Garrett Clark is the Founder and Visionary of Rolling Monkey, a company that specializes in handcrafted ice cream made by skilled artisans. After starting his career in engineering, Garrett decided to found Rolling Monkey in 2017 with the goal of delivering high-quality products and exciting experiences. In addition to this, he is a Community Catalyst for Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group. Previously, he worked as a Production Improvement Supervisor at Koyo Bearings North America and a Lean Engineer at Mitsubishi Power Americas.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- What drove Garrett Clark to walk away from a successful engineering career to open an ice cream shop?
- The concept of servant leadership and why Garrett believes it is the key to a successful business
- What is the Antifragile Model?
- Garrett reveals the one surprising component that was missing from his engineering career — and why your business needs it
- What is rolled ice cream, and how is it made?
- Garrett talks about what makes Rolling Monkey successful: premium ice cream and unique experiences
- The meaning behind Rolling Monkey’s name
- How Garrett uses the Japanese principle of Ikigai to guide his vision
In This Episode
What is the secret to running a successful, tasty, and memorable food business? While many would assume that it requires an in-depth background in the food and hospitality industries, Garrett Clark has proven that it’s all about leadership.
With a degree in civil engineering and a position at Mitsubishi Power Americas, Garrett was solidly ensconced in a successful engineering career. But he quickly learned that he was more interested in the human side of things. So, Garrett set out to use the principles he learned from working for large companies to change the way businesses do business — through the medium of ice cream.
In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen sits down with Garrett Clark, the Founder and Visionary of Rolling Monkey, to talk about leadership, redefining success, and the key to running an unforgettable ice cream business. Garrett explains the concept of servant leadership, why you should create a unique food experience, and how to use the Japanese principle of Ikigai to unlock your business’s full potential. Stay tuned for more.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Garrett Clark on LinkedIn
- Rolling Monkey Handcrafted Ice Cream
- Rolling Monkey on YouTube
- Rolling Monkey on Instagram
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- John Maxwell
- Leopold’s Ice Cream
- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Nicholas Taleb
Sponsor for this episode
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Welcome to the Top Business Leaders show powered by Rise25 Media. We featured top founders, executives and business leaders from all over the world
Chad Franzen 00:20
Chad Franzen here, co-host for this show where we feature top restauranteurs, investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series. SpotOn has the best in class payment platform for retail and they have a flagship solution called SpotOn Restaurant where they combine marketing software and payments all in one. They’ve served everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and Subway to small mom and pop restaurants. To learn more go to SpotOn.com. This episode is brought to you by Rise25. We help b2b businesses to get ROI clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcasts. If you have a b2b business and want to build great relationships with clients referral partners and thought leaders in your space. There’s no better way to do it than through podcasts and content marketing. To learn more go to rise25.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org creative engineering is his passion developing thriving cultures is his mission. Garrett Clark takes the design principles from Fortune 500 companies where he’s served to reshape the way businesses do business. He is the founder and visionary at Rolling Monkey Handcrafted Ice Cream in Statesboro, Georgia, where you’ll find an ice cream experience like no other. Garrett, thanks for joining me today. How are you?
Garrett Clark 01:32
I’m good. Chad, how are you?
Chad Franzen 01:34
Good. Thank you. Hey, yeah. So tell me a little bit about your background. It’s kind of unique for somebody who runs a ice cream store. You got a degree in civil engineering?
Garrett Clark 01:43
I do have a degree in Civil and I never applied civil, I went right into manufacturing. Okay. Yeah, we’re kind of focused on Lean principles and methodologies, that value stream mapping, looking at different business models and kind of working out the kinks and the bottlenecks. And yeah, just just kind of applying those basic foundational principles, and then facilitating
Chad Franzen 02:04
improvement and growth. So you, you graduated with that degree? And then you got into manufacturing? And then what kind of things did you do leading up to? Rolling Monkey before Rolling Monkey but leading up to it?
