“I wish I would have invested in Apple before they were big”. We’ve all probably thought this at some point. Apple wasn’t always in the spotlight and such a huge success. It took a special man to turn things around when the company was struggling and his name was Steve Jobs. You can’t think of Apple without thinking of the late, great, Steve Jobs. At the same time when you think of the ideal CEO people like Steve Jobs comes to mind. Larry DuPont, owner of LRS foods is not just a great fish food maker he is genuine, a marketing master, and like Steve Jobs a great CEO. Obviously, this is not an unbiased article. The purpose of this entry is to share with you some of the most exciting news to hit our hobby in the past 20 years and to also explain why I would clear out my bank account and invest in LRS Foods if they had stock.
Every day LRS Foods, LLC the maker of Reef Frenzy® is becoming more well known in the aquarium community as the producer of the highest quality saltwater aquarium foods for your fish, corals and invertebrates. Most of their consumers regard LRS Foods as so much more than just the new hottest fish food maker, due to their personal touch to marketing.
I first discovered Larry a year ago at an event for one of my favorite local fish stores (Pure Reef) and at the time Larry and I were not well known names in the hobby. To put it plainly we were smaller. For me, in terms of my YouTube Channel’s subscribers, (and waistline) and for Larry the number of stores, which were carrying his products.
When we met Larry recently left his decade long career as a police officer in the city of Winston-Salem, NC and was expanding his new fish food business from the Carolina’s into Georgia. Larry and his son Hayden drove over 6 hours to visit each of his Georgia clients stores to deliver his food personally as a way to say “thank you for your support.” Pure Reef was one of the last stops on that trip. The funny thing was that I wasn’t even going to interview him. I had no idea who Larry or what Reef Frenzy was for that matter. Albert Thiel, author of several aquarium related books was also attending the Pure Reef event and suggested that I speak to Larry, as Albert was very impressed with Larry’s food. I approached Larry about the interview and he was eager to do it BUT first, he needed to prepare for his fish food demo for the customers.
The first time I observed a demo for Reef Frenzy I was blown away. I have to admit as we walked over to one of Pure Reef’s display tanks for the demo I wasn’t expecting much. Here I am Thomas Brown, known for making exciting aquarium videos, and I am about to film fish food. Why in the world would I be excited about fish food? I expected the food to hit the water, which would then be followed by particles of food in a white cloud of mush like other foods that I have used in the past. When Larry’s son Hayden started feeding the food that didn’t happen. The water stayed clear and within seconds the fish had enthusiastically devoured their meal. Just in case you have to see it to believe it, I so happen to have the very first demonstration that I witnessed on video. That was the very same moment a star was born (Larry DuPont & Reef Frenzy).
To this day I have never seen anyone on this planet that was more genuinely excited about fish food. I didn’t realize it at the time but it wasn’t the food Larry was excited about it. He was excited about his brand. As I get to know Larry more and more it reminds me that if you are passionate about what you do and are a great communicator, that passion is contagious and will inspire your customers about your brand. What does “brand” mean? Well for Larry and LRS Foods their brand is the products they sell, the exemplary service they provide, and the unique way they interact with their customers/aquarium community. If you follow LRS Foods on Facebook you know when it comes to marketing Larry has a style of his own. His posts consist of family and fish food (in that order). Many in the hobby say Larry’s success story acts as a beacon of hope proving the American dream of becoming an entrepreneur and doing what you enjoy is still attainable.
Think about it for a second… Larry began mixing food using a bucket and blender in his kitchen 2 years ago and now it is a full time business for he and his wife with likely 200+ retail stores selling his food by this Christmas. That is pretty impressive, but landing his food in an aquaculture program in Hawaii is even more impressive. Keep reading…
Larry and I went on to make a few more videos together, the most popular one being where we decided to fry his fish food (Fish Frenzy) in a pan and eat it on camera to show the freshness and quality of his product.
Rising Market Share
Today I received the following press release from LRS Foods, which was first announced on Saturday from the floor of MACNA in Denver, CO.
