We continue celebrating Bob Carmody’s 25th year as President, Diana’s Bananas! (If you missed the first blog post of this 4-part series, page down!)
After landing the Jewel Foods account, others followed, and the business started to grow, and it was exciting! Now, new challenges faced Diana’s Bananas – consistent dipping process and banana peels!
It’s important for this type of product to have the same consistent appearance. Having just over twenty employees hand-dipping each banana, makes it tricky to achieve that. Luckily, Bob noticed a drying rack in the production area, an awesome idea popped into his mind, and soon enough, a dozen bananas were clipped to the rack and consistent dipping was solved, plus increased production. A nice win-win at this stage in the business.
The other concern was purchasing the bananas and how to best dispose the peels. He was negotiating locally and faced price fluctuations and unstable product availability. At times, this was a problem. In addition, the large volume of peels was becoming challenging to dispose. Due to the make-up of banana peels and having ‘bunches and bunches’ of them, they unfortunately brought an imbalance to compost piles.
Luckily, Bob learned that a local smoothie shop used commercially frozen bananas. He researched and found a vendor in Ecuador where it can individually freeze the bananas. Now, Bob could have a continuous supply of bananas, plus the peels are returned to the jungle to fertilize the soil and food for the animals.
Bob came across another idea to further increase the production. He wondered if the automated moving rack at a dry cleaner could be reconfigured to automatically dip the bananas. Thankfully, the rack manufacturer worked with Bob on a design and now, Diana’s Bananas dips 150 bananas a minute which turns into 3 million dipped bananas in a month!
Stay tuned for our next post about the other “half” of our product, the chocolate!