Amazi Foods exists to provide an exciting, healthy, simple snack sourced ethically and sustainably, while supporting local Ugandan businesses and its local economy. The idea came from CEO Renee Dunn’s time living in Uganda. She noticed an abundance of delicious, organically farmed produce like Jackfruit and Plantains, with nowhere to go past the local markets. Armed with a new idea, and the passion to support the community that spawned the concept, she went all in. See how she is redefining agricultural supply chains through this company, and how Accountfully helps free up her time to keep up the good work.
Who Created the Company and Why
Renee Dunn created the company after living in Uganda and noting the overabundance of amazing, healthy fruits. She immediately saw the potential to bring these to the US, but to share the success of the product with the community and farmers that create it, unlike the classic formula of sourcing ingredients overseas and leaving the success to an already thriving economy. It was going to be more than the typical supply chain model for her business, and it was to be a higher level of ethically sourced; closing the gap between source and consumer, and “taking the resource rich countries along for the ride.”
They ensure farmers are paid up to 68% above market price, and production team members are paid 2-3x local wages.
The Founder’s Background
While attending Wesleyan University, Renee studied abroad and continued to conduct her thesis research on the state of entrepreneurship in Uganda. After graduating, Renee interned at the Aspen Institute where she focused on entrepreneurial ecosystem analysis. Combining her passion for healthy food, her development experience, and her entrepreneurial spirit, Renee founded Amazi in 2016. She is passionate about promoting connected, community-rooted supply chains and thereby encourages localized job creation, business growth, and local value chains. Beyond Amazi, Renee is a yoga teacher and fitness coach at MADabolic and spends much of her time indulging her passion for movement.
Renee breaks it down for us, from her point of view:
So, we have a bit of a unique story – the mission came before the product, so to speak. I studied abroad and did my thesis research in Uganda. While living there, I was blown away by their organic tropical fruits, bursting with flavors unlike back at home and I found people traded fruits raw or looked for cheap ways of processing or exporting them. I had heard stories about cocoa farmers never seeing a chocolate bar, but realized that this anecdote sums up a lot about our supply chains as a whole. Those at the resource were completely separate from the opportunity and innovation that existed in the global market – resulting in high unemployment and food waste.
Meanwhile, back at home in the US, consumers were looking for products that served a higher purpose so there was a huge opportunity not only for local industry and job creation, but also to satisfy a growing need for US consumers.
So in April of 2016, a few years out of college, unhappy at my job, and with a lease ending soon, I bought a plane ticket to Uganda to try and figure it out!
What Makes the Product(s)/Service(s) Different?
Amazi makes healthy, tasty snacks; Plantain chips and Jackfruit chews. What makes the product especially different is its mission. Amazi is what Renee calls a “mindful food company”, mainly because they work directly with small businesses and farmers in Uganda to create more connected, inclusive supply chains. Renee states, “many brands work toward ethical sourcing or Fair Trade, but few are able to support local economies and job creation by facilitating production and value addition at the source. We work hard to create more transparency and market access through our snacks.”
When It Become Time to Outsource The Accounting
Renee says, “I outsourced fairly early on, within the first couple of years, mainly because I didn't know how to track inventory and COGS properly in our Quickbooks. I made the switch to Accountfully when I realized that it would really benefit us to work with folks that knew CPG and could properly book things like trade spend, chargebacks, prepaid inventory, etc.”
How Outsourcing Amazi's Accounting Helps the Business
Renee can relax knowing she isn’t overspending for her size. She says of Accountfully’s services, “As a lean, omni-channel business, it is such a huge help to know that someone else is on top of our books! I appreciate having someone put together weekly and monthly reports for me to look through, and while I do still keep an eye on weekly and monthly cash flow, for example, the booking of all the technical components and benchmarking, as well as recommendations on how to better book things per other businesses in the industry, is SUPER helpful.”
What’s In The Works at Amazi Foods:
Let’s start with the newest product and store launches for Amazi. They just launched to The Fresh Market, and have added their Ginger Lime Jackfruit Chews to the set at Sprouts in May. More store rollouts are in the works in the coming months, so stay tuned!
In addition to the new store options, Amazi now has free shipping on their website.
Follow Amazi Foods on Social Media and Find Them Near You:
To stay in the loop on the various new products and availability, make sure to follow Amazi on all of their social media channels:
Email Updates: go here
Find Amazi near you: https://amazifoods.com/apps/store-locator
Request Amazi at your local store: https://forms.westock.io/brand/?id=27
More cool Amazi Features:
If Amazi's story resonates with you and your business, we want to hear! Tell us about your details and let's chat about how outsourcing your accounting can help.