such as specialty stores, grocers, cheese and meat shops. A Stocked studio or Stocked kitchen tenant can create their food products in-house and Stocked Distribution will help sell their product to these stores.
If you are interested in learning more about how Stocked can help you with getting your food products made and out to retailers, it’s time to check them out!