Keith Belling – Industry Disruptor, Entrepreneur, Innovator, and Marketing Professional
It’s hard to disrupt an entire industry, it’s even harder to do it twice. Meet my friend Keith Belling, founder and CEO of RightRice and former Co-Founder & CEO behind one of the ultimate disruptive brands Popchips.
In this episode, Keith shares key tips for creating a strong brand, as well as his personal journey. How prioritizing his health led him to create the company he founded and runs today. You aren’t going to want to miss this episode!
Enjoying this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow? Let Kara know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout-out on social!
Follow Kara on IG: https://www.instagram.com/karagoldin/?hl=en
Follow Kara on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karagoldin
Follow Kara on Twitter: https://twitter.com/karagoldin?s=20
Follow Kara on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KaraGoldin/
Have a question for Kara about one of our episodes? Reach out to Kara directly at [email protected]
Mentioned in the Episode:
Keith Belling’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keith-belling-9b58916/
RightRice’s Website: https://rightrice.com/
Kara Goldin 00:00
Hi everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin Show and we’re so excited to have my friend and fellow entrepreneur here today with us Keith Belling. He is the founder and CEO of an amazing, amazing company and product called right rice. But you may know him as the former founder and CEO of pop chips, also one of my favorite brands, and he is an amazing, amazing guy. I’ve known Keith for a very, very long time. He’s also on the board of directors has another incredible brand that I have way too much stuff from Restoration Hardware. And he’s an advisor to many consumer and tech companies ranging from Ollie and modern Meadow to just foods and ripple. He’s just an incredible, smart, successful entrepreneur who knows so much. And I’m so excited to have you here today, Keith. So thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for having me. And the feeling’s mutual. I’ve been a fan and drinking more than my share of hints for quite a few years. So it’s a thrill to be on. Thank you. So great. So you started your career as a real estate attorney. I did not know. Or maybe I forgot that you were actually an attorney as well. I knew that you were in tech but talk to me about sort of the early days of Keith. Sure. So so I was born to be an entrepreneur always. And my original plan was actually to go into real estate development. And my path for that was actually to partner with my brother and he was going to learn construction. And I was going to learn Real Estate Law. So I went to law school practice for just a couple of years. And you know, with a fantastic firm called Morrison, Forrester. And I was one of them back in the day that I went to law school, it was very rare to say you didn’t want to be a lawyer. People thought I was crazy. And I went to the firm. I enjoyed the practice, I learned quite a bit in a couple of years. And I ended up rather than going into real estate one of my clients had a coffee bar business called Ooh, la la. And the next day I knew I quit the firm and I took over the company and you know, quickly realized I had the bug. And then you also went into tech, right? You sort of ventured back into tech at some point. Well, look, every good San Francisco entrepreneur in the late 90s. And early 2000 had to do something in tech, or you weren’t nearly an entrepreneur. So yeah, so in the late 90s, I started something with a couple of friends called all business.com. And it was a fantastic experience. And I felt it was like the gold rush. It was crazy. And we launched it built you know, really quick, large business and better lucky than good. We sold it to NBC internet. And that was my foray into technology. And it was a blast. Amazing. And so let’s talk about before we get into the incredible company that you’re doing now let’s talk about popchips.
