Passion to Profit: Young Foodie Moguls Share Stories of Success

PHOTO: Brian Rudolph, 25, and his brother Scott launched the food start-up company, Banza in January 2014.PlayBrian Rudolph
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Brian Rudolph and Daniel Katz are two young foodies who have turned their passion for good food into their mission for success.

The young entrepreneurs spent hours perfecting their recipes in their home kitchens in order to turn their dreams into reality.

Now, they have secured distribution in major chains and their products are flying off store shelves.

In 2014, Brian Rudolph, 25, teamed up with his brother, Scott, and launched Banza -- the first pasta made from chickpeas with double the protein, four times the fiber and nearly half the net carbs of traditional pasta.

"It's been really exciting to see how the product has been resonating with people," Rudolph said. "Not only have we gone from two to 2,000 stores, but we even have some stores where we're the number-one-selling pasta overall, which, if there's anything that proves our thesis that we can actually change pasta, it's having that happen."

Rudolph graduated from Emory University in 2012 and became a fellow for Venture for America -- a program for recent graduates who have goals to revitalize American cities and communities through entrepreneurship. He moved to Detroit and worked on his vision to create a better pasta by infusing his love of hummus with his pasta obsession.

PHOTO: Rudolphs company, Banza, sells pasta made from chickpeas in 2,000 stores. Brian Rudolph
Rudolph's company, Banza, sells pasta made from chickpeas in 2,000 stores.

He launched a crowdfunding campaign on RocketHub in 2013 and the response was overwhelming. The goal was $10,000 and by the end of the campaign, he had raised around $27,000.

"The goal was to see if people were excited by the concept and learn what resonated best," Rudolph told ABC News. "I was happy with the response and made some changes based on feedback, like I stopped calling it 'Greek Pasta.'"

Like Rudolph, Daniel Katz, 19, is rethinking some of our popular food staples with his "No Cow Bars" and "Fluffbutters," which came from a personal need for dairy-free products.

Katz dropped out of Indiana University during his freshman year at only 17 years old and moved to Los Angeles in 2014 with dreams to create a new type of sports drink.

PHOTO: Daniel Katz, 19, owns Ds Naturals, a company that sells all-natural and dairy-free nut butters and protein bars.Daniel Katz
Daniel Katz, 19, owns D's Naturals, a company that sells all-natural and dairy-free nut butters and protein bars.

When that didn’t work out, he moved back home to Cincinnati, Ohio, and tapped into the growing plant-based protein industry with his all-natural and dairy-free nut butters and protein bars. Katz launched his company, D's Naturals in early 2015.

"In order to succeed, you must fail," Katz told to ABC News. "You can always get right back up and you're not going to do that same thing again.

"I basically consider entrepreneurship my own MBA. Every single day it’s something new," he said.

Katz gave himself a crash course in food chemistry and ordered large test samples of all the ingredients he wanted to use in his products by convincing large suppliers to send him samples.

PHOTO: Katz launched Ds Naturals in early 2015.Daniel Katz
Katz launched D's Naturals in early 2015.

He ended up moving into his office, sleeping on an air mattress, as he continued working around the clock.

Once ready with what he thought were tasty treats, he pitched his passion project to major retailers. Within a year, Katz has secured national distribution.

"I had a lot of people at the beginning telling me it wasn't possible and there was no chance I was going to survive competing with these billion dollar brands," Katz said. "What you’ve come to realize is if you're willing to work, you're willing to sleep less. Anything is achievable."

Daniel told ABC News that D's Naturals will be rolling out new flavors of "Fluffbutters" and expanding national distribution.

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