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Hidden Gems: Meet Tania Sweis & Jahan Shahryar of Brune Kitchen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tania Sweis & Jahan Shahryar.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
We met at the entrance of our law school building in Berkeley, where we became fast friends with a shared love of baked goods. A few years later, we began our careers at a big law firm in Los Angeles, chatting in each other’s offices and munching on snacks that made late nights in the office a little more enjoyable. Slowly but surely, those conventional processed “treats” took a toll on our bodies.

When we both decided to embrace new clean eating guidelines, we struggled to find indulgent desserts that really tasted and felt like the classics we knew and loved. Tania, an experienced baker, began to experiment with unique, nutritious ingredients like tahini that were staples in her Middle Eastern home growing up. The resulting ooey-gooey, soft-baked cookie was too delicious not to share with others on restrictive diets, and really, anyone with a sweet tooth.

Brune Kitchen was created out of a passion to serve individuals whose health conditions or dietary preferences have relegated them to inferior, unsatisfying snacking options. We’re continuously motivated by customer feedback, stories of others transforming their lifestyles, and a true belief that we can spread happiness with every bite of a Brune cookie. Our mission is to make clean treats a first choice, not an alternative.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In the startup world, you often hear that founders “wear many hats.” In the early days of a new business, you have to be everything for your company- from the manufacturer to the accountant to the social media manager (and more!). Although we had plenty of professional experience as startup attorneys, we knew that it would be an entirely new adventure to be in the trenches ourselves.

To prepare for this career pivot, we turned to all the resources we could get our hands on, including books, blogs, and industry experts. While this was extremely helpful, launching a business comes with obstacles that do not have textbook solutions. Each day has its challenges, and we’ve learned that the best way to navigate them is with a little laughter and a lot of strategies!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Brune Kitchen makes clean, indulgent, tahini-based cookies that are grain-free, gluten-free, plant-based and free of refined sugars, additives and preservatives.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
The CPG industry is filled with incredibly generous, supportive individuals. Our best advice is to become an active member of the community and find trusted mentors and advisors early on. They will not only help guide you through the inevitable obstacles that come your way but also celebrate the wins- big and small.

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