Garrett Clark 02:16
Yeah, really, I mean, the contributing factors, as they were a big part of the founding of Rolling Monkey, I would say work that the Lean principles, that methodology of looking at a system as a whole, and then working to really identify the value creation. So I worked for two Japanese companies that really had that inverse hierarchy of servant leadership, which is a big part of my faith as well with kind of the Christian model of, of service, and, you know, influencing through that kind of, by example, and how we structure our organizations. So that seeing that apply and work, not just the theory was very inspiring. And it really helped shape the way that I think and work to build value with, within the different networks that I’m in and all of that. So. From there, I was definitely, you know, very green, young, eager engineer looking to just add value at work under some great mentors, that really helped coach me through different things that develop discipline through those larger companies worked with a lot of individuals who came from the GE space, who had, you know, a lot of that Jack Welch, kind of, you know, toughness about it, but also integrated with that degree of servant leadership with kind of the more softer side that Mitsubishi brought to the table. And then from there, it really became about so I had the the autonomy to kind of go anywhere within about us frame, to facilitate teams and growth. And that allowed me to really discover the, I guess, importance of unlocking trust or relational ship communication with value add labor, and those that were bringing down whatever goals or vision, you know, mission that this laid out there, that they call them rocks with, within Mitsubishi kind of kind of that framework, Entrepreneurial Operating system model, you know, it comes from, let’s say, what is the trying to think through the, the Rockefeller habits, you know, kind of that that framework that that comes out of there, but anyways, that was very interesting. And then that led me to a position within Koya, which is a subsidiary of Toyota. So a lot of the Toyota methodology and my next career position where I took a position as a pretty much a lean engineer again, but this time as a supervisor to where I had a dedicated team that was primarily using eight step problem solving, which is a modified version of the scientific method to solve complex problems. particularly developed around manufacturing within Toyota to really map out and objectively run through that to really solve big issues. And so within that there is a certain methodology, a certain way of thinking that I cultivated, and have applied and integrated into Rolling Monkey, but that’s kind of the professional space that I come from in and throughout that my wife and I, you know, we kind of just, she was special education teacher, before going into Rolling Monkey. And so she brings a big part of the empathy and that kind of aspect of, I say, you know, we’d love there is discipline, in the end, there is empathy. And so I think we’re a great team. And what we’ve been able to produce with Rolling Monkey, because a big part of what we’re doing with our mission to unlock the potential in people is to, to encourage them impairment in a sense, because it with our model, we have a lot of young part timers who come into play there. And those there’s previous background components of our background really, I think, are a big part of what allows us to, to have this desire, what allows us to have the skill set and ability to kind of move in here and really, really focus on something great. So there’s a lot that I want to unpack with what we have going on with Rolling Monkey, and there’s a million different points that we can get on and kind of discuss. And one of the challenges that I’ve been working through is kind of honing the story in a consistent manner that really effectively outlines all of that. So I’m working to do that to share that. So
Chad Franzen 06:38
sure. When you talk about servant leadership, what does that what does that mean to you? And how would you say that young people who maybe are temporary part time employees, how would you say that they respond to that kind of leadership?
Garrett Clark 06:51
I think they respond to it in a way that really is that they really gravitate towards it because it’s not that common, at least within the models that I see today, specifically, the retail model, most of what I’m seeing in the retail model is is more of a positional leadership. And I think John Maxwell’s framework of the five levels of leadership is a great kind of outline of what we’re talking about with servant leadership is that that first level, that basic level of leadership is the position level of leadership. And then from there, it’s that missional level of leadership toward that, that true influence is then earned into where you can more effectively lead because the permission is given to lead versus just cracking the whip and pushing on a rope, so to speak, with the promotional side of things. So the pinnacle is the top where you’re developing leaders that grow other leaders. So it’s this the selfless approach, and then Christ being kind of the example that that we look to within our our faith as founders is to really, that empathy is really being caring more about the spirit of what we’re doing. And the individuals, which are the collective group that make the spirit of our organization, and really being selfless verse, kind of, again, that that traditional vision of okay, everyone here is serving me, but no, the weight lies with me serving everyone here. And ultimately, at the top of that hierarchy there where the value add labor is, is serving the community. So it’s it’s an education of understanding that we’re all leaders, even even our entry level individuals serving right there on the line, because I think that’s the biggest value that we bring to the table is, is that position, it’s the one dealing with the community, because that’s where that the most Trent connection and transaction is occurring. So it’s the biggest opportunity for impact. And it’s, it just, it comes down to discovering that we’re built to serve. And and it’s, it’s what I see is a misunderstanding for us to believe that we need to fill ourselves up by being selfish. And I believe