In this episode, you’ll hear from one badass lady who has taken three separate passions and morphed them into one widely successful business! Rosalind (Roz) McCallard and her husband Clayton created the vegan sandwich company, Snackrilege, in 2014. The company’s offerings consist of wickedly good sandwiches branded with puns that can evoke a chuckle from any metalhead.
Ever since its inception, Roz and Clayton have been serving up mouthwatering, grab-and-go breaded delights. We're thrilled to have this awesome chick be part of our From Passion to Profits Series. We discuss how she built a business based on her love for veganism, sandwiches, and heavy metal. Our conversation includes the origins of the business, the backstory on its branding, and its infiltration across North America. Plus, if you have no idea what seitan is, don't worry, it will be explained!
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These grab and go sandwiches that Roz has developed, her and her husband, they have the funniest names. And we talk about it in the interview, but I don't actually say the names of the sandwiches, so I wanted to give you kind of an idea of what we were talking about. They have: Lord of the Wings, that’s a funny name and the Notorious BLT, and then they have a breakfast sandwich called Break Fast Die Young, really funny.
So you get kind of the idea of what I'm talking about. This is part of the, From Passion to Profit Series. Here is my interview with Roz McCallard from Snackrilege.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Collared, McCallard?”
Rosalind McCallard: “Yeah. So we asked when we got married, portmanteau, my last name was originally Ballard and my husband's was McCartney. And we merged them together and now we are McCallard”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “You are probably one of the only other people that I know that, besides myself, I call it a mashup name. So my last name was Zeitz, my husband's name was Wolfe, we are now Zeitzwolfe. So we mashed it together. We didn't take any of the continents out. We just left it all in there, but…”
Rosalind McCallard: “Yay, I thought it was bad ass. I love it because I never would've thought it was a made up name. You know what I mean? Nice. Well, that's how that's so cool. Mashup, I love it.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “The word that you use,it sounds French, I never heard that word.”
Rosalind McCallard: “Yeah, it literally means a combination of words, portmanteau.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “We know that you’re married.
Roz. Tell us all the things about you. Like you are a cool bad-ass woman and you started a sandwich company. But before that, let's just back up for a second. You're located in Portland, Oregon. The same as me. Yeah. What was your background? I mean, before you became this, a sandwich goddess
Rosalind McCallard: always been an appreciator of sandwiches, for sure.
Thank you. I've been in Oregon a long time and I've been a vegetarian since San Diego, B6 and vegan on and off since 93. The one thing that I've cared about more than, uh, I get all emotional talking about it more than anything. My whole life is. And animal rights and just the idea of eating animals. It makes me tear up because we don't need to eat animals not, and I can't see everybody right.
If you're in a situation where you don't have anything else to eat as a cruel world, and it's this all you have, there you go. But fortunately, we live in a world with a plenitude of food and good food. And especially in this day and age, you can get pretty much anything as a vegan substitute, so to speak.
And so. Really just getting people to not eat animals, not torture animals and to share our planet is always kind of been my number one, passion as a punk bands back in the nineties and had songs about animal rights and learn some of my first like cheese recipes were like soy cookbooks and that kind of thing.
It's just really all about. Pressure people not trying to make people feel bad or guilty, but just you can live a good, healthy, happy life without having to enslave and torture other creatures. People say to me, when they
Heather Zeitzwolfe: find out that I'm a vegan, oh, you must eat such a limited diet. And I'm like limited.
Like you gotta be kidding me. I probably have a greater variation. Things in my refrigerator and the most meters.
Rosalind McCallard: Sure. Right. A hundred percent. And it forces you to be more creative with your cooking and your diet. I just think veganism is a way to a happier, healthier lifestyle. And I like being able to share that with people.
Other than that, I love traveling and obviously I'm getting to eat good vegan food when you travel. It's my favorite thing. I think. 18 countries. But this year we're going to go to Norway to go to a black metal Fest. We know vegans from all over the world. I'm getting my pilot's license. I love traveling and good vegan food, reading and music.
