BY VOYAGE DALLAS – Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Stein.
Todd, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in a retail family, working in my father’s store Barry’s Camera and Video from age eight (legally, 16!) to when I graduated from the University of Arizona and was managing one of his stores. After the business was sold, I made a transition to working at some of Dallas’ largest advertising agencies. This included Tracy Locke, Hawkeye and, most recently, 11 years at The Marketing Arm, where I led the team responsible for AT&T’s pro-sports sponsorships.
While I loved my agency years, I always missed the store environment. I especially missed every day, one-on-one interactions with customers.
I’ve always had the entrepreneurial gene, not only from my dad but also my mom who’s a Dallas-based interior designer. When I started a search for my next chapter, the restaurant industry has always been in the back of my mind. While I did due diligence on businesses in a variety of verticals, I kept coming back to food service.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been fairly smooth, but much slower than I anticipated. Coming from advertising where everything is deadline focused, I’d occasionally get frustrated when people don’t move at the pace I am used to.
Another challenge was finding the perfect location for my first Vitality Bowls. Dallas is such a hot market; there’s competition for the best spots. But, patience prevailed as Preston Hollow Village has a great mix of residential, daytime traffic and a great roster of tenants.
Vitality Bowls – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I have signed an agreement to open three Vitality Bowls cafés in Dallas. Vitality Bowls is a franchise out of Northern California that excited me because of their commitment to bring health and wellness to every community across the country through fresh, high-quality superfoods.
Dallas is such an amazing city with amazing people who love to take care of themselves. But as a marketer, I recognized an unmet need for healthy foods that taste great that can be filled by Vitality Bowls.
We specialize in making delicious açaí bowls, which are a thick blend of the açaí berry topped with organic granola and a selection of superfood ingredients. Additional antioxidant-rich menu items include smoothies, fresh juices, soups, salads, and panini. All items on the menu are made fresh to order and in a kitchen designed to avoid cross-contamination of common food allergens. No ingredient fillers such as ice, frozen yogurt, added sugar or artificial preservatives are used, giving the purest taste possible to each item.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I have been surrounded my whole life by a family of entrepreneurs. Not only my dad and mom, but both of my sisters have had their own ventures. It’s in the blood.
Additionally, my wife Kate has been both an emotional rock during this adventure and a very savvy business advisor who’s helped me behind the scenes.