Darren Spicer is Co-Founder and CEO of Clutch Coffee Bar. He is re-inventing the drive-thru coffee game, and re-discovering the lost art of Customer Service.
00:00 - Intro
1:35 - What makes Clutch unique?
7:29 - Coached vs Managed
9:47 - Darren's Background
19:12 - COVID Impact on Clutch
24:00 - Grand Opening Celebration
28:42 - Day in the Life
29:45 - Biggest Challenges
32:31 - Lesson's Learned From Mentors
36:50 - Future Plans for Clutch
42:22 - Advice to 20 Year Old Darren
average drive-through experience in America you order at the box it's impersonal you pull up to the window youtake your money Windows close their back gets turned to you and then that's it you're just trained to that to be okay there's the three C's of clutch customerculture and Community four days after we opened we gave back a hundred percent of our proceeds to the local high schoolyou killed two birds with one stone are you coachable and can you be reliable if you have those things I don't care ifyou've never made a cup of coffee in your life we will teach you everything else we're gonna double in size this year and the only way we're doing thatis with the right people when I first started I was in North Carolina 21 days a month for a year and a half straight every flight I take to the east coast isa red eye first year of Kobe we actually grew 40 year over year it was crazy we issued permits a month earlier thatnever happens there was a big crunch on manufacturing that was probably the most challenging we serve free drinks all dayno strings attached someone wants to come through one time or 10 times I don't really care an energy drink that has Peach strawberry white chocolate youwouldn't think white chocolate would go into an energy drink it's organized chaos you either succeed or no failing you've got to be willing to continue toshoot that shot it takes one opportunity to be right map out plan a be prepared for plan a to go to map out plan Bbe prepared for Plan B to be semi-accurate and then prepare for playing C I have a three and a half year old daughter if you can't explain heryou are complicating it too much this is a chance to build something really special that could change our financialDirection as a family forever welcome back to the Sam Weinstein show we have a very special guest Darren Spicer theco-founder of clutch coffee he's here to tell us his whole experience and what it was like building a magnificent coffeebrand welcome Darren appreciate it Sam thanks for having me man yeah of course so you run a clutch coffee bar right canyou can you explain what that is and how it's different from say like Starbucks yeah absolutely and you know the bestpart of that is for for this podcast is I'm going to take we're gonna do this while I'm actually sitting in a Starbucks right now I had to get alittle a little afternoon no um that's hilarious yeah uh no it's great man soso the the biggest the biggest difference I think with clutch versus Starbucks or Duncan or brands thatpeople might be more familiar with um really comes down to a couple a couple key componentsso it's the it's the customer experience um the speed and the quality of whatwe're doing um and the customer experience really is uh is the root of everything it's it's ait's 180 degrees different than the way it might be at Starbucks you know we actually have people who are outsideface to face taking your order um we are working on getting that information inside in a very fastfashion um so that we can get orders done more efficiently um and just really trying to buildgenuine connections right I think while we while we serve coffee we are reallyin the relationship business and coffee happens to be the vehicle that we thatwe uh deliver that through so yeah right so so it's almost like a Community Firstbrand Community First company and then coffee as the you know thing between the relationship100 yeah we and we really I mean there's there's the three C's of clutch that wesubscribe to which is yeah yeah which is a customer culture and community and andthose things none of them one can't be sacrificed for the other right they all have to be there and and so being abeing a part of every Community we go into is a huge component of what we do both in our actions and our wordsright so the three C's the customer experience culture and Community can you walk through through each one and howsort of that is uh like clutch's signature uh around the whole brand how that different differentiates itselfyeah of course so so the first one's customer right and it really is a customer-centric business for some ofthe reasons that I was just describing um really trying to pour into those withlike like the average drive-through experience in America we've become very accustomed to like think about it youorder at the box right at the speaker box it's impersonal you pull up to the window someone might take your theymight say hi they take your money the windows close their back gets turned to you and and then that's it and likeyou're just you're just trained to for that to be okay so really trying to change that and have that face-to-faceexperience right out of the gate um and then to build on that specifically um like we have someone who's designatedon our window position who literally is focused on having a relationship ship with that customer and right talkingabout their day whatever is going on so the customer piece is huge um the culture part that's that's reallyfor us internally like who are we as a company what's our what's our