Neil Dudley: The Cowboy Perspective, well, it might be hard to define, but I guarantee you if you think about it, you’ve got one in mind. Whether you’re building a legacy, an empire, or a fan base, I bet when your friends look at you, they see some cowboy in your face. Y’all come along, let’s talk about this or that. Maybe when we’re done, you’ll go away with another perspective to put on your hat.
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Cowboy Perspective. I just can’t go without saying thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you lending your attention to what we’re doing here, and I hope you find value in what we offer. I say we – me and the guests, we really do want to bring something you may not be able to get in any other podcast through the Cowboy Perspective. And this particular podcast is going to be one of the series that we’re doing for the Simple Grocer. We’ve gone out and interviewed, talked with founders, brands, humans that drive great products in the industry that the Simple Grocery carries. So, we hope to give you some really good insight into what they’re all about. That being said, I want you to know we recorded this on location with lapel mics. There is some static on the audio, and I really wish that wasn’t there, but I think it’s, if you can stand it, you’ll really enjoy the episode. I just want to point that out. I do understand that was not optimal, but sometimes the cowboy way is not optimal. It is just get ‘er done. I hope you enjoy it. Here we go.
Okay. Meredith, we’re so happy to be here. On behalf of the Simple Grocer, the Cowboy Perspective, my podcast, well, I want to thank you so much for your time, inviting us in. To paint a picture for those listening, we’re in the Osso Good- the Osso Good Bone Company, is that right?
Meredith Cochran: The Osso Good Company.
Neil Dudley: The Osso Good Company. There’s no bones or anything in there?
Meredith Cochran: Well, we use a lot of bones in our products.
Neil Dudley: Oh, okay, good. The Osso Good Company. We are right here at the retail shop of the Osso Good Company, talking bone broth and all the great things that provide for our gut, our healthy lifestyle, as well as a lot of other things they do. Well, we’ve got a couple of your broths available on the Simple Grocer, which is the beef and the chicken, which you guys do a lot of other things. And we’re so proud to partner with innovators and humans with personalities and stories, and this is our chance to tell that and get your story out. So, while I go get me another little refill of chicken broth, because I’ve drank all of it, start telling the people about who you are, where Osso came from, and most importantly, the difference between bone broth and the other junk.
Meredith Cochran: I love that. Well, rewind the clock about 10 years now, I was working in a local hospital in their cardiology department, and I honestly loved my job because hospitals are such a great place for learning, but they’re not a good place for healing. And my passion is in preventive health and food is medicine. And I wound up applying for the top school in the entire nation for Traditional Chinese Medicine. I got accepted. I moved across the country. I left my job behind, and I started learning all about the body as a whole and preventive health, food as medicine, bone broth. Bone broth has been prescribed by traditional medical doctors for thousands of years because it is so healing in so many ways. And when I went to the grocery store to try to find one that I could have when I really needed it, there wasn’t a single source of high-quality bone broth, so I had to make my own. Neil, have you ever made a bone broth before?
Neil Dudley: Well, matter of fact, I have – well, I don’t think you could call it bone broth. It was really just stuff that we ended up having to throw out in the pasture. Because you are talking about that low and slow, and I think I went fast and hard. It was like too hot, fast and hot, and it just ended up being real- I don’t know, do you have to skim some stuff off the top during the process? Or is it if you do it right, you don’t have to do that? Because I found myself having all this foam on the top, and it just was not good. I think I just had it too hot, really.
Meredith Cochran: I think there was a lot of things going on with why you shouldn’t ever have to make your own bone broth when somebody like Osso Good can make it for you and it tastes really good. We also make everything in our own kitchen to this day, and that’s really important because we make everything in small batches, and we make everything. We use all sourced only, responsibly raised ingredients, organic vegetables. We fill these stock pots full of ingredients, barely cover it water, and then simmer it low and slow for 12 to 24 hours. And at the end, you get a really thick, gelatinous bone broth, which is exactly what you want. To go back to your original question, which is how you got started, I started making bone broth, and because nobody wants to make it themselves, all my friends and family started buying it from me. Before I knew it, we had an online website, we were selling online direct to consumer across the country. And I guess you could say the rest is history, but one thing that’s always remained the same for Osso Good is that we’ve always made the best quality bone broths on the market today in small batches using the best sourced ingredients possible, and you can really taste the difference. We also don’t add any salt to our bone broths and that’s because bone broth is really flavorful when you use the right ingredients.