And I've been in a bunch of bands and I've been married for 10 years in a nutshell, just try to enjoy life as much as.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: Well, I love to travel too and discovering new places to eat. I always map everything out ahead of time. One, when you're a vegan, you're like sometimes you never know where your next meal is going to be and you don't want to be hungry and searching the streets.
So I always mapped things out ahead of time. Every neighborhood we're in, I'm like, happy cow. I got this on my list. Where's your favorite place you've been to? I have a tendency when I traveled to get someplace with a kitchen. So that way I can make my own food. Cause you just never know. And so I'm like, Treats with me.
You never know. Where are you going to find really delicious foods? Portugal.
Rosalind McCallard: We had a great food there. The only place we really had a super tough time eating was Cuba was not a easy place to eat vegan. I'm going, especially because of all the, like the food rationing, a lot of the places that you stay at people's homes and they're feeding you kind of whatever they have.
Really challenging Cuba was hard. And then we went to a metal show in Germany in 2017. And at this tiny little town, there wasn't anything. We ended up having a lot of beer, which hopefully was vegan. It's smart to travel with your own little
Heather Zeitzwolfe: stash. You started this sandwich company. What led you to that?
Where you in the restaurant industry, did you just have some really kick ass Satan recipes? I didn't even know
Rosalind McCallard: how to make Satan. I was a bartender for years in the restaurant industry. For years, I graduated from college when I was 35. I thought I was going to have this setting law and order career like TV.
Did not happen at the place I worked was with a lot of very lovely people, but it was not something I particularly enjoyed. And I'd worked actually for the higher taste. I don't know if you're familiar with them, but there may be gravy and sandwiches. I worked for them in the nineties and I thought about this is a job that I really, really passionate about.
I really liked that job. I thought maybe I can just start my own sandwich company. I did kind of with the idea that you can be a, one-woman kind of just do my own thing, make a few sandwiches, right? Started growing pretty rapidly. And I realized that we needed to have more accounts. The margins for wholesalers are pretty narrow and pretty small sell about economy of scale.
Yeah, I bartended it pretty up until 2019. I was still a bartender at the Benson hotel for a long time. Just worked food industry. And my husband was the machinist. Now he does full time. I never really thought I would just be a full-time business owner, but it just kind of evolved that way. And it's still kind of scary, but at the same time, like, Getting to work with wonderful people and something that you really care about is, is a real blessing.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: did this evolve? I would see you like vegan events and you'd have a booth, then you'd be selling sandwiches there. But in the beginning days, where were you selling the sandwiches? Were you going to places like food fight saying like, Hey, can you sell these for me?
Rosalind McCallard: Or, you know, food fight. I pushed on Facebook after I filed for the license.
Hey, we're starting our own Vicki company. And Chad literally said, I can't wait to buy whatever you make. Like Chad, just boom. What he's like, whatever you make. Standard bar. And we knew the person who was doing the kitchen there. So they bought our sandwiches and pretty much just kind of started knocking on doors and calling peoples calling Alberta.
Co-op calling schools just green zebra. Hey, do you want to buy these sandwiches? Portland? We're really spoiled. We have a lot of great grab and go options, but even in Portland, there are. That money grabbing you'll options. If you just for grocery stores there, we're getting there other parts of the country there just aren't any.
And I remember I would go to work and stop at like whole foods. There wasn't anything you're getting like maybe a muffin. And I thought, okay, I want to make something hearty and savory and delicious. Sandwiches are the best food ever. And so I just kinda started knocking on doors and then slowly but surely just more and more people found out about us.
We started setting up for Vince. We're lucky. We were able to get into natural grocers. We're trying to expand nationally. We have a couple of things in the works that I'm not at Liberty to talk about just yet, but the idea is to become a national brand. You go to other parts of the country, you walk into a grocery store, you don't have this plethora of.
