We had the good fortune of connecting with Teal Cooper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teal, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
To me, success is about controlling how you spend your time. I think the most important qualities in order to achieve that level of success is to never be complacent and to find something you truly love that lights a fire inside of you. Time is all we have and I want to make as big of an impact on the world that I possibly can with the little time we do have.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
VendiBean is a barista at the touch of a button with the mission of bringing people together through better coffee. We started the company for the need of having high-quality coffee conveniently located and available 24/7 on college campuses. Soon after launching, we realized how badly the corporate office coffee industry was lacking. We now offer two models, a complimentary subscription service for companies to enhance their office culture, employee morale and productivity with coffee their team will love. Along with our pay-per-cup model for universities and health care. We’re now working with some pretty awesome clients like Amazon, HP, COX, Volcom, UCSD and many more. Our journey was far from easy. The first machine we launched my senior year at SDSU was a complete flop that failed miserably. However, we consider that being far from failure because without that experience we wouldn’t have learned what we did and gotten to where we are today. Persistence and the ability to pivot and adapt are some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned to practice throughout our journey. In the beginning, it felt like a constant uphill battle with an insane amount of rejection. Even after the first few wins, a lot of them were not successful but they steered us in the right direction to improve and find what does work. Starting a service that relies on a physical product, logistics, a maintenance team, and tech support from scratch as a college kid with zero experience in any of those categories sounds almost impossible. Looking back I am very blessed about how naive we were. We could have outsourced our service side to a provider but saw the flaws in our competitors. We decided that to maintain the integrity of our brand and to offer a reliable service with outstanding customer support that we are 100% confident in we needed to find a way to build it ourselves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of our favorite things to do in San Diego are: Farmers Market in Little Italy or Hillcrest. Hike Torrey Pines Beach day at Law Street Bike the boardwalk in PB Kate Sessions Park Food/ Coffee Spots: Liberty Station Public Market Shino Sushi in Little Italy Taco Stand in La Jolla for burritos Dark Horse Coffee Genteel Coffee shop in East Village Java Earth coffee in Pacific Beach Bird Rock Coffee Roasters Brunch at The Cottage or Sugar and Scribe in La Jolla Georges on the Cove Rooftop Bar Barbusa in Little Italy Nolita Hall for drinks in Little Italy Kettner Exchange for drinks in Little Italy Buono Forchetta- best pizza in SD.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My brother and I started VendiBean when we were in college and there is no way we would be where we are today without the efforts, support, mentorship, and encouragement of others. To start, having supportive parents who love and encouraged us to take risks, fail and go after our dreams, is the root of our success. Our dad and investor have both been huge mentors to us throughout our journey. I’m always grateful to be living in a time with endless amounts of resources and podcasts available at our fingertips. Some podcasts and public figures that have expanded and mentored me are “How I Built This”, Ed Mylett’s Show, Sara Blakely, Jesse Itzler, and Tony Robbins to name a few. The book Mindset by Carol Dweck left a huge impact on me as well, teaching me the difference between a growth and fixed mindset and that all of the limitations we have are the ones we have been taught or have taught ourselves in our heads.