Name: Miko Garry
Business: 77K Freeze
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Industry: Food & Beverage
Reason for starting? I saw problems in using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream — namely, a manual process and lack of safety concern about food hygiene. I began a hobby project in 2016 to design a system that will provide a better tool for this future industry. During 8 months of technical research and development, we learned a lot about the negative side of the ice cream industry. When our system was completed, we decided to use our machine to demonstrate how we can return full control back to the consumers. Our system opens a new flexible, transparent and yet creative process for any realtime dessert making, including dairy, non-dairy, fermented yogurt and any fruit juice bases. The choices are unlimited. Starting a retail business was never our intention, but to be able to reach out to consumers and also educate them that they can have a voice and the choice, we embarked on this unknown journey.
How do you define success? To be able to change an industry and inspire people I meet is success. We have had a bit of success through inventing a new technology, using it in good sense — returning control back to consumers and producing products that exceed the current market qualities. Success also comes when our clients recognize our good intention, support our concept and, of course, enjoy our service and products. Finally, financial success is what business should have so that we can pay our staff, reward those who support our ideas and work hand in hand together through good and bad times.
Biggest success: Our biggest success is having a storefront that demonstrates our liquid nitrogen system to make customized ice cream and frozen desserts and collect real data from people. This led to many research questions being answered. One of them was: does the general public really want high sugar content in their ice cream? After 6 months of selling our product, which only has 30% to 50% of the sugar of market ice cream, we have over 90% of customers telling us that our reduced-sugar products are what they like and want. Our customization of ice cream allows anybody to pick the ingredients — it’s something that our clients enjoy and also helps many individuals who have dietary needs be able to enjoy ice cream. It is fulfilling to see the technology and the concept being useful to the public.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? We are so new that we have not been able to address any challenges. Sales and marketing is not something a design engineer would know naturally. We have the tools and the skills to create good things, but we lack skills to tell the wider world about our products.
Who is your most important role model? I am desperately looking for a mentor in business. I am more of a research-and-development person. I just do not understand how to review a business that is fluid and dynamic.
Edited by The Story Exchange