Good At Life

Love Takes Action podcast episode 7 transcript.

Episode seven transcript

Rachel Wyman & Katherine Danesi

[00:00] ELLEN: Our lives are defined by key moments - sometimes expected, sometimes unexpected. This podcast explores the stories of extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, the joys and celebrations as well as the challenges and surprises. These stories provide opportunities to share ideas and takeaways to learn from to witness moments where love becomes a living, breathing action that showcases strength, resilience, beauty, and humanity.

I am your host Ellen Adair, and welcome to Love Takes Action brought to you by New York Life, helping people act on their love and successfully navigate life's biggest choices since 1845.

Today, we’re talking about Undeniable Forces in our lives. Specifically, how childhood memories, positive feedback, and dedicated effort can provoke and motivate our passions, our profession, and our successes – if, we remain open and receptive when key moments present themselves.

[01:01] RACHEL:  …If I bake bread, I get to be a part of the community for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not just the wedding or the birthday.

…It smelled like my grandmother's basement; you know just this rush of home.

…If you've ever had a hot donut, you know there's nothing better than a hot donut.

[01:20]  ELLEN:  And we’ll get some perspective from a business consultant who works with solopreneurs and small business owners on transforming their business…

[01:30] KATHERINE:

… she loves working on puzzles…

… Everything's a test. Everything's an experiment…

… It’s not big bets. It’s not a ton of money. She had one pot.

[01:40] ELLEN:  We begin today with Rachel Wyman, the owner and Chief Doughnut Officer of Montclair Bread Company, which was recently re-branded as Rabble Rise Doughnuts.

Back in 2013, Rachel realized those slow sales on Sunday mornings were an issue that need to be addressed.  Little did she know that when she and a colleague began playing around with doughnuts - something they never considered selling before; it would open new opportunities.

Rachel, thank you for joining us.

[01:51] RACHEL:  Happy to be here.

[01:53] ELLEN:  What’s the origin of your love for baking?

[01:58] RACHEL: I was born with it. Food was always kind of our love language. There was always a pie or cake in the house. So, it always smelled like some level of flour, eggs, butter, and cinnamon. It always smelled warm and like home.

And I had a single mom.  In lieu of a sitter, I stayed with my grandmother. And my grandmother had what would now be a cottage bakery.

So, she would be making these cakes all day while I was with her and she'd give me a paper plate and a bag of buttercream. And I could decorate the paper plate while she was decorating the cake. And I remember - there's this thing called a rose nail and it actually looks like a nail with an exaggerated head that you can pipe buttercream onto and I would just sit there and spin it and make a flower and lick it off and make a flower and lick it off.

So, you know I grew up in this.

[02:57] ELLEN:  What made you realize that you wanted to work with food?

[03:03] RACHEL:  I went to college at the University of Florida and I thought I was going to be a French teacher because that’s what I really wanted to do. And the whole time I was there I was baking cookies and brownies and selling them to local coffee shops. And you know there's this one cookie that I started making, a cowboy cookie, and it's oats and chocolate chips and pecans and a little bit of spice and there would be a line waiting at this one shop called Steamers. It was like a sandwich shop and I only delivered them on Wednesday mornings, and there would be people waiting for me at the door to deliver these cowboy cookies. So, that's when I started thinking like you know, maybe I want to go to culinary school.

[03:43] ELLEN:  And you did go to culinary school, didn’t you?  What were your expectations going in?

[03:48] RACHEL:  My intention was to go and learn how to make the fancy cakes like my grandmother did. And refine that and modernize it. And I went and the very first class that any student takes in the baking and pastry program, is bread class. And every baking and pastry student is like ‘Oh, man, breads?!’ You know, it's like this rite of passage to get to the fun chocolate stuff.

