Candy Factory Coworking has a unique blend of members from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds. Recently we sat down with Co-Founders from Flor Americas, CEO Roy McFarland (left) and CMO Marina De Salis (right), to talk about their company and learn a little bit about them.
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Morgan: Hi Everybody! Welcome to Meet the Members @ Candy Factory Coworking. Today we’re going to be speaking with Flor Americas, I’ve got Roy and Marina here, and I’m just going to ask them a few questions about business and themselves. How are you guys doing today?
Marina: Great. I just picked up a smoothie bowl on my way into work this morning.
Roy: I’m great as well, but she did not pick me up a bowl, so-
Morgan: Oh no.
Roy: that hurt.
Marina: I promise I will get you one next time.
Morgan: Gotta start the day right.
Roy: Yeah, yeah. Having delicious coffee, so you know, it’s good.
Morgan: Perfect. Excellent. So yeah, do you guys want to just tells us a little bit about your company, what you do?
Roy: Yeah, sure. So Flor Americas is a specialty biotech company. I say specialty biotech because we do a lot of different things, but primarily we develop CBD and other cannabinoid medicines. Mostly right now when you’re talking about international trade in cannabis, you’re mostly talking about CBD. And so, we not only develop products, we also file to protect the IP around them, and then we license those products to pharmaceutical companies, veterinary companies. It could also be things like clinics, mostly in Latin America, but we’re also looking at some options to distribute these products in Europe.
Morgan: Very cool.
Marina: Yeah, and we also, as part of our services we have a consulting angle where we help them advise how to create new products, so we teach them about branding and specifically when it comes to cannabis as well.
Morgan: Very nice.
Roy: Yeah, high level it’s like sourced cannabis.
Marina: Yeah, if companies want to get into the space, we help them out.
Morgan: Very nice, yeah it sounds like you guys really cover a lot of different areas in what you do.
Marina: Yeah, we try, well one of our mottos I guess is ‘specialize, not generalize’ so we kind of try to stick to specific things, which is why we call ourselves a specialty company. So we break it down between animal and human, but the overall kind of theme that encompasses everything is products for your endocannabinoid system.
2:42 Morgan: Very nice. So I was going to ask, what does your company do differently than others, but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of another company working on this, are you guys, is this pretty forefront of your specialty?
Roy: Yeah, I think that’s kind of true. It’s like, um, we do things differently in the sense that we are unique in our business model.
Marina: And in our space, as well. Not a lot of people going into South America right now because it’s such a new market.
Roy: Yeah, and the modeling canvas traditionally has been that companies start up when they have a cultivation site, they have a product manufacturing site, and then they also intend to market, distribute, and sell those products at store fronts or online shopping or however. For us, we don’t, like, our clients are skilled at that type of stuff, so in Brazil for example we work with a client who, they’re multinational from France, but they’re in Brazil and they know the markets. So we don’t have to know the market, you know what price point this CBD powder is going to sell for, for example. They know that, they’re the experts in that. We allow them to excel at what they do, and we provide sort of back end advisory to make sure that they can get cannabis products to market and enter the industry essentially.
Roy: So we’re unique in that way, like Marina was saying, we’re specialized in that sense. We have a very strong skill set that allows existing players to do this, but we don’t, you know, sort of purport to do everything.
Marina: Yeah, like you said, we do the behind the scenes, so our other little phrase that we like to say is, ‘We take the lead without taking the spotlight’ so it’s not about us. We help them to develop their brand into this new space.
Morgan: Very cool. That’s very cool, yeah that sounds very similar to essentially what we at Candy Factory Coworking are giving you guys. We’re trying to help support your company from the background.
Marina: Totally. Exactly. Yes.
Roy: Yeah, that’s a probably a true parallel there actually. It’s funny you say that.
5:03 Morgan: Well, speaking of that, what do you enjoy most about working at Candy Factory Coworking?
Marina: So many things!
Roy: Working with you.
Marina: Yes, for one.
Roy: Yeah, so many things. I love the location personally.
Marina: Me as well. I just moved up town, and it’s a twenty minute walk for me, so it’s really nice to be so close.
Roy: Yeah, but the services and the space are also amazing. We use conference rooms, yesterday for example we had an hour long conference call in there. And just the backdrop of those rooms with the brick walls looks great, like optics-wise, and that makes Zoom calls, that looks great. And in addition to the conference rooms, obviously you know we drink a lot of coffee, so we do appreciate a few of the supplies as well.
Marina: And the snacks. The snacks apply. I like being able to have 24 hour access as well, because you know startup life, sometimes you need to come in on a weekend or stay late and it’s nice to have that flexibility, so I appreciate that.
