Pinole Blue: Revitalizing an Ancient Superfood with a Modern Twist

We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it – ePac gets to collaborate with some of the coolest companies. In this edition of our customer stories, we sat down with Kate, the co-founder at Pinole Blue got the inside scoop on what it was like to be featured on Shark Tank and how ePac has helped the brand rise to new levels with every order. 

What is ‘Pinole’? 

Pinole, also called pinol or pinolillo, is roasted ground corn flour that is popular in Latin America. It is used as a nutrient-dense ingredient to make food such as drinks, baked goods, etc.

Eddie Sandoval’s Inspiration to Create Pinole Blue

Eddie Sandoval, the founder of Pinole Blue, was inspired to create the company after visiting family in Chihuahua, Mexico. Every trip, he’d bring pinole home and wonder why it wasn’t widely used in America. 

Pinole is a superfood used by an indigenous community called the Tarahumaras, who use pinole to fuel 100-mile runs in the mountains with sandals made from tires. 

So why couldn’t runners and athletes in America use the grain mixture to power up for their long days on the field or court? So, with this traditional food, an idea was born.

Pinole Blue’s Growth and Expansion

After confiding with his business professor Kate about the idea, she encouraged him to give the idea a shot. They began selling pinole dry drink mixes but have since added protein balls, cookies, and stone-ground tortillas. 

The company is also giving back to the people who inspired them, the Tarahumara community, with some of the profits going to help sustain their lifestyle. And before they knew it, they were pitching the Sharks on their vision for what the brand could be.

“Shark Tank was a great experience because we learned how to pitch and articulate the soul of our business.” Kate said. 

Collaborating with ePac: A Game-Changing Partnership

And since then, the company has grown by leaps and bounds. They honor the tradition of ancient culinary recipes but also are creating a path forward that’s uniquely their own. 

And working with ePac, the team at Pinole Blue has found a partner they truly value. 

“We weren’t at the point where we couldn’t move forward. After Shark Tank, we kicked into high gear. Working with Seth has been a joy for us because he’s been patient. He’s educated us on things we had no idea about and still do. He’s like our secret weapon sometimes when we have a new idea to try out, Kate said.” 

The Benefits of Working with ePac

Pinole Blue has worked with ePac on various packaging solutions, and the partnership is growing. “We love ePac’s flexibility and lead times. When one of those episodes airs, we get a spike in business. Ultimately, we had to look at the cost per bag. It was more cost-efficient to investigate a new packaging solution, ePac.

Once we transitioned to the printed bags, it cut down our manual hours; three stickers were on the bags. The printed bags save a lot of time. It’s been great collaborating with the company to handle things quickly.” 

Conclusion: Celebrating Pinole Blue’s Success

When you get the opportunity to get the kind of exposure that Shark Tank gives a company, there’s a lot at stake. And for every win, there’s a lot to celebrate, considering the brand’s humble beginnings.

We’re happy to be a part of the Pinole Blue story, to see their growth, and to see them make their way from just a few photos on social media to now in homes across the country, one bag at a time.