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My Food Job Rocks!

Jun 26, 2017


Thom King is probably the best CEO I’ve ever had the chance to talk to. He’s fun, innovative, and he just loves his job and the people he works with.

I had a great hour and a half talk with him on my lunch break and had to find an excuse when I got back to work. This interview is that good.

Where to start from this interview… whether you’re a young professional, an old soul, or a struggling entrepreneur, Thom will give you advice on all aspects of your career.

You’ll learn how to deal with conflict in the work place, the touching reasons why Thom loves his job, the amazing first stage of stevia and the growth of the brand, and at the end of the segment, the power of having a good idea and working hard so that everyone knows you’re the best.

Remember: I am currently recording this at my hotel at IFT. Just saying, I’ll be there until Wednesday. If you’re available, I’d love to meet you. Just email me at

If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or set a review on itunes. It helps wonders. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at


This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion--there's something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. Just go to


About Thom King

Part CEO, part personal development wonk and part biohacker info geek, Thom is a self-confessed serial entrepreneur. While his favorite book list contains many success-oriented and personal-development classics, the classic definition of achieving success (e.g., making a lot of money) is not what inspires or motivates Thom. He follows more of a “you aren’t doing well unless you’re also doing some good” line of thinking. Thom’s company has been built around the simple principle of “do the right thing.”

Knowledge Bombs

- How to deal with conflict in the work place
- Literally the birth of Stevia
- How to get triple digit growth 3 years in a row
- Some methods to understand people
- Thom’s interesting hobby and how he makes them
- How to validate a good idea

Question Summary

Elevator Pitch: A sweetner that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels that became an ingredient company
Favorite thing to do as a CEO: Make my employees cry with tears of joy; Be appreciative with your employees
What do you think you do in a day?: Manage personalities
How many people are in your company?: 32 people
How do you deal with conflict?: Clashing is a function of a breakdown in communication; I learn about the problem, and get to a common ground
People who get under your skin: Imagine them as a six year old child

Steps it took: Thom met Jim while doing radio, he tasted Stevia, made Stevia extract in a  garage
Steviva was born in 1992
2008 – Stevia was given provisional GRAS status, moving Thom’s company to Food
Ever since 2015, Steviva has experienced triple digit growth

Metabolic disease: Obesity, diabetes
Why did you start a food company and what keeps you going?: Getting rid of metabolic disease is my why
Most important skill you can have in the industry: integrity. Constantly improve your product. Integrity is a service to makea  good product.
Food trends and technologies: Probiotics and fermentation
Thom makes his own probiotics and uses an 11 strain fiber

What is one thing you’d like to know more about?: Hydrocolloids, thickening agents
Example: thai chilli sauce, jam, etc
Favorite Quote: Tony Robbins: Anything is possible and it’s up to you to make it probable
Favorite Book: Right now is Tools of Titan
Favorite Kitchen Item: Sous Vide
Favorite Food: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Any Advice for starting your own business: listen to Gary Vee’s Podcast. You grind and grind and grind and grind some more
This is the best time in the world ever to start a business
Low entry points for validating your idea: social media and crowd funding
One thing you’d like to know about starting your business: more knowledge about Accounting
What’s next for Steviva: Moving to another facility. Quadrupalling the size of our R+D lab
Steviva: twitter, Instagram, etc --> direct it to Thom!

Other Links

Nextiva brand – Stevia infused agave nectar
Marrakesh Spice
Provencal Anise
Maple syrup
Masala Chai Spice
DE 42 High fructose corn syrup
Jim May – Founder of Wisdom Naturals
DISC test – Analyzing human needs for all employees
FDA rulings on fiber
Jerusalem Artichoke
Chicory Root
Custom Probiotics Glendale Los Angeles
Flowbee- vaccum haircut
Ketogenic diet
Exogenous ketones