Small Business Owner Thanks Government, Gains Fame
The co-owners of an organic ice cream shop in Santa Cruz, California were a long way from the store on Tuesday night: they were sitting with First Lady MIchelle Obama at the State of the Union address. And it’s all thanks to YouTube and to expressing thanks.
Zach Davis and Kendra Baker needed a loan to start their ice cream business, but no bank would help them. They finally got a $250,000 loan guarantee from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, and Penny Ice Creamery opened its doors in August 2010. Zach decided to thank the Feds by posting a video about the effect of the loan guarantee: a new business born, local farmers supported, staff hired. The video went viral, and attracted the attention of, and a call from, Vice President Biden:
The Penny Ice Creamery is doing roaring business, and was even featured recently in The New York Times’ travel section. All offerings are organic and use products from local farms. Their flavors change depending on what’s in season, with favorites like Olive Oil and Sweet Lime Juniper dueling with exotic aromas like Banana Toffee and Dark Chocolate Sorbet. Full disclosure: Zach and I went through the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California, starting in 2006. In our inaugural class, Critical Thinking for Business Redesign, we discussed the value of mindfulness, gratitude and right livelihood in business, as in life. For Zach, saying “thank you” has really paid off.
still from Penny Ice Creamery video