Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Susan Krauss, Co-Founder and Owner of Mammoth Creameries, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Mammoth Creameries is an ice cream brand I created in order to allow people, my family included, to indulge in amazing ice cream without feeling guilty or filling their bodies with unhealthy ingredients. Made with no sugar whatsoever, our ice cream is sweetened with birch-derived xylitol, which is dentist approved, promotes healthy bacteria, and will not spike blood sugar. Ice cream for everyone is back! Our customer base varies from people who simply don't want sugar in their diet to those with diet restrictions due to cancer, epilepsy, and diabetes. It really is "Ice Cream for All."
Tell us about yourself
My world changed when my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in his late 20s. With no warning or family history, we were scrambling to manage his disease with little knowledge of what to do, and with (now) four children, we wanted him to be as healthy as possible to make sure he lives a long healthy life.
The first thing we did as a family was cut out sugar. That left him without his favorite dessert, ice cream. Other sugar-free ice creams on the market replace sugar with substitutes that are just as harmful and often worse. I began making my own, and it grew into something I had never dreamed of when I realized this needed to be shared with everyone looking for a healthy alternative that they just couldn't find anywhere without making their own.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Easily, my greatest accomplishment as the founder of this brand is seeing and hearing from parents with Type 1 kids. Giving those parents the peace of mind they have when they can give their kiddos a healthy ice cream that doesn't require massive amounts of insulin to stabilize their blood sugar is something that still makes me emotional. It was my goal from the beginning, and seeing it play out now is something that I still can't fully believe. We are changing the way people with diabetes enjoy life one scoop at a time, and that's huge.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Balancing work and family is something I will always struggle with. I know our work with Mammoth is life-changing for so many other people and yet making sure that our own kids' lives remain stable and balanced is a lot of work. During covid, this was the hardest, but it most definitely taught me that with balance, you could truly do more than you realize, and you absolutely must give yourself credit for doing your best, even on the longest, hardest days.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask for help. There will always be someone willing to lend advice if you just ask. When you come to a roadblock, don't sit there. Go around it. No one else is going to do the work for you, but you need to be willing to ask for help. Everyone started somewhere.
- Build a team you have absolute trust in. You can NOT do everything alone, you have to be able to delegate, and you need a trustworthy team behind you because trying to take it all alone in order to be "perfect" will cause massive burnout quickly.
- Listen to your gut. There will be many who throw their opinions your way on this or that. Many have the best intentions but don't know your business the way you do. Take the advice of others carefully, but always listen to yourself because, at the end of the day, you created this, and you know your company better than anyone else, even if it takes time to realize that.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Imposter syndrome is real. It's impossible to avoid and will come when you feel the worst. Try and remember who you are, what you've created, and ALWAYS keep pushing.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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