Monzu Panini & Pasta Uses Custom Labels To Brand MECO Cracker Packages

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Monzu Panini & Pasta is a food truck business that produces and packages MECO Crackers, which are sold at vendors across Boulder County.

To label these MECO Cracker product bags, the Monzu team uses two different label designs. The front label has the very clean logo for MECO brand. The logo itself looks like a slice of cheese, and there's a white box where the text resides for the brand and flavor.

The back label provides the ingredients and promotes the Monzu brand, with the red brick pattern framing the ingredients, social handles for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the noodle and fork logo for the parent brand Monzu Handmade Panini & Pasta.

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The idea behind Monzu Panini & Pasta Food Truck started with Isaac Olson and Shane Stinn.

MECO stands for Maine/Colorado. Isaac was born and raised in Maine and had moved to Colorado back in 2011. "It is an ode toward where I came from and where I currently live," said Olson. "It is almost like a little nod to journey thus far. Also, my business partner was born and raised in Colorado so we saw it fitting to make sure that we were both represented on our collaborative endeavor."

Born and raised in Maine, Isaac acquired his associates degree from the New England Culinary Institute in 2009. He soon moved to Colorado and began a new journey that opened his eyes to a world of many possibilities. After working at several Boulder County food establishments, Isaac realized that the time spent running other businesses would be better invested in his own endeavor. After meeting his business partner Shane Stinn in 2017, the pieces fell into place and Monzu opened in the Summer of 2018. Shane Stinn is a Colorado native who has been working in the hospitality industry for almost a decade. Focusing on customer relations, marketing and graphic design, Shane loves the excitement behind creating new business relationships and partnerships as well as creating the back bone for any company.

Ever since he was 14, Olson was intrigued about working in the food industry. He always had a passion for the culinary arts, and he only figured out that this would be his career path a couple weeks prior to graduating from high school. "My partner and I wanted to start Monzu Food Truck because we both had a desire to want to work for ourselves," says Olson. "We  wanted grow something bigger than just the daily 9a-5p and to provide our community with lip smacking good Italian food that you can rarely find elsewhere." The food truck was a logical starting point for them due to lower opening costs and less overhead.

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They started the food truck on Aug. 1st, 2018 in Longmont. They quickly acquired some accounts in Boulder and then moved a bit more north to Berthoud for a few spots as well. They are celebrating their second year in 2020. "I started making the crackers back in 2012 at a restaurant that I worked at in Boulder," says Olson. "Everyone loved them and I always was the one to bring them to gatherings and such. When we opened the food truck, our goal was to have everything homemade and we needed to figure out a product to sell with our paninis." Of course, they thought of the crackers that were loved so much, and the project began.

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The test was a hit, and they started giving the crackers away with each panini about six months into their operation, then and on top of that, guests would come back and buy more packets after sampling them. "This proved to be an issue because we could not keep up with supply and demand," says Olson. "About nine months into the food truck, we stopped making the crackers for the truck, and we set out to acquire our manufacturing license for them instead." They only stopped the production because they couldn't produce the amount they needed and successfully operate the food truck at the same time.

"After a whole slew of planning, applications, FDA regulating and marketing and design, we launched MECO on Dec. 1st, 2019, at the Rayback Collective Winter Market," Olson explained. "This was a bit surreal and humbling because we had our opening food truck shift at the Rayback as well, making both dates very fond memories."

What's next for Monzu, you ask? Well they are in the process of expanding MECO to different levels of business including selling more in bulk and a few bigger accounts. Once their goal is reached in 2020 (around 30 accounts in Colorado), they want to look into getting a brick and mortar establishment. There, they will be able to operate their food truck, MECO crackers, a small Italian Cafe and coffee shop as well as have merchandise and take out meals to cook at home. "As we continue to grow our empire, we would love to imprint our business model back in Maine and create the same concept that we have currently in Colorado," says Olson. "Once we solidify the demographic in Maine, we would love at least 3-5 hub stores in each state allowing for production and distribution of MECO crackers but also our Cafe business model as well." However, you will have to come and visit their flagship location in order to sample the food truck, as they will not be having a food truck in each state but plan on keeping just the original one in Boulder County. That's a solid growth plan, and we're pulling for Team Monzu.

In Longmont you can find MECO Crackers at St. Vrain Cidery, Longtucky Spirits, Grossen Bart Brewery and Cheese Importers. In Boulder stop by Rayback Collective, Beyond the Mountain and Asher Brewing Company to taste these treats, and if you're in Berthoud hit up City Star Brewing. Some of these businesses are also our sticker customers, and we're all about promoting local businesses. You can connect with Monzu on social under the handles @MonzuLongmont.






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