Sweet Moments for All.

Anouck Gotlib is the CEO of Belgian Boys, a woman-owned sweet treats and snack brand on a mission to turn up the happy one sweet moment at a time. Belgian Boys offers a delicious assortment of breakfasts, sweet treats, and desserts, including stroopwafels, crepes, pancakes, and cookies.

"Incubate, test, learn, then scale."

Anouck GoltibCEO, Belgian Boys

Transcription

Katie Hankinson (00:00):

Welcome to building while flying a Sasha group podcast, where we interview business leaders about how they tackle challenges, stay resilient and navigate ever changing skies.

Julia Balick (00:11):

Hi, we are back on the building while flying podcast. On this week’s episode, Katie speaks with a Anouck Gotlib, CEO of Belgian Boys. She’s on a mission to turn up the happy one sweet moment at a time launched in 2015, Belgian boys is in the business of fun, offering a delicious assortment of breakfast, sweet treats and desserts available in 5,000 stores and online, she leads a passionate team dedicated to growing more than just a revenue driven business, creating joy for customers and spreading. So weakness in people’s lives. Katie, a new was a delight herself.

Katie Hankinson (00:50):

She was, I’ve gotta plug my computer in. She was such a delight. She, um, you can really feel the love in the company and you can really feel that that motivat share of they’re not just in it to make money out of product they’re in it to create something that sparks joy at family breakfast. So I think that’s lovely.

Julia Balick (01:11):

Yeah. Let’s talk a bit about the magic of Greg, a nukes husband and a nukes origin story.

Katie Hankinson (01:20):

<laugh> I know,

Julia Balick (01:21):

Give our listeners a little sneak peek as to how a new met her now, husband and business partner.

Katie Hankinson (01:29):

I know. Well, what a, what a tale of ki met. I really, I love how we have a little building while flying theme going on here.

Julia Balick (01:35):

Seriously.

Katie Hankinson (01:37):

Massively is because these two met on a plane

Julia Balick (01:40):

And

Katie Hankinson (01:41):

Not only found LA, but also found a business. So, um, I think some of that kind of magic spark dust has obviously infiltrated into the way they’re building a brand too.

Julia Balick (01:53):

Yeah, definitely. Um, she also talks about the fact that these treats are coming from a place of Nosal from her and her husband who grew up in Belgium, but that Americans didn’t feel that because they didn’t have this experience to hold onto. What can we learn from the fact that Annu was able to take this feeling that Americans couldn’t feel and, and still use it to her advantage?

Katie Hankinson (02:24):

I feel that such an important, um, part of the story, the fact that they, they had something that inspired them to create a product that was this tale from their childhood and something they wanted to bring to this market, but they had the absolute understanding that you can’t just plunk this stuff into the us and expect the us consumer to get it, or to even have that same nostalgic association. And so the real work they’ve done to understand the audience here and to understand what it is you’re tapping into and to just, just a small adjustment, it is about that kind of the, the, the joy and the lightness and the simplicity of, of something sweet in the morning. What was her line? It was something like life is hard. Breakfast should not be <laugh>.

Julia Balick (03:17):

Yeah, exactly. And she’s so she’s so right. We were just talking about how we don’t have time to meal prep on Sundays and, and get ready for the week. We, we just want it to be, to be there for us. And she’s doing that.

Katie Hankinson (03:32):

I loved her description of the Walmart shopper and I’m how self aware she is that it’s not I’m, I’m not the target right now. This is busy mama three, where being in Walmart or Costco, wherever it is, becomes actually an outing mm-hmm <affirmative>. And the fact that the kids, everyone gets to pick something to put in the car and that’s where potentially the new product opportunity for new product trial lives. Um, and that then can becomes something that, that becomes a staple for the family. Really, really good understanding of, of how things end up in the car.

Julia Balick (04:04):

Yeah. I loved that. Browsing browsing is the activity,

Katie Hankinson (04:08):

Right? Um, I mean there, everyone loves a good impulse buy that’s how Samora make all that money from those little containers on the way to the checkout.