Neil Dudley: I will attest to that. I’m drinking some chicken now. But I have three young daughters and they love the broth. I’m always looking for a good way to build a healthy relationship between my children and food. Because in all honesty, I don’t have the greatest relationship with food. I think I got born with good genetics, so I don’t necessarily battle weight problems or that kind of thing. But as far as eating healthy, I’m not the example to be telling people, or at least not until I’ve been getting more and more educated. Really after I got married and we had kids and we started thinking, oh, how are we going to teach these kids? Really, you can’t teach anybody much, but you can sure lead them by example really easily. So, we can lead those girls by example, all that to say, they love the bone broth. They ask me for it. It’s one of those things I’m always excited – “Sure. Yes. We’ll give you some of that.” A lot of times they’ll be wanting something that I’m not so excited about, and I’m trying to educate them, well, that’s really not good fuel for your body. This is good fuel for your body. And you got to spend some time with your kids and that doesn’t just happen like that. But I’m personally thankful for the products you guys make, because they’re helping me keep my kids eating healthy, at least trying – nobody’s perfect. So that’s a little bit of my story and why I love the broth so much, besides the fact that I can’t make it. And after one try of that, waiting the whole 24 hours and just screwing it up-
Meredith Cochran: Well, Neil, I share that story with you because the first time I ever made bone broth, I did the same exact thing. I waited 24 hours and it was torture. You’re so excited to try it because you just smell all these smells coming from the kitchen and then you have to cool it. You have to strain it. And the first time I ever made bone broth, it was so terrible I had to toss it. But I became obsessed with finding a good recipe, and so hence, Osso Good’s bone broth. But I think you also touched on a really good question, which is what is the difference between broth, stock and bone broth? And the simple answer to that is time and ingredients and temperature. So, we use tons and tons of ingredients. We use the entire animal, including bones, which is where you get bone broth. We use roasted meat for flavor, organic vegetables. We fill our stock pots full. We barely cover it with filtered water. And then we let it simmer in small batches for 12 to 24 hours. And then when we strain it, all of that goodness that you get from the whole animal is left in the broth, and that’s what makes it such a powerhouse, such as superfood. Bone broth is so healing for so many ways in ways that broth and stock aren’t because of the minerals, the amino acids, the protein, the gelatin, the collagen. And you kind of touched on one of the important reasons why you don’t want to boil bone broth, right? Because when you heat it to a really high temperature, you denature those proteins. So, what gives bone broth its super food status is the collagen and the gelatin. And when you heat it to a really high temperature, you wind up denaturing those proteins. But you can taste it on your lips, even as you’re drinking the bone broth, it kind of sticks to your lips. Well, collagen stems from the Greek word for glue, and it does the same exact thing in your gut that it’s doing to your lips. A lot of people don’t realize that it isn’t “You are what you eat,” it is actually “You are what you absorb.” And a lot of the food that you eat, you’re not actually absorbing into your digestive tract. It is actually leaking out into your body causing inflammation, and bone broth is the most digestible food on the planet. And it not only allows the absorption of bone broth, but it also helps the absorption of all food sources. So that’s a really good reason to drink bone broth regularly, aside from the fact that collagen, gelatin, amino acids, it’s the building blocks. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. And these essential amino acids that you’re drinking in bone broth, you have to eat in your diet. It’s not something that you can actually let your body produce. So, the amino acids that you’ll find in bone broth are actually the building blocks of collagen. It’s the, it helps you sleep. It helps repair your joints. A lot of people also don’t realize that auto-immune disease, so you think arthritis or Crohn’s disease, it actually stems in the gut health. So by repairing your gut, you’re actually helping even your joints, believe it or not.
