This is part one of three episodes with Charlie Frank, Founder and Managing Partner for the Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory.
Charlie’s introduction from the Zingerman’s page:
“Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory is one of the newest members of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. Although we’ve been making candy at Zingerman’s for several years, the Candy Manufactory became a reality in September, 2009. Whoopee! That’s right, this is a candy business, and candy is fun.
How did we get started? Why candy bars? I arrived at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in 2001 and had the hope that one day I’d start a Zingerman’s business of my own. A year into my position as the manager of the pastry department I came up with a vision—candy bars, delicious candy bars! I’ve always loved candy. As a child I spent 50 cents a week on candy (change from my piano lessons) when I walked home from my teacher’s house. I still have vivid memories of carefully choosing the penny candies making sure I had just the right combination to enjoy until my next lesson.
After studying at the Culinary Institute of America and working as a pastry chef in many kitchens, I also recognized that I love working with sugar—the basis of candy. Following the Zingerman’s tradition of forming businesses based on personal passions, I started the work to create Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory. Seven years later (yes, I’m a careful and patient man), my vision has finally become a reality. Yahoo!”
Questions for you to consider:
- Does the energy of your organization draw people to you?
- What could you do to improve the energy?
- Are members of your team able to tie their life’s passion with their work? Is there anyway for them to tap into that and also accomplish the goals of the organization?
- I’ve asked this one before and is similar to the above: Would you consider creating a process where members of your team could create, found, and start companies operating under a larger umbrella of the bigger company name? How could this help you tap into these passions while also helping someone pursue the dream of being the head of their own company?
“I’m able to tie my passion with my life’s work. It’s fun, scary, hard, and fun. Everything seems lined up. I feel lucky.” – Charlie Frank
I would love to see your thoughts below in the comments.
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