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SDK Snacks’ Jill Trinchero

"If you know you can do it, you can. Surround yourself with people who share your vision."

Jill Trinchero is a single mother of two teenage daughters who are strong, talented, intellectual – and so much fun! “My girls are my world. I’m extremely proud of them,” says Trinchero. 

As an artist and creative, Trinchero is always thinking and working hard. Her love of being outside walking, boating, canoeing, or paddleboarding, is essential to her lifestyle. She also loves to cook whenever she has time and is an epic party planner! Her ultimate goal is to leave people happier than she found them – brightening their day, whether with food, a compliment, or simply a smile.

How did you go about starting SDK Snacks and getting it up and off the ground?

With a lot of thought and hustle! I knew the rules frontwards and backwards, so I could argue for the things I needed for the business to survive. SDK has never taken on investments, and bootstrapping is no easy task. I was fortunate to get started and licensed early when it was financially possible for small, independently owned businesses without deep pockets to launch in the Oregon Cannabis market. SDK Snacks received our OLCC processor license at the end of 2016. Getting licensed is so expensive now, with the time it takes to get a license while paying a rent or mortgage, without being able to use the space until approved. Also, a direct-to-consumer brand is difficult to get off the ground, especially in a crowded market.

I started two businesses simultaneously. I have a shared commercial kitchen serving Cannabis processors specifically: The original Happy Kitchen, spelled with two Ps, is an incubator model for small Cannabis businesses. We currently have five licensed processors and a very high success rate with our tenants.

As an owner-operator, what pointers can you give to women joining the Cannabis industry?

Be prepared to work hard, think fast, and put up a fight. You have to believe in yourself, because people will tell you to quit. They will tell you this because they can’t visualize a path to success, or they want to see you fail. Don’t listen! If you know you can do it, you can. Surround yourself with people who share your vision. Not ass-kissers, but a good support team – a team who will stand up to you if they think you are wrong. If you are wrong, admit it and be prepared to be wrong a lot. Ultimately, the owner-operator is responsible for all mistakes and failures but that’s OK – mistakes offer learning opportunities. Take time to problem solve and innovate by stepping in on the line and learning what your team does. If you don’t do the job, you can’t identify problems and find better processes. Lastly, don’t trust bookkeepers.  

Why is it important to you to source gluten-free local ingredients?

This is how I live. I have been gluten-free for over 10 years and I appreciate good quality, clean food. I developed the original SDK recipes in my home – I wouldn’t make a product for others that I wouldn’t want for myself. Sourcing locally supports the community and is best for the environment. I’ve lived in Oregon for more than half of my life and my kids were born here. The land is beautiful and the people are truly wonderful. I care about the state and love what it has to offer. I’m definitely on board to support it in every way possible, and buying local ingredients is easy.

What are some of the new products we can expect to see from SDK this year and beyond? 

We have so many new products and even brands coming to market! For SDK Snacks, we have new baked goods, specialty cookies, seasonal flavors, tinctures, confections and topicals. We have new brands coming in the non-regulated market too. Wisdom by SDK is our new CBD brand with topicals and tinctures and more products in the works. For pets, our Bernie’s Kind brand is launching and I’m so excited! Bernie’s Kind offers a traditional CBD-infused dog biscuit, plus infused oils in pet-friendly flavors. 

Consumers should only use legitimate, lab-tested products for themselves and their pets – don’t waste your money with companies that don’t invest in this. All products across the SDK family of brands are third-party lab tested for potency and made with the best possible quality and care, and we have a loyal consumer base because of this. We make products that work!

Photos by @fwold_photography

About Max Early

Max Early is the State Director of Oregon Leaf Magazine. In this role, Max looks after/coordinates/manages/leads a team providing insight into all aspects of the cannabis industry, including processing and producing knowledge. Solventless concentrates are a quintessential part of his day-to-day life and help him stay balanced. Cannabis has impacted his existence and many close loved ones in such a positive way that he can't imagine life without it!

This article was originally published in the September 2021 issue of Oregon Leaf.

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