The FORT Podcast: Kari Crowe
Kari Crowe Seher is the Co-Founder and CEO of Melt Ice Cream. In Episode 20, she and Chris discuss Kari’s journey across the country meeting with Ice Cream makers, her early days of the company, handling criticism as well as her experiences running a 100-mile race.
2:30 – The Idea of Creating Melt
4:24 – Were you looking to start a business or solve a problem?
5:22 – Did someone give you a playbook for researching ice cream/Melt?
6:20 – Were there ever moments of doubt on this trip?
7:35 – How long was the journey from the research trip to signing the lease?
10:23 – How did you decide on flavors?
11:05 – How did you know where to spend your money?
13:35 – How did customers shape Melt in the early days?
15:20 – When did you hire your first employee?
16:28 – What did a day for you look like when it was only you running things?
18:20 – Did someone teach you about customer service or did you learn it on your own?
20:40 – What is something that comes to mind that is important when starting a customer service business?
21:50 – How do you train employees?
25:08 – Do you have a favorite interview question?
26:06 – How many Melt locations are open?
30:19 – Was there ever a time you thought about outsourcing ice cream making rather than making it in-house?
33:00 – #1 Sellers at Melt
33:20 – What was the process of bringing your husband into the business?
35:46 – How valuable has EOS been?
38:30 – 5-Year Growth Plan for Melt
39:40 – How impactful has social media been for Melt?
40:55 – Handling Negative Criticism
44:07 – Mentorship
44:45 – Kari’s Journey Running a 100- Mile Race
51:40 – What does Fort Worth mean to you?
MORE ABOUT KARI
Kari Crowe Seher has been in the hospitality industry for over nine years. She has gained national recognition as a leading woman entrepreneur in the food and beverage scene since making her splash in 2014 with her ice cream concept MELT ice creams. She currently serves as the chief scooper of MELT ice creams leading a team of 40+ employees, 2 retail shops, 1 commissary kitchen with another shop on the way. Kari’s background includes crafting stories as a photojournalist, freelancing for local and national publications, and developing grassroots marketing strategies for mid-size businesses. Seeing a need for a local ice cream parlor, Kari trained in the culinary arts under other professionals learning the skills needed to launch MELT ice creams. She set out to open the world’s happiest ice cream shop in April of 2014 and built a nationally recognized brand that has landed MELT on the Cooking Channel, in Elle Magazine and on USA today in less than five years. A devotion to high quality ingredients, local partnerships, and happy experiences set the shop apart in a sea of food businesses.
Kari has a can-do contagious spirit and gritty discipline to do the impossible. She is dedicated to finding the best ways to lead her employees and creating a brand that has staying power. She is bringing happiness to the food industry by providing a thriving culture for employees and the best five minutes of the day for customers. The backbone of the business is creating positive, happy experiences through ice cream that can create a ripple effect on the community.
Kari is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program and was selected as one of twenty women entrepreneurs for the 2018 James Beard Women’s leadership program. Kari is on the advisory committee for the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival and participates yearly in the Culinary Career Conference for high school seniors. She devotes her time to volunteering with CTL, The Net, and The Birthday Party Project. She regularly speaks on panels at the Neeley School of Business and the Communications Department at Texas Christian University. When she isn’t running her business or serving in the community, she’s literally running for her sanity. An ultra runner who chooses to go after grueling races, she puts her mind and body to the test running races up to 100 miles or more in a single day. She lives in a 1920’s bungalow in the heart of Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband, Mark, and their dog, Jaxon.