SBDC's advising services, specifically Gwendolyn's expertise, were instrumental in helping create our business. In our meetings, she always asked us great questions and input to get us thinking about our next steps. With her help and encouragement, we were able to successfully launch our business! 

Roya and Yasi Agah

Company Profile

The idea for Royassi Sauce products was inspired by the love of family, food, and global travel experiences. Their Chili Oil, which uses authentic Italian pepperoncino such as those found in Capri on the Amalfi Coast, is where the story began. The healthy eating habits of San Franciscans stimulated the making of a Vegan Pistachio Pesto, and the holy landmark of Mount Nebo in Jordan is the inspiration of a herbaceous sumac and sesame seed oil, Holy Oil. Founder Roya and Yasi Agah are always looking for ingredients to create new sauces through inspiration from their travels around the world. Whenever they pick a new sauce, they will give back to the community that inspired that sauce. For example, their Holy Oil, inspired by Jordan, benefits a nonprofit that supports Jordanian women. Their goal is to create delicious sauces while supporting the people who inspired them. 

Challenges

Yasi Agah, and her aunt and business partner Roya Agah, came to the San Francisco Small Business Development Center while still in the concept phase of their specialty condiments company.  

Seeking guidance to successfully launch Royassi Sauce, they were assigned to SFSBDC food and finance industry expert Gwendolyn Wright of The Wright Consultants. 

Actions Taken

The consultation process began with a review of their business plan providing advice about creating assumptions for financial projections and how to forecast cash flow. With SBDC advisor’s assistance, the owners discussed packaging requirements, nutritional panels and referred to food scientist resources. They strategically planned a list of wholesale account prospects to include small neighborhood specialty grocery stores. 

Without a background in the food trade, though dedicated foodies, both owners are committed to learning about the industry and have become immersed in all aspects of the business and product development, defining, and refining each one to perfection. Their competitive analysis focused on learning what is already on the grocery shelves, price points and sizes. Financial focus has been on the calculation of cost of goods sold to determine wholesale and retail value differentiating start-up expenses from operating expenses and the importance of having a marketing budget. 

Results

The company officially launched successfully on June 22, 2020 and their products are available for order and Bay Area pick up via https://www.royassisauce.com/order. Prices range from $10 to $18. They will be shipping orders shortly. 

“Our mission is to create sauces with authentic ingredients from around the world and give back to the community that inspired them. With each product a part of our proceeds will benefit a nonprofit that supports that region.” 

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.