And I was kind of ambivalent, you know? I’d never worked with yeast at that point. I made rolls with my grandmother for Thanksgiving, but other than that I never really understood it or, or even encountered it. And on the first day you walked in, it was bakeshop six, and the instructor’s name is Nick Greco who has continued to be my mentor to this day I talk to him once a week and it smelled like my grandmother's basement. Like wow, just this rush of home. And then I learned that bread takes this time to develop and you have to follow this specific process. And if you follow it exactly, and you nurture it and baby it, it rewards you with this gorgeous loaf of bread.

But this process isn't happening over, you know, 30 minutes, an hour it’s happening over 36 hours that you have to baby this bread and nurture it into a loaf. And it was right then that I realized if I bake bread, I get to be a part of the community for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not just the wedding or the birthday.

[05:25]  ELLEN:  I love what you said about baby-ing the bread. Like bread is like a little person in needing your time and patience and care and, sometimes, your ability to problem-solve.

[05:38] RACHEL:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And it's interesting because I'm a crossword puzzle junkie and puzzles in general I, just,  that's the way that my brain works. I like to solve problems and baking is just one big problem. And there's a lot of different paths that you can take to get to the final product. And it depends on the resources that you have available.

For example, I don't have the space or the funding to have a proofer, is what it's called, in my bakery, which is basically a box that's warm and humid that you can put the bread into that makes it go faster. It kind of cheats the process along and so everything is fermenting at room temperature, which is a slower, longer process, but that imparts more flavor.

But, there's so many different ways that you can process that fermentation from start to finish, depending on the resources that you have available, and so it's all just one big problem that you're trying to solve every day. And it's like you look at the orders and what you need. And you look at the time that you have and the resources that you have and you figure out how to make it work.

[06:53] ELLEN:  It’s like a dance with all the different pieces of the puzzle. So, now take us through your next steps after culinary school. 

[07:01] RACHEL:  I graduated from culinary school and I went to work at Amy's Bread in Manhattan at Chelsea Market. It was like everything I ever wanted in life and I didn't know I could have. It was just such a special thing.

I worked from 9pm to 5am. I just loved being there. And I had like everybody's New York City roommate experience, when they first moved there. I had a horrible roommate, and I never wanted to be home so I just go to work. And I was like at Amy's all the time. And there was always something new to learn. So, I enjoyed being there. I didn't enjoy being at home. I'd wake up in the morning which was the afternoon for me and just go straight to Chelsea and start baking.

[07:43] ELLEN:  And so, why did you leave New York City?

[07:50] RACHEL:  I leave Amy's bread, which was like the best place I'd ever worked and like, the bottom fell out. This was 2008, and now I'm interviewing at a place called Tribeca Oven. And Tribeca Oven was unique because it produced bread under private label. So, all of the bread was made in the facility which was in Carlstadt, New Jersey, and then it got shipped out.

It was partially baked and flash frozen and shipped out to companies all over the US that would then put their own brand on it. So, you may have never heard of Tribeca Oven, but I can 100% guarantee you've eaten bread that was produced by Tribeca Oven.

I went on board and I took on the role of R&D Manager, which meant that I worked with companies to develop recipes unique to them and then I worked with the production team to teach them how to create this recipe and go from 10 loaves to 10,000 loaves.

[08:52] ELLEN:  You were feeding the masses, but were you doing any baking for yourself or your friends at that time?

[09:01]  RACHEL: I invited all of the families from my prenatal yoga class to come to pick up bread. It was every Thursday night from six to eight and I had like maybe 10 different kinds of bread and they could just come in and grab whatever they wanted for their families and all they needed to do in exchange was provide me with feedback and what they used it for.

Because this job that I had at Tribeca Oven, I didn't just have to create the recipe. I had to create all of the marketing behind it too. So, I had to, you know, work on the romance language and the sell sheets and all of that...

[09:34] ELLEN:  Sounds like a mutually beneficial arrangement!

[09:38] RACHEL:  And then one week one of the moms came in and she said, “You know that, that bakery that has a spot at the farmers market, the one that's down on Walnut Street, the owners are retiring and they're looking for somebody to take over the space. You should talk to them.”