For widespread releaseAuthor-
Larry DuPont, Owner LRS Foods, LLC
“The G. personatus Project 2014”
Many people in the hobby consider the Peppermint Angelfish to be the ultimate “If money was no object, I would have one” fish. However, there is another ultra-rare angelfish rarely encountered in the hobby and often referred to by prominent figures as “the holy grail.” This would be the Genicanthus personatus or Masked
The G. personatus is seldom seen in the trade and when specimens are located the price is out of reach for all but the most elite exotic fish collectors. The last collected pair was listed for sale at a starting price of nearly $30,000. A Google search reveals very few articles or videos online about this elusive species, which some hobbyists may have never heard of until now.
Well that is about to change….
Veterans in the hobby may recognize the name Rufus Kimura, who is a well-respected deep-water diver who resides in Hawaii. Using special closed-circuitrebreathers and other advanced equipment Rufus and his team risk their lives diving to depths of 400+ feet to collect some of the most sought after fish in the aquarium trade. In late 2013 Rufus was able to collect a pair of mature G. personatusangelfish and deliver them to renowned biologist Karen Brittain. Having a bondedpair of G. personatus under her roof was amazing, but much to the dismay of Karenthe male specimen refused to readily eat any foods offered for weeks. A variety of commercial and fresh foods were offered but still the fish refused to eat with any enthusiasm. The decision was made that if the fish did not eat very soon it would be rehomed into the ocean for fear that it would perish.
In comes Reef Frenzy®…
Ted Krupman (Humaguy on Reef Central) is a collector of exotic marine angelfish and had been feeding LRS Frenzy foods for many months to his prized specimens. His fish collection and experiences are well documented in his lengthy thread on Reef Central. During email correspondence Ted mentioned to Karen that he had been having great results feeding the Herbivore Frenzy® and Reef Frenzy® blendsto new arrivals that were finicky eaters. Karen had not heard of LRS previously so she contacted Larry DuPont, the owner of LRS Foods, LLC to order a cooler of foods for her projects. LRS Frenzy foods with probiotics arrived for the first time in Hawaiimid-January. The LRS Frenzy foods were offered to the male G. personatus as a last ditch effort to entice the fish to eat in captivity. Almost immediately it began to consume the LRS foods and shortly returned to the condition and weight it had beenat the time of collection. The freshness of ingredients and diversity in the LRS blend had the desired effect of eliciting a feeding response and increasing appetite.
Then the unbelievable happened...
The pair spawned while under Karen’s care!
Karen was able to work around the clock for the next few months rearing the larvae and having an unprecedented hatch of G. personatus angels!
In late April of 2014 Larry received a telephone call from Ted and after being sworn to secrecy Larry was informed of what had been done. Karen had expressed that LRS foods had a positive impact on the project and she wished to keep feeding LRS foods to the brood stock and eventually the juveniles. Therefore, Rufus and Karen invited LRS Foods, LLC to be a sponsor of what has now been affectionately named the “G. personatus Project 2014.” Larry eagerly agreed and has been providing LRS probiotic frozen foods to Karen since January 2014.
Since Rufus was scheduled to be a speaker at MACNA 2014 he decided that was the perfect venue to announce this project to the reefing community.
History has been made…
Imagine the significance of the worlds most rare and expensive angelfish being tank bred and the tank-raised juveniles are eating prepared frozen foods. Previously, the purchasers of wild caught G. personatus had to roll the dice and pray the fish would adapt to captivity, which was not always successful. If this sensitive angelfish can be captive bred who knows what other species can be bred with similar results. LRS Foods is honored to be involved with this ground-breaking, history making project. LRS is the only frozen food on the market with lab verified probiotic cultures. Many recently published studies have found boosting foods with probiotic bacteria provides numerous benefits to fish.
Karen continues to use LRS foods in her projects and even named it as the “first choice” frozen food of her P. venusta tank bred juveniles in the Rising Tide Conservation blog.
That link can be found here: