Episode Description: This episode explores entrepreneurship, starting a beverage company, and strategizing. The stories range from learning the benefits of unpasteurized cold pressed coffee and making cold brew coffee to starting Outpost Cold Brew and how it became the best cold brew coffee in LA.
This is T’s True Podcast Story – Outpost Cold Brew. Where you get the lowdown on what actually happened to LA’s most beloved cold brew coffee brand. Garrett and Gee conduct the interview. They are UCLA MBA students working on their end of year thesis; a business plan for cold brew coffee. They asked to interview me to gain insights about product viability, consumer behavior, next steps, what they can expect from starting a cold brew coffee brand, and they asked what happened to Outpost. Get ready for some juicy information about the beverage industry and some never before heard information about the best cold brew 2014 had to offer. Of course, I’m a little bias.
- http://winecountrycoops.com – Wine Country Coops
- http://www.poshinc.com/ – Posh Inc
- https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&me=A302OQK4GZWXCC&page=1 – Barista Lab Amazon
- https://www.baristalab.com/ – Barista Lab
- https://www.facebook.com/Handsome-Coffee-Roasters-Arts-District-Coffee-Bar-238642302859520/ – Handsome Coffee Roasters
- http://www.eggslut.com/ – Eggslut
- https://www.bevnet.com/ – Bevnet
- Introduction from Garreth and Gee – 1:38
- choosing their thesis project and an experience in entrepreneurship – 3:29
- Why deciding on pursuing an MBA in entrepreneurship – 5:28
- Tiffany’s background in entrepreneurship – 9:10
- The start of Outpost – 14:28
- The process and struggles on self-brewing the cold brew – 20:22
- Strategizing on a beverage company idea – 33:25
- Knowing where you want your brand to be – 34:45
- Their thesis layout and becoming entrepreneurs – 38:38
- Your product vs competitors – 42:19
- Calling it quits with Outpost – 47:12
- The advantages of finding connections – 55:03
- Finding your group’s specialties – 56:39
- Thinking ahead and running all numbers – 57:43
- Customer demographics – 1:00:28
- Moving to the next project and rebranding – 1:02:51
- Recap: decision making, limitations, branding – 1:07:49
- Important lessons and advice in entrepreneurship – 1:13:33
- Knowing When an Idea is Worth Pursuing – 1:19:28
- Closing – 1:21:19
Tiffany: I’m Tiffany Lopez and you’re listening to “Posh Incredible” podcast where I interview ordinary people who are making extraordinary transformations in their lives and for others. I believe we’re all here to transcend and assist the ones around us to grow into the people they were born to be. The pathway of awakening is a noble life pursuit and it starts now. This is T’s true podcast story, “Outpost Cold Brew” where you get the low down on what actually happened to L.A.’s most beloved cold brew coffee brand. Gareth [SP] and Gee [SP] conduct the interview. They are UCLA MBA students working on their end of your thesis, a business plan for cold brew coffee. They asked to interview me to gain insights about product viability, consumer behavior, next steps, what they can expect from starting a cold brew coffee brand and they ask what happened to Outpost. Get ready for some juicy information about the beverage industry and some never-before-heard information about the best cold brew 2014 had to offer. Of course, I’m a little biased.
All right. Hi guys, this is Tiffany and we’re recording. Actually it’s going to be a reverse interview style. So, I have Gareth and Gee and they’re…why don’t you guys intro yourselves just for a sec. What are you guys doing? What are you working on? Why do you need info from me?
Gareth: Absolutely. I’ll kick it off. So, I’m Gareth. I met Gee in my second year at UCLA Anderson. We’re doing our MBA and as part of our MBA, we have to create a business plan to create our own business. And we’ve been going ahead. We met with Gee and a team of three other guys, so there’s five of us total and we’ve been, you know, kicking around ideas and we actually settled on the idea of cold brew coffee. We saw a lot of growth in the market and it’s a pretty interesting idea of a company that we could actually start together, doesn’t require a ton of capital. And we see this as something we’d start together in business school. So, we’ve been looking at local cold brew companies in Los Angeles. I believe we came across yours from an “L.A. Times” article, maybe two or three years ago. And, you know, we’re both very interested in entrepreneurship. We plan on starting our own businesses sometime in the very near future. So, we wanted to reach out to you and learn more about entrepreneurship, starting your cold brew coffee company and kind of seeing what you learned from that.
Gee: Yeah, that’s about it. And I’m Gee, I’m originally from Brazil, moved over to U.S. about a year-and-a-half ago to do my master’s and essentially to start a business. And then we got together, Gareth and I, and a couple of three other friends and we are exploring new ideas. Cold brew is kind of a passion and we are here to learn more about your path, how was your journey in the cold brew space and in the apprenticeship, in general, and try to get as much information as possible to help us in the future.
Tiffany: Have you guys done, like, anything in entrepreneurship?
Tiffany: So, you’ve started businesses or…? Yeah?
Gareth: Yeah. So, actually, when I was maybe like 12 years old, my father and I started a chicken coop company, Wine Country Coops. There’s the shameless plug. And we built chicken coops, you know, all throughout high school. And when I was in college, I helped run it with my father and we built maybe 75 chicken coops, total, high-end chicken coops and we sold them to, you know, local people in the Bay Area and we were actually able to fund a lot of my college education with that. After that, I kind of went the corporate route and worked for some big corporations. And that’s one of the things that drew me to business school is I wanted to get back into entrepreneurship, move back to California and kind of re-establish myself here.
Gee: Okay. And yes, I’ve been involved with entrepreneurship for a while. I started my first company when was 21 years old in Brazil with a partner. The idea behind it was make people’s dream come true. So, if you wanna play guitar with Paul McCartney or maybe play tennis against Pete Sampras, these kind of things. So, that’s what I’ve done for over seven years now. Later, I joined my family business, is a textile company. Trying to turn it around, was founded by my grandfather, was not doing well. So, I joined my mother for a while and for three years I was helping to run the business. And then when that project was over and [inaudible 00:05:12], my initial company was doing well, it was time to come to the U.S. and learn more about business here and try to start a company in this intersection of Brazil and the U.S. or something in the West Coast. So, that’s was the idea.
Tiffany: So, this is super interesting to me because you both have a real-world experience that’s like school in itself. So, why go and get an MBA in entrepreneurship? It sounds like you guys already have one.
Gareth: I would agree with that to a certain point. But for me, you know, I started my own business when I was in college and, you know, for me, it was more of a side hustle than a real business. It wasn’t anything as legit as Gee’s business. And then I went the corporate route and I was working in New Orleans, which I love, it’s a great city, but I wanted to come back to California. And, you know, I have a lot of engineering background and I really wanted to round out my experience with some of the financial side, the entrepreneurship side. And the big thing about business school is the network you get, you know, if it weren’t for business school, I wouldn’t have gotten to meet someone like yourself or a lot of the other people I’ve been able to contact with.
