Local Food Entrepreneur: Matt Joyce, Joyce Family Foods

Friday, February 20, 2015

Matt Joyce


Meet Matt Joyce, the owner of Joyce Family Foods.


It is FAB (Food/Agriculture/Beverage) Friday and MN Cup will be featuring a series of local food entrepreneurs on Fridays, asking them questions about their business, and getting their insight on the Food Innovation Community in Minnesota. Matt and Joyce Family Foods were at MN Cup's EAT Event, on February 5. 


Tell us who you are – what do you do?
My name is Matt Joyce. I grew up in Mendota Heights, and am a finance major from Boston College. After graduating in 2011, I started my company Joyce Family Foods. We manufacture and sell a very unique garlic dip product called Gardip. It’s a light, fluffy, delicious garlic dip with a lemon twist. Garlic can be a pain to work with. You have to buy a garlic bulb, peel it, then press it or thinly slice. We like to think of Gardip as “garlic made easy.” Gardip is also super versatile, as it can be enjoyed with every meal - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I just finished building out my new commercial kitchen in St. Paul, and am really excited to make Gardip the next big food product out of Minnesota!


What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome?
The recipe, hands down. Gardip was inspired by a traditional Lebanese garlic sauce called toum. My mother Kathy is half Lebanese, so we grew up eating toum with just about everything. I loved toum, but realized there was zero awareness for the category. Everyone I asked had never even heard of it, much less tasted it! I always wanted to start my own business and knew this would be a golden opportunity. There aren’t any mainstream toum products on the shelf due to its short shelf life, sauce consistency, and overly powerful garlic bite. I knew toum needed an overhaul to become a hit. I have worked with many talented chemical engineers, food scientists and flavor chemists over the past three years to perfect the Gardip recipe and manufacturing process. We now have an amazing garlic dip product with a six-week shelf life, fluffy dip consistency, and perfectly balanced garlic profile. I am excited to share it with all of you!


What drew you to the EAT Event?
I love the MN Cup and all of its sponsored events. The networking opportunity is extremely valuable. I am always looking for great advice and mentorship. Events like EAT offer exactly that. Sampling Gardip doesn't hurt either!


What do you hope to see for the MN Food/Ag/Bev community in the future?
The Minnesota entrepreneurship community is great. The people that have experienced major success are so willing to help those in the beginning stages of their journey. I hope Minnesota continues to produce national success stories and inspire the younger generation to build their own dream, instead of helping someone else build theirs.


Give us your advice for aspiring food entrepreneurs… in 6 words or less.
Test demand at Minneapolis Farmers Market.

Joyce Family Foods