Keith Belling 02:56
So we launched in 2007 and I did with a great friend and partner called Pat Turpin and pat actually hit worked for me and my internet company, which was called all business calm Pat. I’ve recruited them to work for us and we got along great. And when I was thinking I want to do something in the natural food space, he and I started chatting and, you know, together conspired on finding something and ended up doing pop chips together. And how did you get the idea for pop chips? So we knew we wanted to do something in snacks, it was clear that there was a big void in the market. For healthy snacks at that time. I sort of laugh as I say that because today obviously even at the snack Island, there are rows and rows of better few snacks. But at the time, there really weren’t any. And we knew that’s what we wanted to do. And unlike every other category, or sort of it’s not typical to a category, snacks, and potato chips. In particular, we’re really segmented between fried and baked. And everybody loves and loves fried chips, but they’re super unhealthy with all the oil calories. And those were the days when fat and calories were the was the evil empire. And the other thing was baked chips, which didn’t taste very good. And people who ate them found that they actually were eating them by default. So we do that’s the space we wanted to go after we did lots of research, which is very fun diving into the snack aisle and kind of poking around and ended up buying a rice cake manufacturing business in Southern California. And it was a private label rice cake manufacturer. And it was really interesting because I had an immediate epiphany when I was touring the plant. Because you know, as I said, chips are really segmented between fried baked and I knew that if we were going to do something in that category, it had that be different. We if Frieda couldn’t come up with a healthy pride chip or a good-tasting baked chip, we certainly weren’t going to so we knew we needed a new paradigm. So I went through this race cake manufacturing plant and as I was touring and I was listening to talk about how rice cakes were made, and they were calling them But in fact, they actually are popped, they use little pellets that are made of potato ingredients and popped into the potato chip. And I remember walking around, it was kind of really one of those fun moments and the light bulb went off. And I thought, Oh, my God, like, popped, that’s a that would be a great paradigm for a snack. Not fried, not baked, it’s sort of very evocative and makes you think of healthy and tasty at the same time. So we dove in, we bought the business and, you know, kind of use it to morph into what became pop chips.
Kara Goldin 05:32
It’s an amazing, amazing brand that you built. I always talk to people about how building a company is like climbing a mountain. But building a category is like climbing Everest, and although I haven’t climbed Everest, that’s what I hear. And would you agree, I mean, you clearly really built that category. And like you said, there were other stacks, but nobody was doing at least not that I thought it was really doing this category. Yeah, I mean, to say it was daunting, is an understatement. And I sort of laugh about it. Because not only is it daunting to create a new product or brand, as you said, or lead a new category, but we were doing it in the teeth of Frito Lay which you know, had or has an 80 or 85 market share. So talking about an 800-pound gorilla, I mean, there aren’t many categories anywhere of scale, like snacks, that has somebody with 80, or 85 shares, to put in perspective, and I don’t know these numbers currently, in the beverage aisle, Coke and Pepsi had at that time a 30 or 35 share, think about how dominant those two brands are even together with a 70 share. Again, this was a long time ago, I don’t know the current numbers. But that gives perspective to Frito lays sort of scale and dominance of the stock market. So it was a really interesting process and look sometimes is, you know, it’s better to go at something not knowing what you don’t know, because you take a fresh perspective, and you’re not afraid to do things differently. And that’s how we looked at it. And, you know, it is an incredible process. I mean, we learned every single day, something new. And yeah, daunting is a good way to put it. I also talked about just going into stores in the early days of hint. And I would imagine this was the same for you where, you know, you would talk to buyers about your product. And even if they thought it tasted great that they wouldn’t know where it fit right there that it was just, you know, that’s the challenge with bringing in a new category and being the only one in there. It’s like, sure, you know, sounds great. Except by you don’t fit in my planet ground. Yeah, though, it’s like you, you have to have some religion about getting to put it in the right place. I mean, anybody that I mentioned, the genesis of right kick rice cakes, would try to put us rice cakes that I’d have to say no, we wouldn’t do it then. And even in the stack is natural sand is of course at where does it go? I mean, it’s a very complicated bit of calculus to get somebody to look at it the right way. And of course, nobody sees it the way we see our brands. But that was a struggle, you gotta be very focused. We knew we knew we wanted to be in the snack potato chip aisle. And anybody who, at that point wanted to put us in the rice cake out, we just said out said, Look, where we’ll go into other retailers. And look, we were lucky because they wanted to damage a blazing your trail with the new brand, which, you know, you look you were very early in the flavored water space, and of course, your life. And the advantage of that though is if retailers get it, they’re very receptive. So in the case of pop chips or growth exploded, because there really wasn’t a competition. And we created something differentiated that people really could say, Okay, this tastes good. And it has a healthy, sort of a healthy Halo as well. You did an incredible job on field marketing too. And, and also, the other thing that I really noticed was right off the bat, and I can still imagine it and talk about it. A lot of some of the best packaging is, is pop chips. I mean, you really nailed it. So what do you do believe that that is definitely part of the product and the poll. I mean, I know so many people just don’t put emphasis on that packaging right off the bat. And I just I think it’s critical for products. Look, especially when you’re new. I mean, you look good Fredo or many of the big brands probably could afford to get something out on the shelf and not quite the concern that you or I would about branding. But yeah, look, I would I did popchips I interviewed 25 design firms from the land our at one extreme down to small boutique agencies. I talked to everybody that had, you know, like, like really great firms to kind of get a sense of what we wanted to do. ended up hiring a firm called Turner Duckworth. We did just a fantastic job. But it was a lot of work. It was a challenge and we overspent and over-invested. You get seconds, like one or two seconds to get somebody’s attention on the shelf. And of course, it’s social media and everything else. So you know, it’s critical and I can tell you with the right race, we did the same thing. I didn’t have to interview so many people because
Keith Belling 10:00
I knew what I wanted to do. But we, you know, kind of totally over-invested and knew that you know, we wanted to create some really distinctive packaging on the shelf.