Roy: Yeah, and I think, you know Marina can probably speak to this better than me, but the community. Like you have lunch club on Wednesdays with Mike-
Marina: With Mike, yes.
Roy: Every once in a while, I’m part of that. You know we’re always talking to Chuck. Chuck drops some good knowledge on us, like ‘some days it’s chicken, and some days it’s feathers’.
Marina: We share wisdom.
Roy: Yeah, yeah, because there’s that, that element of it as well.
6:47 Morgan: Nice. I definitely love the community here, you guys are all pretty delightful and I love seeing you guys interact with each other, you know have your lunch dates, and things like that. So I would agree on that one definitely. Let’s see, so, personally, what do you guys enjoy doing in your free time.
Roy: Maybe I’ll go because I’m more boring than you.
Marina: I don’t know!
Roy: Yeah, I mean, I do a lot of dad stuff, so it’s super exciting for me on a personal level, but not like all that thrilling I think. I spend a lot of time hiking with my kids, that’s great. Yeah and then, I spend a lot of time at dance classes, six year old girl dance classes. Things like that, but yeah, like I said, maybe you’ve got a more-
Marina: I don’t know, let’s see. I feel like I’ve over the last year I’ve picked up quite a lot of new hobbies, but right now I’m trying to teach myself piano. I’ve set up my little keyboard player in my new space. In the summer I like to rollerskate. I don’t know, I feel like a lot of the time I’m just aimlessly wandering around cleaning or moving things around my apartment these days. Trying to do laundry, just life stuff. I don’t know, the winter is going to be interesting, because we’ll all be hibernating inside, so probably just lots of reading, cooking. You know, catching up with family as well, that takes up a lot of my free time because it’s all across different time zones and virtually, so you have to make time for that as well. But, can I come to a dance jazz class?
Roy: Yeah, yeah.
Marina: Is it open to all ages? Sounds fun.
Roy: Yeah, yeah. You know you’re getting old when the dance teacher plays something like a Billy Ocean song-
Roy: And the kids don’t even know it.
Morgan: The kids are like, ‘What is that song? Is that new?’
Roy: Yeah. So you can. Feel free.
Marina: Thanks. I think I’ll join.
9:06 Morgan: A little audience going. I like it. Very cool, okay. Well, back to the business and my final question, what are you guys excited about in the next year of the business?
Marina: Ooh, so many things. Right before you came in we were reflecting on this time last year, and where we both were, and we were like, ‘Man, last year me would be so proud of where I am now’. Every time it’s big leveling up moment. We feel very grateful to be here, but the next year I feel like there’s so much coming up. There’s a lot of problem solving that we need to do, which we enjoy, that’s not a bad thing. Hopefully, quite a bit of travel internationally, because we’re opening up these new business opportunities, and for us we really like to have in-person connection with our clients, so it’s been a real challenge not having that over the last two years. So we’d really like to get back to Argentina and meet up with our team there, and we have an office in Uruguay as well, which we really want to go back to soon. That’s one thing I’m really looking forward to. What about you Roy?
Roy: Yeah, I think that’s all stuff to be excited about. We have products, our products will be hitting shelves in Europe and South America in the next year. We just got this word yesterday that they really want to be on the shelves in Spain in March, so we have a lot of work to do between now and then. Like, we were saying yesterday, it’s a good problem to have. It’s a problem for us, we have to solve it, but if we can pull that off I think that would be extremely thrilling. So I think just the idea that all the three years of hard work and dedication to this, and perseverance is finally going to be paying off in the next six months. Three to six months, is- that alone is a thrilling idea.
Morgan: That’s always a good feeling. That’s exciting.
Morgan: Well very cool, I’m very excited to see what comes down the pike with you guys and congratulations that you’ll be having some exciting milestones this upcoming year. Thank you guys for sitting and talking with me.
Morgan: It’s always a blast to chat with you guys.
Roy: No doubt.
Marina: Thank you, yeah we need to practice talking more about ourselves. I think we need to get better at it, so thank you for the opportunity to help us.
Morgan: You’re welcome.
Morgan: Thank you again for listening to Meet the Members @ Candy Factory Coworking. It has been a blast chatting with Marina and Roy. If you’re interested in seeing our space or what membership options we have here, feel free to go check out our website. It’s www.candyfactorycoworking.com. My name is Morgan, I am the Community Manager here and I would love to give you a tour if you’re looking for a new workspace. We have a lot of flexible options. Otherwise, we will catch you next time.
Interested in taking a tour? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org