We had the good fortune of connecting with Meghan Koll and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meghan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In all honesty, I really did not see there being another route for my career. I LOVE working. I really, really do. I think I love it for the self-worth you feel when you accomplish a task or create something. I always feel that when I am producing or creating, I am contributing to a larger whole. But I am also a perfectionist in many ways. There are many struggles I face with this, but one positive effect it has had on me is giving me the drive to keep bettering myself and the work that I do. Though being a perfectionist has prevented me from pushing through a task in the past for fear of it not being good enough, I have worked towards shifting my thinking on this. Rather than believing my work is not good enough, I consider it to not yet at the point that I can see it at it’s best, and this has helped me to keep pushing and working it. This shift has helped me in my career so much but most importantly it has given me the confidence to believe in my ability to set out on my own. I have worked in so many different jobs in an array of industries. Though I learned a lot from all of my previous bosses and coworkers and loved working with them, I always knew that the reason I was there was not to grow with their company but to absorb all they could teach me so that when I did set out on my own venture one day, I would have a strong foundation and the tools to lean on to get me by. In my heart, I knew that each of the positions I held was a stepping stone to a career where I would one day run my own business…whatever that may be. The Covid shutdown was really my ticket to start something and ice cream was a natural progression from where I was thinking I was heading. I really wanted to start a restaurant specializing in craft cocktails and brunch, but the shutdown put the lease that we were about to sign on hold. I still wanted to serve people in some way, especially in a time where people needed a little something to look forward to, and ice cream became my way of doing just that. I could not be happier with what I am doing. This little business takes all of my passions and rolls them into one little venture. It’s very fulfilling.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since starting my own business I can totally understand why so many businesses fail in the first few years. This is So. Freaking. Hard. I can’t tell you how many entire batches of ice cream I have messed up and had to throw away, how many melted tacos I’ve had to toss, or how many events I wished I could have called in sick to just thinking about how much work they will be yet, I could not imagine it any other way. I am so freaking happy doing what I am doing. Honestly I think the thing that I am most proud of is starting. Really. Starting is the hardest thing because you have the time to second-guess yourself and choose not to make the move. You can freak yourself out with all of the ‘what-ifs?’ and never even take that first step. Just thinking about starting is like staring at a blank canvas and not knowing what to paint. I have had discussions with so many people about the businesses they want to start and never do. I always just want to hold their hand, look them in the eye and say, ‘If I can do it, so can you!’ and the sheer fact that I have has made me so. darn proud of that. I make ice cream for a living. I am pretty new at it and I really don’t think that it is that amazing yet but I really do love it. I LOVE thinking of new ice cream flavors, coming up with the recipe, testing the recipe, reworking the recipe, and then selling the final product to people that smile when they try it. It’s the best, coolest thing ever!! I specialize in these little ice cream tacos…like a chocotaco. They are so fun create and eat. I never thought that they would be that big of a deal, but since opening my little window I realize people really do like them. They seriously put the biggest little smile on people’s faces and that alone gives me the greatest sense of satisfaction. I actually can’t wait to wake up each day and do it again. I mean, I am tired don’t get me wrong, haha, I am so tired. I have stayed up so many long nights and early mornings and I don’t really sleep…but I know that this is not forever. I also think this step is crucial. It’s like having a newborn. They basically rely on you for everything short of breathing and for the first few years of that child’s life you are on call ALL THE TIME. Its how you find the deepest love for something, all that sweat and all of those tears; it’s tough love for sure but it is the most meaningful. I know that slowly but surely things start to fall into the place. Right now I think I am somewhere in the midst of having a 3 month old or so but soon this little business will grow out of its infancy and start to walk on its own. I’m just so happy to be along for the ride and see where it all leads.