Article by Lisa McKinnon, VC Star
It is a well-known truth that if Lisa Casoni “can’t date it or sell it, she’s not interested in it.” I’ve accepted this fact because: A) I’m an angel, and B) As her business and life partner, it has, mostly, worked in my favor. Problems arise when Lisa moves at a faster pace than I do. That was quickly becoming the dynamic with the chocolates. Lisa was outselling production. The gallery’s kitchen was small and partially used for storage. Inconsistent temperatures were causing us to dump nearly 40% of the product. And, on top of everything, we had a cottage food license that was not designed for growth. Yet, I still didn’t see a need for change. I was embracing stagnation. Unfortunately, there always comes a tipping point.
Don’t be fooled, when the Health Department calls regarding a newspaper article featuring your business, it is never a congratulatory conversation. The agent was “concerned” that we were outgrowing our license and needed to move our production to a commercial facility. A small town’s greatest strength, and biggest weakness, is that everyone knows your business. Within days, Sanders & Sons Gelato reached out with an offer to share their kitchen. We met Sanders and talked business, hopes, dreams, and the fact he was friends with my ex- boyfriend from college. The kitchen was beautifully designed, cold, and filled with awkward personal history; I felt like I had walked into my childhood home. Clearly, we had to take the space.
Co-Founder of Beato Chocolates