Kara Goldin 10:08
You mentioned right rice and your new brand that is so good. And I mentioned before we actually hopped on the call that my husband who Keith knows as well. Theo is spicy, he’s a spicy guy, and he loves all the spice and he loves the Spanish. Right rice. And it’s so so good. So talk to me about how you came up with the idea for this.
Keith Belling 10:32
Sure, sure. So look, most of the things I’ve done have come from a real personal experience. So what I probably didn’t say about starting popchips is my real original inspiration was I was eating too many Doritos. I love to read those I was eating them all the time. I literally there was a store I would go to and I would hide my bag of Doritos under my sandwich. And at one point I realized, okay, there’s something wrong here if I’m hiding it for myself. So in the case of rice, I love rice. And I had found myself cutting back on how much rice I was eating for several years, because of all the empty calories and the carbs. And it’s really, you know, like something I could eat, you know, all the time. I mean, I just love rice, it’s, as you probably know, ‘s one of the most beloved foods across every culture and cuisine in the world. And like everyone else, I mean, I really like it. And so I, you know, a couple of years ago, I started thinking about that. And, and I started asking people around me kind of about their, their sense about rice consumption, and I had a lot of people either say, I don’t eat rice at all any longer, similar to the reasons I mentioned. Or say, Hey, you know, I’ve cut back quite a bit, often for the same reasons, you know, calories or carbs a lot less. And the very interesting response was the number of mothers who said, you know, gosh, I it’s the only food my children will eat or my child will eat. I just wish it were more nutritious. So it was such a, you know, common refrain that I was hearing from people in response that I just really felt like there was a real opportunity here. And it’s a large addressable market. I mean, it’s a $2 billion category that really had seen no innovation at all. You know, at the one extreme, you have, you know, white rice and brown rice and sprouted rice, and that was kind of the innovation on the shelf. But that’s really just marginally healthier. I mean, there are some great things look, by the way, I love rice. So let’s say there’s a long way, but I was looking for lower carb counts and higher protein, higher fiber. And at the other extreme that things like cauliflower rice, which I mean look fantastic vegetable. You know, it’s a great pizza crust. There are lots of things like cauliflower. I personally don’t like cauliflower rice, it doesn’t really scratch the itch is one of my friends said. So I saw a big void in the market. And, you know, realize that there is really something there and built-in.
Kara Goldin 12:52
So for those of you who do not know, what are kind of the ingredients, and what is different about this product.