Neil Dudley: You have like the magic product. The Simple Grocer, and a lot of the products we carry, we want to provide innovative good products to people that are trying to abide by a certain lifestyle. Maybe it’s keto, maybe it’s paleo, maybe it’s Whole30, some of these other things I think you’re familiar with and your broth goes really well with. The truth is your broth goes great in any diet. You should always drink some good bone broth. It’s going to be helping your body prepare your gut to absorb the nutrients you feed it. So, although bacon may not work in a vegetarian diet or some other diets maybe where you’re trying to stay low fat and that kind of thing, which I don’t know, maybe is bone broth- Do I know what I’m talking about? Or am I a little bit off the trail?
Meredith Cochran: No, you’re spot on. I mean, bone broth is such a good addition to any diet. I think what’s really important is maintaining balance and that looks different to everybody. I don’t think that there is one diet. I think that there is multiple diets that work for different people. And you’ve kind of alluded to the fact that you might not be like the figure of healthy eating, but if you’re incorporating bone broth into your diet, that’s a step in the right direction. You know what I mean? So, you talk about gut health and things like that, but aside from that, I mean just skin health, collagen, it’s so important for your hair, your skin, your nails, your joints, your immunity. Did you know that over 90% of your immunity is located in your gut?
Neil Dudley: I did not. I was wanting to say I did there for a second and then I thought, you know what, I’m not going to bullshit. I didn’t know that.
Meredith Cochran: It’s kind of like you’re drinking chicken bone broth, right? It’s just like grandma always used to say, when you’re not feeling well, drink chicken soup. Well, if you were to go to the market today- except when grandma was talking about it, it was because they made broth using the whole animal. But if you go into the majority of supermarkets today, unfortunately, the products on the shelf don’t contain the animal product, maybe not even an animal, maybe not even chicken, quite honestly. And definitely not the healing benefits of bone broth. And so, what grandma was really saying was grab some Osso Good chicken bone broth, and it’ll help boost your immunity and get you back to health.
Neil Dudley: They just knew that from doing it. It was like nowadays everybody’s Googling everything – what should you do? Which is certainly a great resource, but there also have so many other things to cover this up or to hide it. Let’s say you’re eating a lot of bad stuff, well you go to the doctor, and they give you some pill that takes the pain away, but you’re only compiling this problem. Which grandma, years ago, didn’t have all these other options. She had to find something she could make in her house or get out of the backyard or some-
Meredith Cochran: Also, to go on from that, because we look at what grandma might’ve had to do, I think there’s a certain Renaissance that’s going on right now, Neil, where healthcare might not be accessible to everybody. And I think for the first time, people are starting to think about how can I prevent myself from having to pay all these medical bills? Cause that’s a real fear for people. And one of the best ways you can do that is through your diet. I’m not the only one to say that food is either your best medicine or the quickest poison. So, the food choices that you do make matter, and it will have lasting effects on your health. But not only that, if food doesn’t taste good, then who cares? Right? Like it can be the best thing on the planet for you, and maybe I’m not the only one that didn’t always love broccoli when I was a kid, but I grew to love it because of the health benefits. You know what I mean?
Neil Dudley: Sure. I completely agree.
Hey, folks. I want to take a quick break in the action to tell you a little bit about one of the sponsors of the podcast. It’s thesimplegrocer.com. I highly recommend you go Google that, check out all the scrumptious bacon, sausage, hams, and many other things they have to shop. And if you choose to place an order, be sure and use TCP in the discount code for a special the Cowboy Perspective discount. Love you guys! Now, back to the action.
Okay, Meredith, let’s rewind or back up or jump on a different road or different track. No, it’s not really any different. It’s just I want to hear the story about how this bone broth you started making because you couldn’t find it became a business. So, let’s tell the people a little bit about that.
Meredith Cochran: That’s such a good question, because I think that a lot of people want to know like how a passion can turn into a business. And to be honest, it kind of just happened because I loved it so much and because I made a good quality product that people wanted. So, it just so happened that Jazz was so- And so, there’s three co-founders – it’s myself, Jazz and Toran. And Jazz’s forte and background was working with startups as a web developer and designer. And it just so happened that he knew how to create websites. And we started making this product that people were loving, and with his knowledge of building websites, he built a website. And before we knew it, Neil, people were visiting our website, we couldn’t even believe it.