identity what's our DNA do in do people getexcited and they want to work at clutch or is it a place where you're like I have to go to work today right so reallybuilding the right culture um you know our core values being servant leaders top to bottom andproviding opportunity and growth and how we treat people is really important for the cultureum and in community as I was mentioning like we just opened a new store at the end of January in Columbia SouthCarolina four days after we opened we did what we call a proceeds day where we gave back a hundred percent of ourproceeds to the local high school wow um and so just trying to really support local initiatives and show thatwe're a part of the community and that's just that's a very important part of who we are and what we do right so so goingback to those three seasons I think one of the things I saw was the uh you know from the customer experience like youmentioned was someone actually uh is face to face The Human Experience is actually going it's not just adrive-through window they're actually going around taking people's orders from the car it's that a you know it's ahuman face-to-face experience but also it increases the speed at which orders were taken gets people through thedrive-throughs right yep yep it really becomes it's you kill two birds with one stone right you getuh the fact that you get that face to face and think about the best comparison I could give people is depending onwhich um which coast you're on is uh is either in and out burger or Chick-fil-Aright and and so so you go there and like you pull up to a station wherethey're taking your order typically um that's kind of a checkpoint and then you keep going for us it's it's if I had10 cars in line can I get our runner position to go out and take cars six seven eight nine tenum to really just funnel that in even faster and and welcome people right you know to hey welcome to clutch here's amenu if you don't know what you want yet I'll be back in a second I'm gonna grab their order and I'll take yours like building that relationship I think is iskey yeah absolutely and then going on to the the culture you know how do you you knowFoster an environment where uh you know people actually want to work there and are engaging with the customers andbuilding off of that relationship how do you how do you find those people and then nurture them uh into the clutch youknow Community or culture a lot of coaching and a lot of patience and a lotof love um it's a million dollar question because yeah culture is such a looseterm that's used right everyone talks about I want to have a great culture what every business has a culture someare shitty and some are great it just depends and so I think for us it's it'sfinding people that have the right DNA people that um that it's the intangibles are you areyou do you have a positive energy and a positive um outlook on things are you coachableand can you be reliable if you have those things I don't care if you've never made a cup of coffee in your lifewe will teach you everything else and so finding people that are geared the right way and then really having a lot of specifictraining for them and encouraging them like my it's funny my mom will tell the story to anybody who listens like when Istarted working in coffee at 18 um she will tell people that I was like fairly shy before that right and thengoing through that process and learning at a couple different brands that I worked atforces you to get out of your shell and talk to people and be able to carry a conversation with anybody from alldifferent walks of life and so it's it's actually cool because we end up teaching a lot of our employees life skills thatthey take Beyond clutch um so but it doesn't it's culture is likeso hard to build and maintain but it's also the most important thing so it's it's just something you got to doright so so it's almost like you're you're teaching people to you know instead of being a manager and bosspeople around you're teaching people you know to be coachable and be coaches and sort of not just have you know do yourjob uh you know XYZ but you know teach people the skills to then build off ofnot just you know clutch but life in general right yeah 100 I mean like look nobody nobodyI don't think anybody enjoys just being having orders parked at them or being told what to do they want to be theywant to know that especially with I would say respectfully with like a younger generation of employees we have they want to be heard respected and feellike they're part of something and so that's our job that's our job literally to provide that space to provide thatopportunity that we're still going to be highly accountable and sometimes those are the hard things where like you mighthave someone that's an amazing employee great personality but literally can't show up to work on time and that happensover and over and over and then like at a certain point you say hey like if I don't actually draw a line here I'mliterally setting a poor precedent for everybody else like we do have parameters so it's a it's a balance andI've seen some amazing people that ended up not being able to work at that clutch because they couldn't kind of get some of those things together but it is justit's our responsibility it's our job and our responsibility to do that so right to to be a coach right uh speaking ofcoaches you uh have to have some experience in the coaching uh sporting World why don't you why don't you tellus about that where you grew up and