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Office Space: James Gardner and Jake Fichman, The Hummus Company

Office Space on Jake Fichman, 22, and James Gardner, 29, of the Hummus Company.

Special to Ink

Health food laborers

Only four hands make, sell and deliver every ounce of garbanzo goodness that comes out of the Hummus Company. Keeping the ingredients fresh and natural is one of the top priorities for the guys. “We’re on the brink of a health food revolution, and I want to change the way people snack,” said Gardner, 29.

Humble beginnings

Two years ago, Gardner was a restaurant server who experimented with hummus flavors in his free time. When Fichman, then a Hy-Vee manager in Leawood, sampled some of his flavors, he realized Gardner was onto something huge.

Branching out

Fichman convinced Gardner to market his hummus to his Hy-Vee store, which turned out to be a success. Soon the two became business partners, and now their products are sold at four area Hy-Vee locations and five wholesale locations, such as corporate cafeterias.

A perfect match

Although Gardner is a master in the kitchen, he admits it is Fichman’s cool-minded business sense that is guiding the company toward success. The 22-year-old keeps a strict eye on their financial records and makes sure they are properly licensed and abide by all the necessary codes.

A bright future

When the pair ran out of space in Gardner’s basement, they opened a headquarters last month in Belton. They enjoy spending time in their new office, discussing ways to sell in more stores and add employees. They want to continue selling a product they believe in. “I’ve never been one to take a lot of things seriously, but I take this business extremely seriously,” Gardner said. “It’s a passion, a job, a hobby and a company all mixed into one. It’s been a joyride.”### A typical day 8 a.m.

Wake up.

9 a.m.

Meet up at the office and discuss how many orders need to be filled and when to deliver them. Brainstorm marketing techniques and ponder new flavors.

10 a.m.

“Hummusing” commences: squeeze lemons and limes, chop ingredients and hand-blend the hummus.

11 a.m.

Deliver orders of freshly made hummus.

Noon

Lunch

1 p.m.

Prepare ingredients for next day’s batch of hummus.

2 p.m.

Clean-up time.

3 p.m.

Pick up produce and ingredients required for the rest of the week.

4 p.m.

Balance financial records and reflect on the day.

5 p.m.

Go home.

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