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To start our day each morning we would have to check out one of the amazing coffee shops that litter our city. There really are so many good ones that we would probably have to suppliment each meal with a quick shot of espresso. From Revolution Roasters in Oceanside, Steady State in Carlsbad, Ironsmith in Encinitas, Little Joy Del Mar and then of course James Coffee, Dark Horse, Communal Coffee downtown…Wayfare Bakery, there are too many good options…at least we would know we would have enough energy to get us through the rest of the city tour. I think when you adventure around San Diego, you have to find a good balance between diving deep into some of the individual neighborhoods and glossing over a few can’t-miss but slightly more obvious ones. For example, Little Italy is close to the airport, and a great stop with some good food options but the wait can be long and the streets are pretty bustling with people. The truth is, so many of the restaurant owners that have spaces there, also have some really great restaurants in other parts of the city that tend to be a little less populated and busy. There is a great surf shop down there, a little off the beaten path, called Atacama that has some great stuff to check out. (especially their Vans selection). Then there are some really cool design + furniture shops that I LOVE like the Danish furniture spot next to James, and Klassik. And if you are going to dine in Little Italy, I would suggest Monelo’s. Their food really is so good. Barrio is full of culture and art and is a place I would spend some real time exploring. There are great little restaurants, breweries and the art scene there really is something else. It’s definitely unique to San Diego in so many ways. In terms of dining, I love the restaurants all along Adams Ave. and I certainly would take my friends out for an evening jumping in and out around there starting at Cantina Mayahuel and ending somewhere around Sycamore Den. I personally would book some tickets at the Observatory Theater that day too…(covid pending) because it is such a great theater and they have really great bands that come to play there. I would spend a morning in Blaboa park because there are so many beautiful places to find and explore. My absolute favorite is the Japanese garden. It is so incredibly peacful as well as beautiful and it tends to not get too overrun with people. That afternoon I would head to Liberty Station for lunch and some fun shopping, and I would sum up that day with a sunset viewing at Sunset Cliffs. It’s really insanely beautiful there. You have to spend at least two days up in North County to really get the San Diego feel when you are in town. All along the 101 is full of amazing little shops, surf spots, coffee shops etc. Enicnitas is just bustling with people walking along the 101 0n the path from Cardiff to Encinitas. It is also where you will get one of the best views of the water. You will be sorely missed if you do not visit the Self-Realization center right at Swamis in Encinitas. It is magical there. Even if you don’t go to meditate, find yourself a nice bench to sit on overlooking the water and just try to convince us that we are not incredibly lucky to live here. You can spend the day at Beacon’s beach for a fun afternoon of sun-bathing and surfing. If you are into popping in and out of little boutique shops in search of some really cool finds (which my friends and I certainly are) you have to check out some of the little treasures along the 101 for a day. Threadspun is one of the best! She carries amazingly great sourced items from mostly woman artisans and she gives a percentage of her proceeds back to varying non-profit groups each month. She is also a huge advocate for small buinesses in and out of Encinitas and really does a lot to promote them through her shop. You should also check out the Seaweed and Gravel, the Hive in Oceanside, and Captain’s Helm. They are all super cool little spots where you are sure to find some great little treasures. Lastly, I would absolutely find myslef booking a dinner at one the John Resnick’s spots in Carlsbad. He hits hospitality right on the head, his spaces are beautiful with their incredible design from All The Bells and Whistles and the food is outstanding. It is a perfect way to sum up a trip to San Diego.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I truly think that everyone I have met, my family both near and far, every job I have held, every book I have read, every fall I have taken, every mini success I have had, ALL of these things have lead me to where I am now. Truly. My husband is the most supportive person in the entire world. He stays up with me late nights and makes me coffee when I have pulled an all-nighter. He honestly tells me I am capable of anything and beautiful even when I feel like a puddle on the floor. He deserves all of the thanks in the world. My mom has been there through thick and thin and always given me confidence. She is the strongest, most capable woman I know and she has been the best roll model in being both a career woman and a mom. My dad would always tell me that I am capable of anything if I could just put my mind to it. He would say that that in somewhat of an off-handed comment basically saying that if I could just focus on something…anything (hahaha) I would be ok. What I came to realize is that he was right; if I put my mind to something I would be good at it. But what I realized is that I also had to have my heart and soul in it to want to stick to it forever. I think about this every day.
Hannah Mills Eli Suhaldonik