Patrick Crowley doesn’t have a typical start in the food industry. With a background in water conservation, a majority of Patrick’s professional career was dedicated to hydrology and analyzing water resources. This passion led to the discovery of a TED talk by Marcel Dicke titled “Why Not Eat Insects?” This talk ignited a thought in Patrick’s head that couldn’t be squashed. Was there a more sustainable way to get our protein?
The majority of our water consumption goes to agriculture. Whether it’s growing the crops to feed livestock, or water going to the livestock themselves, over 70% of the water we consume is put into food. As a water conservationist, Patrick of course saw a lot of room for improvement. And with Marcel’s TED Talk fresh on his mind, Patrick set out to experiment with a new food source: crickets.
After years of experimenting and researching, Patrick launched Chapul in 2012. With friends pitching in to develop delicious recipes, Chapul entered the market with some of the first ever energy bars composed solely of crickets. As you can imagine, reactions were mixed. After some initial hesitation, local grocers and consumers saw the profit (and flavor) of these cricket energy bars, and Chapul began to make an impression at the Downtown Farmer’s Market and in markets in Colorado, California, and Utah.
And then, in 2014, an opportunity of a lifetime appeared. Patrick and Chapul were selected to participate in Shark Tank, to pitch to some of the most famous angel investors in the world. With only a few years of experience under his belt, Patrick’s passion and Chapul’s delicious bars were a massive hit, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban became an investor.
Join us as we sit down with Patrick and learn about the incredible journey Chapul has undergone, and how their mission to create a sustainable alternative to our agricultural system has a very bright, and flavorful, future.