Joel Friants Habanero Shaker Transcends Markets
Joel Friant knows how to follow the market. Since 1995 the serial entrepreneur has been at the forefront of many major changes. Friant, an avid proponent of free markets, is a sparkling example of what entrepreneurship can be. Numerous times he has joined a fledgling market, learned the field, and then set up his own business within it. Every time that business has been successful. Most people believe his career began with his flagship product, the Habanero Shaker, but the truth is it started with a fast food restaurant.
In 1995 Friant created the original fast food Thai concept, earning him the moniker the “Thai Guy”. The business would ultimately lead him to develop his most known product, cementing fast food Thai as an eternal footnote. But the truth is, the restaurant is the reason the Habanero Shaker exists. Being exposed to Habanero peppers through the restaurant Friant began developing an idea to transport the taste anywhere. Most shakers at the time used very little actual pepper, something Friant took exception to. So, after traveling around to find the best versions of the pepper, Friant created the Habanero Shaker. This would be his second time cashing in on a new market.
Many people throughout the 90’s started focusing on healthier eating. Getting products that with less additives and more natural ingredients. Friant’s Habanero Shaker contained nothing but natural ingredients, it was 100% Habanero flakes. It did not take long for the shaker to become a successful product. Friant was named a “foodpreneur”, an example many companies began to follow. Although he would eventually move on to other markets, the Habanero Shaker would be the one product he would be remembered for.
The Shaker left the market for many years. During this sabbatical Friant excelled in many other markets. He founded a mortgage lending firm, created revolutionary business concepts, and even started giving back with professional development seminars. Finally, he would follow trends into the business of online sales. It is here that Friant, upon learning the ropes from eBay and Amazon, would bring the Habanero Shaker back.