Skip to content

Austin From Scratch, Episode #18: Daniel Nicholson, CEO of NadaMoo Ice Cream

Austin From Scratch is our favorite series on the blog and involves Owen (age 8) and Malia (age 6) interviewing local entrepreneurs who have created a thriving business here in the heart of Texas.  For this session, we sat down with Daniel Nicholson, CEO of NadaMoo Ice Cream.  We choose NadaMoo because ice cream is one of the four major food groups and who wouldn’t want to learn more about running an ice cream company.  We hope you enjoy!

Owen (our eight-year-old son)
What were your favorite things to do as a kid?

Daniel (CEO of NadaMoo)
I played a lot of sports including baseball, basketball, football, soccer and ran track…so most of my childhood was wrapped up in sports.  I also enjoyed spending time with friends and family and running around wild like you probably do.

Malia (our six-year-old daughter)
Did you like school?

Daniel
Yeah, absolutely.  School was always something that I thought was good because you’re around other kids that are your age and you start adding some structure to your life and it’s the beginning of the education process, which really never ends.  I don’t know if I knew some of this at the time but looking back I now understand.  So yes, I definitely enjoyed school.

Malia
How did you go about learning as a child?

Daniel
A lot of early learning comes from older brothers and sisters and obviously our parents show us how to act and talk and that’s the beginning of the process.  Of course then you are introduced to friends and you learn how to behave within your own peer circle.  It’s a process that continues to advance from year to year.

Owen
How would you describe your company?

Daniel
I think NadaMoo is a very aware company.  We like to have fun, but at the same time we like to be part of a larger mission.  And when I talk about this mission, we’re on a mission to promote health and wellness through a dessert product.  So we are creating a healthy alternative to what your dad and I knew as ice cream growing up.  And it’s neat that you kids are growing up in a world where dairy-free ice cream is more normal and accepted and necessary for your diets.  It’s an ice cream company, first and foremost, but myself and the employees and the stakeholders around it are also aware of this larger problem that we’re all out to solve with NadaMoo.

 

NadaMoo

Malia
When did you first know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Daniel
I think being an entrepreneur was something that was always exciting to me…the thought of starting a company or being part of a small team that’s working to take on a big task…that was always a novel idea to me and very interesting.  It only continued to be reinforced as I grew up and had my first jobs and I worked for big companies and I really began to understand that I enjoyed being part of a smaller team and being more involved with the day to day functions of a business.  And the risk that is taken in the process and the reduced structure that comes with being an entrepreneur can be a really fun and exciting place to hang your hat in your professional career.

Owen
What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

Daniel
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur – and this may come from my background in being a mechanical engineer – is taking a problem and finding a solution for that problem.  If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you want it to be something that you feel very strongly about…so it’s not just about solving any problem….but taking a problem, realizing that you want to be part of a solution to that problem and taking your product and making that happen.  So it’s fun and exciting to lead a team into building something that solves an important problem.

Malia
What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?

Daniel
The most challenging part is that there are a lot of forces working against you in the entrepreneurial world…and in the real world…and the biggest ones are self-doubt and fear.  Those are two very powerful forces that will be working against you.  When you decide to go into business for yourself you realize that you’re taking on much more responsibility that if you were just an employee (of a company) and that doubt and the fear can often be the single largest struggle that you’re dealing with on a daily basis.  You have to believe in yourself and in your original mission and it’s important to maintain that passion for the company.

Owen
What is your favorite flavor of NadaMoo?

Daniel
My favorite flavor is Maple Pecan and that’s interesting because my favorite flavor of ice cream growing up was always Pecan Praline and Butter Pecan so the Maple Pecan is our version of those two childhood favorites.

Malia
What would you be doing if you weren’t the CEO of NadaMoo?

Daniel
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine exactly what that would be, but what I do know is that I would be working in a start-up environment and working with things that are related to health and wellness and/or sustainable energy.  But I love entrepreneurship and the start-up environment.

Owen
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Daniel
The best advice I can give is to not be afraid — don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and don’t be afraid to work really hard for what it is that you believe in or to solve that problem that you want to take on through business.

Malia
How many stores are you in?

Daniel
Today our product can be found in 1,000 stores nationwide and by next year we hope to be in 1,500 to 2,000 stores.  You can also find our products in Mexico and Canada.

Owen
How did you come up with the title NadaMoo?

Daniel
I actually got involved with the company about three years after it was started, but the Founder told me that Nada means, “no” and Moo is obviously the noise a cow makes.  And so the brand name is something that describes the product and the fact that it’s dairy free.  And it leaves the door open for future products that we can make that remain dairy free.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: