In a world where Innovation meets compassion join us as we welcome the Visionary behind Sun ovens trip Crites we're not just selling ovens we're changing lives we'll uncover The Untold Stories the challenges the triumphs that Sun Oven faced in their journey to truly change the way we cook it's not just about the product it's really about making a difference this isn't just a podcast it's a journey of impact inspiration where every meal made serves as a Beacon of Hope tuning in to the fulfilled podcast I have with us today trip KES he's the owner of sun ens but trip I want you to go into how did this business even come about well I guess about five or six years ago I was uh working down in Africa and we were out in the rural community setting up uh decentralized solar power uh internet Wi-Fi infrastructures and uh digital education and at that point we really saw the problems that people face on a daily basis out in these rural communities and we were already involved in trying to provide solutions for that when I was introduced uh in 2019 to Sun ofen and uh once I was introduced to Sun ofen they already had a uh 35y year uh track record and an established footprint on a global scale and so I could easily see how Sun Oven could be integrated with the uh passion that we had to solving problems out in rural communities and helping people uh to you know cook with have you had any experience with e-commerce in the past yes we've uh we've done e-commerce in the past and uh you know now being and that was another thing that really uh I was excited about with regards to Sun ofen was that it was an e-commerce company and there were even some more hurdles that we had to face uh once we acquired the company and being able to um really streamline everything so that we could scale at the time that we um acquired Sun Oven the uh ovens were being made in outside of Chicago Illinois in a place called Elburn and we had all kinds of issues with regards to uh the supply chain and getting enough of the product in also the Staffing and then you know of course when we everybody went through Co it became a real nightmare as far as Staffing and you know the supply chain and so you know thankfully we had already looked at that uh situation and addressed it earlier and decided that we need to actually move into more of a uh contract manufacturing standpoint to where we could just uh have our ovens made and then we bought a finished good and that way we didn't have the everyday concerns about the you know employment the Staffing and also uh bringing in all of the supplies that we use to actually build the sun ovens so that was already underway before uh you know the covid situation was full on so uh that allowed us the ability to scale meaning that you know we can now take orders for thousands of ovens and not really be concerned about being um you know handicapped with uh you know what we could uh produce uh on a weekly or monthly basis wow so it was important for you to make that shift and Outsource so you could focus on things that you wanted to do in your business or things you think you were best at is is that correct that's 100% correct yes and so by doing that we uh really uh were able to tap into the economies of scale and really harness um what you just said the expertise of a manufacturing uh partner where we could focus on what we do and that is the e-commerce side the marketing side and then providing the customer service and quality control and then helping to uh expand the brand uh so that more IND minies other than Preppers and homesteaders were familiar with what we had tell us the benefits of having a sun ofen I just want the audience to know know a little bit more about this product absolutely so Sun Oven if you think about it it's almost think about it in terms of a solar crock pot so what we have is a oven that has reflectors it opens up and it basically harnesses the power of the sun to heat up the inner chamber and the inner chamber uh then you can use or it functions just like a regular oven anything you cook in your regular oven you can cook inside of the Sun Oven so it has a glass that opens up you put your meal or whatever you want to cook inside of the inner chamber shut the glass and point it in the direction of the Sun and within uh 30 to 40 minutes it's already heated up to 300 325 degrees and then it just depends on how fast you want to cook your meal uh you can set it out in the sun leave it all day and nothing ever Burns or scorches or dries out in the sun oven because it really locks in the uh the Heat and the ambient temperature inside the oven prevents it from ever scorching or burning so literally you can just put your food in set it out and cook it all day and it uh retains the juicy uh you know moist uh texture so that's pretty pretty simple we've been making it the same way for 35 years when you're describing that I'm thinking of applications and I'm thinking because I I have a little farm um and and I'm away from many people but I'm thinking if this would be a critical item to have and then I'm taking it a step further and I'm thinking okay well if I wanted to cook my food on a fire well I'm kind of inviting everybody else to I'm cooking food and if you had a Sun Oven like this it seemed like a maybe a more covert way to to cook food I'm thinking of those sort of things as you're talking yeah you're 100% correct basically by starting a fire to cook you're just ringing a dinner bell everybody around is going to know hey I got something to cooking come on over for dinner but with a Sun Oven you just open it up and the sun the sun basically comes down and all you need all you need is enough sun to where you can see your Shadow and you can cook with a Sun Oven but not only can you cook with a Sun Oven but you can dehydrate as well and there's a lot of other uses other than just uh cooking so you know it's definitely something that uh in an off- grid