what's the Darren story what's your story yeah um so let's see uh born and raisedin a in Oregon here yeah I moved I I went to the University ofOregon uh I played basketball in college went to University of Oregon uh I graduated and worked in the NBA for theSacramento Kings I actually kind of told myself if I couldn't play in the league I wanted to work in it so I earnedworked and worked and earned that opportunity I got there so I'm like put all this work into getting there and theone and the time I was there I performed really well um as a sales rep but it wasn'tenjoyable work it really took away my passion for the sport and as a fan sothat quickly changed and it was like okay I'm gonna get into something else um I got into into medical device salesfor seven years had an amazing career with that would still be doing that today if I didn't have this itch toscratch with starting starting my own brand and starting the coffee concept all right so uh so we started clutch in2018 we're actually we this upcoming week clutch turns five years oldum which is which is exciting and yeah just been really trying to we have some pretty aggressive growth goals over thenext three years that we want to achieve um and then at the same time in my in myspare time when I'm not doing that or being a a dad to two kids uh I actually Mentor there's a there's a mentorprogram through the Oregon business uh school and I Mentor four student athletes at the University of Oregonright now as well um just got people that have uh focus on wanting to be entrepreneurial orbusiness um coaching them and building relationships with them so that's been very rewarding as wellright so it sounds like your your passion or is really the the people you know not just the coffee but the peoplethe relationships uh experience within the the whole uh you know relationshipside of business is that correct absolutely yeah I mean honestly everything comes back to the rightpeople we talk about as we're going to grow and open we're going to double in size this year in 2023. the only waywe're doing that is with the right people in the right seats you know you could have the greatest Concept in the world but if you don't have the rightpeople on on the team to help be part of that and execute it it's unlikely to beas successful as it could be right right it's about finding my people leveraging them and uh so you guys started in yourfirst location was North Carolina and how many locations how have you been able to scale that up till nowyes so we uh we have six locations right now number seven will open in about a monthum we're located in both North and South Carolina uh currently we will finish theyear going from six well finish that you're going from five to ten or elevenum which is exciting our goal is to get to 50 in the next three years so we took a little bit of a took a little bit oftime on the front end to get our Rhythm down to make sure we had the right Cadence on thingsum the right structure and foundation and then now we're kind of pressing the accelerator on everything so um we'lleventually be in Georgia as well and just kind of really trying to focus on that area um and bring the bring the clutch brandto a lot of people right right and something about the the community you're focusing not just onthe the overall clutch Community but each individual location Community rightyeah yeah absolutely um going into any new community is iskey for us but again making an impact right away and I and then sustaining that impact so there's some certaininitiatives that we map out as part of our um like a new market launch things we'redoing specifically so you're saying you have the locations right now you're you're scale to 50 and you said yourseventh one is where seventh one will be in Rock Hill South Carolina which is just uh just south ofCharlotte it's kind of crazy actually since since you and I have last talked to we have athere's a very large uh drive-through established drive-through chaindifferent not copy different concept down in the South um that has reached out and expressedsome interest in potentially collaborating with us to really help us scale beyond our current goals so we areyeah like in a big way uh so we're we're working onkind of vetting out some things there to you know kind of feel out and see if it's a good Mutual relationshipum to explore but that would be really exciting if that came together because that would that would raise you know andElevate the clutch name and and our ability to impact people and one of the cool things too is every new every newstore we open right we're creating 30 to 40 jobs in every single one that we do so um even thinking about it in thatfashion is exciting to know that we're going to be adding hundreds and hundreds of jobs in these new areas for peopleright absolutely and so so all the clutch stores are are on the east coastand you're on the west coast so how have you been able to manage that and you know I see I see you know you texted mea few days ago you're like hey I'm flying back you know I'll meet you with you know XYZ and like I'm like oh mygosh this guy's a hustler non-stop going back and forth how have you been been able to navigate thatyeah uh a lot of patience and support from my wife so that's number one we'llgive credit if she ever watches this we'll give credit to that um right but no honestly it's it'swhen I first started out there I was in North Carolina 21 days a month for ayear and a half straight wow and so I would go out for like 10 or 