November 16, 2018 10:35 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- A Rochester man and his family are paving their way with their own brand of outdoor cuisine.
It all started with a love of nature and cooking.
“We make a triple berry crisp, apple crisp, peach blueberry crisp, strawberry cheesecake, rocky road pudding,” said Vince Robichaud, founder, and CEO of Trailtopia, a dehydrated and freeze-dried food brand made in Byron.
“A few years ago Vince stopped by the store, introduced himself and said he had a new brand of backpacking food and that it was made locally,” said Robb Welch, who owns Tyrol Ski and Sports in Rochester.
It all started on a backpack camping trip in 2013 when Robichaud was tasked with supplying the food.
“Everybody really liked what I was making and brought on the trip, and they said you know this is really good you should share this with other people,” Vince said.
And he agreed, as long as they came up with a name.
In 2014, he launched Trailtopia.
“I said why don’t you provide us some samples, and the store staff will taste it,” Welch laughed.
At first, he was skeptical.
“Sometimes that’s hard to believe that someone locally can do a product as well as a national brand,” he said.
But the numbers don’t lie.
“Half of our next year’s order was his food and shortly thereafter we converted all our food in the store to his brand and our sales have increased by two-and-a-half times since we brought his brand in the store,” Welch said.
This year, business has taken off, and Trailtopia has become Robichaud’s full-time job.
The projection for 2019 is more than 62,000 bags of product.
And if you’re still not convinced about eating re-hydrated food out of a bag, his recipes go through a solid vetting process.
“My friends and family are really critical, they’re all foodies, they love food, so when I make a product it goes through 25, 30, 40 iterations before we’ve nailed down the flavor profile really well,” he said.
While Trailtopia is sold in 12 states, more than half of their sales come from their website.
Updated: November 16, 2018 10:35 PM
Created: November 16, 2018 09:42 PM
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