situation people would definitely want to consider having what what do you see as far as advertising that's worked for you guys in that particular product well advertising is a uh is a real um uh delicate dance so we're big in the analytics side of it and so we want to basically uh collect every bit of data that we possibly can from any advertising marketing dollar that we spend so our particular um e-commerce is on the Shopify platform and the reason for that is because Shopify really just gives us the ability to uh for the analytics to go in and track every single keyword uh every you know every ad campaign that we do we can get real time information uh on how effective that particular ad spend is uh is doing for us and so you know from us for us continually uh analyzing uh that side of things and making sure that we're spending uh the dollars in the right place is is Paramount to uh to being effective so that's one way I can elaborate on a lot more just let me know well I'm curious because AI is of course a Hot Topic these days are you guys implementing AI in any of your marketing strategies yet not yet no we're uh we're in conversations about that but uh AI right now is not part of a marketing mix do you feel that a lot of the the people that have bought your sun ovens become Advocates is is that another way that you guys actually see that sales are coming in from people that have already purchased oh yeah and we uh we're and we have a lot of influencers out there as well so again we have the benefit of uh of having been in business for 35 years we've got um we're in 126 different countries all over the globe uh and we also have over 200,000 people that are on our mailing list and things like that so a lot of our people uh are are uh you know we've created a culture around uh the Sun Oven and so they love the Sun Oven the main thing I hear when we're out at events is the thing I love most about the sun ofen they say is that it actually works so they use it it works they tell people about it it's a quality product and you know people have been using them for 35 years but the influencer side if you want me to go into that is a big part of what we do as well for our for our organic uh side you know is basically you know the email list we have about 200,000 people like I said and we're constantly keeping uh the Sun Oven and other products in front of them and let me say this to you and the audience out there whenever I acquired the company in 2019 basically all we were doing was uh selling the the Sun Oven and we had a few other accessories like a uh uh like a a turkey rack and some things like that but you know the first question I asked was why is it that we've been in business for 35 years and we got hundreds of thousands of customers all over the planet and we don't have a cookbook with recipes in it that are actually designed to be cooked inside of the Sun ofen and so we started looking at what are other value added uh products that we could actually come up with to put into the hands of our of our customer base you know that of course would generate more sales but also help people be more effective with using the Sun ofen so a lot of times uh you know in business us as entrepreneurs and even on the e-commerce side we don't think about what else do we have or could we have that would enhance or provide more value to the core product they were actually selling so that was something that we did uh and it was very effective and we also introduced covers I mean we're like we got hundreds of thousands of people that own Sun ovens why would they not want to have a cover for their oven they could protect it and even you know extend the life of it and so it was really a no-brainer even we have a new product and I I can't say much about that right now but I'll just throw the teaser out that's going to basically uh turn the the Sun Oven into a uh I mean a Powerhouse and so it's something that can be easily integrated into an existing Sun Oven and you get much more benefit out of it so those are the things we started thinking about as a company that we could pass on value added products to our customer base let me talk more about maybe you behind the scenes I know there's um there's something that you guys have that's villager Sun Oven can you talk a little bit about that what you do with that and where you go the people that you help yeah would love to so a lot of our customer base they know us for the smaller ovens which are the All-American Sun ovens the ones we've been talking about and they really a lot of people don't know we have the big villager Sun Oven and the big villager Sun Oven is uh it looks like a small satellite fell out of the sky I mean it's a big item it's on the back of a uh trailer and um we put those in in rural communities and we can feed 1,200 people a day with that villager son of him we build Bakery Concepts around that so that you know people in uh rural communities can bake bread and then they can feed uh like at a school or an orphanage they can feed the the the people there and then the excess they can sell into the community to generate additional Revenue so it's really a sustainable business model that's built around the Villager son of it and so we've been doing that for uh years as well we we just sent uh two to Mala uh a few months ago and they set those up as uh two bakeries in different communities and already what it's done is create jobs for the uh for the women in the community and then it started to generate the income and there we partnered with a company out of uh Sweden a Solar Company that actually purchased those two big villag ovens and sent them down there so that's already started to uh to to transform the communities we also had uh some requests Outsourcing and Scaling from another country in Africa where you know the deforestation is a big issue they called us and they said hey look we need to get a hold of