11 days come back for four or five back out for 10 or11. and we did that to build the right foundation structurally the right leadership we now have a lot ofadditional layers of support which is helpful which allows me to have a little bit more of a balancedapproach and at this has evolved right when we started I was literally in the stores teaching peoplehow to open teaching them how to close um everything in between now it's evolved to where like I have a lot ofmacro things to focus on to make sure that all departments are hitting their their goals and that we're communicatingwell so most of my time now is spent like at my War desk getting things doneum but it's also very important for me to still have that face time with people so when I do fly outum I believe in efficiency as much as possible so I don't take I don't take any day flights every flight I take tothe east coast is a red eye um which is terrible for Sleep uh but you know I leave I leave California at10 30 at night I land at 5am grab a coffee and we go so uh it's it's it's what it requiresright now for the growth phase we're in I think right so sort of the you know the theLong Haul to build uh the foundation right it's almost like you know if you're building a building or a skyscraper you have to have the rightfoundation underneath that people don't see for a long long time and then you start you know building and scaling andall that I think it's the same thing with the business so um how is the how has your family beenable to uh you know handle the the balance between you know these red eyes and going back and forth to the Non-Stopso it's a lot of strategic planning um it's very helpful to havegrandparents that are willing to contribute and help watch the kids which has been helpful in all honesty if youif someone told me right now hey you have to do what you did five years ago and be out there 21 daysa month I'm not sure I can miss that much time with my kids um that'd be pretty tough so it's almost like the timing was the perfect timingto do it before before having kids um but it's tough man like it never like when I leave you know like my my youknow we tell like my kids know where I'm going and like dad's going to clutch um it's you know you missed like certainroutines and things but that's again credit to credit to my wife for holding down the fort andum she it's a long play right this is a this is a chance to build something really special that could change ourfinancial Direction as a family forever so uh it's worth the commitment and theteamwork now to build something greater for us and for our kids right so wouldyou say you know your wife and your family have been you know your your clutch to you been very clutchin every facet of the word like it that if we look up a textbook definition youfind a picture of of my wife and all the stuff that she does to basically hold down the fort rightum that allows me to she's like okay go make cheese jokes she's like go make mochas and I'm like yeah okayum but but really that it wouldn't be possible without without their support and uh yeah it's just it's exciting I amI'm looking forward to the day where where that travel ceases at some point and I get to uh to relax a little bitmore uh that time is not right now but uh in the future who knows maybe you can uh expand to theto the metaverse and uh sell a coffee there there we go I'm gonna have to enlist your help for that right so you know youmentioned the you know the timing aspect of it the right the right timing to to open the clutch and expand you know especially on the East Coastum you know he started in 2018 and so how have you been able to navigate you know obviously the pandemic and andwhatnot and uh you know 2020 2021 has that has that impacted you uh in a goodway or a bad way how is that experience yeah so it's crazy like when when covethit we got what a lot of other um put a lot of other drive-through businesses got which was kind of thisthis covid bump if you will and uh and our sales actually increased the first year of covid we actually grew 40 yearover year it was crazy and I think we were lucky because the business model wewere in was already centered to be takeaway right it was drive-through so we did all the right protocols we didall the right testing we made sure that our our team had protective equipment um to serve people safely and I think atthat point too think about like how long you had to be like kind of on house arrest right and you were oh yeah as a society peoplewere chomping at the bit to get out and like talk to another human and not the one you've been cooped up with so itbecame I think almost therapeutic to a degree too um so that was a huge boost for usum and then you know there's been some Peaks and valleys inflation obviously plays a factor in thingsum but but covid was buying I mean look there were lots of things that were miserable for us to deal with as it wasfor a lot of people in terms of tracing and you know people that actually got coveted and like making sure we took care of themum but but did it impact their business positively like the answer is probably yesright but so you think it was more the the building relationships that that's what everyone was craving during thepandemic and they were really looking to you know not just get out and get coffee right you can order coffee in but but really go to somewhere that's cateringto those relationships and building that you know Community with the the people yeah see I mean seeing your favoriteBarista