Ever wanted to start you own business? Meet Salt & Straw

I really enjoy people who pull the curtain back on how things work. Chase Jarvis does this really well, demystifying many parts of photography in an earnest effort to bring creativity to the masses. Inspired by this, I thought I'd run a couple of profiles on projects that I have a behind-the-scenes view to. I'll be rolling a few out over time, but to get things started I'd like to introduce a new company called Salt & Straw, started by my friend and marketing wiz Kim Malek.

Salt and Straw is an old-school ice cream shop that Kim will be opening up in Portland, Oregon on May 25th. It's the kind of project I like, in that Kim's working hard to make her ice cream out of the best, local ingredients, and mixing new-school delicious flavors with old-school hand-making methods. It should be a good combo, and it'll be fun to see the physical form the business takes. Kim's already doing cool, new-school transparent things like involving her customers in flavor development and cart design. I like that a lot. It's not surprising really, because Kim's super nice, and brings a lot of energy and integrity to whatever business she's involved with. Kim and I have worked together in the past on some projects with Cupcake Royale. Prior to that, she was working in the marketing arm of the progressive RED effort, and before that I think she was deep in the heart of Starbucks. Let's just say she knows what she's doing when it comes to putting a plan together. And fortunately for us, I managed to talk her into sharing what it takes to take a great plan and turn into an actual business.

In future updates I'll get into the nitty-gritty of building the business as it evolves real-time. Kim has nailed down the name, the logo, the location and the opening date, but everything else is evolving, shifting, and generally taking up the time she used to use for sleeping. It's fun stuff, too, if you like thinking about all the details that make a business what it is. Everything from the social media strategy to the copy tone to the colors that make up the brand will be covered. I'm a junkie for that kind of stuff, and hopefully a few others out there are too.

The picture below is from an earth day event that happened this last weekend, where Kim was in Portland for an earth day cleanup effort for the neighborhood she's be opening her shop in. She used the opportunity to get to know the people in the area, and brought sweet samplings of her ice cream to share with all. As soon as she recovers from that event, I'll have a round of hopefully insightful Q&A with here around some of the planning issues from her decision to go indie, as well as the latest updates on progress with the store. 

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