I see it here, at least within America, where we’re often if we’re relaxing, we attempt to fill ourselves up by being selfish. But in other cultures throughout the world, I’ve discovered these cultures will in order to feel better, they will go serve someone. And then of course, that is here in America throughout but as a collective average is kind of what I’m looking at. And yeah, it’s a very inspiring thing. We’re not perfect by any means. I mean, we definitely have selfish days. And, you know, but what we’re trying to bring is is kind of the philosophy the message around sustainable models that really meet three. The Win Win Win is what I say, from the community’s perspective because you’re building a body, a spirit company of collective bodies that are serving and performing some degree of transaction And there, because we’re interacting with different individuals there, we need to meet the unrecognized needs, because often the recognized need is going to be transactional product, I want to receive my ice cream in our example or Mitsubishi, I want to receive a large gas turbine. And when we’re dealing with individuals, if it’s just transactional, to the subconscious, what is occurring, yours is a collection of, of data points. So if I only spend time with 10 people today, out of those 10 people, how many of those were were fulfilling transit or, you know, content contact points, and how many were those kind of degrading. So at the essence of it, it’s all about the each time that we hand off that ice cream or hand off whatever it is that we’re transactionally doing in business, that we are elevating the community. So that’s the one aspect, and the other one. In order for that to occur. It’s the investment into our employees. So as leaders, my leadership team is heavily focused on our customer is not necessarily the community, it’s more so our employees, and if we can effectively understand that they’re our customer and serve them, they can serve and lead our community influential, positive way. And then of course, the other aspect of that is kind of the investment aspect. And if you follow that recipe, where you’re investing heavily in your employees, so that they meet the unrecognized needs of your customer slash community, then that return comes because that’s when, when the ice cream world, the lines are throughout the door, and all of those different things. But but that framework, that business model, this principles apply to, to manufacturing at a fortune 100 company, down to a mom and pop ice cream shop. And this Rolling Monkey’s kind of been a prototype of implementing these theories, and then kind of proving it out and letting it be an example of what I would like to see around servant leadership.
Chad Franzen 12:02
So when you say you are embarking on a venture to change the way retail businesses do business, I’m guessing that’s a huge part of it. Do you have other maybe bullet points?
Garrett Clark 12:12
Yeah, yeah. So that’s part of the part of what I’m trying to formulate here. You know, this is I’ve only been on a couple of different podcasts. And each time, I’m further distilling that down to where it can effectively convey it into those kind of bullet point, bullet point formats. But that’s a big part of it. It’s what I call it as the anti fragile model. So so what I’m doing, in essence, is leveraging proven principles and patterns throughout history. So looking at religious texts, looking at other just kind of scholarly text, as well as looking at things from a scientific perspective, perspective with just systems and the ability of systems and one thing there’s a book I think Nassim Taleb, wrote a book called anti fragile. And this book really, WISC was kind of a paradigm shift for me, it kind of enlightened me to this element of fragility, which on your x and y axis, if you can envision fertility being something that is the stressor occurs over time. So let’s see, we would have time and then you have stress, x and y axis. And then as that stressor is applied, of course, it breaks, it’s a solid break. And then resiliency, there’s a degree, but intimate, it’s still fades out and, and in between that is robust. So there’s robust, there’s resiliency, and then there is antifragility. So the inverse of fragility to where when it’s stressed, it actually improves. And so this is the same framework, nature has created us and God has created us in and to where, you know, there’s a stressor that then allows us to evolve and adapt. And of course, that stressors can’t be so great to where it breaks us. So there is a limitation on that, but it’s looking at models of evolution, looking at patterns of history with civilizations that they sustain. And and really, it comes down to a degree of value alignment. So what are the values? What what is it that we aim at? What is it that we focus on? Right? Because what we focus on is what becomes and so it’s, it gets into some, some some deeper, you know, philosophy of thinking which it’s necessary because as a as a civil engineer, I mean, that’s, that’s what we’re trained into, you know, the the reality of reality and how does reality work with building and bringing things to life? Well, the foundation is absolutely critical. And honestly, the kind of the problem that that I’m seeing, and what I’m working to address is I see a lot of great talent and resource and energy poured into us working on higher levels of say, a building, if that’s the analogy we’re going to look at where there’s focus and energy going on to the 3030 level of or the 15th level, when in fact, the foundational element is is is collapsing. So, for us to do those things within those higher spaces are of value only if the foundation sustains. So the thing I’m looking at is the foundation elements, and then how to how to repair those within existing frameworks? And then how do we develop those with a new frameworks moving forward that are anti fragile, that are in alignment with serving people? Well, I’ll give you the, I guess, the kind of model but it’s, it’s discovering what is it that you are love? What is it that you’re passionate about? And for us at Rolling Monkey, we attract people who love creating to inspire and love genuinely engaging with people? Because that’s pretty much what are, the value we bring to the table is where a connection