Julia Balick (04:17):

Oh, <laugh> that’s dangerous. Um, and then she gave us a little, uh, sample of, of what the packages looked like. And, and we were able to see the two minions who are kind of, uh, she said Greg and her and Greg’s friend from college, and those have become, become the mascot for, for Belgium boys. Um, you gave some good advice to kind of where you see these, these minions going in the future. Um, what’d you tell an,

Katie Hankinson (04:50):

I mean, I just think having something like this as a brand asset, that is a natural part of the identity you built is a huge advantage right now, especially in all of these, this landscape of very disparate channels and the opportunity to build these into real, what sort of three dimensional, well rounded little characters to act as additional spokespeople for the brand is huge. Um, so I’m excited to see where they net out with that sounds like they’re already playing with bringing those to life as, as part of the next wave. Once they get this, uh, investment round done.

Julia Balick (05:24):

Yes, definitely. Hopefully they can take a page out of Gary’s V friend book.

Katie Hankinson (05:30):

Hell yeah. <laugh> like go the, the old brand mascot of yester year needs resurfacing in a, in a, with a modern day spin, I think

Julia Balick (05:41):

Bring it to light. Literally. Mm-hmm

Katie Hankinson (05:43):

<affirmative>

Julia Balick (05:44):

Well, let’s not keep our listeners waiting any longer. Let’s jump into Katie’s conversation with auk.

Katie Hankinson (05:51):

Welcome to the

Anouck Gotlib (05:52):

Show. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. Oh, nice. This

Katie Hankinson (05:56):

Is gonna be a fun conversation I can tell. Um, so I’m gonna start just as a, kind of, a bit of an intro just to ground us, because this is a, a kind of double whammy building while flying story, right. Because the beginning of this brand starts on a plane.

Anouck Gotlib (06:12):

Exactly. I think it’s very, very funny, but yeah, that’s how we, he started. We actually, so Greg, who’s the Chub one on the logo, my husband <laugh>, um, we met on a plane from Belgium to New York and so we started building mm-hmm <affirmative> literally in a plane <laugh>

Katie Hankinson (06:31):

I love it. So how did that happen? You met on a plane, you started, you, you you’ve found a lot and started planning a business on that flight or how

Anouck Gotlib (06:41):

Well, yes and no. Right. I mean, uh, basically Greg, actually, he went to Brandis, uh, from Belgium. He’s also from Belgium mm-hmm <affirmative> went to Brandis and noticed that, you know, he was just bringing for himself, the treats that we grew up with in Belgium, the cookies super awful. And his American friends in the dorms were like, oh my God, this is good. Where can I buy it? Where can I find it? And he, it just wasn’t there. And so every time his mom was visiting or something’s like, bring this one with the chocolate, with the caramel, like getting like, super specific about what everybody wants. And he’s like maybe, maybe there an idea here mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, and so I, uh, went on a plane from Belgium to New York, actually my background’s fashion design Uhhuh. And so I studied fashion design, came here to, uh, work at Sapos and met Greg on the plane from Belgium to New York. And, you know, Greg was having this idea to just develop you something. And I’m like, well, can’t just put a waffle in a rapper on a shelf. Like we need a logo, we need a brand, we need clothes really for the waffles. We need to create that story around the brand mm-hmm <affirmative>. And that’s really, uh, the long story, very short. I wanna say of how we started in that plane.

Katie Hankinson (07:57):

That’s amazing. So Greg was the, are the ideas behind bringing Stroop bottles and all those wonderful Belgian treats to the states. And you were the one who realized you needed to create a brand and bring all that brand and fashion and aesthetic understanding to the picture. So how do you go to from seeing that whole in the market to actually creating the product and deciding what product we’re really gonna land and be the right ones for, for Belgium?

Anouck Gotlib (08:23):

Yeah. I mean, we’ve been doing, uh, we’ve launched our company seven years ago, so it was, it’s not like an overnight, you know, all of a sudden we’re in 5,000 stores, there’s a lot of learning and a lot of, you know, just testing, meeting our customers, asking, Hey, what do you think of that? When we started with RS assortment, I mean, it’s really our origin story. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right. Like this is the staples we grew up on. That’s real Belgian waffle that creep that pancake, the mini pancakes look that,

Katie Hankinson (08:51):

Oh my gosh. I’m just thinking about the last, I actually had street waffles last in Amsterdam. Not Belgium. Sorry about that. But they were good. And I’m just thinking about treats right now.