[09:52] ELLEN:  Oh that’s perfect.

[09:53] RACHEL:  It’s funny because like, even through the years people had said, “You know, if you ever think about opening a bakery, come talk to me.” So, I reached out to all of those ‘come talk to me’s’ and said, “I'm thinking about opening a bakery.” And I raised the money to take the space over from four different families who had been picking up bread for the last year from my house.

So, when I say this bakery was built by the community, it really was built by the community.

I'm getting emotional because this is like, I'm coming up on my 10th anniversary and I still can't believe that it happened in the beginning.

[10:28] ELLEN:  That’s so beautiful. So, what gave you that confidence to take that risk, and how did you make it all work financially?

[10:36] RACHEL:  I continued working my corporate job for the first two years that I had Montclair Bread Company, because they were paying for the health insurance for my family of five and I was afraid to go out on my own, because you know, I didn't know that the Montclair Bread Company could support my family exclusively.

[10:56] ELLEN: What were days like then? 

[10:59] RACHEL:  The weekends were the only time that I got to be in my bakery 100%. During the week, I'd go in at like three in the morning, spend a few hours in Montclair baking and then I would head over to Carlstadt, New Jersey and spend the rest of the day there.

And on Sundays it was so dead, I would be lucky if 30 people walked through the door. I was working with my friend, Keira, who had gone to culinary school with and we would spend Sunday morning just making breakfast for each other and they would get like crazier and crazier - like, stuffed French toast and we just like ate our hearts out on Sunday mornings, because we're just sitting there waiting for people to come in.

So, one morning Keira said, “Hey, can you make doughnuts?”  She was eight months pregnant at the time. So, you know, she was the one that kind of came up with all of our creative ideas. What she wanted to eat that week.

And I knew from my time spent in France that the traditional European doughnut is just fried brioche dough. So I was like, “Yeah, I'll just save some of the dough from the brioche and I'll fry us up some doughnuts.”

So, I had an induction burner because the bakery didn't have a stovetop and I had this small pot and I fried three dozen doughnuts and they were just plain and I tossed them in cinnamon and sugar and Keira and I ate at least like, six apiece, at least.

[12:22] ELLEN:  Hashtag Hot Doughnuts!

[12:24] RACHEL:  I mean, if you've ever had a hot doughnut, you know there's nothing better than a hot doughnut.

[12:28] ELLEN:  Totally.  (Alt.: I bet!)

[12:29 ] RACHEL:  And I put the rest out for sale. And I was blown away. Those donuts sold faster than anything I'd ever made.

So, then Kiera and I were like ‘Whoa we should try this again next Sunday.”

And we spent all week texting each other, ‘What if we do this? What if we do that?’

And so, the next weekend, we made six dozen donuts and they were gone in an hour. And then, I don't really remember what happened between January and May, but by Mother's Day there was a line literally down the block, like two blocks, as far as you could see people lined up for the doughnuts.

[1:] ELLEN:  Two blocks! How were you meeting that demand?

[1:] RACHEL:  I’m still frying them in this little pot. I can only fry five doughnuts at a time. And I hid in the bathroom and cried on the phone with my grandmother because I knew that we were going to sell out before we got through the line and I was going to ruin Mother's Day.

So, that was pretty much the tipping point for me at the bakery and I knew we needed more space.

I upgraded to a small tabletop fryer.  And then we got a second fryer because Father's Day was coming and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I can't go through the 'apology shift’ again. We still call it the ‘apology shift’ after all the doughnuts are gone, like, the people who are working the closing shift is the ‘apology shift.’

[13:57] ELLEN:  (Laugh) That’s so funny. Also sad. But funny.

[14:04] RACHEL:  And we couldn't plug both fryers into the same circuit because it would blow and  then somebody would have to go down into this super, scary, spider filled basement to flip the breaker. So, we had to unplug the freezer to plug one fryer in and then we had to plug the other one in at the other end of the 600 square foot space.

And that's when I started looking for another space. I just called the number on the side of a building and got connected with my current landlord.

