About this episode

This week's featured founder is Michael Coles, founder of The Great American Cookie Company. Michael will share his journey through family hardship and financial ruin, his bankruptcy, and a motorcycle crash that almost destroyed his life. He then takes us through how he started a cookie business, one which would go on to be one of the most successful cookie brands in the country.

Due to the Coronavirus, Michael and I recorded this episode remotely, but I felt like I was sitting right there with him as he walked me through all the various challenges he had to overcome to get to where he is today. We are all fortunate to learn from someone that has (for decades) continued to step up to adversity and push against it. This is Michael Coles’ startup story.

In this episode, you'll hear

  • How at the age of 10, his family lost their home and watched his dad recover from bankruptcy.
  • His first venture was raking leaves. He shared how this experience taught him about monopolies and franchising.
  • He shared fondly about his first mentor, Irving Settler, who owned a department store where Michael worked.
  • Why and how, in his Senior year, he moved to Massachusetts to live with his brother and focus on school.
  • After high school, Michael got a job as a sales representative for a clothing company instead of going the traditional route of college.
  • Grappling with the desire to start his own business, he decided to start a retail company that eventually went bankrupt. He went back to work as a sales rep for a clothing manufacturer. And ultimately, he would go on to launch a clothing company of his own.
  • A trip to the mall to buy snacks for clients introduced Michael to the concept of 'single-food' stores. He immediately bought ingredients to make cookies, and a scale, so he could try to figure out the cost ratio.
  • How a call to a friend to buy out his share of the clothing company would lead to the start of the Great American Cookie Company.
  • Due to lack of oven mitts, their opening day ended with a fire and no cookies to hand out to customers.
  • Six weeks after starting the cookie company, a motorcycle accident nearly took Michael's life. Michael shared his journey openly and how his rehabilitation led him to set three world records for coast-to-coast bike rides.
  • Michael credits his experience with manufacturing and sales to his success. He leaves listeners and entrepreneurs with some sound advice.

Resources from this episode

Time to Get Tough! How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life

Michael Coles on LinkedIn

Great American Cookie Company

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EPISODE CREDITS

If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.

He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.

Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory

Transcript

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras porttitor elit vestibulum, scelerisque sapien aliquam, condimentum massa. Nam eros felis, convallis non odio quis, dignissim volutpat erat. Nulla vestibulum augue eget viverra commodo. Duis augue felis, dapibus ut lorem vitae, gravida aliquam lorem. Etiam dui lacus, vestibulum et porta sit amet, egestas eget purus. Praesent in sem quis purus tempus malesuada et sit amet leo. Proin ultricies posuere magna eu lobortis. Sed efficitur est et ultrices ultricies. Suspendisse quis mi nec odio auctor ornare. Sed id mi vel magna dapibus commodo. Nullam a quam turpis. Aliquam scelerisque quam leo, tincidunt fermentum justo ultrices sed. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Phasellus scelerisque nulla nec accumsan tincidunt.

Integer a cursus velit. Vestibulum sit amet dictum justo. Integer eu sem varius, hendrerit velit a, pretium est. Etiam fringilla pharetra lacus. Suspendisse potenti. Morbi auctor nisl et feugiat sollicitudin. Nulla facilisi. Nulla nec laoreet purus, finibus varius turpis. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Donec pulvinar iaculis magna cursus posuere. Fusce laoreet augue eget lectus finibus euismod. Donec quis nunc quis massa eleifend facilisis at in elit. Morbi congue nibh id est imperdiet, at accumsan sem placerat. Sed pharetra interdum eros, eget ultrices lectus vulputate in.

Mauris eu rhoncus nunc. Suspendisse varius, nibh ac volutpat faucibus, felis diam volutpat orci, quis lacinia ipsum justo vitae ante. Nam congue, mi in iaculis mattis, ipsum sem posuere lectus, eu pretium magna tellus nec sem. Sed ornare magna vel iaculis vehicula. Suspendisse nec erat rhoncus, ultricies metus sit amet, rhoncus eros. Vivamus est dolor, sollicitudin at finibus in, porta vel ligula. Phasellus iaculis arcu sed orci malesuada, sit amet euismod lectus iaculis. Morbi nec turpis vehicula, viverra velit in, venenatis est. Nulla nec urna quis libero eleifend bibendum in sed nisl. Vestibulum elementum neque id nisl finibus, vitae consequat arcu aliquam.

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May 19 2020
Michael Coles, founder of Great American Cookie Company
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