Corey Smale on Seizing the Moment
In 2013, we signed the paperwork and opened the Almanac office in downtown St. Louis. We decided to host an opening party, and looked for inspiration from two trends happening in St. Louis at the time. The first, was the craft beer scene, which was booming, with new breweries opening every couple of weeks. The second was a super successful Kickstarter project that everyone was talking about. For a donut shop. We reached out to this new donut concept to see if they could help us tap into these two trends and create some donuts infused with different beer flavors—peach ale, chocolate stout—you get the picture. And they made it happen! The party—and the donuts—were a huge success and the rest is history. Well, the person who created those beer infused donuts is Corey Smale and the shop is of course, Strange Donuts. It seemed like overnight, St. Louis was experiencing full-on donut histaria. Everyone wanted to sample Strange’s fun and exciting flavors and combinations. In a short amount of time, Corey and his team organized donut festivals, launched a nonprofit, opened new locations (including selling their donuts inside Busch Stadium!), and grew an Instagram following of over 40,000 people. After Strange, Corey spent several years working on a chineese takeout concept called Good Fortune, complete with a run-up to the opening with pop-up dinners inside a gothic church turned skatepark. After years of planning, he decided to close the restaurant after only 10-months to focus on his health and his family. Our discussion covers Corey's entrepreneurial journey, including that moment of doubt that keeps many great ideas from ever seeing the light of day. Ok, enjoy!Special Guest: Corey Smale.