The challenge of developing a plant-based patty with John Merlino

Watch Episode 77 with John Merlino

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It’s our pleasure to introduce John Merlino, founder of Soul Solutions, a vegan company that produces a plant-based patty. John’s journey in the food industry started in 1983 when he graduated from The Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He later transitioned to the corporate sector, where he developed the Soul Patty from their ingredients in response to customers’ demands for a non-meat solution. After a few years of struggling to make money with the vegetarian or vegan company, John returned to work as a corporate chef.

In early 2016, an old friend called and asked if John was still making the Soul Patty, and they decided to launch Soul Solutions with the help of a dear friend who provided seed money. They managed to get the product into a popular burger chain, Hopdoddy Burger Bars until the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Discussion Highlights:

  • John’s career path from a culinary school graduate to a corporate chef and eventually to the founder of Soul Solutions
  • The challenges of developing and marketing a plant-based patty in the restaurant industry
  • The success of Soul Solutions and the company’s mission to provide a non-meat solution
    ● The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the company and its adaptation to the changing circumstances

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Michelle Dennedy brought us an incredibly insightful interview with her impressive business history. She discusses the importance of bravery and how this will lay the path of everything

you need in business. Michelle shares her story of why she wasn’t able to be herself at home and the story of how her kids “walked through the fire with her”.


On this interview you will learn:
– The importance of looking at the people who are propelling your career
– Preparing and planning for when things go wrong
– Understanding culture
– What the business world expects of women
– Being judged as a women raising money
– The power of stopping the ??? at the end of your statements (hesitancy)
– A POWERFUL secret that will vastly improve your leadership
– What it takes to be a Vice-President of a company
– The reality of rising through the ranks of a company (Game Of Thrones-esque battles)
– The 3 L’s of Leadership
– Critical secrets to partnerships