Pete Maldonado and Rashid Ali


It’s not enough to be “better-for-you”…we aim to be “best-for-you"

A natural entrepreneur, Pete Maldonado spent the majority of his twenties, during and after college, as a Personal Trainer carefully studying product labels, nutrition facts and ingredients lists to build custom meal plans for his clients. It was through this experience that he learned how to properly utilize food, with a focus on caloric intake and macronutrients, to create flexible, long-term lifestyle changes.  He educated his clients on the importance of clean foods and the unnecessary chemicals that could and should be avoided in one’s diet. Busy with work and always on-the-go, Maldonado was on the hunt for healthy snacks that were truly “clean”, high in protein, low in calories, and didn’t sacrifice quality for taste. Upon realizing that options were limited and identifying a market need, Maldonado was determined to develop his own better-for-you meat snack alternative. 

Having met his business partner and fellow co-founder, Rashid Ali, at a poker game in Chicago, Maldonado knew immediately that Ali’s critical thinking coupled with his knowledge in finance and operations would perfectly complement his own creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Prior to founding Chomps, Rashid worked as an Operations Consultant for more than 10 years at a variety of companies throughout the Chicago area. In doing so, he faced challenging business problems, dug into the numbers and details, and came up with ways to drive value for his clients. Having worked in numerous industries, Ali gained valuable insight that he is able to utilize today in his position with Chomps.

Through extensive research into the benefits of regenerative agriculture practices, trial and error in relation to which direction to take the brand’s new grass-fed beef company, as well as finding a nearby co-manufacturer to help them develop the product, Chomps was born in 2012. Together, the team kicked off selling meat sticks direct-to-consumer through Facebook ads out of Pete’s spare apartment bedroom. Chomps was profitable within the first 30 days and today, nearly 10 years later, Chomps is one of the fastest growing snack brands in the country, and the fastest growing natural meat stick brand on the market.

Snacks with 9-10g protein, 0g sugar, and simple ingredients! 
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