Keith Belling 13:00
Yeah, so the first thing that I had wanted to do and I created the right race was I wanted a shelf-stable product. So I wanted something that could sit on the shelf. And again, not like cauliflower rice, which is frozen for the most part, and very complicated supply chain. So I found a way to pack what looks like a grain of rice if you held it in your hand. It’s a grain of rice, it’s hard to the touch, and has a long shelf life like red like regular rice. But it’s actually packed with a mix of lentils and chickpeas and green peas. That’s about 90% of the ingredients and about 10% rice. And it’s the mix of those that delivered on what I was hoping for, which is one, taste and texture. Again, as you know, as you’re drinking your public hint, it has to taste good. It doesn’t matter how healthy something is if you don’t want to increase your texture. So that’s table stakes. So I wanted to find a blend that really gave you the taste and texture of rice. And I would say in particular one of the things that makes rice such a special food is how it absorbs flavors and sauces. The reason races so loved around so many different cultures and ethnicities are everybody can put their favorite seasoning on it and it absorbs it. Just much like the likes of Spanish and spicy foods. If you just go culture by culture that the rice really often people talk about different grains but it’s really the flavor and seasoning. So that was table stakes. The other two things that we wanted by the blend that we put together was of course nutrition. So my goal was at 10 grams of protein. You know white rice has about four it has white rice has virtually no fiber, brown rice does have a bit of fiber. And and and obviously, white rice has very high carbs, which is one of the problems and white rice has really high glycemic index. I think there have been some studies recently about the amount of sugar that’s in white rice, and that’s the button for the big diabetic issue. So our goal was to have nutritionally 10 grams of protein so it’s I like to say over two times the protein of white rice five grams of fiber, which is really five times the fiber of white rice because there’s virtual no. And our goal was to get, you know, kind of 30 to 40% fewer net carbs than white rice. And we were at about 36%. And then the other nice part was the really low glycemic index. So we actually are not placing mac index standards for you know, white rice is like a 72, we’re in the low 50s. So we actually qualify as a low glycemic index, which is great. And the other sort of happy accident, which I can tell you I didn’t know is the blend of the proteins in our rice from the lentils largely, and the amino acids from the White Race blend to create a complete protein. So not only do we have the protein, but it’s, trust me, I didn’t even know I had no idea when we were doing it, this would be a happy accident. But it’s actually for most people who know proteins from a digestibility standpoint, it’s a big advantage. So that’s one leg of the stool was flavor, taste, and texture, second, nutrition. And then the third was the ease of cooking. It’s funny how many people have trouble making rice and of course, it can take quite a long time. And, you know, we really wanted to hear something that’s really easy to cook. And, you know, you could cook rice in about 10 minutes in a saucepan. And I’d like to say it’s idiot-proof because even I can’t screw it up. All you have to do is boil water, put in the rice, take it off the heat, cover it for 10 minutes, it’s done. So it’s really it’s sort of cooking couscous, it’s super, super simple. So those were the three things we wanted to do with creating it. So it took a while It took us nine months of blending a range of different ingredients and different flowers in the light to get to what we wanted. But ultimately, you know, after nine solid months, we came up with a product that does seem to hit the mark of everything we were looking for.
Kara Goldin 16:47
Well, and it’s so good. So I was so excited to see you back in it and after leaving pop chips and successfully leaving pop chips and going and starting something new. So pop chips were named one of America’s hottest brands, and what advice you have for entrepreneurs that are looking to become the next talk brand, and maybe this even applies to you as well and sort of building. I mean, what I love about hearing your story to Keith is that you went back to an entirely new category. I mean, it sounds you know, it’s all part of the food, right? But really different. It right and you’re sure you’re learning every single day, and you’re a glutton for punishment, maybe. So going back to right, on so many levels, but I love it. So it’s
Keith Belling 17:42
Yeah, no, no, what you’re saying is completely right. It’s Look, it’s, and by the way, first of all, before I sort of share what it is I do have to learn This, to me What is most exciting and interesting is doing something new and learning and, you know, you learn every step of the way. And of course, the center of the store is very different than the snack aisle and learning how to build a brand and this category is very different. And, you know, we’ve, you know, built our retail presence. And, you know, let our two-year anniversary is actually sometime in February. So we’re almost two years old. And we’re in almost 7000 doors already, which is great. And, you know, we’re about to do our third product launch with Whole Foods within two years a new product fits something exciting coming out, which I can’t share just yet. But we’re super excited about it. And then we’re building we built a really nice Amazon business and just launching which I can learn from you the DTC side we’re just launching our DTC business now so we can sort of marrying that with Amazon. And we build a food service business. It’s up, you know, you talk about field marketing world has changed so much from 2007 when we launched popchips, you just don’t have field marketing teams like we used to, fortunately, have social media and influencer things that carry a lot of that. But we also look at food services as are really really important way to build a brand. And we launched on a branded basis. Our first partnership with Kava Kava restaurants, which is an amazing added training chain based on the East Coast. We just love them they loved right rice, they put us in all of their stores in September of 2000 was that May 20. Now, and it just has done great. So they have a curated bowl called chicken and rice. And we’re one of the bases and I’m excited to say it was a three-month test that’s now extended from September to June of this year in our extending through the end of the year. You know, because it’s doing well and we think it’s gonna help us build really build our brand as well sales and, you know, look, we’ll get, you know, hundreds of 1000s of the trial of rights through foodservice partners like that. So we’re really excited about it.
