A few weeks ago, we detailed the 30-year history of Cooler Concepts with company founder Bill Dunnett. This virtual trip detailing the invention and implementation of the world's greatest keg rack was well received.
In the subsequent weeks, Cooler Concepts has more amazing news as we begin our 30th year of existence. Bill's son, Jake, was recently made a partner in the company and will serve as the main operational force behind the organization. This solidifies Cooler Concepts as a true legacy business and allows us to continue our great customer service and superior product delivery for generations to come.
Recently, we sat down with Jake to get his thoughts on what his ownership in the company means. Here's a portion of that conversation:
Jake, congratulations! To start, tell us about your background. What was it like growing up with your dad running Cooler Concepts?
It was different growing up with your dad starting his own business. There were times when we had wished he had been there, but we also understood what was at stake. But I will say that we (kids) always came first. I remember when I ran cross country in high school, we had an away meet. I didn’t expect anyone to come to it, but crossing the finish line, he was there waiting with a Gatorade.
Was this something you always knew you would be involved with?
Honestly, growing up, I didn’t think I would be part of business in any aspect. I had gone to college to get an associate degree in Orthotics & Prosthetics. I didn’t realize until going outside of the business how much I wanted to be a part of the growth of the years to come.
Give us some good stories about growing up around the business.
I don’t know if it’s a good story by any means, but I remember one time when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, I was helping my dad unload the truck because he had just gotten a steel order. We were about 80% done loading about 3000 lbs of steel when suddenly the steel rack fell on my leg. I don’t remember a whole lot from the experience, but I do remember my dad ripping all the steel off my leg and rushing me to the emergency room. Luckily, there weren’t any broken bones, just a memorable story.
What excites you most about becoming an owner? What excites you most about most about what 2024 has in store?
What excites me the most about becoming an owner is honestly being one of the contributing factors to providing for the people who work for us. I love the people that we have and want to grow with them as much as they’ll allow. What’s most exciting about the year to come is all the major projects we have coming down the line and all of the consultants we have coming on board.
Being around so many kegs, you have to have some favorite beers. Give us a few of them!
The beer that I gravitate towards the most is Elliot Ness by Great Lakes Brewery. I had a chance to tour the facility with my wife and fell in love with the brewery and the beer even more! But I do have to give some love to the hometown beers as well; 312, Lagunitas IPA, and of course, Robot vs Unicorn!
Thanks, Jake. Congratulations again, and we look forward to a great year to come.
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