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

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.46.47 AM

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!

We’ve been busy…

We have been crazy busy at the shop, like crazy no sleep busy.  So, I never got around to posting the blood, sweat and tears that went into bringing life into the little building we rent.  Here are a few pics of what we have done!  I have so much to say about the last few weeks of being in business, our grand opening, learning curves and the excitement of the ice cream world but it will have to wait.  I am off to make ice cream!

Before and After:pic one before after
before after 2

before4 Weve been busy...wide angleafter 3

And a big ol thanks to my pal Amanda Marie for most of these photos!

 

 

5 things I have learned

5 things I have learned:

Hello crazy journey of opening an ice cream shop.   I have learned more in the last three months than possibly my working career combined.   But here are five things I have learned as of lately:

south 21 web1 5 things I have learned

1)   Everyone loves ice cream.  I was shocked at the amount of support Melt has received and decided it has nothing to do with me but everything to do with ice cream.

2)   Most people want to see your dreams happen.  I have only had a handful of negative naysayers, whom I am choosing to ignore.

3)   Good architects are worth their weight in gold, seriously they are spilling with ideas, obstacles make them giddy with creative powers, serious magic folks.

4)   Patience.  You cannot change the amount of time some things take, this will give you patience even if it’s begrudgingly.  You may be tempted to cut off your arm or sell your most prized possessions to get a loan but patience works better.

5)   There is nothing wrong with asking lots of questions.  In the last few months I have talked to farmers all over the state of Texas, I have talked to manufacturers, distributors, health inspectors for the city, for the state and the owners of some large ice cream companies.  Not to mention I ask a lot of questions from local restaurant owners.  If you are nice to people they are willing to talk to you.  Keep searching and keep asking like your dreams depend on it.

Big Announcement

This year has been filled to the brim with self discovery, pushing limits, drudging through the unknown, and hashing out things that seem impossible, daunting, and borderline insane.  It’s been a year of trusting that God has a plan for my life, that he created me with this vast desire to do and accomplish more than one occupation or one dream. Stay with me, this is a long a post….

storyboard015 Big Announcement

To understand a little more of my journey I have to back up to last January when I decided to stop taking wedding clients officially.  I had a bazillion ideas swimming in my head and knew another business was on the horizon.  I just didn’t know what business. So I traveled to Austin and took Kelly Simant’s Simple Plan course for making a business plan so that I would be ready when the time came.  It felt like the pieces were all just lying on the floor, begging for me to make a decision for my next life step but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.  My journey continued with abstract painting classes and water color classes.  In March I headed back to Austin to gather with some of the most innovative and creative women I have ever met at a Crush event put on by Danielle Krysa, a shaker in the art world (watch out, she’s doing unreal things).  It was empowering to be around creative women all working towards their goals.  It pushed me to press on.  In the back of my mind I knew what I wanted to do but it seemed too hard, too impossible, and too expensive.

I consider my self extremely lucky to be married to a husband who stands beside me and encourages me to push boundaries, to hold my hand when things are hard, and who’s willing to listen to me talk endlessly.  He has been my rock.  He whispers words in my ear to spur me on, he talks me off a ledge, and listens to all my ideas without making me feel crazy.storyboard023 Big Announcement

The last few years when I wasn’t shooting portrait or wedding clients I was shooting editorials for local magazines and publications and I fell in love with the food industry thanks to Fort Worth Foodie and the friends I made with the chefs and writers on staff.  I fell in love with the process and the story of food.  I fell in love with the culture of food.  Where it came from and the passion of the hands creating the dishes.  I started reading cookbooks like novels and asking questions to local chefs any time I could.  I have a chef friend on speed dial who sometimes lets me follow her around at her job and ask a million questions. Still, culinary school didn’t seem to fit.  I knew food was deeply rooted in the DNA that makes me come alive and excited.  So I pressed on with intensity of finding the next step.ice cream cones

For years my husband and I have said our neighborhood needs ice cream. Our little hood is lacking cold, creamy, homemade ice cream on sweltering summer days and every good neighborhood needs a good ice cream shop.  So I decided on ice cream.  It fit.  It was an idea I couldn’t shake.  I could be creative in the kitchen, connect people to food and hopefully see lots of people smile. So I did my research.
storyboard016 Big Announcement

Last June I took a trip to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida to taste ice cream, to meet ice cream makers, and to peer into the world of ice cream.  I met some amazing people along the way who shared bits of their story and I learned so much about the industry.  I decided the next step was to learn to make ice cream from scratch. Unfortunately I was turned down by every shop I wanted to learn from.  I asked people all over the country for an a apprenticeship and finally found a couple in Ohio willing to take me under their wing.  So in September I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio and learned from an incredible ice cream maker.  We made ice cream the old fashioned way over the stove.  We didn’t use prepared mixes or artificial flavorings.  We went to the farmer’s market and bought produce and roasted it and pureed it for flavor.  I came home and started writing recipes every other day.  My neighbors became my taste testers.  I started looking for a space to rent or a kitchen to work out of.  The vision started to come alive.storyboard022 Big AnnouncementAll the photos that I am in were taken by my friend Amanda Marie.

I never dreamed of having my own little corner in the South Side, it still feels so unreal and there are still so many details to work out but in 2014 I plan to open Melt Ice Creams, a craft ice cream shop in Fort Worth, Texas located at 954 W Rosedale Street!  I can not wait to share more about my journey and more about what Melt will offer.  I owe so much to the people who have helped me, pushed me, and encouraged me on this journey, thank you, I am deeply grateful.  A big special thank you to Robbie Werner of Stir Crazy Baked Goods for letting me ask her questions, for her honesty, and her constant excitement!  I am ecstatic to roll up my sleeves and bring you some amazing ice cream in 2014, so cheers to ice cream, raise a cone for the upcoming year!

Please join in the fun and follow Melt’s story on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MeltIceCreams and instagram at: MeltFW

 

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

  • Search