and on the flip side our Baristas knowing all of our regular customers knowing their orders right andso they're like oh hey like Sam gets a medium cold brew like that matters right you're like damn they remembered me ifthat's great um right so it's a two-way it's a two-way Mutual Street I think there and andum people were definitely looking forward to again I think to to connecting with others but also not justrandoms but people that they actually knew right and had a relationship with from from before coveryeah absolutely and with the you know with coven and everything you know I know uh brick and mortar especiallydrive through there's a lot of uh you know red tape when you're when you're opening these new locations is that didthat speed up the process or how is navigating that red tape when opening uh or managing locationsyeah every the best answer to that is that every city is different some cities like Colombia we just opened in theygave us they issued permits a month early that never happens they were like business friendly they're like come ondown can't wait for you guys to be here then you have other cities that shall rename name uh remain nameless for nowum who can't get out of their own way and projects that should be open by now that aren't uh in it and you know youwe've got we're ready to staff it we're ready to serve it we've got people literally inbound messaging every daywhen is the store going to open and we don't have an answer um so it's I think the hardest partprobably through if as it relates to covet is just is sourcing material and sourcing supplies rightum because there was a big crunch on manufacturing and how are we getting things and that was probably the mostchallenging like there's long lead times for equipment longer than there used to be um because there's more demand too sojust have to kind of navigate it thankfully we have a head-up supply chain who does a great job on helping tonavigate a lot of that stuff so how did you maintain that quality with the you know supply chain and your suppliers andeverything uh you know during this this limited shortage yeah um part of it was just beinguncompromising in terms of our commitment to Quality right like uh if if something was cut let's say an orderwas cut or we didn't get something we weren't just gonna go replace that with a cheap alternative it was like tryingto maintain that level of quality um and then just really trying to forecast what we would so let's let'ssay we needed a thousand units of something honestly we were probably ordering 2 000 of it just to get aboutthat in case they got a if it recurred later we have more buffer stockum so we kind of learned I think we learned our lesson on like on ordering up and making sure we were betterprotected in case because you never know I mean there were Peaks and valleys and when that stuff would happen and hard topredict so and and when you do finally get you know open a location you guys dofor something pretty special can you explain what that is yeah so on uh on grand opening day weserve free drinks all day there's no strings attached someone wants to come through one time or ten times I don'treally care uh the goal is to allow people a chance to try tasteexperience the brand with zero commitment and other other than just your time to come visit us so that thatpart is like so much that's honestly like it's one of the most rewarding things it's very it's it's organizedchaos um we've served over two thousand two thousand free drinks on our last opening wow yeah in a in a 12-hour spanum which is which is fun um and just it's I mean the lines are 30 to 40 cards deep all day uh it'sexhausting at the end of the day um but it's just a great way to show a community what we're about and I mean II was I literally worked all 12 hours on that on that opening and the most recent one and the uh we had people online whowere they saw the lines they weren't sure what to expect and I I heard several people mention like you guys areas efficient as Chick-fil-A like this lion is moving faster than we thought this is impressive and those are likethose are probably some of the best compliments you can get from an operational standpoint Chick-fil-A so brick and mortar oh yeah yeah yeah so umso yeah we it's exciting and uh but yeah so free drinks all day and like we we Pump It Up we hype it we let everybodyin the community know and and you never know like you as like I'm heavily involved in the marketing so you alwayscross your fingers and you're like okay did we do a good enough job to spread the word right and then hype up yeahlike because you're like gosh what if what if people don't show up when we open like right um but we had people were showing up 30minutes before we opened which was cool so right um if you hire your own DJyeah yeah so we have a live DJ that comes outside um and I mean look if people are goingto be waiting in line for a while I think it's our responsibility to provide some entertainment value there and plusit just makes the vibe Elevate as well so um DJ Mike tastic comes out and uh andhe rocks with us for eight hours eight of those 12 hours um we give them a little bit of a break there at the end uh but it just it it Imean I saw people recording videos and they're like posting it on on Snapchat and on Instagram they're like you knowthey have a live DJ here like you just have a it's a party it's a good time yeah you build the hype up get the wordof mouth out and so so what what is Darren ordering at one of those grand