hub, or an inspiration station. And so that’s the unrecognized me need that we’re meeting for our community. And so what we do with that is love and then develop a skill around that so and excellence, right? Because we want to bring a beauty into the world, not just beyond, you know, beyond just a good app, but something of inspiration. But that overlap is passion. So we find people who are passionate about that. And then the focus becomes how do we serve? How do we give back? How do we serve with that passion, so that the need is met, we’re doing a job that allows us to feel fulfilled, and not empty, because if we don’t love it, we’re not going to feel fulfilled, and we’re gonna feel empty, and there’s gonna be a lot less output on our performance. So that that’s part of the the model as well is the productivity because we’re doing work that we’re passionate about. And I know that that’s, that’s tough. From a scaling perspective, it may be said that not all models can find individuals that are passionate about that. So that that’s, that’s some things that I’m working with different individuals on with incorporating a methodology and way that we can go about leveraging that, but that’s one aspect. And then the other component of that is less sequence of these, if you can imagine a Venn diagram of four overlapping circles, so love, being good at something, serving others, and then getting paid for that. So the overlap of being good at something and getting paid for this profession. And so I see the value structure of our collective at macro civilization, really focusing on profession first. And I get that from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, security, and money is at the base of that. And ultimately, what we’re trying to do is bring people to a self of a state of self actualization to a degree. And I know that there’s some criticism on that model. But that basically bring them to a state of abundancy. And, and creative problem solving to unlock the potential in people by helping them to discover basically what, what they get paid for what they’re good at, what allows them to love what they’re doing, and then to serve other people, but within a sequential order of love developing a skill around that, holding it, and then serving and then as a byproduct, the money comes first pursuing, what can I get paid for first, because often that becomes the aim the value that when you aim at first, that then doesn’t sustain that basically, it becomes a negative cycle that doesn’t allow the love to come in, because you’ve already built so much, and you’re scared to lose what you’ve built. So it’s a difficult thing. And where this comes from is a pain point of my own. Quite honestly, it’s a problem that I discovered as I went through, and I pursued profession first. And initially, I wanted to be an architect. But through discussion with different advisors, it was like, well, Garrett, is that going to make money? You have to be top of your class to make good money as an architect. And do you want to do that and so the encouragement there was civil engineering, you’ll get good money doing engineering. So with that, it I felt a little bit pressure that and so I pursued that because it correlated but, but at the end of the day, I’m more of an artist than I am a very structured guy. So that that became a challenge that that later surfaced after years of being in great positions, doing great things, but nonetheless, me being in more rigid positions, then then my makeup is made for I’m more of a fluid creative type. And so within this, I started to discover I can’t I’m lacking something. And what it was is that was lacking that love aspect. So within those circles, the Venn diagrams are talking about the Ikigai model, and this is kind of where this comes from is reverse engineering. The longest living people in the world. So the Oconaluftee have been kind of described as a are identified as the longest living people, I think, on average five to seven years longer than the next longest living group of individuals. So I was looking at, okay, how do I live the best life, if at this point in time of kind of discovering, okay, something may be off here on the current trajectory that I’m on, I might not be as fulfilled as I thought I was. Because, let’s say a half decade ago, when at the point time plus I was 25, five years prior to that, in college, I don’t have a lot of things, but I feel very fulfilled, but yet now has achieved all of the things that society says I should have. And I’m feeling some pressure there. And part of that growing up being an adult and receiving the weight of responsibility. But another part of that was my day, you know, the vast the day, vast majority of my day, and the way that it was, where my time is spent continuously each and every week, was doing something that I was very good at. So let’s say an eight out of 10. There. And then on a PE perspective, a nine out of 10, you know, I was in the one, what is 99th percentile, from a PE perspective with for my age, okay, but but the love that might have been a six out of 10, so it wasn’t quite as it and because I didn’t necessarily love it, there’s a degree of unfulfillment there. And then on the other side of giving back, I would say that that was probably a five out of 10. Because while we were rebuilding something that was serving, and being a part of the infrastructure, and all of that, most certainly, but I didn’t recognize that as an individual, I wasn’t handing an ice cream off to a kid and then just see that feedback of them light up, and it just nourished. So those were the two aspects, I was looking at it basically missing and when it comes to its mission, because the overlap of what you love, and what service you do, is mission. And so what I see is a value alignment issue with people pursuing profession over pursuing mission. And so what we’re trying to do is convey discover, what is your mission? What do you love? And how can you serve with your love to then get paid for that. And if you if you come out the gate as a young individual pursuing that, it’s going to be a much better world. And so that’s what we’re excited about. That’s what we’re unpacking. That’s we’re trying to structure and communicate more effectively than I’m currently bouncing around doing here today?
