10 Questions for Local Food Entrepreneur: Anna Gaul
This interview was originally published on Examiner.com.
With flavors like Earl Grey Lemon and Sweet Corn, Tipping Cow Ice Cream is doing something different. Founder/owner Anna Gaul who describes herself as an “ice cream fanatic” sat down to talk about how she started her young, hip, hyper-local company.
1. What was the seed for what is now Tipping Cow?
When I graduated from culinary school last year, my parents gave me one of those table-top Cuisinart ice cream makers. Of course I wanted to make them some ice cream to say thank you. My mom had left this beautiful bunch of fresh basil on the counter and I thought, why not make basil ice cream and toss in some strawberries? I’ve been making ice creams ever since. And actually, Strawberry Basil is one of our most popular flavors.
2. What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?
Definitely finding a kitchen. Since we’re so small-scale, an affordable kitchen is hard to find. Right now, I work out of the Cambridge Community Center. It’s going well.
3. How do you define success?
Having something to show for myself that is uniquely mine. Tipping Cow didn’t exist before me. I find that really rewarding somehow.
4. How do you manage failure?
Failure is definitely an option, but it doesn’t have to be if you don’t let it be. You’ve only failed if you don’t move forward from a problem or obstacle.
5. How do you cope with pressure? (Any secret recipes for taking care of yourself?)
Sleep! If you’re an entrepreneur, or a business owner of any kind, there will always be a million things to do. It’s easy to get caught up and forgo taking care of yourself. You’ve got to prioritize your own health.
6. What are you going to do next?
I mentioned that finding a kitchen is the hardest step. I think that I have to do that again. In order for us to expand at all, we’re going to need a bigger kitchen or at least more kitchen time. We’re making all we can, and selling out every week, so there’s no growth where we are.
7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in the past year?
Earlier this year when I was starting to feel overwhelmed and unsure and kind of scared, my parents said: “Do one thing at a time and just focus that way. Put your blinders on so you can only see your next step, and just work on that.”
8. Give us your advice for aspiring food entrepreneurs… in 6 words or less.
Don’t try to do everything yourself.
9. You win the Academy Award equivalent for your industry (James Beard, Fancy Food, etc.). When you take the stage, who will you thank and for what?
Definitely my family. They’re been so supportive with advice and a helping hand. And my friends who have so selflessly volunteered to be tasters when I’m working on recipes.
10. What about Tipping Cow most feeds your soul?
Knowing how far it’s come in just a year, and that it didn’t exist before me, that it’s my creation… And imagining what could come from it with more time.