And it’s definitely one of those decisions where you probably don’t need itand it’s kind of personally up to you whether or not you want to have it. I think it’s a kind of a good insurance policy and it’s also a really good two years to kind of find yourself and figure out exactly what you want to do. You know, I had a much broader idea of what I wanted to do prior to business school and I can promise you what I wrote on my applications to get in are completely different from what I actually want to do now. So, that was a really good value for me, just kind of taking two years to learn about all the different industries, have an internship here, meet so many successful entrepreneurs and kind of find myself.
Gee: And for me, it was kind of the same. So, I went for law school in Brazil, undergrads, not a master degree. So, and I founded my company while I was in college. So, actually I had no business experience. I learned everything on my own. Later on, I joined the family business and it was a much larger company. And then you kind of realize that you need some business skills to be able to grow the business, to expand, to have new strategic decisions and to be successful. And at the same time, this is my first time living abroad. So, it’s just a new perspective on everything. You just learn about your culture and your country when you’re living somewhere else. So, that’s about it. Learn more about business, meet a lot of people, and learn more about my culture, my country, and Brazil in general. So, that’s super valuable experience.
Tiffany: Yeah. So, I didn’t go to school in Los Angeles. I went to school in San Diego and I wish that I would have thought about where I was going to end up because I would have done things a little bit differently. I would have like probably gone to school in L.A. because I knew I would always end up back in L.A. But I developed a network in San Diego and then I moved immediately back to L.A. and I had to like start from scratch, which is also…it’s fine, but I wish…During those years that I was, you know, like in L.A. and friendless and I didn’t know anyone during those years, I was like, “Oh, what was I thinking? Like I should have gone to school in L.A.,” but it all ends up all right anyways. So, yeah. Go ahead.
Gee: We are here to learn more about you as well. Can you share a little bit about your background and how was your entrepreneur path?
Tiffany: Yeah. So, about 11 years ago, our business started as an experiment. One day my mom was like, “Hey, do you guys want to start a business?” And my brother and I said, “Yeah, sure.” And then we decided we are going to go into the wine industry, but the technology that we wanted to implement was like 10 years out. And we had already like gotten our LLC name and paid for it. And so we were like, “All right, what do we do now?” And we are all just kind of getting into coffee around that time. Like my mom never really was a coffee drinker. My brother and I weren’t coffee drinkers except for the occasional, like, sweet beverage from Starbucks. And I did a report in school. So, when I was in high school, I took college courses.
Gareth: So, you were in high school trying to create a wine company when you can’t even drink? Awesome.
Tiffany: Yeah. Well, it was more of a…it wasn’t a wine company, it was to regulate the temperature of wine during transportation. Because, you know, when wine reaches a certain temperature, it’s…yeah. And during transportation, there’s no…you don’t really know what’s happening to the wine, especially if it’s being shipped from overseas. It could be in a, like, container that’s under a ship that’s not…
Gareth: Panama Canal.
Tiffany: Yeah. So, that was the idea behind that. And then we got into coffee and decided to start selling coffee machines, super-automatic espresso machines online. And then we kind of…
Gee: Were you guys building the machines or no, just…?
Tiffany: No. We were reselling. So, it was an online business and we worked on it, my brother and I worked on it through college. And then we actually made money.
Gee: Nice. Congrats.
Tiffany: So, we were like, “What?” Then when we got out of college…so I went to school for international business with an emphasis in supply chain management. I was really interested in working abroad and experiencing different cultures and what international business was to me was a study of different cultures, which was really cool. And then what supply chain management was, which I don’t know why I was so interested in it, but as soon as I heard it I was like, “Yes, like, that is for me,” but it ended up being like all math and I’m not a numbers person. I’m not a math person. So, I was like, “What was I thinking?”
Gareth: Like, it’s all math. [crosstalk 00:12:07.699]
Tiffany: So, I got through that.
Tiffany: Thank you.
Gee: Good job.
Tiffany: I studied…I did an internship in China because I was really interested in supply chain and I was like, well, I want to go to the source. And so, studying supply chain allowed me to get a job or an internship at an all-Chinese company who’d never hired a foreigner before. Everybody spoke Chinese. I was the only English-speaking person. But because of my background in school, they wanted to hire me or bring me on. And then, so I did that. I learned a lot. I learned a whole lot in China. Then I came back and my brother and I were like, we’re looking at each other like, “Do you want to work for anybody?” And I was like, “No.”
And it was also like the middle, kind of like the middle of the recession. No one who graduated during our time, my brother and I are only a year apart, no one was getting jobs. So, we were like, okay, this business that we didn’t know what we’re doing with, it like did okay, so want to do something and do it better, something else. And so, that’s when we started Barista Lab in 2010 and then around…so we did a lot of things around that time. We started Barista Lab. I opened our first Amazon store and we also started, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the L.A. coffee company called Handsome Coffee Roasters.
Gareth: Yeah, I’ve seen that website.
Tiffany: So the three like main guys in L.A. from Intelligentsia, one was a, well, World Barista champion decided to start their own coffee roastery. And so, my brother and I were like, that would be really cool to just be a part of that and to like learn about opening a coffee store and about coffee production and roasting. And so, also around that time we decided to work at Handsome Coffee. And then in 2013, we both left Handsome Coffee and started Outpost, which is our cold brew coffee company. And we worked on that for about two years. So, we had gotten into some stores, so like Gelson’s took on our product. We had about…oh, we were exporting to Norway.
Gareth: Really? How did that happen?
Tiffany: Yeah. So, we got a lot of…how did that happen? We got a lot of press for our label, actually.
Gareth: I’ve seen it. It looks really cool.
Tiffany: So, we were huge fans of really good coffee and we wanted to…originally Outpost started as we wanted to make a store, we wanted to do a roaster, we wanted to roast coffee, brew coffee and like just be, sort of, like a multipurpose space too, like maybe do a pop-up shop. We had like these big dreams of doing a coffee shop. And we wanted to bring good coffee to places that didn’t have it. And rent in L.A. is very expensive.
Gareth: We’re aware. We’re all too aware of being in school and having to live here.
Tiffany: Yeah. So, we were like, okay, the location that we want and that’s not…we got all, like, these nos basically. And we were like, what else can we do? So, we were like, oh, let’s bottle cold brew. And my brother and I are like super minimalists. I think I’m less of a minimalist now than I was back in 2013. But at the time I like had one pair of pants and I would go camping like every weekend. Like that’s what I like to do, like, every single weekend.
Gareth: That’s awesome.
