Julian Toledo pursues his passion
Searching your pantry for a nutritional, gluten-free, pescatarian, Paleo-friendly, low-carb, crunchy snack? Julian Toledo has just the thing: salmon skin chips!
Toledo has chosen crispy baked salmon skin as his product emergence into the health food market. Why salmon skin? "That is actually the healthiest part of the fish," he explains. "It stores high protein content and good fats." Toledo has discovered through his research that salmon skin can help boost brain health, and the Omega-3 fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties.
"I am fascinated with nutrition because it fuels our longevity and overall health," he states. "Many popular snacks like veggie chips are fried in vegetable oil and are carbohydrate-heavy. You wouldn't feel guilty about eating baked salmon skin chips every day," he claims. "They have a similar crunch to a thin potato chip."
Toledo graduated in Spring 2020 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship. In May, he was inducted into the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association (NJCBAA) Honor Society, a statewide honors recognition for students in the top 1% of their classes.
He spent his last semester researching nutrition for his entrepreneurial venture. "The world needs more healthy food choices, and I want to bring to the market a unique, satiating product that will appeal to many diet choices and ethnic cultures."
Toledo's Spring 2020 semester included an independent research project in which he sought the counsel of instructor Susan Scherreik (Director, Stillman Center for Entrepreneurial Studies), who encouraged him to continue his research and offered advice about food safety protocols and practicality.
"In addition to research," he says, "I wrote a book review on Start and Run a Home-Based Food Business by Mimi Shotland Fix (Self-Counsel Press), about starting a home business and a food-based business plan." Creating a business plan helped Toledo to fulfill one of his requirements for his directed research entrepreneurship requirement course.
"Julian is passionate about entrepreneurship," acknowledges Scherreik, "and his coursework has helped him to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. The skills and knowledge he learned in the Stillman School entrepreneurship program will help him to turn his great idea for a business into a reality."
Nutrient-packed salmon snack.
Plans for the Future
Once the COVID-19 pandemic has sufficiently subsided, Toledo plans to begin seeking a local commercial kitchen to prepare his product, which will initially consist of salmon skin, sea salt, and avocado oil. "I will expand with more flavors, like herbs, everything-bagel seasoning, lemon pepper, and more," says Toledo, "when the original version succeeds."
In addition to encouragement from Stillman faculty, Toledo receives support from his family for his startup idea. "I used my parents and two older brothers as taste-testers," he says. "They like them!"
Toledo begins work this summer as a crew member at Trader Joe's, and in Fall 2020, he will pursue his MBA in marketing, while continuing to work part-time with Trader Joe's. Toledo is elated to combine his future coursework with his new job, learning more about distribution channels, the supply chain marketplace, and the retail food industry.