Posted on 10 Comments

It Begins… Slowly

We started manufacturing last Friday.

The very first batch at Super Body Fuel. Never forget!

Appropriately enough, our first batch was a month’s worth of Schmoylent Vanilla, the first recipe we finalized earlier this month and one of our most popular options.

It took us about six hours. That’s an hour per pack, or about 12 minutes per bag. And that’s not counting prep or cleanup time. :p Let’s just say it turned out to be a late night at the factory for both of us.

A little stevia goes a long way.

Of course, it only took so long because we were still evaluating and solidifying our manufacturing process. We’re optimistic that we could get to three batches a day with a little practice. We’re already down to three hours per batch this week.

With a mixer that can churn through a thousand bags of product at a time, three batches a day would be plenty. But our mixer is small, making less than a hundred bags per batch, and in many cases less than fifty. That kind of production rate could be easily overwhelmed if we started getting more than ten orders a day.

Soon to be Schmilk Chocolate.

But the more pressing concern is, “When am I going to get my pre-order?”

Good question! Many of you have already asked this, in fact. ;)

Based on our initial calculations, it will take us about 3-5 weeks before we’ve cleared out all the pre-orders from the last few months. We’ll start shipping on Monday, so those of you with June pre-orders should be seeing a package from Super Body Fuel on your doorstep soon, but July, August, and September pre-orders may take a few weeks longer.

We’re looking into ways to speed up the process, like hiring part-time help or working on weekends, so with any luck we may be able to shorten that timeline a little. But at our current pace, we expect we’ll be done shipping pre-orders around the end of October.

Our batch record system brings health inspectors to tears. Tears of joy.

In other news, I’ve set up a nice system to track way too much information about each batch, in a convenient and mostly automated way. Most importantly, we’re recording the exact ingredients added, with lot numbers and actual measurements (individually confirmed and signed off by both of us, of course) so we know exactly what has gone into each batch and in turn, which batch has gone to which customer. Plus some extra goodies, like the starting (and ending) temperature and humidity, among other things. Why not, right? :)

For those of you waiting eagerly for the reveal of the nutritional details and ingredients for all the recipes, rest assured that I’ve got that information and I will be putting it up on the website soon – I’m just focused on putting the final touches on our shipping system so we can start sending orders out as soon as possible! Once we’re shipping, updating the website with all the latest nutritional information will be at the top of my list.

You’ll hear back from us soon.

10 thoughts on “It Begins… Slowly

  1. Great to see the progress! It seems like the mixer is the main bottleneck at this point? Are you guys considering getting a larger one anytime soon? Also, it would be great to see the ingredients/nutrition info up soon and if you guys have a chance would be neat to see footage of the manufacturing process. I think transparency is one of the big things SBF has going for it.

    1. Thanks! If we end up getting so many new orders each day that we can’t keep up with a few small batches a day, then it would make sense to get a larger mixer. I’m not convinced that this will be the case anytime soon though!

      We just started shipping yesterday so I’ll be working on formatting the nutrition info for the website next!

      A video of the manufacturing process would be awesome, I would love to start sharing even more behind the scenes.

  2. Looking forward to hearing more about the smooth texture you’ve achieved!

    1. The trick is getting rid of gritty rice flour, and using inulin as a prebiotic fiber source. The inulin really smooths it out, especially after sitting for a while in the fridge, as well as softening the flavor a bit. :)

  3. Have you thought about getting on one of those crowdfunding/fundraising websites to help raise money for more/larger mixers?

    1. I would definitely contribute.

      1. Aww, thanks! :)

        Did you know that you placed the very first Super Body Fuel order, and that your order shipped yesterday? It’s true! :D

        1. I knew I was a super early adopter, didn’t realize I was first.

          I did get notified by the carrier, and I am anxiously awaiting my shipment : )

          1. Cool, did it arrive yet? :) What do you think?

    2. Hmmm, I think the idea of crowdfunding had occurred to me a while ago, but I kind of forgot about it. For some reason I find it hard to imagine raising in excess of $10,000 in donations for a theoretically profitable company with plenty of competitors, but maybe I’m underestimating the generosity of our customers!

      I’d like to see how the business does once we do start shipping next-day and we’ve got our routine down. It’s entirely possible that we won’t get enough orders to keep us too busy, and in that case it wouldn’t make sense to invest a ton of money into big equipment, regardless of who is paying for it.

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