Sue Delegan and Kim Hehir

Co-Founders of Brutus Broth

Sue Delegan serves as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brutus Broth, Inc. Sue is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and has a strong background in marketing and business. Before launching Brutus Broth, Sue co-founded and served as President of Ilios Dairy Brands, LLC, a dairy company focused on offering an innovative and natural alternative in the dairy segment. The Ilios’ Greek Yogurt Butter was lauded as a “Top New Products” by Supermarket Guru in August 2012 and as a “Rising Star” in Specialty Foods Magazine in November 2012. Prior to launching Ilios, Sue spent 10 years as a fundraising and strategic marketing professional in a variety of non-profit organizations. She focused on major giving ($10,000+), endowment gifts and planned giving. She played a key role in securing gifts from Individuals, Foundations and Corporations as well as handling all Media Relations.

A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Kim Hehir serves as the Co-Founder and President of Brutus Broth, Inc. She has a diverse background in strategy, marketing, finance and nonprofits. Previously, she was Vice President of Strategic Planning for The Leading Hotels of the World, a luxury hotel company with approximately 500 hotels in 90 countries. Kim oversaw the Company’s overall strategic direction as well as the Company’s ancillary businesses. She was also responsible for sourcing and evaluating new business opportunities and subsequently launching those businesses, which added strategic value to the company. During her 7-year tenure at Leading, she was instrumental in delivering over a 400% increase in shareholder value.

Where did the idea for Brutus Broth come from?

Our story began on Thanksgiving Day 2016 when a family member asked to what we attribute Brutus’ longevity. The answer: “Love and Grandma’s Bone Broth.” As a pup that led a very active life, he had a number of health issues most senior dogs face. We found that adding Bone Broth to his diet not only provided him with a tastier, more easily digestible meal but gave him added nutritional benefits. People started asking where they could buy the bone broth we gave to Brutus. That is when we decided to bring it to market and make it accessible to all dog owners. We believe you don’t have to be a millionaire to feed your dog good food, that is why we created a high-quality product at an affordable price.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

We are the ultimate multi-taskers as business owners, moms/COVID homeschoolers, community volunteers etc. Between the 2 of us and our different time zones we work 24 hrs per day. Kim starts her days at 5am and Sue ends her day at 11pm. Right now – we spend a lot of time on ZOOM calls – whether we are talking about marketing, packaging, new product development, on-boarding new retailers, mentoring, etc.

How do you bring ideas to life?

We do a lot of research, we align with amazing partners and make it happen!

What’s one trend that excites you?

In the pet industry, more focus on health and wellness.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Always having to do something and not sit still – multitasking, thinking out of the box and problem solving, being persistent.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen and ask thoughtful questions to engage your audience. Nothing is easy. There will be a lot of bumps in the road but never give up. Always be open minded to new opportunities because what you are doing now might not be what you are meant to do forever. It is not always about money.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Being an entrepreneur/owning a business does not equal being a millionaire!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Daily exercise for mental health and stress release. Being conscious of your time and schedule and making sure that you plan your day.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Research, using our network, taking time to build relationships so we are known as a trusted partner, and persistence.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

There are so many “obstacles,” not so much “failures” — Misprinted packaging, hiring the wrong people/consultants and wasting money on them, the first time a large retailer said “no” etc.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

We are entrepreneurs so of course we always have business ideas, but we would not give them away without an NDA 😉

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Airpods because it supports my multitasking personality. I am wondering why it took me so long to get them! – Sue

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Instacart – it helps with time management and being able to focus more time on what’s important.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Unfortunately, we do not have time to read but love to listen to Podcasts. “How I Built This” with Guy Raz for NPR is one of our favorites.

What is your favorite quote?

Our dad used to say, “If running your own business was easy, everyone would do it”

Key Learnings:

  • Investing time into your relationships both professionally and personally will pay back ten fold.
  • Don’t give up – if one way does not work you must pivot and find a solution. If the front door gets slammed in your face, go to the back door. If that is locked, find a window.
  • Mindset is everything – if you believe you can not accomplish something then you probably will not.
  • Self-care is essential for productivity and success. If you don’t take care of yourself, mind, body and spirit you will eventually burn out.