openings Darren is getting one of our signaturedrinks that nobody else in the industry makes right now which is an iced muscle mocha it is a fusion of a it's a proteinshake with espresso infused into it um that we designed my wife came to meseveral years ago and was like Hey I'm tired of drinking my coffee and my protein shake every morning figure a wayto you know fuse it and we did um so I would get that uh on ice forsure that sounds good do you guys have any like secret menus or or like you knowsecrets that uh you could share yeah um so we do have a lot of secretcombinations we try to some places have what they'll call a secret menu then it's posted publiclysomewhere um we actually try to keep ours somewhat secret so the the best way tocustomers is like asking arborist stuff like hey what's your favorite secret menu or off item and or off menu itemsand they have they have a lot of knowledge of those but they also sometimes create their own as wellum so there's some fun flavor combinations that um sound weird when you say like okayan energy drink that has if you had Peach strawberry white chocolate like a combination like that you wouldn't thinkwhite chocolate would go into an energy drink but it's actually phenomenal when it's combined with those other fruit flavors right so you guys are known forfor your you know unique flavors and combinations and what are those flavors you know I I know you mentioned yourwaifu do those flavors come from ideas from the community or maybe employees or or where's the how do you test thoseflavors so some of it is from just the Arts oryears and years of experience in the industry but then also like when we did our last menu refresh a year and a halfago we actually asked our own employees we were like hey what you know let's talk about some of your favoritecombinations that we don't know about and it was really cool because it was kind of a crowdsourcing effort and someof their some of their recommendations made it onto the menu as new signature drinks oh wowyeah actually oh that's pretty cool and so so what is a uh Day in the Life looklike for for Darren right now oh that's a great question okay so it'sit's segmented um I'm working on my computer from 5 30 a.m to 7 30 a.m then I break for onehour to get my kids up fed dressed and off to to daycare or school uh I'm backat my desk by 8 45. I'm working straight through until about 3 30 or 4. I tryyou can go to the gym or go for a run um then it's back to kid duty for dinnerfrom uh from about five to seven including you know bath time all that uhafter they're down asleep I'm usually back in my computer uh from about 8 30 to 10 30 or 8 30 to 11 and and then backat it so I don't ever I usually get five to six hours of sleep a night is the max andum that's pretty standard Monday through Friday on that schedule wow so what what has been the most challenging uh youknow part of running clutch over the years that's the most challengingum or is there like one experience you you remember that's like oh this was like you know what after we overcamethis hurdle like downhill sailing from here sure uh that's a really good question Ithink I think the biggest thing is people to grow with and putting them in the rightpositions to succeed and I can give you some I could give strong examples ofpeople that are in the right that are thriving and I can give you examples of people that were in the wrong seat orthat we had to remove from a seat because it was not conducive to the growth of the companyum and those are never easy you know conversations or things to do so I thinkit really it comes back to people it's the right people but also in the right seat right it's almost like you know if youfind the right person they can 10x your business but if you're on the wrong person they can you know 10 10x minus so sabotage it yeah yeah yeah so that'sthat's been really challenging to navigate yeah yeah I think I mean I thinkchallenging but also just learned a lot right like looking back and learning a lot there where I feel like my myability to look at everything in decision making is is more pristine now than it wasa year ago even or three years ago or five years ago so uh but and just beingwilling to be flexible and grow with the business and understand right like understanding that my the way my job wasthree years ago is not the way it is today and frankly it's not going to be the same way it is in a year from now when we're twice the size it's going tocontinue to evolve and part of my responsibility is to adapt with them right so it's almost like you know whenyou're in startup phase it's different from you know going from you know one to ten and then 10 to 100 it's almost likeyou need to you know build up the different skills and be be a a leader um a different kind of leader rightdifferent kind of lead and that's like I have a couple mentors who have who have really coached me on that and and numberone leaders always eat last so you're serving others and you eat last on on inevery sense of the of the phrase um but uh but yeah it's at the end ofthe day no matter what happens Downstream you're the last line of defense right you know in the positionthat I'm in it's I can't think to other levels and I can't um I have to stay high road I have tomaintain that I have to be that check and balance and so sometimes that's easier said than than not butum but it's my responsibility to do that right to make sure that we keep the right culture and the right people together so I take that responsibilitypretty