Chad Franzen 22:20
No, it’s great. So, so you know, you’re obviously driven by, you know, serving and love and mission and, you know, servant leadership leadership, and all of these things. What’s, how did you kind of land on
Garrett Clark 22:34
ice cream? Okay, yeah, so we leveraged that model, that Antifragile model that I talked about, so I said, Okay, we’re just gonna go through and use this as a key. And so that the viewers have an understanding of what I’m talking about, as you can see that if it’ll focus, but here’s what I’m talking about. So we’ve got love, we’ve got being good at something, we’ve got service, that to the community that a need not necessarily want. So that’s a particular that’s necessary to understand. And then we have the getting paid for. So Rolling Monkey is basically the middle of that for us. So we’ve got the, you know, let’s talk about mission, vocation, profession, all of those passions, those different overlaps there. We use that as a key. So basically, we would go out and fly, we were looking at different business models and saying, Okay, what what is it that I’m good at? What is it that I love? What is it that they can serve, and we just read each one of those circles, put a value them. And so we would come together on some? And it would be it would have met my Ikigai for me, but then it doesn’t meet it for my wife. And it’s like, oh, scratch that. We can’t do that together because we wanted to pursue something that allowed us to move towards a common value, a common purpose and aim verse as heaven are diverging pursuit, right. So so that was a necessary component of why why we’ve landed what we landed. And so mega loved ice cream, right? Like she’s just a fanatic for it. Now, I’ve always loved ice cream as a kid and all those different things. But I’ve never envisioned myself as being an ice cream business owner. That was never a part of my plan, which is pretty, pretty exciting the way that it developed. But as we’re looking for these different models, we discovered rolled ice cream, specifically rolled ice cream. And the reason that we loved and rolled ice cream model is because it was very labor intensive. There was a it was the US come to Bochy of ice cream. So there was this degree of, of show this degree of engagement interaction with people. And this inspiration that came from this kind of creative connectivity. That was just something very special there for us that we fell in love with. And then we kind of went through the checkbox on that, like, hey, this fits. And from there, we then traveled the nation and took a lot of very detailed notes on 50 Plus Different rolled ice cream places before we we wrote this model out.
Chad Franzen 25:07
So, you know, for those of us who are not experts in ice cream, what do you mean by what is roll rolled ice cream is that what you call it?
