Podcasts

Some of my favorite podcasts:

While I will always love NPR and This American Life, I have a few others that I love to listen to early in the morning while responding to emails and they are in no particular order of favorites:

After the Jump: Grace Bonney interviews loads of small business owners and they share really great insight about the ups and downs of running business, creativity and just general life stuff.  It’s short and wonderful!  It is also recorded in a little studio in a Brooklyn pizza place we popped into last winter, so I love the back ground noises of chatter and pizza eating.  There is something so warm and familiar about hearing restaurant chatter in the background to me.  Here’s a photo from that pizzeria:

IMG 3497 300x300 Podcasts

Spilled Milk: My love for all things Molly Weizenberg, hello her blog, books and restaurant and her podcast is no different! This podcast is a quirky take on food and comparing food, and it just makes me laugh.  I usually learn something too, it always has a bit of knowledge mixed in there.

Death Sex and Money:  This podcast is just interesting, it hits on really sensitive topics in a genuine way and I love hearing peoples stories and opinions.

Six months and counting…

It’s been six months at the shop.  We celebrated with caramel ice cream and pretty gold speckled espresso flavored macaron sandwiches from Cake Walk Bake Shop, at home we clinked our glasses and said cheers and I cried a little, we have come a long way.

six months

It’s easy when you run a business to only see the obstacles, the hurdles and everything holding you back from what you want to be or become.  It is easy to look at your shop and see all the flaws, we need to repaint that, we are suppose to add these displays, we need to relocate the stereo, that tile that’s been broken since before we opened should really be fixed before someone trips on it.  The list isn’t just repairs, it’s marketing, catering, percentage analyzing and everything in between.  To an extent I think it is really healthy to feel this way.  You are constantly trying to improve and striving to be better.  Every healthy business probably never feels as if they have arrived.  For me, I try and break up things every month into micro-goals and work towards improving or accomplishing those goals along with my day to day tasks.  To keep perspective sometimes you have to be reminded of how far you have come and celebrate those tiny victories along the way of accomplishing those goals.  For me it takes my husband reminding me where I was six months ago or one year ago.  What helps you keep perspective?

 

 

Highs and Lows

We at MELT are shy of just six months of business.  In those six months I have hit some incredible highs and lows along the journey, here’s a few:

Highs:

Having an actual functioning store where people can buy and eat ice cream.

Having the best team of people I could have ever dreamed of (sometimes I get teary eyed because I am so thankful for Arika, Valerie, Corin, Wesley, Jayne and Julie and all the others that were here over the summer).

Being on TV unexpectedly on a Tuesday.

Meeting and hiring the perfect consultant help us at the perfect time.

Literally most of my customers are incredible people with incredible stories.

Partnering with local businesses that are passionate and getting to know them like: Stir Crazy Baked Goods, Avoca Coffee, Twisted Dog Pretzel, Martin House, Swiss Pastry Shop, Moore Jam and Cane Rosso!

Lows:

I did a lot of things the wrong way to start with.

Building maintenance is stressful and expensive.

You can not please everyone no matter how hard you try.

Nothing is predictable.

No one teaches you how to be a boss, you figure it out by making mistakes.

It’s a lot of stress to manage.

I am learning that the business is a balance.  It’s a lot easier to work for someone than to open your own business.  When you are the proprietor you have to make decisions even when you don’t know what’s best.  They should call it practicing business.  Some days I want so bad to have a business partner who I can bounce ideas off of or who can take the reigns so I can sleep in and watch movies in my bed and disappear for a day, I would turn off my phone and my computer and hide out under the covers and order Thai food from Spice down the street and I would only decide what movie and whether I wanted spring rolls or crab ragoons.  Then other days I am like, this is so awesome, people come to my shop and eat food and smile and laugh and then come back again, and there is a group of people who have become like my family in helping run it.  Like I said it’s a balance.

 

 

Reading

I read a lot.  I read to learn, I read to decompress, I read to grow, I read to escape.  I read to be a better leader, ice cream maker, store owner, wife, friend, and entrepreneur.  A few books that have been in my hands lately:

DelanceyScreen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.43.45 AM

This book is by one of my favorite authors, Molly Weizenberg.  It was so good for so many different reasons.  It is a journey of a husband and wife opening a pizza restaurant.  It is the journey of a marriage and the journey of the turmoil and victories of a small food business.  I could relate to so many of the chapters in the book. I found myself laughing aloud and reading to my husband until I convinced him to read it.  Reading her books is like sitting by a fire and catching up with one of your best friends after years apart.  I never want her books to end so I try and read them slowly.

Last summer we had the opportunity to travel to Seattle and we took a bus to Ballard, a beautiful neighborhood in Northwestern Seattle.  We walked the streets covered with green foliage and brilliant flowers until we found our pizza destination, Delancey.  For us it was a magical night, we arrived to a short wait so we cuddled up to the bar next door, Essex, also owned by Molly and her husband.  We bought a bottle of Rose and started nibbling on toast topped with ricotta and zested lemon.  While we were chatting with the bartender Molly waltzed in with a baby strapped to her back and wandered around the little bar smiling and chatting.  It was cozy and just as I had imagined it.  We ate our pizza and got tipsy on wine talking about our dreams for the future.

Someone I highly respect recommended this book to me on twitter: Cooking Up Business by Rachel Hofstetter

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This book is a collection of successful food businesses that have grown exponentially.  It’s really a collection of stories of determination.  It is an inspiring read and a book that’s easy to pick up along with other books you might be in the middle of.

Leaders Eat Last by Simon SinekScreen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.47.11 AM

Someone on instagram recommended this to me and I am so glad they did.  I love Simon Sinek, I have watched his Ted talk so many times and think he is brilliant.  I am only a few chapters in to Leaders Eat Last but I am loving the principles in this book.  So far what I have learned is that the people of a company are the bones of the organization, that if the people are treated like people and genuinely cared for and not treated like a commodity, the whole company will benefit.  I love this analogy, “Letting someone into an organization is like adopting a child and welcoming them into your home.  These people will, like everyone else who lives there, have to share in the responsibility of looking after the household and the others who live in it.  The standards a leader sets for entry, if based on a  clear set of human values, significantly impact peoples sense of belonging and their willingness to pull together and contribute to the team.”

MELT+one month

It has been a month.  A month of business, a month of learning, a month of little sleep, a month of swollen fingers and swollen wrists.  A month of hiring.  It has been a month filled with happy faces and delighted customers.  A month of scooping and teaching employees.  A month of trusting other people with this thing I worked so hard for.  A month of my friends dropping off meals for me.  A month of my husband helping out after work and on the weekends.  A month of making ice cream, testing ice cream and serving ice cream.POST 2

 

I have survived!!! Hip hip hooray!!! I am unbelievably thankful for the amazing community I live in.  Their support, my friends bringing me meals, and my dapper husband has gotten me through this crazy new adventure.  My friend Tina brought me egg rolls and I ate them all, for snacks, for dinner and for breakfast, she orchestrated this little group of gal pals to bring me food, like actual homemade food that goes in your belly, so I wouldn’t have to think about the grocery store and so my husband wouldn’t starve.  People, this is how awesome my community is, I love my people.  Not to mention I have some pretty cool customers and a pretty great team at MELT.  I also started drinking coffee black after all these years of cream and sugar (who has time for cream and sugar?)!   Cheers to a month of MELT!

  • Kari Crowe Seher is a photographer turned ice cream maker, passionate Ft Worth transplant, entrepreneur, and all around people lover!

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