You know, you have like maybe a hummus cap or something. It Portland, we're really lucky. I want to take those kind of options and get them nationwide. And I'm lazy. I'm impatient. I don't even want to wait for food sometimes. You know, I'm like, I don't even want to wait the 15 minutes for the sandwich to be made.
I want it now
Heather Zeitzwolfe: that dammit the food industry. And that is a tricky industry, because like you said, the margins are so tight. Well, not only that you also have to deal with all of the, the agencies and all of the people coming in there, and they have to make sure that the kitchen is clean. And I mean, there's reasons for it.
Obviously you don't want to make people sick, but it's strenuous. It's not as easy as like, Hey, I want to be a coach. You've got to go through a lot of hoops in the beginning. Did you have a kitchen that you were sharing with somebody else? That's just seems like a big hurdle of getting that kitchen that you can.
Rosalind McCallard: Yes. And actually I'm going to use this as an opportunity to plug our kitchens. Now we run a vegan commissary. We actually ran out to several other vegan businesses and we do have space for a few more kitchens, fully licensed, et cetera, et cetera. Mercy Corps is a great resource and they helped us get some money to get started for renting out a kitchen.
We were sharing a kitchen with potato champion, the food card. We rented a kitchen from them, and then we've just rented several other kitchens from other places. And then. February of 2020, we moved into our own space. It was a huge leap for us. And we were very excited and we had all these businesses lined up and then March of 2020 happened.
And so it was a little terrifying. Started learning about how to get your own commissary kitchen, what you need to do to be licensed, et cetera, et cetera. And now I try to coach other businesses. I really enjoy coaching other businesses that are getting started because I feel like if that information was consolidated, it would be a lot easier for
Heather Zeitzwolfe: people.
Yeah. That's great. And it's best to learn from people. Who've actually gone through the trenches and done this thing rather than they go to the school and they study these things. It's like, okay, that's. Great and all, but I want real things, tangible things I can learn and put into action. So that's awesome.
Your branding. I love the branding. I want to talk about how this evolves. You're going to make sandwiches. I mean, you guys have got the most clever fun titles for your sandwiches. It's very like punk rock metal and you've got the great branding around it, which I'm sure is like, some people are like, oh my God, what is this?
Maybe they're not your target audience anyways. How did these sandwiches evolve? Were you like, okay, this is what we want to do. This is how we want to stand out
Rosalind McCallard: because originally it was going to be friendly foods.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: Oh, that's hilarious. Okay.
Rosalind McCallard: I want to appeal to everybody. Then my husband was like, that's lame.
My mother was like, It's not a good name. My husband was like, let's go snack religion. Cause he'd had an idea to like a vending machine. It was called snack religion. He had an original logo that he didn't like very much. So my husband has done a lot of the conceptual artwork branding and that kind of thing.
Naming the sandwiches. That's been a sort of a collaborative effort. I've named some of them. We've had friends of ours, like on Instagram named some of them are employees of named some of them. We just try to pick the best name. Good to go with a sandwich, way more authentic. We're old school metal heads.
We just went to a rotting crisis last weekend. Awesome. Oh my God. It was so good. Clayton said, he's, let's just try to be more authentic. He's like, why are you trying to please everybody? And he's like, if it's friendly foods, not memorable, it's not something that's really speaks to who we are. And he said, don't worry about offending people.
And I said, you know, Let's just go for it. It's naturally is way more clever. It's way more fun. And then we can just have this whole concept of things logos and then shirts you designs that we would we'd want to wear ourselves. And it wouldn't just be like, obviously like a work shirt. I I'm going to give Clayton most of the credit for that one.
Although I have. Several of the sandwich names ourselves, but
Heather Zeitzwolfe: yeah, a logo you can put on a skateboard is much better than friendly foods, which probably, I mean, it sounds adorable in all, but I mean, that sounds like
Rosalind McCallard: it was so bad. It was, and there was already a company called friendly food too. I was going to do foods with help, so it looked like friendly funds.