seriously right so so I know you mentioned you know you've been sort of a mentor to you know the employees and andyou know coaches and whatnot is there a one uh you know pivotal lesson you learn from a mentor of yours that reallyhelped uh you know clutch or in life in general man probably more than one to be honestum I mean one of them I'd say a business-wise mentor one of my mentors is is a guy named Rob Smithum who has started four different companies sold this first one to Disney when he was 23. just like really reallybright guy and he and I speak the same language on business in terms of thingsbut I think he's really encouraged me um to not be afraid to fail right to goto to shoot the shot and to go for it and and know at the end of the dayum that you're gonna be better off for having tried that and you either you either succeed or you learn no failingso you succeed or you learn and and just you got to be willing to continue to shoot that shot and frankly like ittakes it takes one one opportunity to be right um right in this in the sport ofbusiness right you don't have to write 10 times out of ten you could you could hit one out of ten and it could be thatyou know multi-million dollar um idea that comes to fruition that you're able to to execute soyeah I think there was a quote from you know Jeff Bezos or something he said like uh if you know you're playingbaseball right and you step up to the home plate and you hit it and you miss well you keep trying and if you keepmissing you know eventually after the 12th time not only are you gonna get a home run you're gonna get a you knowGrand Slam out of the universe everybody knows that if you swing for the fences you hit more home runs but you alsostrike out more but with the baseball that analogy doesn't go far enough because with baseball no matter how wellyou connect with the ball you can only get four runs the success is capped at four runsbut in business every once in a while you step up to the plate and you hit the ball so hard you get a thousand runsand so when that when you have that kind of asymmetric payoff and you know one atone at back can get you a thousand runs it encourages you to experiment moreit's the right business decision to experiment more it's also better for your customers customers likeum the successful experiments and it's something that that's only you know within business you know not not justwithin Sports yeah you just you gotta keep I mean you gotta keep uh shooting the shot and I mean there's actuallyMark Cuban has a book that talks about how to win at the sport of business and it talks about how it's like business isa 24 7 365 Adventure right every no one's sleeping everyone's working andtrying to grow but again you only have to be right one timeum and and what I'm about to say next is like not and write only one time but agood example is like another mentor of mine started Hollywood Video uh back in the day which back when you actuallyrented DVDs and DHS and uh I had a couple other business ventures but likestarted that and sold it for 1.2 billion dollars and I mean it's like you'reright one time they also bought at the time they bought a a brick and mortarElectronics uh chain out of chapter 11 tried to grow it didn't go so well andit got dumped back into chapter 11 bankruptcy so like but the point was like you only have to be right one time to to grow that and then open up otherdoors for yourself I mean I'm hoping that clutch opens up other doors for me to coach and consult business-wise afteruh you know after this this journey um and to be able to help others who have aspirations prevent some of thesame mistakes from being made and help make their game sharper um and kind of have an Express line onhow to get there versus having to reinvent the wheel right I I heard you you have a a greatname for for what that would be oh clutch Consulting yeahyeah it's I like a little alliteration and I think it I think the definition of the word clutch right like can we can wedeliver for you and you need it most can we be that that clutch uh consultant for yourself rightand how do you how do you see uh you know clutch coffee innovating uh further in the next you know however many yearsgreat that's a that's a great question um I think I think more and more concepts are gonna latch on to to theway we do things so the way others in our space do things and just to be clear we didn't invent the wheel here right but I think as more and more people uhlatch on it will be important for us to to Define how we're unique and how we'redifferent not to say oh we're the best at something because I think best is relative right the best wine you've ever had might be different for someone elseother than you um but how are we going to be unique and how are we going to part about our space and so I think that comes down to theproduct offering I think it comes down to how we're delivering you knowum the product and um that experience I think how do you continue to improve the customerexperience where people are like man I want to go back there because it was so great versus you know not wanting to togo visit so right so you know I think it comes back to those three uh you know C's right the uh you know cultureCommunity customer yep customer experience right all right and and so who are the the clutch coffee customersis there like one specific trait they have or or is it all over the place or what have you noticed it is yeah it'sacross the Spectrum and like we have we have daily regulars who