Garrett Clark 25:14
Rolled ice cream. So when it comes to ice cream, there are in this particular I’ll get to that particular unit. So within Vogt ice cream, there’s ice cream, there is within ice cream their standardized creams, premium ice creams and super premium ice creams. So we use a super premium ice cream, it’s come down to butterfat, and air added into it, there’s a there’s a determining factor as to what’s in that. But within that, we still use a regular ice cream, just like you could get at if anyone’s familiar with Leopold’s ice cream in Savannah, Georgia. But that’s a very well, nationally recognized ice cream place that uses a super premium ice cream. But it’s in a traditional manner of the batch where you’re just giving it out of the large batch process. bucket or whatever vessel that it may be in with us, we receive that liquid base and we process it make it fresh there on site. So what we do is we have a cold plate, if you’ve been to Cold Stone, it’s similar but Cold Stone actually takes a batch ice cream and puts it on there and then mixes in other elements with us, we take that liquid base of that super premium ice cream, pour it onto a below freezing surface, it’s around zero degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a range, it depends. There’s some variation within that. But then we bring in the cheese cake and brownies or whatever the mixing may be. And then by hand with spatulas, chop it up, and then spread it out. So it freezes. And then we’ll put some aesthetics on it through caramel, the chocolates, draw people’s names to troll imagery that that is related to that individual to give them kind of a custom unique interaction there. And then from there, we roll it up. So we will roll each one of these, these. If the blade is about this large, you’re looking at a space about like this, let’s say you pop off about eight little rolls that drop into the cup. And if you should Google rolled ice cream, if you haven’t seen it, and it’s this beautiful cup with this, this handcrafted ice cream that is in there that then receive the toppings and everything else. So very labor intensive. But it’s it’s it’s very engaging. It’s very, it’s very fun.
Chad Franzen 27:26
So you so it sounds it sounds fantastic, you have that you have this high quality products that you deliver to your customer. And then you have kind of your philosophies based on love and service. How does all of that go into providing an ice cream experience like no other.
Garrett Clark 27:43
So really are three uniques. So kind of following the the traditional business model of determining three uniques. First and foremost, it is well, I wouldn’t say foremost, but I’ll do two in kind of a the way I engineer the way I’ve designed it, it’s to get this experience. So one of the models we say is, it’s not ice cream, or excuse me, it’s more than ice cream, it’s an experience like like you say. And in order for us to get that overall experience, it’s a degree of individual components that come together to equate to that synergy. So if one of those components is is off, you’re probably not going to receive the overall experience. And so first for us what that is, is environment. So I was able to leverage that, that that desire of architecture, into the Rolling Monkey models. So that’s a part of the story as well that I didn’t touch on is I have a passion for design. So with architecture and interior design, and working with great people to make that happen, but thinking through kind of like the Disney model, so Disneyland Disney World, what that student is bringing you into a state of the present. And so what we’re doing is bringing people into the present, you know, kind of not hopefully pulling people out of out of that future state, you know, thinking about the peak of Everest that they have to climb, all with all of the future tasks that they have to get to. And then also those in the past you may be worried thinking about well, just worrisome things that are that are weighing on them. But hopefully we can give them an environment. So when they cross that threshold, they step into that land step into that world, that they’re brought into the present. And then from there, it comes down to genuine connection. It’s so it’s the people side of things. It’s the genuine welcome not just a scripted piece that you hear in certain organizations, but but genuine people who understand that that purpose and again, that’s we’re attracting people who love to do that. So that’s what allows us to be able to do that. And then from there that that engagement we’re meeting that unrecognized need of a really loving someone really, really serving some really wanting to hear about their day wanting wanting to inspire them and maybe look at the diamond in the rough whenever they can date they’re tough day but they’ve had so we’ve got different ways in different aims of of what we’re looking to do. But basically our measure within this department is just elevation just people are interested See, if they come in low, let’s build them up. If they’re if they’re already up, let’s take them up even more. So that’s that’s what we’re doing there. So genuine connection coupled with that show that inspires, you know, that kind of rolling ice cream up, you know, if they’re wearing a certain t shirt, doing something an ice cream related to that individuality aspect. And then the third aspect is the super premium ice cream that I talked about, is delivering the product that they they’re consciously aware for, is like, give me that transactional piece. But it’s the environment, it’s the people. And it’s the product that equate to that experience.
Chad Franzen 30:36
How would you characterize the physical environment within Rolling Monkey?
