Bold Journey Interview with Michael Weinstein

Rebel Chef Michael Weinstein

Meet Michael Weinstein. Read the original article here >

February 13, 2024

Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Michael Weinstein. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.

Hi Michael , great to have you with us today and excited to have you share your wisdom with our readers. Over the years, after speaking with countless do-ers, makers, builders, entrepreneurs, artists and more we’ve noticed that the ability to take risks is central to almost all stories of triumph and so we’re really interested in hearing about your journey with risk and how you developed your risk-taking ability.

I do not think one develops an ability to take a risk, but instead, it becomes a mindset of wanting to do something for themselves. It was doing something that no one in my family was doing, and it was cooking. I never thought I would become a chef, but it all started by taking risks to do something I enjoyed. I believe that if you want to do something that makes you happy, there is a chance that you can make an excellent career out of that enjoyment. The risk is that it might work for you, or it might not work for you. Fortunately, my risk of jumping into the kitchen with zero experience worked out for me, and I succeeded. Knowing I could take a risk and succeed, I used that motivation to start my own CBD company. To this day, I am taking a risk by not making products that would make me more money, but I do not believe in those products, so I am sticking with my integrity and morals. I believe this risk will lead to success.

Great, so let’s take a few minutes and cover your story. What should folks know about you and what you do?

I am Michael Weinstein, a Dallas native who still resides in Dallas. Before I started my own CBD company named Rebel Chef, I was a Chef working in restaurants in Dallas for 24 years, mainly in higher-end restaurants in the area. My formal training was from a French Chef whom I apprenticed with for a year and a half. After my apprenticeship, it was time for me to move on, and I landed a job at one of Dallas’s top restaurants with Executive Chef David Holben. Under Chef Holben’s watch, I moved from a line cook to a Sous Chef in less than two years. After moving on from Chef Holben, It was not much longer before I became an Executive Chef. One of the top restaurants I was able to run was The Grape, one of Dallas’s most notable restaurants.

After the Grape, it was time to take a break from restaurants and become an entrepreneur. I started a company called Dread Head Chef, which made Dessert Chips and Salsas. With my hard work, I got my products into Whole Foods, Kroger, Sams, and other small local places around Texas. At one point, I decided to take my products out of Texas and was a vendor at several cannabis events in legal states. At these events, I wondered how to get my products infused and sold in those states. As much as I wanted to do this, I realized it would be in Texas and then try and make a product in another state. So, I had to put my idea on the back shelf until the proper time.

I got into making CBD products because of my dog, Harper. When Harper was 7.5, he was diagnosed with arthritis in his back legs. I have a friend in California who started telling me about the benefits of CBD. Already being a fan of cannabis and reading about the medical benefits that the plant provides to people, I decided to get some CBD oil from my friend and infused that into oil for Harper to take. It was not much longer when I noticed Harper was walking and getting up and down better. With this observation, I wanted to help not only dogs but people as well who are looking for alternative medicines. So, it was time to bring the salsa back into the fold, and with two years of research and development, I came up with all the products I currently sell.

Thus, Rebel Dreads Corp was born, which featured Dread Head Chef (edibles and tinctures), Bada Wellness, which is Baba B (topicals), Baba V (intimacy serums), and Harpers Pet Elixirs. During this time, as much as I liked my idea of having a company developed like an umbrella with a primary name and brands under that name, I noticed that people seemed confused. Plus, people constantly asked me about hair products I do not produce. So it was time to rebrand everything, and I changed the name to Rebel Chef so that all of my products would have the same brand name.

I currently make caramel candies (cinnamon, coffee, salted), sweet salsas (blueberry lemon, pineapple banana pecan, spiced peach, strawberry mango), tinctures(cherry jubilee, peach melba, strawberry shortcake), topicals(lavender vanilla, mint black pepper, rose vanilla), intimacy serums(peach, strawberry, vanilla), and pet elixirs which come in bacon and peanut butter flavor and have different milligrams for different sized dogs. All of the products I make are my recipes and formulations. I do not grow my plants, but I know the sources of my CBD. All of my products are third-party lab-tested, and Texas licenses me to be able to make all of my products.

What sets my company apart from other companies is the flavor profile of my edibles and the scents of my topicals. I am one of the few in Texas that makes an intimacy serum. All of my products are made in smaller batches to ensure quality. I use quality ingredients compared to other companies that might use lesser quality ingredients. For instance, I use local honey for my caramels and sweet salsa, and a higher-end butter for the caramels.

To this day, the most satisfying part of the products that I make is the countless number of people who tell me how my products benefit them, as well as people telling me they have made their lives better. When I was cooking in restaurants, people would say to me how much they enjoyed their food, but nothing can compare to someone letting me know that my products have changed their or their pets’ lives in a positive light. This is what keeps me going and wanting to keep me helping people and their pets.

If you had to pick three qualities that are most important to develop, which three would you say matter most?

My skill in culinary arts, knowledge of cannabis/CBD, and belief in myself are the three qualities that have helped me with my company. If one wants to become a chef, I would start by reading about what it is like in a professional kitchen. Then, if you want to learn, go to culinary school or get a job at a good restaurant. Many people think working in the kitchen is fun since that is what they see on TV. They do not understand what it takes to become a chef. There are years of learning and crafting your skill, the hours working are long, and you work in a stressful environment that can be hot and dangerous. Plus, do not forget when you cannot attend events you want to go to. So make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
With my company, I did all of my research to learn about cannabis/CBD, which has benefited me. Plus, I know people in the business whom I was able to talk with to gain more knowledge. I would suggest you do the same thing. There are so many avenues available to gain knowledge.
One of the main things is to believe in yourself and what you are doing. If you do not believe in yourself or what you are doing, it will be difficult to move forward.
My belief keeps going when people tell me how I have changed their life. That little statement is so impactful and makes me want to carry on with what I am doing.

Who is your ideal client or what sort of characteristics would make someone an ideal client for you?

There are many things that go into making someone an ideal customer. Since Rebel Chef makes CBD products, there is a lot of education involved in helping one understand more clearly how CBD can assist that person. So, I like to tell my ideal customer about CBD’s benefits, and then I recommend that that person do their research. I would like them to have an open mind in trying something new, especially since there is still a negative stigma around CBD products. I encourage them to ask questions if they do not know. Also, they make sure they need to try it for up to a week instead of trying once and saying it did not work. The ones that understand that all people’s bodies are different and what might work for them but not for their friends. The person who is not looking to just get “high” understands that CBD does not get one high and has beneficial properties. Mainly, someone who is kind, interested in what you have to say, and supportive of how I am trying to help people.

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