And then there were like a waving carrot and he. Terrible, but you, yeah, if you could put on a skateboard, maybe somebody would want to waving carrot on a skateboard, but that was kind of where that came from is just trying to be more authentic to who we are. There are people who have been offended by it and that's, we have been doing some kind of test market research.
The Midwest right now, we've actually started to selling our sandwiches and natural groceries in Joplin, Missouri Springfield, Missouri Topeka, Kansas Lawrence, Kansas. There's a whole list of, of places we've started just sort of test market research into, and to just see if they'll sell there, because I was a little concerned, Portland, Oregon is a little more accepting for pentagrams on your sandwiches and maybe we have, you know, oh my gosh, we got, oh, this this letter.
Oh my God. It, it cracked me up. It was basically just going on and on about how. If we cared about God, if we cared about our bodies, we wouldn't be putting pentagrams on things and we get those. Sometimes you're never going to please everybody. Right. We try our best and I respect everyone's you points I by seventh day Adventists there, you know, obviously, uh, Vegan and I buy there.
So all the time, I don't have to agree with your theology. I can imagine like a Nazi vegan company I wouldn't buy that is when it comes to like a religious perspective. I'm not going to judge somebody. And I, I appreciate it when people don't judge us for our kind of metal
Heather Zeitzwolfe: head. It's kind of done tongue and cheek.
If you look at the name of the sandwiches and it's done with, with fun, it's not like you're going out and sacrificing babies to make your sandwiches.
Rosalind McCallard: I actually had somebody ask us what, at a festival they came up with, they said, how are you vegans, when you sacrifice goats?
And that is what I just walked away. Clayton, you know, he, he got into the whole thing. He's like, why would you think that? I said, we're metal heads. We don't sacrifice goats. But
Heather Zeitzwolfe: anyway. Yeah. Yeah. It seems like though with that sort of marketing, you're going to get like raving fans that are like, they're just going to love it and be totally.
Obsessed with your brand, besides the taste also just like the whole vibe behind it. So these sandwiches, I know that you've collaborated with other companies like Tofurky. How did that come over time? Like, you're like, okay, these were going to do with Tofurky. We're going to make our own state Chan for these.
Like, how did that end?
Rosalind McCallard: Well, my sister actually just showed me how to make Satan and she's been making it for you. Cause I had no idea, like I was buying like west soy, but I'd been making these recipes for Clayton's lunches for a long time. And I, I started thinking to myself, I'm like, I think it sell this.
And I started to hosting test dinners and doing like demos and things like that. And just sharing it with people and really realizing that even non vegans were really excited about these recipes. If I'd known how much of a pain in the butt say 10 was, I might not have gone with it, but. I saw that it's great.
As far as Tofurky goes, Seth has been a great mentor. I reached out to him maybe after like six months of being in business and just cold emailed him and said, Hey, you know, we started this business. I really give you some advice on XYZ. And he just now he's. He's great. And then we just did the first batch of, for Keeley, but from him, he actually brought in a cooler in his Subaru.
And I met even the parking lot at the airport. Like we were doing some kind of weird drug deal Tofurky, and like, that's how we bought our very first, which it's case Tofurky from him. And now it's one of our more popular sandwiches. And we like having a product that it's different. It's handmade. I'm so happy right now.
There's so many different kinds of alternative meats, quote unquote. But a lot of them are very similar in terms of like the pea protein or whatever. I like doing like the old school. Like we're making
Heather Zeitzwolfe: CTS, we've got this collaboration with Tofurky, which is cool, but you also making your own safety. Do you see yourself making any of these products so that people can make their own snack religious sandwiches on their own?
Is that like a
Rosalind McCallard: possibility we sell? We sell our meats at a natural grocers and market of choice on our website. Food site has some, we yo, it's not something we put. Super hard right now because staffing is an issue just like everybody else. I try to kind of balance growing in terms of key Dido. I don't want to overwork the staff.