Neil Dudley: It’s so exciting.
Meredith Cochran: It’s like, oh my gosh, one person, two people, like from all over the country, it was so exciting. And then those two people turned into ten, and then it turned into twenty and 200, thousands of people were ordering Osso Good bone broth every week, delivering to their doorstep. And before we knew it, we were selling out every week. And we’ve always made our products in our own kitchen. That was really important to us. And when business started booming, Jazz’s brother Toran, who has a background in finance in an area that we really needed help with, loved what we were doing. He and his wife had just gotten married. They moved out to San Francisco to join us. And before we knew it, the three of us were shipping out boxes.
Neil Dudley: Well, that’s so fun. And it speaks to business and entrepreneurial spirit, where if you’re just doing a thing that you’re passionate about and you get really educated about, sometimes you just end up with a business kind of by accident, right? It wasn’t anything you intended to do day one. And I was going to say that’s part of the thing that the Simple Grocery likes, and really one really cool thing I want to highlight is, were you ever a farmer in your life?
Meredith Cochran: No.
Neil Dudley: Was Jazz or Toran?
Meredith Cochran: No.
Neil Dudley: So, these great products can come from people in all walks of life. You guys have built this great company that’s so valuable to me, my family, and I think a lot of people all across the country, and you didn’t have to be a farmer to do that. We love farmers. The Simple Grocer really likes that piece, the get into the earth and those group of people and what they bring. But we also want to explore and be willing to consider anybody who is putting love, passion, and real quality products out there.
Meredith Cochran: Just to talk about that because that’s really important to us too, we aren’t farmers, but we work with a family farmer to finally use the whole animal and we’re giving top dollar to these farmers. I mean, over 60% of the hanging weight of an animal is the bone. So now finally, they’re getting paid for the whole animal, which you can’t sell a bone to a butcher counter and have people grill it up for dinner. It doesn’t work that way. So bone broth is one of the first foods that actually uses the bones of an animal. And so it’s so important to us that we do work with the small family farmers throughout California and the country to really help them with their efforts because we know it’s not easy and we really appreciate what they do and also for the animal.
Neil Dudley: I think it all boils down to the animal.
Meredith Cochran: I love that you said that. That is awesome! Can that be the coin term?
Neil Dudley: It all boils down to the animal. But growing up on a ranch and just having our livelihood be from the ground, from the animals is so ingrained into me that their lives are important and any waste of that is so disrespectful. So, kudos to you guys for that.
Meredith Cochran: So, your background as a farmer. My background, believe it or not, is cellular molecular biology. That’s what my degree is, what I graduated in, so the fact that I’m a small business owner is kind of crazy, because I never envisioned that for myself. But of course, building Osso Good, I didn’t do it by myself. I have such an amazing team of people.
Neil Dudley: High five right there. That is such an important comment. Nobody builds anything by themselves. We’re not going to build the Simple Grocery by ourselves. You’re not building this company by yourself. Good people are so important, so integral in building any business. And it always just gets under my skin when people, like Trump drives me crazy because he’s always saying, “I, I, I did this.” Well, yeah, you did. I mean, it was all part of kind of your company or whatever, but start giving some of these other people some credit because I guarantee there’s-
Meredith Cochran: There’s no I in team.
Neil Dudley: There’s no I in success. Nobody, you can’t name me one person that I don’t feel like I can make a great argument about was completely, there success-
Meredith Cochran: That acted on themselves, right?
Neil Dudley: That did anything huge, awesome, big by themselves.
Meredith Cochran: No, I couldn’t have done any of this without my team. And I’m so fortunate. I know you kind of talked a little bit about how we got started, but after selling out every week with the tiny, shared kitchen space that we were operating out of, we wound up building out our own facilities. We still make everything in our own kitchen.
Hey, how’s it going? Come on in.
Neil Dudley: Customers will come.
Meredith Cochran: We are doing a little filming here. But they’ll be right out.
Neil Dudley: Build it and they will come. You’re putting it all in your kitchen. You’re making it all in your little kitchen.
Meredith Cochran: So, we still make everything in our own kitchen in California and our team there is so incredible.
