Brandon Thomas, a rising star on the pastry scene in the Mid-South and lifelong foodie with more than 20 years of self taught culinary experience, weighed an unhealthy 300 pounds thirteen years ago. Deciding to make a change in his life, within one-hundred and ten days, he lost 125 pounds. Unknowingly, that feat would lead to him founding Guilt Free Pastries™ (GFP) just twelve years later. In August 2013, now 135 pounds lighter, Brandon discovered his allergic reactions to both gluten and grains, knowing that these issues would put an end to his love for all things sweet, he began heavily experimenting with gluten and grain free recipes. His creative mindset led him to create a recipe that was not only free of grains and gluten but also free of processed sugar, butter, and included organic and local ingredients which was his one of a kind Avocado Brownies™. Since then, Brandon has expanded the Guilt Free menu to include varieties of cookies, muffins, breads, dough, and vegan products. He subsequently won a Start Co. speed-pitch contest, connected with numerous local mentors, found a market for his products at Miss Cordelia’s Grocery, Stone Soup Café, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, and has been featured in the Memphis Flyer in less than a year of operations.
6:30 Networking and Food 7:00 Fireside Chat 8:00 Networking
Hosted By Katie Maxwell, Memphis Chapter Director
Katie Maxwell worked in the corporate world for the past 8 years specializing in marketing, communications and public relations. Due to a company wide restructuring her position was eliminated in early 2013. Unsure of what she wanted to do next, Katie spent several months working with a team to start a coworking space in Memphis, TN. In just a few months, the lease was signed, renovations completed and Cowork Memphis came on the scene. She now serves as the Director of Community Relations at Cowork Memphis. Email: [masked] | Twitter: @@ktothemaxwell
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Startup Grind is an event series and website designed to help educate, inspire, and connect local entrepreneurs. Each month we welcome an amazing speaker who shares their story with our community and tells us what worked, what didn't, and what they'll do differently next time. It's an amazing opportunity to learn from the best, network with other members of the startup community, and improve your chances of entrepreneurial success.