We have a, we sell our meats. You can go online and buy them from our website. Or like I said, natural groceries. We do, oh my gosh. One of my favorites is a red wine steak that's available. Oh my God. It's so good. It's red wine mushrooms, garlic onions, Rosemary, fresh Rosemary that we simmer. Um, it's really, really good.
So we sell all those already. Eventually we'd like to do more of that, but I think right now I want to focus more on the grab and go just because it just isn't available that much. I mean, you go into the grocery store, you're hungry, you're shopping. You're on your way home or you're at lunch or whatever.
And there again, in Portland, we're spoiled, there's stock options, but there's still. That kind of plethora of, of just something to eat on the go. And that's really the market that I think is underserved. This
Heather Zeitzwolfe: is great to like, move it out towards you. So talking about the east coast. So now you've got that challenge of food spoils.
So it's like, do you freeze it? Can you freeze it? Can you put it on ice? Like, that's a, that's a complicated thing.
Rosalind McCallard: That's what we've raised them. We've raised, we freeze our sandwiches and we ship them to other parts of the country because I'm not at Liberty to do. Because there are some things in the works that I can't talk about.
Now, we have been shipping to like the smaller vegan stores, like a Sydney snacks in New York, rabbits, new besties, vegan paradise, our sandwiches freeze. We freeze them. We put them in there with my sex. By the time they get there, they're just they're ready to go. Which I didn't even know was a thing until one of our customers was like, oh yeah, I freeze your sandwiches all the time.
Then I just leave them out. And even when I'm hungry,
Heather Zeitzwolfe: Wow. That's really cool. How many different sandwiches do you have now? You have. We have
Rosalind McCallard: 10 right now we need to scale back a little bit when we expand. We're definitely going to just scale back to like a five of our most popular, like the, which for the ones with Tofurky, lettuce and tomato, you obviously can't freeze those.
Not any good. We are. We're going to add some new ones. So, but I do, I would like to keep it in about 10 right now. I want to do more, but it adds challenges for our staff too. But if you've ever been to a mini or a restaurant, there's a huge menu and you just get totally overwhelmed. Yeah. You don't want to be that, that person, you know, I want to keep it simple.
Yeah. He been at about chins probably pretty good.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: Now, have you ever thought about, well, this is kind of a silly question, but shark tank, like if you thought about like trying to tap into to investors like that, or is that just like, oh God, I would never do that. I would
Rosalind McCallard: love to I'm like idea. Have you ever seen the one with Heidi hill on it?
Oh, my gosh. She did so great. Oh, she's so amazing. And then pans pay for Portland. Oh yeah. Your heat. And then who was it? Mrs. Goldfarb's unreal deli. So absolutely. Yeah, she was on there too. So absolutely. I would love to, but not quite yet. I don't feel like I'm quite prepared yet. You know what I mean? We're vegan metal head sandwich company.
So we've been able to, to be pretty, you know, oh gosh. Well, how do I, how would I phrase this shark tank expects a certain level of. Organization. That's what I'm going to say. I'm like, I'm a big picture, kind of all over the place kind of person. And it's worked for us and we definitely, we keep our customers happy.
We do everything we're supposed to, but I'm, I don't think I'm quite organized enough for shark tank yet.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: You probably are. It's just, it is very scary. I would imagine to be in front of those people. And they're like asking you all these really all these questions that yellow. Spit out all these numbers, like really quickly, and then they try it.
They give you these looks and I got the pentagrams. Totally. You totally
Rosalind McCallard: just nailed it, but it's, it's terrifying, but it's easier for me to like, make an excuse and say, I'm not organized and be like, I'm just scared, but you totally have an illness. Oh my God. Yeah, no organization. That's.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: Besides making the sandwiches.
You've got a lot of really cool things on your wall. So are you still doing music? Are you an artist? What are your other
Rosalind McCallard: outlets? It's really nice to ask. Well, again, getting my pilot's license, which I love, I haven't done any art. Made enough art in a while. I'm working on a cookbook. I just wrote a recipe this afternoon, which is really good.
