S3 E8: DAVID ALIMA - ICE CREAM WIZARD
David Alima’s friend had an ice cream machine. When David used it himself—with the feature ingredient being strawberry jam—he loved it. After that, bringing ice cream to parties became “his thing.”
Rewind a bit to college, where David earned a degree in marketing and PR. He had an interest then in helping small businesses grow. At the same time, his girlfriend (and eventually, wife) Laura had her own dreams of opening a small business. She had envisioned a peanut butter factory as a youngster and then, later, a diner.
They moved from the Baltimore area to Santa Rosa, CA, where they learned a lot about food, wine, and music. Specifically, David was working in PR for reggae acts. Pretty sweet gig!
When they moved back to Baltimore, their path lead them to take the leap: opening a new ice cream shop that would bring communities together and simply make people happy. They launched The Charmery.
Today, they have two ice cream shop locations and an ice cream factory, where ideating, testing, tasting, and producing amazing flavors happens. Their brand is fun and approachable, and their motto is, Happiness Through Ice Cream. Listen to this episode and you’ll come to understand a real-life Willy Wonka who, with his partner and wife, is living a creative life to its fullest.
Here are Three Big How’s (actually Four) from a guy who is bringing joy to people every single day:
THREE BIG HOW’S
LOVE YOUR PRODUCT
You have to dive in and believe. You have to want to make the product you’re making. You have to want to experiment. You have to want to create something for others that they will enjoy. It seems obvious, but there are times when you can questions yourself or even become bored. You have to power through and bring the passion to your product constantly.
LOVE YOUR BUSINESS
David is not the business mind behind The Charmery. That would be his wife, Laura. However, he quickly learned that to make the business work, you have to love that business. Building the business, expanding and not doing the same thing over and over again, caring about financial, production, and human resources issues. Your heart has to be in it. David said that being able to employ people and help them is one of the most fulfilling parts of his life.
NEVER STOP THINKING
Maintain a blank slate. Don’t start with “files” of what hasn’t worked in your head. Think fresh. Of course, there are no bad ideas. Always try new things. But also, just as importantly, take some mental breaks. You have to be relentless in your imagination, but give your mind time to recalibrate, as well.
PREPARE TO TAKE THE LEAP
Long story short, be ready when the time comes. Think about the future, research growth, be open to opportunities, be ready to say yes when it’s time. One of the big questions David and Laura asked themselves while creating new things was, “How does this work on a larger scale without losing our soul and spirit?” Keep that in mind as your ideas grow.