John Ban: The Benefits of Being First to Market


From struggling DJ to successful business owner, John Ban's entrepreneurial journey is inspiring to watch.

John, AKA 'Sonic', is one-half of the team behind Grass Fed Coffee- the first prepackaged butter coffee to hit market. Popular among entrepreneurs and productivity and health nuts, Grass Fed Coffee is going to revolutionize the bulletproof coffee scene.

Like so many entrepreneurs, John has had a succession of successful businesses, but as a former top DJ in Indianapolis, he didn't plan on the journey that led him to Grass Fed Coffee. In fact, you might even say that had he not experienced a major setback in the music business, he wouldn't be in the beverage industry today.

In 2007, John moved to Los Angeles to pursue music writing and recording. Unfortunately, this was just about the time the recession started and work was really hard to come by. He was eating ramen and living in a studio apartment with 2 other people! Influenced by the food truck culture, he went back to Indianapolis to start the first food truck in that city, West Coast Tacos. It was a huge success, and  later he sold his stake and went on to create NY Slice food truck. The success of which led to expansion, and now a booming Indy food truck scene.

After selling NY Slice, He ended up selling that business and came back to L.A. to work with his mentor, now partner, on developing Grass Fed Coffee. They started implementing the idea in 2014, with the help of a beverage consulting company. In December 2015, they launched their Kickstarter campaign.

It took off like wildfire, meeting 170% of the goal within the first month. The campaign will end at the end of January 2016 and shipments will start going out to backers and become available for retail sale on their website.

                                         Click to watch video on Kickstarter

                                         Click to watch video on Kickstarter


As with any new idea, John did hit some roadblocks and fits and starts in the development of Grass Fed Coffee, but he's had a very strong sense of willpower and positive mindset since he was a child. Any business owner knows there are a lot of obstacles at the beginning of any project but when you break them, there's no stopping you.

John and I talk about the lessons he's learned about himself and others from his first food truck business to now, what it means to always have integrity, and his belief that we shouldn't be living our lives constrained by something as simple as money.

On this journey we call entrepreneurship, people will tell you your ideas are crazy and that you're going to fail. Don't believe them.

Always be yourself and have confidence in who you are! 


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Some questions I ask:

  • What is butter coffee and what are its distinct health benefits?
  • What does developing a new product look like from inception to launch?
  • What advice would you give someone starting a food industry business or a Kickstarter campaign?
  • Did John already have the end-goal in mind before Grass Fed Coffee was even formulated?
  • How did your mentor evolve into your business partner?
  • What does financial freedom mean for John?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How sheer will and determination can lead to success in any endeavor you're passionate about
  • That self-confidence is a lifetime journey-you learn more about yourself every year.
  • How easy it really is to start a Kickstarter campaign
  • Why John thinks having a partner is beneficial and how to find the right one
  • Why character and integrity is just as important as business knowledge
  • Why you can't have an ego if you want to have a successful business
  • Plus much more...

Don't Stop Here...