Tiffany: And so we were like, okay, I think what we really want to focus on is what’s in the bottle because that is what is the most unique part of our coffee. It’s like the best cold brew that you could ever get. And we can bring it anywhere. We can ship it to Norway. That’s not what we were thinking at the time, but like we can.
Gareth: And you did.
Tiffany: And we did. So, when we were working with a designer, I was working with a designer, I was like, “Let’s just make it like super basic. Let’s not focus on, like, making crazy labels.” Plus, it’s really expensive to, like, print in color. So, I’m huge fan of like just black and white, make it clean, very utilitarian, almost going back to generic brands, but having the product be like, what’s in the bottle, really good. And so, that’s how we decided. We had already decided on our name, kind of like, we had already decided on our name back in 2007 when we started our first business, we decided on Outpost because we wanted people to be able to discover our shop, almost like they stumble upon it or they discover it, so it’s like an outpost hidden somewhere.
So, that was our name. And we decided that while creating the labels for the cold brew, we were like, well, Outpost is cool, but what it really is is it’s just cold brew. And so, that’s kind of how it became the focus of the label, like, cold brew, really big like a generic brand would be, like milk. Like, this is milk. There’s nothing else in it. It’s just coffee and water. But so, cold brew, coffee and water, and then Outpost was like a little tiny, like, thing. Anyways, our label ended up being like featured on design blogs and winning awards. I want to say even like it got featured in like BevNET, and I want to say the people in…maybe because our design was so Scandinavian that people from Norway were like, “Oh, hey, can we get some of that?” So, we were, like, shipping pallets of cold brew to Norway. And then we also got an account in L.A. and San Francisco. I think they had, I don’t know, maybe, I’m not sure how many stores they had. It’s been a while. But we got a distributor because of them up in San Francisco.
Gareth: So, it sounds like you guys actually got quite a good ways away on the cold brew business.
Tiffany: We did. Yeah. And we were actually kegging cold brew and selling to WeWork for a little bit.
Gareth: I wish they still had some.
Gareth: So, can you tell us a little bit about how…so you guys, you and your brother came up with the idea, Outpost Cold Brew. You went ahead, worked with the designer, you found this awesome design. Can you tell me about how you guys started like brewing the cold brew? I imagine you were in a commercial kitchen. Was it just you and your brother? Did you guys hire someone? How did that all unfold?
Tiffany: So, to start…oh wow, this is…I haven’t thought about this in a while. So, the start of this was, we were…okay, we couldn’t open a shop, that was a no-go. And then we started seeing bottles of cold brew pop up. Like, I think Stumptown was the first. Are you guys familiar with the brand?
Gareth: Oh yeah. Sure. Love it.
Tiffany: So back in the day, back in the day, Stumptown was like the only cold brew on the shelves and they were not as…it wasn’t as readily available as it is now. And so, I think my…so, okay. Four people, me, my brother and two other people from Handsome Coffee all left around the same time. And we were going to start like a shop, a roaster retail. And we would have meetings like every week and assign each other tasks and then we would come back and meet and like tell each other what we learned. Probably it’s very similar to what you guys are doing with your project right now.
Gareth: Yeah, 100%. There’s five of us and we meet every week or twice a week and we kind ungroup and tell everyone what we learned and we’ll be letting everyone know what we learned today for sure. Yeah.
Tiffany: So, one of our friends became the manager at Eggslut, do you know Eggslut?
Gareth: Yeah. Love it.
Tiffany: And so he and my brother were like, “Oh, like it’d be really cool to bottle cold brew and then we could like sell it to Eggslut because…” and I’m not sure like how this conversation happened. I wasn’t 100% a part of it. I was kind of like, man, I don’t really feel like bottling cold brew. Like that does not sound like fun to me. I just came from a…you know, I just worked my way up at Handsome Coffee from literally like roasting all night and bagging coffee and distributing it. Like that does not…I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like fun, but I’m also the kind of person that like, I’m like a super team player. So, at the same time I was like, “Oh, all right. Like, you know, let’s just do it.” Like, fine. I’ll work. I like to work. And so I think my brother and Justin came up with this idea. He’s the other guy from Handsome. And so we did a test run. We brewed some cold brew.
Gareth: In your kitchen?
Tiffany: Yeah. Brewed some cold brew. We bought some bottles, like the cheapest bottles, we went with like the cheapest bottle caps. They were the 12 ounce. Also, they were different. So, what we found out about bottling are you go and you at the shelves, and maybe you guys have already done this, but when you go and you look and you’re like, “Oh, these bottles are really cool,” a lot of them are custom made. And if you want to be different, like if you want to look different on the shelves, then yeah, it’s really expensive and nobody was doing beer bottles. And so we’re like, we’ll just do beer bottles, and plus it’s like kind of cool.
Gareth: Hell, yeah.
Tiffany: So, that’s how our bottles came to be. But you’ll even…have you guys gotten into this where you’re like looking, either deciding between plastic or glass or pasteurizing or not or any of that?
Gareth: Yeah. We’re doing a lot of that analysis right now. We’re finding out that plastic isn’t going to work so well. And if you’re worried about the flavor, cans are definitely the cheapest and bottles get exceedingly expensive, especially if you want them to look good.
Tiffany: Yeah. So yeah, we just brewed some cold brew in our kitchen and made our first, like, batches and then we found out that we had to have like a commercial kitchen. And so, we evaluated all the different types of spaces, like just doing our own, getting our own facility. We looked at commercial kitchens around Los Angeles area. We looked at sharing with a restaurant. We ended up over at Chef’s Kitchen, I think, in Pasadena. Because this is actually all very lucky how it happened because Justin, who is a part of Outpost, was a manager at Eggslut. He brought on our cold brew, no problem. Eggslut gets like thousands of people a day. And all of those people love to take pictures and post on Instagram.
And so, we would see our cold brew pop up on their Instagram like all the time. And that’s how a lot of people would find our brand actually. And so, I would say if you guys are wanting to, that might be like a good route. But first, okay, so let me finish the answer to your question and then we can kind of get into like strategy. So, we would bring people on to bottle. Bottling is a very big task. Brewing and bottling is like a very…like we had to like mentally and emotionally ramp up for bottling days. They were long and hard.
They were rough, like super rough. I don’t know, like, there might be an easier way of doing it now. Sometimes I’ll see like cold brew things pop up somewhere like on the internet and there’s more devices, there’s more…you guys have probably found them by now, but there’s easier ways. When we’re doing it, we’re like for forging a path through like…we were pioneers, it felt like, especially because we are bootstrapping. Who in the world bootstraps a beverage company? So, when we first started this path that we started on, oh, we’ll do this, or let’s just bottle, let’s just sell to Eggslut. They went through like I would say like maybe…how many cases where we dropping off for them? I don’t know, like maybe like half a pallet a week.