And he said, “You know, I don't have anything available now but do you have an open mind?” And he walked me over to this building, this huge brick building that was like literally like bricks falling in the sides, dilapidated building that was a DMV inspection station.

And I thought it looked everything like Chelsea Market. And everything that I loved about Amy's Bread and just like a dream come true. And so four years after opening the bakery, I got to move into this production space and really have the capacity to serve the community in the way that I wanted to.

[15:14] ELLEN:  It sounds like your love of the community was being reciprocated. 

[15:20] RACHEL:  I think what happens is this transfer of love. So, I’m putting my  heart and soul into this donut that I’m creating, that then gets transferred as someone else’s love language. And they’re willing to stand in this really long line so that they can then bring my expression of love home and create a new expression of love for their family.

[15:47] ELLEN:   That’s nicely said... 


[15:53] RACHEL:  I truly believe that what I'm making is special.  So, for me when I got a phone call from the Food Network, telling me that my doughnuts represented the culinary pedigree that they would like to have on their show, ‘The Donut Showdown’ and would I be interested in being a guest? That really shifted Montclair Bread Company into the doughnut scene.

[16:20]  ELLEN:  Are you having fun? Sounds like it…

[16:26] RACHEL:  So much. I met my husband and he is also in the creative world. He's an events photographer for Getty and the Associated Press. He foster's my creativity and adds to it and inspires it in a lot of ways. He's also the first to tell me it's not good enough. Like, “Ah, this is just okay.”  He sets me up to shine as bright as I can.

And I also have a couple incredible people on my team who do the same in different ways.

And one of the things I tried to do is not ever hire myself. I hire people that are really good at doing things that I'm really terrible at.

[17:09] ELLEN:  It really sounds to me as though you’ve been guided by an open mind. Do you think that that is critical to your success?

[17:26] RACHEL:  I don't know if it's an open mind so much as it's open ears. I think that for me what's critical in helping my business to grow is to  just not be in my bubble. And not just like “Okay, tomorrow I get to make XYZ.”

I think it's having an open mind and sense of what's going on not just in my community, but in the world. And being able to take that and turn that into something, you know, a product; a new product. has been really essential for the growth of the business.

And you know, I mentioned my partner Brad, he got leaked the cover of the, I can't remember, I think it was The Post before it was being printed because he works in that world. And it was the cover with the poop emoji with Donald Trump hair, you know, the orange swoosh on top of it.

And he's like, “Hey, look at this.” And I was like, “Oh, I make a poop emoji donut, huh!”

And he's like, “Well, this is supposed to come out tomorrow.”

And I lived across the street from my bakery at the time and in an apartment across the street. So, I go down to the bakery in my pajamas and make everything that I need to produce the poop emoji doughnut the next day.

And then I'm at the grocery store the second they open to like, buy them out of cotton candy so I can create the donut version of that paper to go with it. And we had the paper. I, it was like whatever the first newsstand that opened we had the paper before anybody was awake and the doughnut to go with it and we got the shot of the donut with paper and just went insane on social media.

It was just like a bunch of text messages at night, you know, and it's just not just me and Brad, but then I pulled Jessica in and I was like, “Do we have that chocolate? What about cotton candy? Does anybody have it? You know? And it’s like this group thing. 

It's never, ever something that I come up with on my own.

But it's just being nimble and like, you know, and then there's the times in the summer where one of the local farmers will have a flat of strawberries that are getting ready to go bad and it's like, “Okay, well let's see, I can make jam with that, we could do this and we could do that. And then tomorrow there's a donut.

 I feel like that's what allowed me to win the “Donut Showdown” too. That like surprise factor is the world I live in and I love to be in.

Again, solving the problem. Figuring out the puzzle. Like, how am I going to make all of these parts work together and be successful tomorrow?

[20:10] ELLEN:  Success can be fleeting for retail business, and COVID obviously had a real impact on a lot of  small businesses. How did you make it through the pandemic?

