Bean Queen Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl is a 3rd generation social entrepreneur. With Blyss she re-invented how we know chocolate. She believes that you can measure successful brands not by the profit they make but by the influence they have to bring better quality standards into their market. She is a real heart opener, single bean inspiration. Lyss is quite a brand herself.
What would be the three words to describe you best?
What are you most enthusiastic about in your job?
I am enthusiastic to be part of the present culture, bring my goods, services, hobbies and family into the society without taking resources of my children’s kids or successors. I look to engage in today, without reducing the chance of it being done tomorrow … and that is DIFFERENT to how our current culture operates which still heavily based on the industrialised dreams of our forefathers and commercial capabilities of our last generation. More is not about taking MORE, it is about lighter footprints. It is not about unplugging from culture and living like a hippie, it is engaging, being a positive demonstration on better practices. At home, work and play.
Who or what inspires you?
The state of the world inspires me, I believe that the linear economic model that we currently live in is not the answer to the future. I am inspired to create processes and systems that address how, in the next 15 years, the 3 billion new ‘middle class customers’ will burst our industrialist capabilities in the capitalist market. My search is around how we find a way to alter the future path. I look at the current commodity price spike from the 2000s and see a 150% increase in raw materials, with a real price decline. Our ‘harvest, produce, throw-away’ model of business is not sustainable when indium, iridium, tungsten, gold and silver are running out in real time. The secondary fibre stream for paper and cardboard is a wonderful example of this thinking differently, in action. This is what inspires and moves me to make my decisions in the chocolate world of BLYSS, and the engagement world of ChangeMaker.land
Which mistake did you learn the most from?
My biggest mistakes are my biggest achievements – usually evolving around trust, sacrifice and determination.
Who are your favourite clients?
Everyone who asks ‘why’… because that is an open door to talk about the skills of flavour / aroma, agroecology and food sovereignty. ‘Why is chocolate like this…. Why should I care… why does it taste like that… why is it made like that…. ‘ all awesome questions.
What does success mean to you?
To have influenced one person to leave the junk confectionary on the shelf, demand better from their surroundings and BE the example of what they think a ‘better world’ should be. To recognise, lift standards and walk the talk. Every single person who moves along this path is my definition of mission accomplished.
What is your most successful marketing activity?
Walking my talk. Being the example of what I wish to see.
Too much ‘fluff’ is about ‘someone else’ doing ‘something’, and too little of us standing up, doing our best, and BEcoming an example of what we want.
What is your favourite social media tool?
Social media to a social entrepreneur is a funny concept to think of. Our life is about engaging the end-to-end world of what we touch and this has little to do with technology, apps, likes, tweets and favourites, and more to do with consistently doing the following. In every speech, tweet, whitepaper and product the same messages come over:
• Ask our supply chain, customers, family and team to ‘walk the talk’
• Create positive social impact services and products and demonstrate them everywhere possible
• Share our ideas and projects to get awareness and action on every medium
• Do our homework (and then redo it to keep evolution fresh) and share the learning
• Get partners on board to share and grow
• Lobby regulation for standards change
Which question should every entrepreneur ask herself oder himself at least once?
Is there a better way to do this?
When and where do you enjoy your espresso the most?
Working in commodities means that I have many friends who grow and roast coffee, and so to name a plantation or roaster would be picking a favourite friend – can’t do it. I DO have a consistent coffee love, that is a natural (not washed) bean from single plantations where I can taste the nuance of the vintage and terroir, coffee cherries from their original genetic home, roasted to the point-of-pop and not much further, ground within minutes of roast and V60-d. Less apricots and grapes, more mineral and earthiness is my palette. My favourite terroirs are Central America, as that choco-earthy elements appeal more than the fruity central Africans. Phone off, music on, husband sitting next to me are the best condiments.
Thank you very much, Lyss!