Kara Goldin 19:44
I love it. Do you think you’ve ever opened your own kind of one-stop restaurant along the way? I mean, it seems like you’ve got the product to be able to make it easy for people to kind of it’s like the Soup Nazi you could be that Right rice Nazi right, just come here and get your protein. Get all the different flavorings. I think it sounds awesome.
Keith Belling 20:07
Yeah, we have some fun ideas, some of the innovation which goes along those lines. But look, I think, for some people who do a really good job with restaurants and chefs, we’ll leave, we’ll leave. We’ll definitely leave it to them. But what you’re saying is right, one of the things we’ve done that are worked well is we came up with not only playing right rights, but the season flavors, like do like Spanish, but we came up with, you know, garlic, Herb and Spanish, which are two of our most popular flavors and, and select line and Thai curry, lemon pepper, and everybody has a favorite of what makes it fun, sort of like your water. Everybody has a favorite flavor, and then original, which you just season however you like. So it’s kind of like plain rice, some people like it, just like that little olive oil salt on it. So it’s kind of nice to have the mix. But look, you asked about advice for entrepreneurs? And yeah, what advice would I give to myself, if I were starting over or to entrepreneurs, and like you, it’s fun when people approach us and ask for advice. The couple of things I say is, first of all, be passionate about what you’re doing, you have to really love it. Because no matter what you think it’s going to be twice as hard, and probably take twice as long. But the good news is, it’s probably going to be twice as fun. And that roller coaster that we all go through and you know it well. And, of course, I went through it on, I went through it, I write rights, I’m going through aeration, I went through a lot. popchips is a roller coaster. And so be passionate love what you do, and it will make it a lot more manageable. Second, be focused. And really, you know, like, it’s great to have big ideas and initiatives, but you have to really think about the market and you know, sort of what you need to do to be successful. So be careful, be focused. And then probably the third thing that’s maybe the most important of all is to surround yourself with some smart, talented people. Look, I’ve started a few businesses I’ve done reasonably well with Simon. And I, every time I do something new, like, I’d like to surround myself with really bright, talented people. I like people that have a point of view and are going to share it. And I always say to people and myself, listen to them, don’t you have to do what they say you have to follow their advice. But find people that are passionate, believe in what they tell you, and get them involved and get that advice. And you know, and don’t be afraid to learn and realize that, you know, we’re all going to be some degree of wrong and some degree of right, we all just hope we’re more right than wrong.
Kara Goldin 22:20
So true. What were your first hires at this new company?