[20:22] RACHEL:  I remember I was in Trader Joe's on Thursday - getting groceries. That was the last time I went to the grocery store for a year and a half. That's when we get the notice about schools being closed on Friday. At the end of day Friday they said,” Yup, kids aren't coming back.” They came home from school with like all their belongings and you know, I don't have childcare. So, this is like total devastation for me. And at the same time that I'm dealing with the mom thing, I'm dealing with the bakery thing.

[20:52]  ELLEN:  Yeah, it was such a time of uncertainty for everybody.

[20:57]  RACHEL:  And then, the high school kids that are on our team - we started getting calls from their parents about how it's not safe for them to come to work.

So, I spent Sunday morning talking to Jessica, my Director of Operations, and Haley, my Retail Manager, and I said, “Listen, I don't know what's gonna happen. I don't have a plan-B here. So, I'm going to come in and bake whatever I can make by myself. I'm going to sell it by myself. And if that's all I can do, that's all I can do.”

And Jessica said, “If you bake it. I'll sell it and we'll just do whatever the two of us can do.” 

And Haley said, “Well, I don't have anything else to do, like what am I going to do if I don't come to work? I'll brew coffee. I'll sell it.”

You know, so the three of us will run this bakery to whatever we can, you know, we're not going to produce the same amount but we'll do what we can.

 So, I went home and called everyone on my staff and told them that I had to lay them off indefinitely, because I didn't know if we were going to be able to open.

And I had my entire baking team saying, “Nope, we're coming to work.”

All of my full-time retail employees. So, the older staff said, “No, what else are we going to do? We're coming to work.”

So, there were 10 of us, including Jessica and myself. We reopened that Tuesday. And it was that 10 of us for the next three months. I've never worked so hard in my entire career. I can't even describe it. It wasn't even about selling it. It was about feeding people, because no one could get food, no one could get groceries.

So, we started ordering fruits and vegetables and boxing them up. And Jessica was up I think for like 72 hours straight building a system where people could order ahead, this thing that we've never done without having to give an order to a person.

And we started putting bags of orders out on our patio, in alphabetical order, along these popup tables so people could come through and take their order without having any interaction with us.

[23:10] ELLEN:  It sounds like everything about this was something that you’d never done before.

[23:14] RACHEL:  The entire time that this donut thing has been growing, one of the biggest rules is that we won't hold donuts. You can't call ahead. You have to stand in the line. It's first come, first serve.

And now we're like, “Oh, well, you can call ahead and we'll put your order to the side and you know, we'll see.”  So, at the end of it, we were selling out a week before we were able to make it. So, when I got up in the morning to bake, everything that I made was already pledged to a customer.

[23:48] ELLEN:  And this is a tremendous benefit for your customers, and for everyone that you were keeping employed, but also for all of the farmers and for your providers, all because you didn’t shut down. The love that you carried ended up touching so many people.

[23:51] RACHEL: You know, we were scared about our own health and safety and we didn't want to break the bubble.

So, one of the things that I did was made sure that my employees didn't have to go to the store for anything. So, toilet paper, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, anything they needed for their home in their families. I was giving them every week, or just like take it whatever you need. Just take it from here. Don't go to the store. We were kind of, you know our own pod and no one, no one got sick the whole time. I think our first case wasn't until Omicron and then everybody got sick.


[24:27] ELLEN:  But you must take pride in that like lasting so long. You’ve got such an incredible team.         

[24:31]. RACHEL: I have the best team that I've ever had. There is just such a bond between all of us, especially the core who went through the pandemic together.

We're still connected because we had that experience. We're up at two o'clock in the morning together. They're my friends and family at this point. You know, we've just been through so much together.

[24:53] ELLEN:  Two o’clock in the morning? Where does your fount of energy come from in all this?

[25:01]. RACHEL:  Caffeine! I don't know. Umm,  I just, I really like creating, you know, and I like creating experiences as much as I like creating food.

