Corey traded in his day job to start The Hip Lion, a speciality coffee company that specializes in Coffee Pop, a cold-brew carbonated coffee. Typically, this process would make coffee too bitter to drink, but with some innovation and creative thinking, Corey figured out a way to add CO2 to the coffee and make it utterly delicious. Coffee Pop is amazing by itself, with liquor, or over ice cream.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? I saw managers treating people poorly. I wanted to have my own business so I could do the opposite.
Goals: Better organization, more clients, more wholesale orders, and to grow my beard longer, hair strand by hair strand….
Hardest thing about starting your business? The hardest part of starting a business is…. starting a business. I don’t think any of this is easy, at least not for me. Honestly, my thinking pattern is very sporadic, so it’s hard to stay organized. I am also an introvert, so going out and networking is a very challenging part of being a startup. I may get frustrated and want to quit, but the times of joy, laughter, & freedom outweigh the difficulties.
Why Lakeland? For a while, I kept trying to get out of Lakeland. I saw nothing here. Eventually, I began to see that Lakeland was where I needed to be…that this was my new home. Lakeland was the place that I was going to raise my daughter, be near family, and where I’ve made countless connections. There is so much life and potential here , and we are beginning to bring that out. I want to be a part of that. I want to be at the forefront of this epic catalyst of change.
What is Lakeland missing? Progressive attitudes. Startups here are scared of competition. I am not a highly competitive person, and love working alongside other startups. For example, in Lakeland we don’t allow a mobile coffee vendor to set up near a brick & mortar shop because we fear that it may take business away from the brick & mortar. However, if you go to other cities, this happens all the time… similar businesses set up on the same street, and they all do well. They are competing, but still complimenting one another. We also, need a craft coffee shop that stays open late and has drinks inspired by cocktails.
Favorite things to do in Lakeland? Go for very early morning walks around Lake Morton, come to Catapult, and bike around downtown to discover new and exciting places, landscapes, and people
How has Catapult helped you? Catapult helps get me motivated. It helps me get off my butt and get thing done. It provides a space to bounce ideas off others….and to see not just my own progress, but others too. It’s very inspiring.
Secret Sauce? I see what you tried to do here! Trying to make your own Coffee Pop. Trying to see how to balance the bitterness… Just Kidding…The secret sauce of The Hip Lion, is that I have a business partner, a beautiful daughter, so many people that support me, lots of charisma and a beard. Most definitely the beard!
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