Gareth: Oh, that’s a lot.
Tiffany: And so, just that one customer. And, you know like all these little baby steps that we took to get to where we were. And at some point, I was like emailing people, trying to get more press, using my connections. It’s almost like you’re walking through a very deep valley at this point. And the walls on the side of this valley are really, really high. And the more that we walked into this valley, the more clear it got, the more clear our position got. And we were no longer just like a couple of kids who wanted to bring cold brew to everywhere that it wasn’t, we were competing with all of the beverages on the shelves. Like we are an actual beverage company. And going into this we weren’t like, “Let’s start a beverage company.” We were like, “Let’s just bring cold brew, really great cold brew to, you know, wherever it’s not.” And yeah, so like the more we learned, the more we realized like how big this mountain was to climb.
Gee: And this is 2000 and…?
Gareth: 2013 was when you found…
Gee: Oh, still, same year?
Tiffany: Yeah. So, that was when we started. This was around…I feel like when we realized, like, what we were doing, it was probably, like, start of 2015.
Gareth: Because that’s how I found you guys. You guys were written up in “Eat” or “L.A. Times,” like, “The hottest, best cold brew in L.A.,” and it was you guys.
Tiffany: That’s so cool. That was like our 15 minutes of fame right there. But only in L.A. People loved our cold brew. I still get inquiries about people carrying our cold brew.
Gareth: Do you still make it at home by yourself on the side? No?
Tiffany: No, no way. Yeah, no, no. No, no, not really. I wrote, so I was interviewed recently by an online publication and one of the questions was like, “Has it been smooth sailing? Has your entrepreneurship journey been smooth sailing?” And I was like, “Dude, smooth roads, like what are those?” And then my comment after that was like, “You can either embrace every situation with like an open mind and an open heart, like, positively or you can cringe at every bump in the road.” And I was like, “I used to be a cringer.” Like, I’m not anymore, but I really used to be a cringer, and it’s more like the friction or whatever that I had in the beginning was just because that’s how I was, and it didn’t have to be like that. So, also knowing like who you are and where you may find those road bumps and how you might deal with them is like good to put into your own business analysis. Like, is this going to be viable or not?
Gaeth: Absolutely. So, I was saying before, I worked for massive corporations prior to business school and I’ve been working at a startup this summer and going on through the school year and it’s crazy, like going from like the steady, steadfast, like oceanliner going straight to a really small ship in a big ocean. And it definitely takes a different constitution and you have to be a lot more comfortable with being open-minded and not scared by every bump.
Tiffany: One thing I was going to say…oh yeah. With where you guys…one thing that we didn’t do that we probably should have done, and when I say should have, I don’t really mean should have because I am like a really strong believer that everything happens the way that it should have happened. But what we’ve discovered through our research, and by research I mean experience of this cold brew company, was a lot of people who start beverage companies spend like years researching before actually launching the company. Let’s say they’re going to…let’s say they’re planning on a 10-year…it’s going to take 10 years to break through the market, they’ll take 20% of that 10 years and they’ll use it just to research.
Gee: To understand the customer, the market, the competitors.
Tiffany: Yeah. But I don’t know, I think anything can be done. Like there’s no real way. There’s only like…I don’t know, you guys will probably find, like, another way that might work for you. So, but anyways, my question was going to be, there is different strategies based on your different desire of like where you want to be. So, wherever you see your coffee, or your cold brew will depend on the route that you take to get there. So there’s…I don’t remember all like the fancy names for these places, but there’s like, I think it’s like wholesale. So, that would be like something like Costco. There’s health, like health food markets. So, like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Gelson’s, like the top, like, you know, like pricey kind of markets.
Gareth: Bristle Farms, yeah.
Tiffany: Yeah, Bristle Farms is in there. There’s regular, like, grocery stores, I don’t know what those are these days. And there’s like a bunch of other things. So, there’s restaurants, there’s offices, there’s all these different categories of where you could, like, enter the market. Different distributors distribute to different places. Some distributors only distribute certain types of beverages or some like food distributors won’t distribute beverages. Some will, it depends on where you kind of go and who you need to talk to. So, where do you guys see your brand? Where do you see your cold brew ending up? Where do you want it to be? Who do you want it to go to?
Gareth: Yeah, that’s a great question. And we are still learning and researching that now, but I mean, we see ourselves with a premium product. So, we’re looking at your Whole Foods, Gelson’s, Nugget Market, Bristol Farms, that sort of area going forward. And I think similar to you, we want to make just the best cold brew out there. You know, brands similar to like a Bluebottle or a Stumptown, you know, brands like that, that are just genuinely very, very good cold brew. And I think target, sorry, areas are, you know, areas where it’s generally warmer all year in the South. L.A., obviously, would be the kickoff point. If we can, you know, do a proof of concept in this market, I think then you have some ammunition to move on to, you know, Phoenix, Houston, Austin, etc., maybe back to New Orleans. But that’s kind of what I see. Gee, if you want to add anything.
Gee: No, yeah, I think we’re aligned on that. But something that we really care about is health. So, that’s something that we have been studying a lot. And there are a lot of new cool beverage out there that health is the main thing going on. And we are studying a lot. Justin is one of our team members. He’s kind of a specialist on that field. So, we are trying to combine cold brew and health. So, instead of having our Redbulls and thing like that, why not have something that’s natural, like, high quality that brings you the energy that you need? But at the same time, it’s really healthy. So, that’s something that we really care and that we are studying right now.
Tiffany: We’re kind of also health nuts. Like, my brother and I are, like, really particular about things and we wanted to make a cold brew that could be consumed without having to add anything to it. So, it gave you like that energy boost, but it was also like really soft and like pleasant and easy to drink. And a lot of people who we interacted with…So, we did a lot of like festivals and fairs and farmers’ markets and food shows, and a lot of the people that we interacted with were like, they liked it without adding anything to it.
Gee: Wow. We just learned that only 30% of people like their, like, cold brew coffee black. The other 70% want cream and sugar in there. But, I mean, I think if you have a really top quality product like that, I think a lot more than 30% would be interested in it. I just don’t know if they’ve all been exposed to the Outpost Cold Brew type of coffee.
