EP 6 — New Years Resolution Leads To Starting A Company w/ Kate Flynn of Sun & Swell

Personal Growth & Business Growth w/ Kate Flynn of Sun & Swell

Kate Flynn, the founder of Sun & Swell Foods, did not want to start her own business preferring the sense of security at her day job. But a new’s years resolution led Kate to reconsider her eating habits and find healthier ways. She began the Whole30 and it changed her life.

One day, she decided to take a big leap, move to her dream city of Santa Barbara and launch the business she’d been thinking of, a healthy snack food company inspired by the lack of snacks available on the Whole30, Sun & Swell.

Kate talks about the unique way she has discovered to get her snacks where people feel like snacking, what it’s like being in business with your family and shares how her business develops as she is developing.


You don’t have to be good at everything. You just have to know what you’re good at and what isn’t your strong suit. Have other people help you with the stuff that isn’t what you are best at.

Once I became comfortable with that mindset, I realized it was just me holding myself back all those years.
— Kate Flynn
I feel successful if we’ve left this world in a better place. If the company were for some reason to end today and I had to look back and ask if our company was successful, I would say FOR SURE.

We’ve touched 1000s of people with our better for you foods, we’ve given great people jobs, we are able to support amazing local suppliers who we buy our ingredients from.

For me, success is just continuing to do that but in a bigger way.
— Kate Flynn

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The idea for Sun & Swell came from Kate’s experience healing her relationship with food, trying the Whole30 and aligned with their desire to live in a certain city

  • Product testing at local triathlon

  • Took about nine months to bring product to market

  • Kate’s healing, eye-opening journey eating whole foods

  • Need for Whole30 approved marathon-training gel alternatives

  • First began ideating around a training gel alternative but it evolved into snack foods as a whole

  • Kate has a background in retail strategy

  • Kates ideas about herself have grown and shifted with her company

  • Realizing she can hire people to fill in what is not her strength

  • Self-funded the company but are considering investors to help get over the hurdle of scale

  • Plans to be a national brand focused on building a good business, treat their employees well and do good for the world

  • Many consumers don’t have a grasp on how food cost, quality and are correlated

  • Kate & Bryan’s strengths compliment each other well but they schedule in time to intentionally not work and spend time together in other ways

  • Insights into the difficulties of production - considered a co-manufacturer but is happy to have figured out a way to continue making their healthy snacks in-house

  • Kate turns to barre3 and surfing to disconnect and energize herself

  • Launching compostable packaging soon

  • Kate is inspired by her mother’s baking, her father’s business side & Sadie Lincoln of Barre3


New Years Resolution Leads To Starting A Company w/ Kate Flynn of Sun & Swell // Contrapreneur The Podcast
Sarah Danu