some of these villager ovens because our main cash crop is uh coffee and the wood that people have been cutting down for years and years has run out and now they're literally starting to cut down the coffee trees which are the cash crop just in order to cook a meal and so that can be devastating to the economy when you start using a c crop just to cook a meal that a villag or Sun Oven uh could be used for we've also had some requests and we're working now with um some people in morania uh that want to do a hundred of them up there to start putting in places to deal with some of the uh situations that you stationed there as well as in Morocco you know if they' had those for the earthquake and things they started to recognize for emergency and preparedness you know reasons that it can really um help to solve a lot of problems in an emergency is there a way for people to get involved to help you with those initiatives right there because that seems like a no-brainer uh for communities that don't have electricity or if there's something that happens um that's a way to be able to cook food um that's pretty amazing yeah you can go to villagers and you can see a little a little bit about what we do there and if you want to get involved you can actually just send us an email let us know what your thoughts are what you're passionate about what area and uh I'll tell you in next year this is going to be I'll go ahead and share this with you and the audience so you know I'm excited about it we're going to be um uh com we're going to be partnering with a lot of uh missions organizations that are you know uh sending missionaries into areas and the missionaries you know traditionally go into an area they don't have the the revenue stream to continue to stay there and they're always coming back you know for months at a time to gain more support so they can go back and do you know the work so what we're doing now is starting to partner with a lot of missions organizations and sending us son of a villager son ofen into those areas ahead of the missionary so that they can literally use the Villager son ofen not only as a door opener but also as a revenue generating uh uh mechanism and so they can stay on the mission field they can solve really physical problems by providing you know bread for the community to eat gives them a real platform to you know preach the gospel and so we're starting to roll that out in uh a pretty a pretty aggressive uh way uh in 24 let me ask you this so what what is I mean for you um what is fulfillment and I asked this to all our guests what does fulfillment mean to you I mean what's the most important thing in your life well the most important thing in my life I'm going to be honest with you about it is to uh follow and be obedient uh to the plan of God for my life everybody's got a plan you know God has a plan for everybody's life and it's up to us to really uh dig in and find out what is it God that you specifically want me to do what is your calling what is your your your purpose for my life and then at that point is harnessing the ability and talents and anointings if you will that you have in order to move in that direction so the most important thing to me is one obeying what it is God told me to to to to do and then number two and I think this is where a lot of people miss it and and I try to stay focused on this is not trying to have it all figured out just really it's the fishing chips program literally taking what it is that God put in your hand and in our case it's the son of it and really saying okay God we've got this son ofen that you to entrust us with to make us stewards over and how do we take this thing that you put in our hand and give it to you so that you can bless it and multiply it to accomplish what your plan is so the real fulfillment for us comes from obeying God taking what we have putting it in his hands and watching him multiply it uh and do and change a lot of lives that's what makes us fulfilled it's not just buying a son of and when you buy a son of and you're supporting this initiative that trip is is speaking of so I'm really grateful that you came on today just to talk a little bit about Sun ovens what type of price point I I mean I I would I would spend a whole bunch for something like this but what type of price point are you at with these ovens well we we retail on our website at for $449 that's what we sell the uh the All-American Sun Oven for and then the big villager oven uh that takes over a 100 man hours to build and uh we we sell those the big ovens for $28,000 wow so those are in line with someone that would come to us and say hey we want to do a project we want to accomplish a certain mission in an area how can we utilize the Villager to accomplish that so the price Point's much higher on the Villager but our retail price on the smaller ovens are $4.49 yeah that that's amazing well I I I love I love your passion uh trip you know I know we're we're we're really trying to of course create a podcast that inspires people um it seems like you guys have a passion for what you do and and it's important people that like you said that are carrying the gospel for us so I'm excited to be able to talk to you um is there anything else you want to tell the audience today about your product or about you guys that I've missed I think we've covered quite a bit I mean I just want to say it's a real honor to have been on the podcast today and and I really trust and uh hope that something that we've said inspires or encourages uh other people other entrepreneurs out there and if I can ever be a help to anyone in any way to accomplish what God's called you to do uh I'm just an email away thank you so much for being a part of the fulfilled family I hope you enjoy all of the clips and episodes coming your way join us on this journey towards a life that is truly fulfilled


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