Tiffany: Yeah. So, what other questions do you guys have? Like, where are you guys in your project right now? Oh, also another question before I forget. I wanted to ask you guys this in the beginning. There’s two questions here. One is, like, what is your layout or your required info for your thesis? Like what do you need to display knowledge of? What do you need to like decide on, like yeah, what’s the requirements? If you had to tell me just so I know how to kind of like…
Gee: So, the requirements, first there is a piece of primary and secondary research. So, something like we are doing right now, talk to as many people as possible, understand the business, the challenges, the landscape, the competition. So, all of that. But essentially, you’re building a business plan to help you to decide whether to move forward with this company or not. So, by the end of this program, we have kind of a pitch day and then you can go pitch your company, talk about what you’re developing, your business plan and what you’re trying to accomplish. Or a lot of people just go up there and say, “Hey, I was into, I don’t know, X company and I did a lot of research and I talked to this many people, and actually I realized that it’s just not a thing anymore.” Or, “We need a lot of cash that I don’t have,” or, “The market’s saturated.” So, there are two options. Of course, everyone is shooting for the first one. You want to go up there, pitch your idea, try to raise some funds or just build some knowledge on your company, but essentially, it’s a paper that will help you to come up to whether to go forward or not.
Gareth: Yeah. I think to summarize, you know, this is a really unique kind of opportunity that we’re given. We have a lot of resources and support from UCLA to go ahead and build our own company. The other really fun part of this is that when you reach out to someone and say, “Hey, I’m a student, can you teach me something or can you talk to me,” you get access to speak to a lot more people than probably generally would even look at your email.
Tiffany: Yeah, I still use that one sometimes.
Gareth: That’s the best one in the book. I hope my a student email sticks around for a while. But, you know, we’re all very serious about becoming entrepreneurs and, you know, we did a lot of research on the market. We were looking at alcohol first and then we kind of realized, you know, health is something we actually all relate to. Alcohol sales are actually decreasing and, you know, but fizzy water, just bottled water in general, sales are going crazy. Like, look at LaCroix. So, you know, we saw that that’s something that we also align with. And that’s kind of why we settled on cold brew coffee. And I think, you know, for us, we want to understand if we could actually create this business.
So, we’re making a huge business plan where we want to really understand a lot about the customers, who buys the coffee, what price point they’re willing to take? Do they want MCT oil in their coffee? Do they want Mocket [SP] in their coffee? Do they want, you know, XYZ butter, all sorts of interesting things like that? And we’ve run some surveys ourselves. And, you know, we try and talk to as many customers as you can, go to like Bulletproof Coffee in Venice and kind of sit out there and just kind of see who goes in the door. But kind of, I think for us it’d be really helpful to understand the demographics more and kind of what people want. And at the same time, we’re trying to find the next big thing. You know, cold brew coffee is definitely taken off and it’s on a steep trajectory. We’re wondering maybe if there’s some marriage between that and something else which has yet to yet to take off and kind of be maybe one of the first people to the market in that area as well.
Tiffany: I think you’re on a good track there because…Oh, so when we first started, Stumptown was our only competitor, but Stumptown wasn’t our only competitor because there were…
Gee: A lot of product.
Tiffany: …a lot of products that were not in the same refrigerated section that were competitors. So, a lot of the cold brew that you see on the shelves does not need to be refrigerated, but like Stumptown’s product and our product were non-pasteurized, they were raw. And so, they did need to be refrigerated. And depending on refrigeration or non-refrigeration, you…Like getting into stores is like a whole other…that’s why I ask like, where do you guys want to end up because…
Gareth: Shelf space.
Tiffany: Shelf space, but also if your product has to be refrigerated, there’s an even more limited shelf space in the refrigeration section. But yeah, there’s like High Brew, I think there was like a Bob Marley. These are all products that we would never buy, but we discovered because we had a cold brew coffee company and we discovered that they were competitors and that there were people already making cold brew coffee. Chameleon was a huge one too. And then other people entered the market like Bluebottle and then, you know, Califia Farms like started making their cold brew almond milk and then kind of like everybody flooded the shelves.
Gee: But you were walking us through your path and then you’re saying about the valley like with really high walls and a lot of competition going on that you guys were not expecting and what happened after?
Tiffany: I think we were kind of…so I think we did pretty well for bootstrapping a beverage company. But here’s what happened. We weren’t paying ourselves from the cold brew, from the startup.
Gareth: Okay. And you’re working a lot.
Tiffany: And we’re working like really hard. So, if we’re going to ever hire somebody to do the work that we are doing, we wouldn’t make any money. And there came a point where we either hired…we either went to a beverage manufacturer and had them bottling our cold brew or like pretty much stopped bottling. But when you go to a beverage manufacturer and you talk to them, there’s a whole other like list of things that you need to take into consideration.
Gareth: Crazy minimums.
Tiffany: Yeah, huge minimums. And that’s not even the only thing. There’s like…what types of things were we discovering? There was something with the bottles, so I think we’re going to have to move to plastic. So then, you know, that at that point there’s like an entire brand change if you’re moving from bottle to plastic. Or we just, like, get our own bottling line and, like, revamp our bottling line. So, there was like a lot of different options that we could do. But it all came down to money, basically. We weren’t making enough money to…we didn’t want to be bottling our own cold brew for forever. And part of what you want to do as an entrepreneur is keep handing off your work to someone so you can keep building or do something else. You can’t keep bottling your own cold brew for forever, right?
Gee: And what about raising funds? Did you guys try to do so, was something considered or not?
Tiffany: Yeah, we thought about it. I think we could have, it would have been…we decided that if we were going to raise funds it would have been like family friends. But we’re just like not…I don’t know. I don’t think we wanted to be in the beverage business forever or for much longer. I remember what happened was we were…this is kind of like what…around this time that this happened, the story I’m about to tell you, was when we were like, “Oh, man. Like, I think we’ve got to call it quits.” And at some point in your journey, like entrepreneur journey, you have to kind of like know when to call it quits and when to keep, like, pushing on. And we were at about like breakeven, not including time. WeWork was one of our clients, and one day the guy who had…and we actually did…we’ve always been really into customer service and like taking care of people and developing relationships.
Part of what has helped our first business that’s still running are these like relationships that have been built on trust. And I don’t know, like, we’ve always just done what’s right. And so, one day, WeWork called us and they’re like, “Hey, you know, like, I really wanted to go with this.” They were like, “Hey, okay, if you can get a keg set up within 24 hours, you’ll be our vendor.” We were like, “We’ll be right there.” And so, we were set up in their office. And when we’re talking to them, they’re like, “Yeah, you know, the other company we’re working with were just being like super slow. They dropped the ball a few times and that’s why we went out to…like that’s why we contacted you guys and like, thank you for pulling through for us.”
And so, this was our first, like, keg setup that we had ever done. And, you know, like, went with a refrigerator and with the kegs and like learning how to do like the nitro thing overnight and getting all the equipment and like filling the kegs and then hooking it up, right? They were just like, “Oh, we have this fridge. Like it should be good to be set up.” And then like, you know, my brother got there and he’s like, “Oh, man, we’re going to need a lot of stuff here.” So anyways, like we got the keg up and running. And then we are delivering to like multiple L.A. locations. And we were kind of like, “Wow, this is pretty huge.” Because when you deliver kegs, it really affects your profit margin.