If you've ever tried a lobster man. Oh, no, that sounds incredible. Order lobster mushrooms. They're the best mushrooms ever. And they're, so they're only available. Like I get the materials part occasionally they're expensive, but they are so, so good. And you can order them dried from a company and like Ashland and they're just order yourself some lobster mushrooms.
Like I'll just saute them with some garlic and. That's a little olive oil and that's it. So I worked at a recipe this afternoon while I'm working on a cookbook, don't play music enough as much as I should anymore. My husband plays chess all the time and I always say, I'm going to play with him. And then I get mad.
Cause he's really good. And I lose and then reading, but yeah. What about you? What kind of art do you do? I mean, obviously, you know,
Heather Zeitzwolfe: I'm doing podcasting and that takes up a lot of my time and you know, I'm running a business so that the labor of love and I loved comedy and I like to write comedy, but I just haven't done it in a long time.
Where did you do
Rosalind McCallard: comedy? Where'd you do standup?
Heather Zeitzwolfe: I wasn't never a professional at comedy, so, but I was taking comedy classes. Like I took one at helium and I got to stand up and do something at that healing, which is really cool.
Rosalind McCallard: No, I did too. I took lots of liberties and helium helium is that where we have our kitchen, that we were arguing.
Downstairs with helium, you don't do standup
Heather Zeitzwolfe: anymore. I took some stand-up classes and I found writing jokes, the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. I studied for the CPA exam. That was pretty darn difficult, but I think writing a great joke is like, oh, it's like the best thing ever, you know?
Rosalind McCallard: But it's so hard is easy writing. Good jokes is really
Heather Zeitzwolfe: challenging. Yeah. Uh, I'll just toot my horn and I'll just say that I am a wizard in the kitchen and that came out from being vegan. Because before that, I didn't even know how to cook as a kid. Like what? Like, it doesn't have instructions on a box. It says, put in a microwave boil or, you know, I didn't know how to cook it.
Oh, so one of my favorite things is to have people over for thanks living, but I haven't done it in a while because of COVID, but I'd have all kinds of non vegans over because they loved my delicious cooking. So all these things you can do with tofu and say tan people, those meat
Rosalind McCallard: eaters, heart and minds, and like edit is it's if something like so satisfying, especially when you see that look of kind of shock on a traditional media is faced.
What they're eating
Heather Zeitzwolfe: is really good. Well, well, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. You said a bunch of places where people can find your sandwiches. Mostly, I would imagine, like in the Pacific Northwest, you can go to
Rosalind McCallard: our website, which I think is updated. It's been on my list updated, but we are all over Portland, the coast, we're in a bunch of different places in the world.
But you can order us from online grocery stores. And so do
Heather Zeitzwolfe: you only sell to retails or if people wanted to go online and buy your sandwiches and have them shipped?
Rosalind McCallard: Yeah. You can order sandwiches that way. We're working on being a nationwide brand and vegan deal festivals. I have to give them a plug. We are going to be at all of the vegan Gale festivals this year.
And if you haven't been, can't recommend them. So fun. We're doing Chicago, Miami, Toronto. This is going to be the first year that we actually physically aren't there. But our team in Toronto has worked with us for so many years. They're going to run it while we're in Norway to black, middle fists. I feel super privileged to get to do that excited, but also like this little crazy
Heather Zeitzwolfe: at these locations.
Are you actually making sandwiches where people can buy them or is it.
Rosalind McCallard: No, no, no. We make, we make it there. I'm not going to lie there. They're not cheap. We do big fat plates for like 20 bucks of sandwiches. We make onsite and we do like a lager load of the wings, like Buffalo sandwiches. It's super fun.
And they're really great. And yeah, I can't recommend that. Just a big vegan party, so, wow.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the show and we'll have links to everything that we talked about. Thank you, Heather.
Rosalind McCallard: Have a great afternoon. Yeah, you too. Thanks. .