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Hidden Gems: Meet Trenton Hudson of KORMA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Trenton Hudson.

Hi Trenton, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
My path to where I’m at now was a little… unconventional. Currently, I live in Los Angeles where I produce cartoons and own a coffee company that makes coffee from date seeds. The cartoons were always my first love, that’s why I moved to LA, to begin with.

I came from a small town about an hour and a half away from St. Louis, so this city always felt like home. I actually lived in Ballwin for a couple of years after I graduated from the University of Missouri before moving to LA.

When I was living in St. Louis I was learning animation and writing while making cartoons for YouTube with my brothers. This was a serious grind. We were releasing two episodes per week on our channel, and if you’ve ever done animation, you know how much work that is. As we were releasing episodes every Monday and Thursday, we would release an episode Monday morning, then immediately get to work on Thursday’s episode. Write it. Re-write it. Do voiceovers. Design backgrounds and any new characters. Animate. Edit. Publish. That’s an enormous workload to finish in two-and-a-half days. There was a six-month stretch where we did two seasons on YouTube and produced two full-length pilot episodes. I barely slept those six months. It was worth it.

All this caught the attention of Comedy Central, where we took our YouTube show and developed it for two years on Comedy Central’s digital platforms. This was an amazing experience. We got a masterclass in animation production and tv writing from the biggest name in the comedy industry. That led to opportunities to work with so many amazing people and companies. That first grind when we were on YouTube was the catalyst for everything for us. And we just kept going up after that. I still produce cartoons, although now the focus is more on full-length shows and packaging up full projects for networks.

What I got involved in next I could have never imagined in a million years. Literally. It never crossed my mind once in my entire life. While living in LA made a friend who ate much healthier than I. One time, she made me some stuffed dates. I was hooked. A couple of years go by and I notice myself throwing away a lot of date seeds, and I just so happen to be one of those people who will look for ways to save or recycle food products and find new uses for them. As it turns out, you can roast date seeds and turn them into the coffee.

This was a win-win for me. I had given up coffee years prior due to a heart condition. Believe it or not, I had a heart attack when I was 20. And I had another at 21. One of those fluke things. Someone must be watching over me because I’ve had no issues since then and my cardiologist calls me a walking miracle. However, caffeine gives me chest pain. But I love coffee; the smell of it, the taste, the morning ritual. But, I must avoid it.

Enter, date coffee.

I began roasting date seeds and making coffee for myself with them. Then, I got tired of it. I wanted to just go buy it in the store. The only problem was, I couldn’t really find it in the US. Aha! Opportunity. Not just an opportunity to make money, but an opportunity to share something great with the world. I knew if I was looking for this and loved it, there would be others looking for something similar. Alas, KORMA was born.

I’m one year in with KORMA Date Coffee. It has been fun, exciting, challenging, defeating, rewarding, and an overall amazing experience.

Initially, it was hard to balance everything between the cartoons, date coffee, personal life, etc. But once I found my footing it was great from there on out. Still a lot of challenges, but as long as I’m balanced I can keep my mind right and stay on track.

I’m very blessed to get to do things I love. This isn’t luck that got me here. I didn’t come from a privileged background. I come from a small town in the middle of nowhere with very limited opportunities. I never saw people reaching the level of success I’m after. I never even saw anybody chase it. I knew it was possible because I saw people do it on TV.

I knew if others could do it so could I. Whatever the case may be. If I wanted to be a famous actor, I would be one. If I wanted to be a rocket scientist, I would be one. It doesn’t matter. I can. You can. My case is proof that you can do whatever you want to do with your life. The only thing that separates me from anybody else, is that I never quit.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Is it possible to have a smooth road when chasing dreams? I don’t know if it is. The conversations I’ve had with other people pursuing great things lead me to believe it’s impossible to have a smooth road along the way.

There will always be struggles. Things don’t go according to plan. Deals fall through. People ghost you, yeah, even in business. However, these things are merely minor obstacles along the way.

I think the biggest challenge in all of this has been maintaining the right mindset. It’s easy to slip into episodes where you have no motivation, don’t feel like doing the work that you know needs to be done, want to cheat yourself. That’s why my core focus is always on maintaining my mindset and staying balanced in life.

If you can forge a strong mind, you’re unstoppable.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I started KORMA in October 2020, right in the middle of a pandemic. Great timing, I know. We make healthy coffee from date seeds. I’m most proud of our brand’s core values. I take my health seriously, I don’t eat anything processed or artificial and I’m very conscious of what I put in my body. KORMA is a reflection of that. We use no artificial flavors, ingredients, additives. None of that. If it’s not good for you, you won’t find it being used by KORMA.

The great thing about our date coffee is that it’s super good for you! Rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber. It also is non-acidic so it won’t cause any reflux.

And the truly amazing thing about KORMA is that it actually tastes like coffee! I’ve had so many coffee alternatives I can’t keep track of them anymore. Some have been quite good, others, not so much. But the glaring thing about them is that none of them taste anything like coffee.

I was looking for coffee, but not coffee. And I found it with KORMA.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned through the Covid crisis is that there is always opportunity. You just have to look for it. There’s no shortage of needs in the world. Look for needs to fill and ways you can help others, and you’ll be just fine no matter what you do.

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