[25:13] ELLEN:  It shows because it seems like people love the experience of your food so much.

[25:17] RACHEL:  I think the first thing you taste is your emotion. And then you can break down the, the different components of flavor. But really like think about the last time you ate something that tasted just like someone in your life used to make.

Or that time you went to France and had this like, epic experience at a bakery in Paris.

That’s the first thing that you taste, not the flavor – because it’s impossible to separate emotions from our food and what we make and what we eat.

[25:51] ELLEN: Rachel, thank you so much. I can’t wait to taste some of those doughnuts, this conversation has my mouth watering.

[Sound Design]

Next, I’d like to introduce Katherine Danesi, a business consultant who advises many female solopreneurs and small business owners.  After climbing the corporate ladder at a large fortune 500 company, she began working with many Silicon Valley, and Silicon Alley startups in California and New York. Katherine, thank you for joining us…

W hat stood out to you when listening to Rachel’s story?

[26:34] KATHERINE:  The first thing that jumped out at me is Rachel naturally did so many things right.

There's almost this analogy between baking and building a business. You know patience that's required, right? And the attention. And that it's a process and she seemed to really get that, which, I thought was pretty amazing.

The other piece that I loved about her story is she loves working on puzzles, right?

She talked about crossword puzzles and she segued into saying all sorts of puzzles. She considers baking one big problem to solve on a daily basis, which I found fascinating, because some other people might be overwhelmed by that, like, ‘Oh my god, what am I going to do every day?’ And for her, it's like a challenge. It gets her juices flowing. And I think that approach is one of the reasons, quite honestly, in the business she's in, she's so successful.

[27:28] ELLEN:  Well, with a puzzle, you need to have a process to say,” This is how I’m going to attack the problem.”

[27:40] KATHERINE:  You're exactly right. And I think she said this, you know, “What are the resources I have available? And then what's the time available? And what are these areas I want to move through?”

And then creating a solution to whatever that problem is. So, for her, it's okay. ‘Here are my orders that I have to deliver today, you know?  Here's who I have on staff. Here's how much time I have.’

She didn't have a proofer so, her sourdough takes longer to proof than if she did, right? So, taking all of these resources, and sometimes constraints, which I think is another fascinating element of her story, into account and then using those to solve the problem to deliver what she needs to deliver to her clientele. I think her ability to do that is one of the reasons she is ultimately so successful with what she's been doing.

[28:30] ELLEN:  And she has to be able to pivot, to wear multiple hats. Having that deep knowledge of what she’s making, the different components: I imagine that’s critical.

[28:45] KATHERINE:   It's absolutely critical and what she learned when she was at Tribeca Oven, that experience that she had, where she was developing the recipes, but she was also responsible for marketing, which she hadn't really done before.

With so many of the solopreneurs that I work with and even for myself, having that ability to put on different hats and different brains at different times to get yourself to the point where you can actually hire a team or bring a team on whether it's outsourced or actually hiring people on payroll and staff. I mean, getting to that point. It's critical.

[29:21] ELLEN:  With the solopreneurs you're working with, do you talk with them about mentors?

[29:30] KATHERINE:  Having a core group of people that you can go to to bounce ideas off of, get a sanity check, pick you up when you're down, because let's be real, it's sometimes, it is a lonely road. I think it is absolutely critical to have that in place.

[29:46] ELLEN:  Well, and we learned how much other people figured in Rachel’s story, both in terms of her own generosity and the generosity of others towards her.

[29:56] KATHERINE:   What I found was really interesting with Rachel's story is the importance of community and the importance of who she surrounded herself with starting with the yoga moms in the community there.

So, she had a community that was coming every Thursday to pick up bread from her and helped her. There was somebody in that community that alerted her to the fact that the space was available for Montclair Bread Company. When she wanted to go and purchase that space she went back to that community. It was four families that had been picking up bread for years from her that helped fund her purchasing that.

One of the things I always tell people, because it took me so long to learn this -  “If you don't ask, the answer is always no.”   

