I visited Ben Van Leeuwen at his Brooklyn-based ice cream factory! They have a truly remarkable story, starting from a single ice cream truck 10yrs ago, to building an epic brand with a cult following.
They’ve since grown to a $20mil business, going from 15 stores to 25 in the next few months after taking investment for the first time. They’ve also grown their wholesale business where they now sell their ice cream in over 1000 stores across 44 states.
We discuss their humble beginnings, meeting his co-founder, falling in love, a focus on product excellence by sourcing the very best ingredients & you’ll hear what it took to build their business with zero investment after their modest friends and family round.
Here are five things to listen out for:
(1) Travel – Ben leaving college to travel and explore the world.
(2) Kaizen vs 10x Moonshot Thinking – continuous improvement in all aspects of their company vs a mindset of massive transformational change
(3) Starting a business with his wife & brother – navigating a breakup, working with family & how they’ve made Van Leeuwen a huge success
(4) Product & Customer Excellence – focusing on using only the very best ingredients & bringing joy to their customers
(5) Growth – stories from starting their first ice cream truck to growing to 25 stores & 44 states & why they decided to take major investment for the first time