are in high school who come before or after schooland we have retirees um who are who are coming in the morning you know to to grab a coffeeum so it really ranges I would say we are we are probably geared a little bitmore towards a youthful audience um but part of the beauty of what we do people ask oh what's your you knowwhat's your Niche well I right I think because we're not just coffee it's energy drinks it's juices it's teas it'ssmoothies so our goal is to be able to have something for everybody um and so uh yeah it's tough to say likeoh it's just one subset I think there's a lot of different groups that we serve and hopefully serve wellum but yeah youthful comes to mind in terms of the the energyof what we do at clutch and uh and serving that as a as a product if you will the peopleright so it's almost like there's these different customer segments but uh the the overall clutch you know brand isabout uh you know energy and you know youthfulness or uh you know I saw the The Branding itself within the storelooks really nice all the colors and one how did you uh design The Branding and figure out the branding for thatyeah we've got an awesome marketing advisor who used to run all of these social content strategy for NikeAthletics um and so he has been huge in terms of helping to guide us the color palettelike the different colors the vibrant colors you see we went through a pretty extensive process of defining what ourcolor palette would be and looking at what that is and I think those colors that we chose really do connect with thenotion of like warm vibrant energetic if you can call a color energetic rightit's not muted it's not um it's not something that's subtle right and I think that ties into thebrand voice and you know the experience hopefully that you're getting is a is a vibrant experience that you're gettingwhen you visit when you visit clutch and so so the clutch can you can you explain what like what what what is theclutch mission as far as you know moving forward yeahum what's funny we're actually going through a leadership process a leadership uh rubric as a team right nowas a senior leadership team so we're actually in the throes of redefining what that means for us and redefiningwhat our culture is um so stay tuned for part two we can we can go over what those end up being butI think at a molecular level are our goal is to provide energy and tomake people happy and what's cool about me saying that is I went through some of this exercise literally last Friday Iwas I was coming back from the airport and I was I talked to our marketing advisor Rob we were we had a little Think Tank session for like an hour andI have a three and a half year old daughter and he he's you know he broke it down for me he goes if you can'texplain to her right why clutch exists you are complicating it too much and soI was like okay well when you tell me that we exist to make people happy andto serve energy to serve energy in every facet of the word and he's like that's it like that is what you do like youserve products but like you really it's really it's a feeling and an experience you can provide to people yeah rightyeah it totally makes sense so it's it's really the you know the customer experience and and it and so that'sreally where your passion of coffee came from it's the you're serving energy right yeah it's I mean I think it's connectingwith people and look at the end of the day I think what we provide beverage wise isusually what people are are like it's something that they are getting to help get through their day right so whetherthey're going to work whether they just got off of a long shift whether they're studying for school um we provide something that helps themnavigate life and it's something that is not crazy expensive right like you knowfor five dollars you can get a great experience and a beverage that tastes phenomenal that provides you withliteral and hopefully emotional energy too um to be able to conquer whatever it is you're gonna doand if you could go back and you know give the 20 year old uh Darren one pieceof advice what would that be oh I I know the answer to this one veryspecifically um it's map out plan A and then be prepared for plan a to go toand then map out plan B and be prepared for Plan B to be semi-accurate and then prepare for planC uh because you can map out everything where you're like okay it's going to go exactly this way and the reality is youcan't um you can't manicure at that specifically things are going to happen that you don't expect and so you justhave to be open and willing to ride the ride and say okay we're going to adjust and having you know what is my what'sthe next way I'm going to approach this what's the next plan so if I could tell 20 year old version of me that it wouldbe it would be that sounds good well I think it's been agreat time and where can people find you so uh all of our social media handlesare at clutch coffee bar um and then at physically we're in the in the Carolinas and we'll be expandinginto Georgia as well um but yeah just uh on all the social platforms uh mostly you know Instagramand we're working on building our audience on Tick Tock um might need your help on that one toouh but we're growing there so awesome well appreciate the conversation Darrenand uh hopefully it was valuable to the audience thank you Sam appreciate it I help people uh they don't come lookingfor you in a Starbucks yes exactly exactly they won't that'snot where they would normally uh expect to look for me