Because with bottles, with individual bottles, you’re paying for the bottle and the coffee and the labor and all that for each individual thing. But when you fill up a keg, it’s like you get 80 servings in this, like, keg and you have to deliver at one time or like maybe once a week. And it’s just like better for costs and labor and everything. So, we were like, if we could get the keg business up and running, then we’re going to be…this is like really what happened, like what was the determining factor in keeping going with our cold brew company or ending it. So, we were going to go into just kegging. And during this time, I was trying to sell kegs to more restaurants. So, I think we had…like Eggslot was going to switch to keg, I think. And we were going to, like, convert a lot of our customers to kegs instead of like…you know, like, Health Aid has kegs in like grocery stores and stuff, right?
Gareth: Whole Foods and stuff, yeah.
Tiffany: Yeah. And so, we’re like, you know, like, let’s do that. And so the issue with converting kegs to coffee like in restaurants and stuff is they have to switch out a beer line. They have to like pull one of their beers and make it a coffee line and you can’t have nitrogen, you can’t push it with CO2. You have to push it with nitrogen, push the coffee with nitrogen. So, then you have to have two different gas lines. And so, it’s a little bit complicated but not impossible because some restaurants do it, or they just get a standalone keg fridge, right? So, there are options. I was talking to some pretty big accounts. One was Simzi’s [SP], another one was like Tender Greens, and this would’ve…like going this direction would have changed our company.
And then one day we get a call from WeWork and they’re like, “Hey, I’m really sorry, but the people, like the higher-ups in New York, signed a contract and every single WeWork that’s going to carry cold brew has to carry Stumptown.” So we were like, shit. And that was it. And we’re like, “Well, what can we do? Like, you know, like, “Can you talk with us on price? Or like, there’s like a lot of things that we can do.” They’re like, “Sorry, the orders came from HQ.” And so we were like, “Damn, we don’t know anybody in New York.” And then also around the same time, the restaurants that I was talking to, they were like…I think they ended up going also going with Stumptown or they already had Stumptown, but they were trying to get better pricing from us or maybe use us to get better pricing from Stumptown. So, it started like getting really…it started coming down to like things that a small company can’t really fight for. And so, or like, you know, the people, the investors at Stumptown have connections that we don’t have or, you know, like kind of came down to things that like we couldn’t compete on.
And then at that point, we were like, all right, so we can’t keep bottling because it doesn’t make sense. Even if we were to raise money, it doesn’t make sense because our coffee cost is not…like we were using really high-quality coffee. A lot of people don’t use high-quality coffee, you can probably taste the difference. And we didn’t want to budge, like, on quality. So yeah, it came down to that and we were just like, all right, we’ve got to move on. Like we’ve invested a lot of time. We’ve learned a lot. We’ve like tried our hardest and, like, you know, we did pretty well, I think, like over a hundred accounts. You know, like with all the design stuff, we’re exporting to Norway, here in San Francisco…
Tiffany: …we’re at break even. Not including time. It is kind of crazy. We brought on like one person every bottling day, actually two people. And then other than that, it was just two other people. It was me and my brother who were doing like the distributing and the selling. And so, we had a pretty small team. Actually, we did get a lot of help. So, one thing that really helped us, I don’t know if you guys have someone in sales, but we have a family friend who used to sell…he used to sell alcohol, but he also helped break Redbull into the United States. And so, he kind of was like a mentor for us, and especially for me. And on my big, like, sales calls, he would come with me. And he would say like, “Oh, you need to…like if you’re in a restaurant, we can launch…like, let’s get all of the servers together, let’s launch a contest that lasts for a week. Have them sell as much cold brew as possible.” So, he like helped us come up with ideas and stuff like that.
So, if you guys are going…I don’t know, like, what you decide on going on, but maybe like make a list of all of your connections and see if you have anyone who’s been in like beverage sales, or someone else. My boyfriend at the time, his dad was selling, he may still be selling this refrigerated pasta. So, we were in the same category. And so he would connect me with…
Gareth: A lot of people.
Tiffany: …people. Yeah.
Gareth: Very cool.
Tiffany: So, just like make a list of your connections and when you talk to people, ask them who they’re connected to. Like, “Oh, what’s your background? Like, do you know anyone in sales?” What you’re going to need is…like, what are all your specialties?
Gee: We have a mix, like, the team has different skills. But we have people with operations, we do have some sales, we do have a lot of background as well in the partnership. So, it’s a balanced team. We might only have, at this point, so many connections in the industry, but I’m pretty sure that we can put together a list of all of our connections and start making calls and getting people excited as advisors or mentors. And the school as well, UCLA Anderson, in that sense, it’s quite amazing because you can get access to a lot of people. We do have some advisers in the food industry as well that they are helping us. So yes, I think we have a balanced team and we do have access to a lot of connections that we definitely should follow your advice and take advantage of all of that.
Tiffany: Yeah. And then your finance, whoever’s like in your finance, have them run all the numbers. I mean, I’m sure you guys already have maybe like a spreadsheet or something going, but like get a spreadsheet going, put in all of the numbers for everything. Again, like if you’re…even down to like the box because what happened when we got into stores is they wanted…we started with case packs of 24 because beer bottles come in cases of 24 and stores wanted cases of 12. And to get into a store, you want to do whatever they want because they’re basically giving you space, they’re making space for you, you do whatever they want. But what’s also really good about 12 packs opposed to 24 packs is it looks like you move more product. So, it’s not all bad, but like, you have to buy the boxes and that costs money.
So, like all of the little things. One person on our team…so we brought someone on, a friend of a friend, in 2013 and he pretty much ran our business, our other business while we were doing the cold brew stuff. And he would come and help us whenever we needed help with the cold brew. But he is like our numbers guy. He ran everything. He told us how much coffee we needed and how much water to brew cold brew the way that we wanted it to be brewed. He told us…like, we gave him all the numbers. He told us what our costs were. He would enter all of our costs as soon as…like, he was our numbers guy. He still is our numbers guy. But you need somebody like very particular about things who’s going to like keep track of all of the numbers.
So, when we were shipping pallets, sometimes it would cost $50 and sometimes it would cost us like $100. And so, with every pallet shipment, if the cost is changing, we needed to record like how much it was changing so we could get like our average cost. So, numbers are pretty big. My brother and I both aren’t really like detailed numbers people. We’re both like bigger picture. So, it’s really good to have somebody on our team that’s detail-oriented. We’re kind of like, “No, let’s just go, let’s do it.”
Gee: We going to figure out.