Neil Dudley: Talk a little bit about that kitchen and how you-, you guys started it, right? So, what are all the things you had to do to get it started?
Meredith Cochran: Oh my God. How much time do we have?
Neil Dudley: I want to, I know this, and I want people to know it, is your food safety – what kind of protocols and things do you do to ensure that Osso Good is oh, so good?
Meredith Cochran: I love that. How do I know Osso Good is oh, so good? Well, so our facility and our kitchen that we make everything out of is not only USDA organic, it’s also USDA inspected. And we also have BRC certification, which is the top food safety certification that you can get for a kitchen.
Neil Dudley: That’s really impressive. Just being in the industry and knowing exactly what it takes to get BRC or certified under the GFSI umbrella, that’s really a global standard. So really, I know that was tough. And you have to do the right things to get that. It’s one of those reasons the Simple Grocer loves you guys. We love, we feel so confident and happy to have it offered to our consumers. Let’s talk about these waffles in front of us real quick. Cause I know there’s going to be some people listening that are actually hearing- Where would you say we are? I keep saying LA, is that even right?
Meredith Cochran: Yeah. We’re in Los Angeles. We’re in West Hollywood. We are about a block away from the Grove on West 3rd Street.
Neil Dudley: You wouldn’t believe it, we’re driving over here, I’m with a couple of ladies, a film crew let’s call them, Linda, which everybody would know that does business with the Simple Grocer. She’s kind of the beating heart of the Simple Grocer. Well, they saw the Hollywood sign and screamed. So, I was really fun. We took a little detour to make sure we could see it nice and clear. But there’s a certain ambiance to that. Out here in West Hollywood, you guys got to come to Osso Good company and try some of these waffles after you’ve had a good cup of broth or soup. So, let’s talk about the waffles a little bit, because they’re interesting, and I want people to know about it.
Meredith Cochran: Well, thank you. And the waffles I’m excited about because nobody else is doing bone broth waffles. We actually created it. And the reason why is because I was drinking my soup one day and I was like, I want to dip something into the soup and I don’t know what it is, but it should be made out of bone broth. And I started tinkering in my kitchen, and I mean, who doesn’t love waffles? So, we took a regular waffle – it’s totally paleo and gluten-free – and we wound up adding tons of protein and collagen and gelatin through the bone broth. It’s made with pastured eggs and MCT oil. And not only that, but it tastes ridiculously good. You have to try one.
Neil Dudley: Oh, I was just waiting on the invite. Okay, we’ve got to have some kind of a toast here, a waffle toast. Let me make one up real quick. I’m ready. Here’s to West Hollywood and drinking some Osso Good. I hope you would, and if you won’t, I’m sorry, you should have! I don’t know if that toast was any good, but we tried it.
Meredith Cochran: That was awesome. I loved that.
Neil Dudley: Tell us about the name a little bit. Where’d that come from?
Meredith Cochran: So Osso Good. A lot of people don’t realize that Osso actually stems from the Portuguese word for bone. So, it actually has two meanings. One is bone – Osso good. But also when you sip Osso Good bone broth, the first thought that pops into your head is, wow, that’s oh, so good.
Neil Dudley: I was wondering if it tied to bear at all. Because oso is bear in Spanish.
Meredith Cochran: And it’s bear in Spanish. We were founded in California. So, of course, you see the California bear everywhere.
Neil Dudley: That makes great sense. You’ve got all kinds of-
Meredith Cochran: There’s all sorts of synergies.
Neil Dudley: Little Easter eggs in the name, I call them, just meanings there that people can learn about. Really cool.
Meredith Cochran: And sometimes I combine coffee and bone broth together and I call it broffee. And if you love coffee and you love bone broth, it’s kind of weird, but when you mix the two together with some pastured butter, it’s insane how much energy you have. Give it a try.
Customer: Which broth would you mix with the coffee?
Meredith Cochran: It depends. Sometimes I do signatures. Sometimes I do chicken. And sometimes I do beef. It all depends.
Neil Dudley: Okay. So, we’re going to be, like I said earlier, I’m not sure if I even said it. I thought it in my mind, it sometimes doesn’t come out in my words, but are going to be putting this on the Cowboy Perspective, my podcast. So, there’s a couple of questions that everybody on the podcast gets. So, the first one is what’s your most gifted or favorite book or podcast or both?
