Mentoring Lessons: What Pancakes Learned From Peanut Butter

Justin Gold (left), founder of Justin's, the nut butter company that was acquired by Hormel Foods in 2016, regularly shares his entrepreneurial expertise with Lizzi Ackerman and Matt LaCasse, cofounders of the pancake company Birch Benders.

How do you reach out to a prospective mentor? As Lizzi Ackerman learned, you've just got to put yourself out there.

After they graduated from college, Ackerman  and her boyfriend (now hubby) Matt LaCasse moved to Boulder, Colo. They started whipping up pancake recipes in their kitchen in 2012 with the aim of producing a healthy, easy-to-use mix that only required the addition of water. That humble entrepreneurial effort would blossom into the fast-growing company called Birch Benders and Ackerman would abandon her plans to go to medical school–because she was having too much fun.

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