Tiffany: Exactly. Yeah. I don’t know. What else do you guys need to know? You said customer demographics. Our cold brew was the same price as Stumptown. Another thing that happens when you get into stores is you’re required to advertise. So, you have to, if it’s like a food or a beverage, you have to come up with a…before the store accepts you, you have to come up with a promotion calendar. And it comes out of your pocket but the store advertises it for you. They put it in their ads, their magazines. This may be too much information. I don’t know. So, I assembled a demo team of girls who would like go out and demo for me. And then we would run sales during these demos. And what’s funny is every time we ran a sale, Stumptown was also running a sale. So, they found out somehow when our promotions were and they would just promote at the same time. So, I’m not sure if that’s a store thing. Like, I don’t know if the stores would be like, “Hey, like, Outpost is running a promotion. You guys might want to run a promotion at the same time.” If they had someone like on the inside who was doing that.
But the idea is if you’re running promotions, you’re selling all of the product and you’re even like allowing people who usually buy Stumptown to buy your product and try it because it’s at a less expensive price. But yeah, somehow they knew whenever we were running promotions and they would just run a promotion at the same time. So, it gets like pretty competitive. And then you also have to be careful because sometimes people only buy your product when it’s on sale. So, then do you have to like keep running promotions? It depends on the store. Like, maybe at of Vaughn’s that might be true, but at a Whole Foods, maybe people don’t really care about price, obviously, if they’re shopping at Whole Foods. Right? So, yeah, there’s a lot of things to take into consideration when you start getting into like where your product is going to be. But is there anything else I can help you with in terms of like startup process or, like, direction?
Gareth: What’s next for you?
Tiffany: What’s next? So, right now I’m working on…So, oh, wow, after Outpost, I had to decompress.
Gareth: Yeah, it was a long ride.
Tiffany: It was a long, hard road. There you go with the long and hard again. It was a long road and it was also kind of like a…that was the first time we decided to like stop, end of business basically. And we had started to before that. And so, it was kind of like, whoa, like what happened over the past couple of years? What am I doing with my life? Like kind of had a little bit of a like, what am I doing? And also, an opportunity to do something totally new. And my brother ended up going into coding, so now he’s a software programmer. He completely changed careers.
Tiffany: But I know he was going through this same thing that I was going through because both of us kind of disappeared for a few months. We like stopped going into the office. I found myself like running on the beach in like the middle of the afternoon. Like yeah, I didn’t do a whole lot of anything except for decompress for like months. And you could even say that, for me…like I think my brother got up and moving before I did. I think we ended Outpost in November. By March, he was like already like back in school. And I think that rest of the year I was like, “Okay, like what do I need to do?”
Because the business that we had started back in 2010 was like kind of on autopilot. Tony was taking care of it. And this was like an opportunity to like, you know, figure out what I really wanted to do. So, it took me a while. I’m still working on being more decisive, like…but okay. So, what I’m doing now is, so our company, I rebranded our first company. We don’t sell super-automatic espresso machines anymore. So, I rebranded our first company over the past two years and it’s called Posh Inc. And what I’m doing is consulting for…so what our company does, it manages and consults for brands that sell on third-party platforms.
Gareth: Like Amazon.
Tiffany: Amazon is the number one third-party platform. And we have a handful of clients. And my job is basically marketing. That’s what I do. I develop relationships, I give speeches, I give lectures, I develop programs for companies who want to use our services. And by that, I mean like companies who already have a team who need to be taught how to use the platform. But yeah, I live about a third of my time in Australia.
Gee: Oh, cool.
Tiffany: Yeah, Amazon Australia just launched in December.
Gee: Brazil as well. You might…yeah.
Tiffany: And maybe I’ll go over to Brazil. We’ll have to keep in touch so you tell me where to go. But yeah, August was my first trip to Australia and Amazon launched in December, and next month I have 11 workshops and lectures scheduled. In May, I’m speaking at an online retail conference. So, we have clients, but I love…I don’t know, like, my heart is in connecting with people and education. So, when you called me, I was like, “Dude, let’s just meet up and like have a chat.” I think to me that’s more fun than, you know, like writing you an email or something. Although I do have a lot of fun writing. I write a lot. So yeah, that’s what I do.
Tiffany: Now. And what’s next, I don’t now, like, I have really big dreams that I’m trying to spend more energy walking into. So, yeah, I don’t know. Just like, I like traveling and helping people, so probably that, I don’t know. Yeah.
Tiffany: Do you guys like…I don’t know, I feel like, did you guys learn anything?
Gee: Oh, yeah, I can. Yeah, we’ve learned a lot.
Gareth: I think…Yeah, go ahead. No, I think it was really interesting and I really appreciate your honesty about, you know, when you’re talking about walking through the valley, you know, I think that’s a really unique position to be in. And I think, you know, from what we’ve found, we’ve only talked to the people who, you know, ended up being wildly successful in cold brew or mostly in entrepreneurship in general. And that’s a really, you know, interesting insight and like I really appreciated you walking us through, you know, how you guys made that decision and, you know, that’s a tough one to make, but I think like you said it yourself, like, you know, part of being entrepreneurs, you need to know when to kind of throw in the towel a little bit. And I don’t think that’s something that I’ve focused or learned as much about and I really appreciate that. Also, I mean, it’s just really inspiring, you know, to hear your story about just deciding to build a cold brew company kind of out of the blue, like just with a couple of friends, just kind of what we’re looking at. And I appreciate you just taking the time to go over that with us.
Gee: Yeah, thank you so much. Was super interesting journey and where we are right now, like thinking about, okay, let’s move ahead, let’s go forward with this, that’s the kind of startups that we want to learn about. Like, the successes is all around, that’s what people talk about. But actually what’s going on, on the backstage, and all the hustle and all the challenges, that’s what we really want to learn. So, it was super helpful. Thank you so much for being so honest and to sharing your story and hope all the success in your journey. And actually, Brazil is a thing, like Amazon just got there, so might be a market as well.
Tiffany: Yeah, that’s exciting. It’s exciting for me. Yeah. So, I would say just to recap, figure out where you want to end up. I like how you’re thinking of like what does the market need? I think that’s a really good question to consider before launching a product. And then yeah, like BevNET has a lot of…I don’t know, BevNET comes out with a lot of materials and research and market demographics and information. So, that’s like a pretty good information source for beverages. I would say if you’re going to…go for the lowest cost possible with keeping, like, the quality that you want. And even use your limitations as a…like whether they be money or amount of people on your team or having no connections, like use that as a…like, use all of your limitations as opportunities to…it’s almost like, use them as a game, almost. Like, view them not as limitations but as places where you could be strong because I think that’s where you will find your strengths, not your weaknesses. You know what I mean? No?
Gareth: I think so. I think I get it.
