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profiled EcoScraps, a social business that turns old food waste into incredibly nutrient-rich fertilizer. Shortly after, we had the chance to interview their co-founder and CEO, Daniel Blake. In the answers below he shares the EcoScraps story as well as his personal motivation for joining the social enterprise sector—and his secrets for staying motivated as an entrepreneur.
4 Questions with Daniel Blake, Co-Founder and CEO of EcoScraps
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
In Provo, Utah there is a restaurant (Magleby’s Fresh) that is pretty well-known for its all-you-can-eat french toast breakfast. After eating there with my brother one morning, I was amazed at the amount of food being thrown away by me and other customers. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, I became intrigued by the idea of converting food waste into a marketable product. I thought that if I could get my raw materials at no cost, my margins would be fantastic.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
Growing up, my family had a garden that we took care of together, so I was familiar with the idea of composting food scraps. Naturally, I geared my initial research toward composting the food scraps of others. I did a lot of leg-work on my own: dumpster diving, blending different combinations of wasted food, testing results, etc. When I found that I could make a premium compost mix that added value to consumers, the environment, and the business, I decided to really invest myself into EcoScraps.
3. How do you get your inspiration?
I try to surround myself with the right people, people who help me see things from a different perspective. Our discussions in the office often lead the company to explore opportunities that alone I may not have considered. To me, that’s a form of inspiration.
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
I really like to cook. I’m not a gourmet chef (yet, I’m working on it), but I like experimenting with different recipes and inventing my own dishes. I’ve been at it for several months now, and I’m getting a lot better. For me, cooking is relaxing. It’s a good way to get my mind off of all of the stresses involved with starting a business.