Garrett Clark 30:44
Like a jungle. And so the reason for that was the name Rolling Monkey. And this was something that was pulled from my son, I’ve had a nickname for monkey man, that’s it, we’ve always monkeyed around, we’ve always done different things instead of a stuffed bear, he had a little stuffed monkey, so that that’s just always kind of been a different nickname. And initially, our name was COBOL Creamery, which was his initials. And we modified that to be a little more playful, since it was ice cream. And he really wanted his name to still be incorporated, as did we. So that’s where the name kind of comes from. But being that Rolling Monkey is, is that name, we wanted to develop an environment that was really consistent with that. And then kind of going back to the, you know, thinking pretty deeply into this stuff, it’s something that I feel is that we can all relate with, that we can connect with nature, that we all have a deep relationship with mother nature, and so that environment should be conducive from from all ages, across the board, which, quite honestly, was probably one of the biggest challenges for me, throughout this venture is picking that one single customer and then building everything to them, where I think what I’m discovering is, my customers humanity. And that’s, that’s, that’s a very challenging customer, because it’s such a broad thing, but my interest and my passions and my previous skill set, I think, allow me to, to get in to some of the deeper things that that we all can relate to. So that that’s part of this particular model. Yeah, so there’s, there’s, there’s that music is a big part of the environment as well, we’re very particular with the music that we select, we’re looking for it, it’s definitely more elevated. So for some, it’s not going to be the best. It’s gonna be a little loud, you know, we’ve had heard some of that, but like Dutch Bros Coffee, if you’re familiar with Dutch Bros, there’s a degree of that kind of upliftedness that’s going on there. But we’re selective with the music. And it because we believe that music is very influential, whether we consciously realize that or not, but there’s, there’s a degree of communication that’s constantly occurring. So we really tried to bring something in that is very uplifting, and let’s say like, sustainable that brings us moves us more towards selflessness, and compassion over selfishness. So you know, again, every song is not perfect there, we’ve got a couple of ones that are, you know, a little bit off that are just personally like, God, I love this movie. Just got to throw it in there. But that’s a big part of the environment as well. And then just stay on top of it attention to detail, really trying to, to upkeep it very well. And yeah, other than that, I think that covers it pretty well. But we’re excited for future build outs and what else may may arise with the design?
Chad Franzen 33:40
Sure. What’s been your proudest moments so far? If you can think of one that comes right to you, on top of your head,
Garrett Clark 33:46
proudest moment? I would say the ones that that gives pretty emotional as listening to testimonies, testimonies from artisans and employees and different things like that, I think it really comes down to to realizing that the work that we’re doing is we’re hitting the mark. And at times, I’m not saying we’re always hitting the mark. But oftentimes, I am very critical. And very, I’m always I’m always looking at the next thing, what needs to be improved as a trained lean engineer in the years of thinking that way has I’m always looking at what is what is broken? How can this be better? And so I’m not wanting to often stop and smell the roses. Now. I’m trying to move into the present more than I talk about cultivating these environments that bring people into the present. But oftentimes, I am looking at Everest and I’m very driven towards moving towards these bigger objectives. And when when I hear these testimonies come through, or read a letter that talks about what we’ve done and someone’s life that’s when I realized that that we’re really doing some good work here. And yeah, it’s it’s a It’s humbling, and it really allows me to, to appreciate and be grateful for the opportunity that we have to get your work that we’re doing.
Chad Franzen 35:09
So you have some pretty kind of unique aspirations. It’s more than just maybe your typical business owner, what are some of your your goals moving forward with Rolling Monkey?