[30:45] ELLEN: It’s the alchemy of a moment, right? Her friend Keira was craving a doughnut, and her business was transformed forever.

[30:54] KATHERINE:  Everything's a test. Everything's an experiment. Whether you're launching a new product, whether you're launching a new marketing plan, whether you're trying to, you know, reach out and do a collaboration with somebody, everything's a test. You don't know how it's going to work out.

And her approach to saying “Yes, let's give this a go. Let's give it a try.” Taking advantage of that, I thought was fantastic. And the doughnut totally comes off of that.

And she started small, right? It's not big bets. It's not a ton of money, right? She had one pot and she's like, ‘Oh, let's just make some doughnuts.’  And I believe they made a few dozen. They ate half of them and sold out of them. And it's like 'Oh, well, we'll do this again next Sunday.’  And they tried to make more donuts and they sold out of them. I mean, that approach, I would advise somebody to do that. And she just did it!

[31:43] ELLEN:  Seems to me that there’s so much that she does that’s a thoughtful response to the people or the situations around her.

[31:53] KATHERINE:  So, what was also I thought really interesting about when she first launched the doughnuts and introduced them and tested them out, you know, that sort of attention and empathy for her customer, I thought was really special.

And you saw that more as it continued through her story. She asked for their feedback. She was curious about their feedback for her product. You know, that I think was one of the reasons when she went out to actually raise money that the community was so receptive to actually helping her get her own company launched and into that space. 

And then I thought you saw that in spades with COVID. I mean, she just did so many things in terms of, you know, trying to take care of her employees, thinking it was going to be three of them, you know, in the bakery, keeping the whole business running and all the rest of her team's like, ‘What am I going to do, stay at home? I'm going to come in and work.’

And then realizing that people shouldn't be going to the grocery store to buy groceries. I mean, none of us knew what was going on at the time. And then going, to get fruit and vegetables and setting up, you know, orders so that people could pick them up outside and contactless delivery, right? And seeing the team through COVID, I  just felt that that was so inspiring.

So, it really is a two-way interaction with her community and even now, right?  When she thinks about what she wants to do and looking at expanding her offering, she thinks about ‘Oh, well it's all families, right, in Montclair. And, you know, what would my family want? And let's get everybody together outside so that, you know, parents can have their kids together and sit on a patio and they're entertained and we're doing a pizza oven.’ 

Just everything that inspires her it seems comes from that sense of family and community, which I think is fantastic. It's part of the reason she's so successful.

[33:46] ELLEN:  And that she loves what she does so much, that it’s clearly fun for her.

[33:50] KATHERINE:  Having fun is so important! If you're not enjoying what you're doing, If you don't love what you're doing to a certain degree, and it's a cliche, right, and I realize that, but if you're especially a solopreneur or an entrepreneur with a really small team, and Rachel spoke to this, I mean she was working 18 hours a day, you're not going to show up and do that if you don't love what you're doing. And if you cannot inject some fun for yourself and for your team, your team's not going to show up, right? I mean, I'm assuming and I don't know her that well, but I'm assuming that she creates a sense of camaraderie and team that makes people want to be there each day. I think you have to be having fun.

[34:38] ELLEN: Katherine, thank you so much. And thank you to Rachel and thank you listeners for tuning into this episode of Love Takes Action.

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[35:10] DISCLAIMER:  Love Takes Action is brought to you by New York Life Insurance Company and is for general informational purposes only. References to any financial products or strategies are solely incidental and may not be construed as a solicitation. The views and opinions expressed on this show are solely those of the host, guests, and experts, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or viewpoints of New York Life Insurance Company or its subsidiaries.


Love Takes Action is brought to you by New York Life Insurance Company and is for general  informational purposes only. References to any financial products or strategies are solely incidental  and may not be construed as solicitation. The views and opinions expressed on this show are solely  those of the guests, host and experts, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or viewpoints of  New York Life Insurance Company or its subsidiaries.

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Sara Sefcovic
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-4499