Keith Belling 22:26
My very first hire was kind of the equivalent of a partner, somebody named Ryan, who heads up the supply chain and financials finance for me, and really somebody who could, you know, sort of dot the i’s, I’m a look, I’m used to saying, with pop chips, I think I’m really pretty good with sales and marketing and building and leading teams. But I’m not a great manager. And if you put me in charge of manufacturing, we’re in big trouble. So my first hire was somebody to really be that partner. And that was Ryan. And we built a very small team. And I’ve kept this to very few people, we have 10 or 11 full-time employees and a handful of contractors and we will build it out the way it’s very different than pop chips. I think I got to about 90 employees that did not include the people in our manufacturing plant. So we were well over 100 people in the company at its peak. So we’ve kept this as a very small team. And it’s fun to be leading a team like that, especially through what’s going on with the pandemic. So, you know, having a lot more people would have been a lot more challenging. How do
Kara Goldin 23:28
Do you think it’s different in terms of knowing what you know about grocery today? I mean, obviously, you talked about direct to consumer, but people are always asking me, I mean, what one example that I give is instacart prior to the pandemic was they were there, right, but there’s so much more important today, I think to a company and being able to sort of show up on that because I do believe people figured out what instacart was at during this time of 2020. So what else would you say is kind of the key thing that’s changed,
Keith Belling 24:03
like if I just could like just compare, you know, sort of pop chips to today, like what’s changed. So look, on the one hand, we sort of touch a little bit just on the marketing side, I mean, field marketing has changed just so completely. And it’s replaced by social, a lot more social media and influencer. When I started popchips Ashton Kutcher was just having this competition with Larry King, to who would get to a million Twitter followers first. And that was the buzz of social media. Imagine how that’s changed. Facebook was really just evolving, you know, maybe the middle of our run at popchips. They started advertising on Pinterest, which I don’t think existed. So you’d look at today what’s going on with Instagram and Pinterest and social media and the role that it plays in influencer marketing while relevant. And we did some interesting stuff in the pop chips days, nothing like today. Were so carefully integrated with social media. So you know, I think you need to use different tools to Build grassroots brands, the similarity between pop chips and write rights. And so we’re going into big categories with big established players. And we’re never going to outspend them. So it’s all about being creative and doing things at a grassroots level. Creating evangelists empowering evangelists. Having fun with that, things, like I mentioned, with food service in the world of right rice is a big part of that, you know, getting products into people’s hands where they can really taste it and experience it, especially since you can’t do demos today. I think that’s probably something but some of the tools like look DTC, just what you said, I mean, was just starting in the pop chips days, and you look at it now and even look at how Amazon has evolved. And you’ve built an incredible business, a direct-to-consumer, and, you know, we’re just in this month can be starting kind of our first pass at really building a building that captures Bloomberg consumer data, so we’re excited about it. But look, the world’s very different, it’s evolved quite a bit and, you know, Cetera, the store is also very different. As I like to say, for us, the center of the store is a bit of a blessing and a curse. The Blessing is there’s been so little innovation. It’s been fantastic. And the response we’ve had from retailers to be in this many stores already is incredible. But the curse is getting people to shop, the center store, it’s definitely more of a challenge. And you have to be thinking holistically and I think thinking about driving brand awareness through things like DTC and, and foodservice and some of the other ways. Look, the other fun one, we did not know if you’ve done it. Here is QVC. We just had our first launch on New Year’s Day is a part of a plant-powered special with PVC. And we crushed it. I was Yeah, it was fantastic. And we sold out where you
Kara Goldin 26:39
on actually? No, no,
I’m not quite that.
Kara Goldin 26:43
I I want you on there. Well, maybe
Keith Belling 26:46
one day, we have a fantastic chef who has done some stuff for us. Name’s Stuart O’Keefe, who’s this handsome, you know, Irish shaft, but he did a much better job than I did. But it went really well. I mean, we were thrilled. And again, it’s a great you know, source of revenues, but also marketing, you know, you get a real differentiator it and you know, getting the visual impact of your brand. And so we try to think about things like that, that are different again, as we’re brand building.
Kara Goldin 27:10
I love it. So I also know that you are a partner with No Kid Hungry. But how do you think about really partnering with sort of cause-related marketing? What do you think is that? How does that affect your brand? I mean, do you think it’s a must for brands today, what what’s kind of seems super obvious, especially what and sort of the challenge for so many today, and I think it’s awesome that you guys are doing that. But I’d be so curious to hear your thoughts on that.