Tiffany: For example…I’ll give you an example from my own story. So, not wanting to spend the money on a custom bottle, but going with beer bottles because they were cheap, or even like our design, we didn’t have a clear idea of who we were. So, we made it as basic as possible and that became our personality. That became our story. So, instead of being like, “Oh man, like we really need to have a brand identity and let’s spend some time figuring that out,” no, let’s use our non-identity to be an identity. That’s what I mean by using your limitations as opportunities and strengths.
And going with the flow, like that’s another example of going with the flow. Like don’t spend too much energy or too much time on things that don’t matter that much. You can make all negatives or all negative aspects into the positive. Just depends on what your perspective is and how you use it. You know, like there were no black and white labels on the shelf. Ours was the only one. And it always stood out, like, you know, everybody uses color. Everybody uses, you know, like mascots or shapes. That’s like not our style, or at least it wasn’t. Mainly because we were like, we don’t know what defines us, but we can’t spend time. Like we just got to make it clean and legible and it needs to be like, you know, easily understood. I would say like a lot of my detailed advice would have to do with like where you guys want to end up, like whether it be Costco or in restaurants or whatever. But yeah.
Gareth: I think we’re still trying to figure that out, but once we do it, it sounds like we’ll have to reach back out to you. Do a part two of the podcast.
Tiffany: You guys have any more questions? Anything you want to touch on before we sign off?
Gareth: Just a general question. So, you’ve been an entrepreneur basically since you started. What are some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned along the way and like something you’d give to Gee and I?
Tiffany: That’s a really big question. It’s been 11 years and I’ve evolved as a person. So, I’m going to…oh, no, no. Yeah, it’s fine. I’m going to give you the answers from my current perspective. So, I talked about…before we started recording, I talked about intent. So, starting with the end in mind and figuring out like what you want, that’s been a huge lesson for me. That was what I spent like a lot of time deciding in that year after we decided to, like, terminate Outpost. What else? Network, like developing a network is super important. So, I would consider myself as just starting a new business even though I just rebranded our old one. But for management and consulting, I’ve learned that like a network makes a huge difference.
And before we…like Outpost kind of proved that, but our businesses before that for very like solo work and it didn’t really have to be like that. It could have been more, I don’t know, like with developing a network. Also fun, like don’t forget to have fun. I used to take myself way too seriously and also just…I mean, it’s good to plan and to implement new things and always be learning. But like, you can do that in a really fun way. Like, do it in the way that you enjoy doing it. Not in the way that somebody else tells you you have to do it. So, I think what’s really important for learning is like learning in the way that you’d like to learn. And, yeah, so finding, like, joy through having fun, always like keep learning. Whenever you’re stuck…like, do you guys ever feel stuck?
Gareth: Yeah. Definitely.
Tiffany: I don’t know. Like I used to experience a lot more friction in my life, but that friction manifested itself as like stuckness, and what’s helped me with that is like figuring out what it is that’s making me feel stuck and then focusing on the positive part of it. Yeah. I don’t know. That’s probably…
Gareth: That was a big question to spring upon you at the end of the interview like that.
Tiffany: It’s a really good question. Be like…
Gee: But it was good advice, I think. [inaudible 01:16:50]
Tiffany: Honesty, like I’m a huge…we’ve had some really tough times, especially in the beginning. And I guess like sticking to your morals and like remaining…like keeping true and honest. Like those have been really huge aspects of my journey as an entrepreneur. Never going against what my, like, internal compass says. I don’t know how other people’s internal compasses are, but mine’s like pretty strong and like not doing anything that’s like totally wrong. Yeah, I don’t know, work hard. Do work. Some people don’t like to work. I would say if you don’t like to work then entrepreneurship is probably not for you. Like, love to get your hands dirty. And if you don’t, like, find out what…like one thing that’s really helped me this year, and when I say this year I mean like over the past year, is digging really deep. Like, do you guys ever get bored? Do you ever feel like you want to like stop doing something out of boredom or like things or become uninteresting?
Tiffany: So, that used to happen to me in my different entrepreneur roles of starting like businesses. At some point, I’d be like, “Oh, I’m bored. Like, I want to do something new.” And I think that’s part of always doing something new is part of my spirit. But one thing I found this year was when that happens to dig deeper, like dig way deeper and find things that become interesting within my same, like, space. Yeah. And also, there’s always a way, like if you really want to do something, there’s always a way to do it. So, like if you’re kind of feeling like at the end…here’s what I think. Oh, this was actually what I was going to say when you were telling me about your thesis and your project and either you pitch for money or you explain why it didn’t work or why you don’t feel like it will work. I really wanted to say, but I didn’t want to interrupt, if you can learn everything that you’re meant to learn during this phase and write your thesis and it’s a bad idea and you still want to do it, then you know it’s a good idea. Do you know what I mean?
Tiffany: If at the end of your research you decide that you don’t want to do it, then you probably never did.
Gareth: Yeah. Oh, I got you.
Tiffany: So, whatever you…this comes back to intent and decision making. When you set your mind to doing something or your heart or your whole like body into doing it, like nothing’s gonna stop you. No one’s bad experiences, no one’s good experiences, no one’s tough experiences. You’ll just want to do it and you’ll do it. And you’ll find your own path and you find your own way. But if you don’t want to do it, then everything that you hear, all your research will shy you away from the decision of doing it. And maybe what’s meant to come out of this, to come out of your research or to come out of your school or you writing your thesis is to help you make a better decision as to whether you really want to do this or not.
Gee: That’s a valid point. I think it’s about it. You do a lot of work, but essentially, we’ll always be able to find a way that’s into partnership. Otherwise, no one will be starting any kind of business. Every idea, it’s tough to implement and the challenge will be in front of you in any space. But if you have the passion, if you have the energy, I’m with you that you can find a way and you’ll make pivot, you may partner with someone, but you’ll make it happen.
Tiffany: Yeah. Exactly.
Gee: Cool. Thank you so much for having us. It was great.
Gareth: Thank you very much.
Tiffany: Thanks for coming all the way to the Westside. All right. I guess we’ll sign off. Oh, is there anything you guys want to say? If you want to say to either the audience or maybe you want to plug your chicken coop business again. I’m just kidding. Anything? Any last-minute requests or…?
Gee: We’ll be soon out with a brand, with a product, and keep posted, we will probably send you a sample and maybe even, I don’t know, have a second one with our product and then we have more stories to tell and actually a product to taste.
Tiffany: Cool. I’m excited. I’m excited to learn what you guys decide in a few months.
Gareth: We’ll definitely keep you in the loop.
Tiffany: Yeah, please do. All right.
Gee: Thank you.
Gareth: Thank you.
Tiffany: Thank you.