Meredith Cochran: Book or podcast-
Neil Dudley: Do you listen to podcasts?
Meredith Cochran: I do. I have a whole slew of podcasts that I love listening to, but I’m in the middle of reading this book called Grit. Have you ever heard of that book?
Neil Dudley: I think I have, but I’m not real familiar with it. So tell me.
Meredith Cochran: It’s so great. It talks about how there’s a crossroads of passion and perseverance, that when somebody has both in that combination, they call it grit. And it’s something that is what all top performers and achievers have. And we all know that like the road of business isn’t always easy and sometimes it can really get you down. But if you’re so passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to keep doing it and you have the perseverance to keep going and you love what you do. And I feel like that’s exactly where I am, Neil. I’m at this place where I really, for the first time ever, love what I do. And I’m so passionate about what we make and about the people that we’re helping along the way. And it just keeps me going every day. It’s so exciting.
Neil Dudley: Well, yeah, grit is kind of a base ingredient you got to have to be an entrepreneur or build a business. Next question – what do you perceive the value of a dollar or a Bitcoin to be?
Meredith Cochran: That’s a question I’ve never been asked before and I don’t really know much about Bitcoin, so I’ll kind of pass over that, and maybe that’s shocking because I live in California.
Neil Dudley: Bitcoin is a hard pass; that’s okay. So, tell me what does a dollar mean to you?
Meredith Cochran: Well, let me tell you this ever since I could, when I was 14 years old, I even went to my school, and I got a work permit so that I could go work at the age of 14. So I’ve been working one to three jobs my entire life. And for me, it’s never really been about the money, it’s always been I just really enjoy working. And so, I don’t know, what is the value of a dollar to me? I don’t know. Maybe my view is skewed a little bit because I don’t necessarily equate money with value outside of just working hard and giving other people the value, I guess, of my work. I don’t know if that answers your question.
Neil Dudley: It does. There’s no right, wrong, or otherwise. It’s just a- I like it being a little uncomfortable or being a question that you’ve not heard before, because maybe you’ll go home and think, I’ve thought about this a little bit and now I have an answer for that question. I have an answer because it was very kind of ingrained in me as a kid. Ranching and that kind of thing is kind of you’re digging it up out of the dirt, you may have it now; you may not have it later. My granddad came out of the Depression. So, a dollar was very, very highly important. You can’t get them that easy. So, it meant hard work. It meant leverage. A dollar, you had a dollar, now you’ve got a chance to turn it into two. He wrote me a letter in his older age about the value of a dollar and how you should learn how to take one dollar and make it two, and not just spend it. So, to me, it’s that, that’s what it is. It’s leverage, it’s opportunity, it’s almost proof that I will do something, I can work, I’m willing to work. That’s what it means to me. So, it’s fun to hear everybody’s-
Meredith Cochran: I think just to take that one step further and maybe apply it to business, which is every dollar that we got went right back into Osso good. And that’s just how you, not how everyone has to start business, it’s just how we started our business to continue to grow it to what it is today. I mean even today, all of that money just goes right back into Osso Good to making it that much better.
Neil Dudley: I like asking that question too because I ask people to spend money with the companies that I’m part of, and I want them to know it’s valuable to me and I appreciate it, and I know it’s valuable to them. And I don’t take that for granted or like that they’re spending their money with us. Thank you so much for your time. Jeez, this has been so much fun. I want to just do some more, but we got to eat some dinner and finish these waffles off. I know Linda’s over there just about to come inhale this one right here. Thank you again.
Meredith Cochran: Thank you.
Neil Dudley: Hey, everybody. I hope you really enjoyed getting to know Meredith with the Osso Good Company. I can’t tell you how much fun we had doing that. Matter of fact, just a little behind the scenes info, we had to redo it about twice because our audio just didn’t work the first couple of times. So, we got to talk a whole lot about her, her company, and the passion she has for really just making the best bone broth on the market. I hope you found value in our conversation and that you come back for our next ride around the pasture here on the Cowboy Perspective.