Garrett Clark 35:20
Really, we want Rolling Monkey to be inspiration stations. So a model that that goes into communities and can set an example of what good business can be and partner with other businesses that have already done that, such as Chick-fil-A and other models that value the servant leadership model. And I think that they’ve proven themselves quite well, within six days, what they can do on an annual revenue perspective, comparative to, let’s say, the big players like McDonald’s that really don’t follow that particular model. So we want to partner with individuals, or companies and partners that are valuing that and share this message really to unlock the potential of people, because we believe that people are the largest assets for any business, and that if you’re not untapping, that potential, you’re leaving so much on the table. And, and I think it’s just foolish, to, to not recognize that and so really, what I want to do with Rolling Monkey is use it as a message to speak to leaders that are responsible for ecosystems, hierarchies, cultures, that that are hungry, to want to embrace their responsibility of cultivating those that are in their hands. And to not only take care of the humanitarian side of things with allowing those people to live more fulfilled lives to where they’re in a creative abundant state, because their basic needs are met in their, their even belonging needs are met, but then their creative needs are met. And also being within a flow zone, a degree of not overwhelmed, but not underwhelmed. But right there with me, hi, chick, Sydney Hi says in a state of flow, and then also with the Ikigai model. So if you think of me kind of kind of roll out this philosophy of the triangle, the square, and then the circle, so the circle being the target, which is the Ikigai, right pursuing that, that that purpose, having an intrinsic motivator that pulls us towards something beyond just the dollar. And then Maslow’s hierarchy, being a, a, a metric that allows us, as employers to understand are the needs of our people being met, and then monitoring that as a KPI as a metric, you know, transition, the pursuit of just the revenue or the profit. But let’s look at a more indirect, appropriate way from from a systems perspective, you know, if you really want to solve the problem of receiving more revenue, invest in that asset and then invest in that asset will have a bigger impact. And you can have, it will do and bring in those those dollars. And then so that’s the circle element is kind of a simplified Ikigai concepts, their direction, and then the triangle representing progression up to the peak, which is unlocking the potential of the individual. And then from there, the square element is a chart that we use, it’s me, hi, tech sent me highs model of flow, and basically just talks, it’s a, it’s a relationship of an individual’s challenges versus their skill sets and or abilities. And so that ratio, what we’re looking for is a one to one ratio, where their skill set matches their challenge. And then they’re in a state of flip. And then there’s, there’s deeper states of flow, I’m not going to get into the depth of the different ranges of flow, but just a general state of being challenged in happy, not a state of boredom, and apathy, not even a state of comfort. And oftentimes, I think that we collectively pursue comfort as the aim. But in fact, comfort is not the aim, we’re, we’re beasts of burden, you know, we need some degree of load, but a load that won’t break us. And so understanding and mapping that bringing those frameworks out in enrolling those out to businesses, is really what I want to do as a founder, but scale the businesses to where I can I can talk this talk, and then reference back to examples to say, look at what these these things are doing. The proof is in the pudding. And and then just Yeah, working through that.
Chad Franzen 39:24
Sure. Yeah. Very cool. Very cool. So we’re big fans of publicly acknowledging people who have been influential for us, who are the people in the industry that you respect and maybe have looked to for advice and that you’ve learned from?
Garrett Clark 39:36
Yeah, Stephen Covey. At John Maxwell, John Maxwell has been a tremendous influence for me, just from the leadership perspective, the more that I realize what it is that I’m doing, its leadership, its influence. It’s bringing people together and empowering them to build great things and and unlock their potential and following that framework. I think this has been really great. In the engineering space, you know, just kind of kind of stereotypical, but like Elon Musk, just from, you know, thinking outside of the box and pushing the limits on things, from a first principles perspective, really bringing that to light and challenging people to think, critically, I think that that’s definitely something that we can use more of. So, definitely some of his work with within particular domains and aspects. And then Cadiz framework is just a tried and true framework that, that I’ve seen my mother in the education, field leverage, and very successfully lead young people to really overcome challenges and their doubts in themselves and move to a state of belief. And, you know, the, I love Stephen Covey’s framework of quadrant one, two three and four, that’s really helped allowed me to focus and spend a lot of time in quadrant two, you know, the non urgent but important, because that’s where I see that we need to do a lot of work is you know, I appreciate the constraints of time. And you know, we’ve got to get things done to hit those deadlines. But that the the q2 area, and that kind of framework has really been a great influence in my life. And there’s so many more influential people that I won’t have the time to list off, but those are, those are just a few.
Chad Franzen 41:28
I saw your websites and you know, it just looks so it looks like a it looks like a place that’s so kind of happy and relaxing. And when I saw it, you know, it looks like a place you want to be at about 645 on a Saturday evening. I said to my wife, we need to go get some ice cream sometime soon. Check this place out. Where can people find out more about Rolling Monkey?
Garrett Clark 41:51
You can find us on YouTube just Rolling Monkey Handcrafted Ice Cream. You can find us on Instagram. And our website is therollingmonkey.com A quick Google search should bring you there. So there’s the platform’s wrong on LinkedIn. And yeah, I think that’s it. So Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, the website, Google, the traditional
Chad Franzen 42:15
channels. Sure. Well, it was it was really great to talk to you, Garrett. Very interesting conversation, and I really appreciate your time today. Thanks so much.
Garrett Clark 42:23
Chad has been pleasure. Thank you so much for joining.
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