BATCH CBD is not your everyday CBD company. Born and raised in Wisconsin, BATCH has a unique origin story. Beginning first as a QC lab for Wisconsin Hemp Farmers, BATCH realized they had a knack for formulas and producing CBD products that were effective and enjoyable. It took a trade convention to take them from a testing lab to taking orders to make CBD products as a private label. After time as a private label manufacturer, the team decided they wanted to rewrite the script and create a young, hip brand called BATCH CBD.
I had an opportunity to talk with the CEO Dennis Mistrioty about BATCH and their story and progress. I hope that it encourages you as an entrepreneur and helps point you in their direction for all your CBD products.
Q: So talk to me about the private label. How did you get into that, and what does that process look like?
A: Yeah. Good question. So, the really, really condensed story of how we got here was that we started as a testing lab. We had a little square facility with a testing lab, and we were running tests for CBD levels for farmers throughout Wisconsin and telling them here’s what your crops are looking like this year. As a service, we generated a little bit of money doing that, but then, in addition, we were able to buy some equipment to extract the oils ourselves.
So once we had the connection, we began to procure the crops and started to extract the oils. We were selling that oil to other finished product manufacturers who were turning them into. X Y and Z, right. Oil, tinctures, whatever. We did that a little bit longer and soon started to have the capacity to make our own formulas in-house, just for ourselves.
We made a BATCH for a trade show that we were going to. We were a service for farmers, not a producer, but we didn’t want to show up empty-handed. So we made some tinctures. We gave them out to a couple of hundred people and received great feedback. It was an excellent feeling. So we took it a little further where we thought maybe we could start our own brand, but instead, we were having people asking us to make their products for them.
Q: So you started producing as a private label before your own brand? That seems backward.
A: Yea, so we have the scientific knowledge, and it’s all pretty simple stuff. It’s not rocket science. My two partners are chemical engineers. So it all kind of worked out.
Q: How was it at the beginning?
A: So we started making some products on a small scale for some retailers. Then we started getting bigger and bigger clients. This was when we started going from hand-filling stuff to semiautomatic things. As we progressed to bigger and bigger clients, we kept upgrading our machinery to where it is a fully automatic bottling line, and everything’s full-blown automated with a clean room, and that kind of thing.
Q: I saw on your website that one of your values is transparency. Talk to me about that. What are you trying to show with the lab testing and results?
A: Good question. It’s somewhat common practice in CBD to have third-party test results for your products. What we do that’s a little bit unique is we have an internal testing lab. We do our test, and then we also send it to a third party. We are testing for a couple of things. The first and probably most important is that the active ingredient CBD is at the advertised level of the product. So if the product says there are 500 milligrams of CBD in it, and you’re paying for 500 milligrams of CBD, that there are actually 500 milligrams of CBD. And I use a third party to verify that. Aside from that is the THC levels. We want to make sure it is below 0.3% by weight, which is the federal legal threshold for hemp products. CBD, a natural product derived from hemp, we are also testing for pesticides, heavy metals, microbials, and several other contaminants like that.
Q: When did the BATCH brand begin?
A: It just kind of progressed until we had the confidence to launch our own brand. Because we were able to see what was working and what wasn’t, we were meticulous about how we wanted to launch it. We had a great view of the industry. So we stepped into e-commerce with the launch of BATCH.
Q: Your branding is very clean and stands out amongst many CBD brands we see come through our printing cues. Talk to me about that.
A: That was all very deliberate for the reasons you just said. We wanted to build a lasting brand that was more about the big picture of CBD. When CBD first started, it had a bit of a gold rush mentality. The gold rush mentality persists, right? Many people think it’s about weed, and everybody will love it. For us, this is missing the big picture. Our approach has always been, “this product has the potential to help a lot of people.” This mentality has worked for us to help build trust and a lasting customer base.
Q: What standards do you use to regulate and standardize your production?
A: Because CBD is not a drug, dietary supplement, or cosmetic, the FDA does not regulate it. The FDA oversees whether you make claims like “sleep aid” or “pain relief.” We have decided to follow Current Good Manufacturing Practice, or CGMP, standards. These are the same standards that the FDA follows.
Q: Obviously, every stage of the business journey has ups and downs. You are roughly five years in at this point. What do you miss about the early stages of BATCH?
A: Because the CBD industry wasn’t already established, everybody was figuring it out simultaneously. So it was like a race to figure out what the hell was going on and what would work. It wasn’t like everything was already established, and we needed to break into that industry. It was still emerging.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, I’m so much more seasoned now than when I started. I didn’t even realize how little I knew when I was doing it. I miss the innocence of the early days. I would be sitting here with my guys, and we’re writing down different formulas like, “what if we add two drops of peppermint to this one? Does that taste good?” And having these little beakers, all over the place. I had this conference table, and we would sit around trying to figure everything out. For example, “how do you get an insurance plan and whatnot.” Now all of those things are second nature, but in the early days, it was an adventure. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a fantastic time.
Q: If you could have people know one thing about BATCH CBD, what would it be?
A: I think the main thing is that our main goal is always to help our customers discover what works best for them. When it comes to our BATCH customers, we offer an extensive free CBD sample program so our customers can try out our products and discover what works best for them before making a financial commitment. On the private label side, we do everything we can to help our clients succeed from product sampling to design help. We even schedule an hour-long growth meeting with each customer where we reveal all of our tips and tricks for success in the CBD industry. We have found that it’s more enjoyable to do business this way and we love making strong connections with the people we work with.
Ready to get your CBD company started?
Most everyone agrees that the first step is often the hardest. We hope this interview helps make it easier. If you’re interested in starting your own CBD brand, give our friends at BATCH CBD a call.
If you have any questions about packaging or label selection and printing, don’t hesitate to contact the Experience Team by phone or Live Chat! Our team is ready to serve your business with care and excellence.
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