Keith Belling 27:41
So first of all, it comes back to the same word I use a lot, which is passion, and something you really believe in, and something that’s personal to you. And, you know, I look like everybody, I love kids, I think kids are incredibly important. They’re our future. It’s something that I’ve always taken a great interest in I you know, never had kids of my own. So besides businesses that feel like children the times, but, but I really put the beginning of watching the right race, which is also a product that you get to go back to the comment from mothers and kids eating rice. It’s just a, you know, just such a core value to be that we wanted to make it part of our DNA. So at the very beginning, when we launched the rat race, I really want to think about how to do something to get back to children and kids in general. And we talked to revolution foods, a great group, and are doing some things with them with schools that we started on. But I got introduced to No Kid Hungry and just really fell in love with their proposition, what they stand for. And Billy sure the founder, and you know, we started having some conversations, the guy who was the CMO at that time became a friend, we start talking about ideas. And ultimately I did something that really no one in food beverage had done. We did the 1% pledge, I think you guys had done something, as I recall with that, but we were the first food beverage company to really give 1% of the company to No Kid Hungry as a donation. People in tech have done it, they’ve done it really successfully. But that was sort of the basis of how we decided to partner. And we’ve been building on it. It’s a little harder with the pandemic. But we’ve got some fun initiatives and things we’re talking to them about. But we’ve been donating all year long. I think we’ve probably given over 20,000 bags of rice to food banks, you know, particularly into children where we can and we try and do more and more of the look. It’s up. It’s a core part of our DNA. It’s something that’s going to continue and I was happy to donate a part of our company to them and I hope someday if we’re lucky enough to have a successful exit that it makes an even bigger impact for kids.
Kara Goldin 29:35
So Keith, when you are not running right rice, and I know you live in the Bay Area, what are you doing? You’re on the board of Restoration Hardware. What else does Keith like doing?
Keith Belling 29:47
So looking in the world of food and businesses and being an entrepreneur that’s super fun. I’ve been on the board for a while at Juma which is a kids organization. And again part of my thing with kids and I used to get bored at five Big Brothers Big Sisters, that’s always been an area of interest for me. And like you said, it’s been very fun being involved with companies like Restoration Hardware, it’s been 20 years I like it’s talking about learning and being around a brand that I love and that I’ve learned a ton from the CEO Gary Friedman is just incredibly talented. And I’ve been lucky to really be there from the very beginning of this journey. And supply businesses like you know, like, just it’s been fun watching them evolve now with their eggs and stuff, they’re going to need some things outside of work in the business. Um, you know, if it weren’t for COVID, I’d probably tell you, I’ve been traveling and, and going out to lots of restaurants, I love food, I love entertaining and traveling, obviously, haven’t done much of that the last year. So I think we’re, you know, sort of, you know, I live with my wonderful girlfriend, Allie. And we’re taking lots of blocks around the neighborhood and trying to keep ourselves engaged and, and do things but you know, look as far as interests, you know, took one fly fishing trip in the middle of this to Sun Valley, which was really fun. But we really haven’t been able to do quite as much as we’d like. So like everyone anxious to get this behind us. We get back to traveling and seeing our friends and family and doing the things we like to do.
Kara Goldin 31:07
See how normal entrepreneurs are and how humble somebody who’s built incredible businesses is so I love asking that question. So thank you so much, Keith. I really, really appreciate this. And everybody gives Keith great reviews. We’re here every Monday and Wednesday. Come back and I actually want to interview Garry at some point for I’m such a huge fan of his two. So we’ll get him on at some point as well. But anyway, thank you so much, everyone, and hopefully, you’ll come back and visit us soon. Thanks so much.
Keith Belling 31:46
I look forward to it. Thank you
People Also Liked
Rob LoCascio – Founder & CEO of LivePerson Inc.
Esther Wojcicki – Co-Founder of TractLearning, Inc. and Founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program
Laney Crowell – Founder and CEO of Saie Beauty
Arlan Hamilton – Founder and Partner at Backstage Capital
Gloria Hwang – Founder and CEO of Thousand