Spotlight Series: Ali Francis and The Baking Supply Co
Full disclosure: I love what Ali Francis and her brother are building - I try to avoid gluten myself and so rarely ever bake with my herb, I always wind up juicing the leaves and buds because I'm far too lazy to figure out a gluten free recipe. The Baking Supply Co has taken the hard part out of the equation.
Imagine every month, receiving a box full of everything you need to make tasty - yet healthy goodies at home. Thats what the Baking Supply Co is offering and right now, they're running a campaign on Indiegogo to raise the capital and awareness that they need to really launch this product. Ali grew up on a farm in Australia, which shaped the way she lives, eats, and shops today. She's passionate about helping people feel well, and eat great-tasting, healthy food and at Her(B) Life, we're passionate about supporting amazing women doing amazing things with cannabis.
You offer healthy baking kits for herbal enthusiasts, sort of like those meal kits people can cook at home. I love the concept. How did you come up with it?
Thank you! We’ve been scheming on the idea for the past year, so I’m super excited to finally get the kits out into the world! We came to the idea in a sort of long-winded way.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis a few years ago, and so my diet is pretty anti-most-things. (It’s crazy how much reducing inflammatory food helps with endometriosis symptoms.) Cannabis is also my favorite way to treat period pain!
So I started making these really healthy recipes, recreationally. It was my brother, now co-founder, who came to me with the genius idea that there might be other people out there like me who wanted a healthier way to consume their herbs—he calls us the Blue Apron for cannabis!
You’re launching on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site. I know from experience that a crowdfunding campaign is exhausting to run – how long have you been planning this?
Not long enough! In all seriousness, it’s so much more involved than I thought it would be. Our video alone was at least a few months work. I left my full time job in February and have been working pretty intensely on the project since then.
It’s tough, but I’m meeting so many incredible like minded people, which is so inspiring. I think when you put something honest and vulnerable out in the world people can sense your heart is really in it.
What are some of the unique perks people can access through the indiegogo campaign?
We have a bunch of fun stuff! One of my favorites is a custom “My Name Is HIGH,” pin by New York artist, Adam J. Kurtz. His candor always inspires me, and we’re so grateful to have him on this project!
Apart from that, we have a range of items to suit all budgets. Our patches and swag start at $10, our boxes and kits are $40-$169, and we even have a herbal dinner party for six valued at $2,499.
Every box will include a comprehensive recipe designed to seamlessly walk subscribers through the entire process: infusing, cooking, and storing their treats. Are the recipes a surprise every month?
Yes! At this stage we love the idea of it being Christmas every month for our subscribers. Our recipes will forever be gluten and refined sugar free, but apart from that, it’s a surprise! However, this strategy will definitely be shaped based on what our community want from us.
Infusing can be really daunting to some, do you have any tips you’d share now for easily infusing oils or butters?
We sure do! All of our perks on Indiegogo come with access to our digital herbal butter guide. This walks user through the entire process from A to Z! It’s honestly super easy once you start.
Your business partner is your brother. What is it like to work with family?
Ha! Of course you can tend to squabble a bit, but honestly, it’s awesome. We grew up on pretty isolated farm in Australia—which kinda forced us to be best buds from an early age. We’ve always had each other’s backs, and our skill sets are super complementary. The best bit by far though, is being able to trust someone implicitly—not just their work ethic or their talent, but their intentions. Being business partners really is a relationship, and trust is certainly at the core of it all. It’s also super fun! We’re both so far from home, and being able to chill everyday is the coolest.
Who can order your kits? Do you ship all over North America?
For Indiegogo, everyone in the USA can order a kit! We felt it was really important to be able to service anyone who was passionate enough about what we’re doing to pledge. But post-campaign, we will start by shipping in the Northeast only, and expand from there—much like most successful meal kits, our priority is quality first, scale second.
I’m a sucker for a fudgy brownie, what is your favourite treat to bake?
Oof! Aren’t we all!? At the moment, mine is this cornbread I make with sweet potato and citrus. It’s sweetened with orange juice and is the perfect combination of dense but fluffy. I am obsessed.
If you could offer advice to another woman interested in participating in the cannabis industry, what would it be?
Just start! Start anywhere, but start now. Cannabis has had a rough time “rebranding,” and the more passionate, talented, heartfelt women entering the industry, the better!
The other thing I would say, is don’t feel intimidated. We’re building out a supply chain for all our ingredients, and I am telling you, I have spoken with exactly zero women. It’s a boys club out there, but don’t let an arbitrary ratio stop you doing something amazing. Life is too short to dilly dally!