Anouck Gotlib (09:01):

Yeah. And you know, with Amsterdam, like that’s, that’s part of my childhood too. Like we would take the train from an to Amsterdam and eat Stroop waffles on our way back. We would go take the, Tivan go to Paris and eat the fresh. Like this is that Belgium is that influx of cultures from around it. And that’s really what started, uh, in our origin stories. Like all these streets that we grew up with, let’s bring them here. Those staples really, that are not here. I see. And that we can find them. And

Katie Hankinson (09:30):

Why the name Bel boys? You said that Greg is one of the characters on the logo. Who’s the other and why boys?

Anouck Gotlib (09:37):

Yes. Well <laugh> so Greg’s one of the characters, Greg, uh, is the chubby one on the logo. And Joel, um, is Greg’s friend who are originally started the business with Greg. Uh, he took a step back from the business. Um, and you know what they say behind boys? There’s always a, a, there’s always, there’s

Katie Hankinson (09:57):

The big marketing and branding thing, putting it all together.

Anouck Gotlib (10:00):

Yes. And we, I think we kind of realized, uh, that I more had the co skills mm-hmm <affirmative> and Greg’s really that entrepreneur, the visionary he’s, uh, the innovator, he works on product, the suppliers, all of the, the real, that, that part of the business. And I’m more on business development, the future, the team, those say, like all of that part of the business. And in that sense, we really kind of balance each other out and compliment. And, um, instead of work walking on each other’s feet, we just, you know, this is your strengths, this is mine. And let’s just take this to the moon.

Katie Hankinson (10:35):

<laugh> sounds like you found the M solution to working in business and life with your partner Bravo <laugh>

Anouck Gotlib (10:42):

Um, yeah. It’s not every day that it’s all like, yes, let’s, you know, fun. And I think as long as you are there and you know, what the end goal is, or not even the end goal, but more like qualities that you wanna, you, which is enjoy every single day on this journey. And I get to do it with my husband. We’re aligned both in business and in life. And like, we have those same goals and the same things that are important to us. And in that way, it’s, it seems natural. But some days I wanna, like, you know, we <laugh>, some days it’s less of fun, but, um, most days it’s good days,

Katie Hankinson (11:22):

Most, most days agreement, but

Anouck Gotlib (11:24):

Yes,

Katie Hankinson (11:24):

For sure. And get past the for

Anouck Gotlib (11:25):

Sure.

Katie Hankinson (11:26):

So let’s go back to, um, the setting up of the business. So you’ve been in business for seven years. You’ve sort of taken on the role of CEO. Greg is very much thinking about, uh, kind of vision create of the product side. You also, you know, as you described the brand itself, it kind of is it’s about the business of fun. It’s about creating joy for customers. So can you talk a little bit about that? The kind of the, the, the vision and the intention of the brand, like where that sit as you were building out that plan

Anouck Gotlib (11:57):

Story. Yeah. So, you know, going back to that origin story, we started because, uh, it was born out of the nostalgia we had for our authentic. Mm. But it kind of evolved to, you know, what, like the American consumer, he cannot relate to that nostalgia that we had, what it can relate to is that European foods that, that, that the, the raw materials that we use, that deliciousness of the product, all of that goes into it, but we need to bring it to the us. And that’s how we mainstream mm-hmm <affirmative> those treats that we, that we really grew up with and that happy factor that’s where it came in. And I think it was really amplified in the pandemic mm-hmm <affirmative>, but that’s what we do. You know, we make those smiles, that’s the power of our brand. Your life is hard when you can start it with a cookie or with, with a waffle, with a grape, with a pancake, like it doesn’t need to be so or complicated mm-hmm <affirmative>, and it should make your life easier.

Anouck Gotlib (12:56):

It should be convenient. And you shouldn’t be, how do you say, um, compromising under ingredients that goes in those product, right. And, and in the pandemic, it was amplified. We, when the pandemic started, we’re in New York, mm-hmm <affirmative>, it was chaos here and we to help. So there were all these hospitals who started taking Sharpies writing, thank you. Healthcare workers, ups was showing up and we were just filling the truck with WAAS and cookies and treats. And, you know, we started getting emails, letters, phone calls back of, I just spent 48 hours shift. Thank you so much. This is the best moment of my day. And I’m like, wait, what? Like, you are saving lives, I’m sending a cookie <laugh> why are you thanking me? But it really amplified that power that we had. And it was at that time that we were like, yes, we gotta turn up that happy even more, because that is what our consumer wants and needs and why they are line with our brand. And they wanna join our journey.

Katie Hankinson (13:57):

And you could create this very simple, sweet moment in probably what was a really trying and difficult and traumatic day.

Anouck Gotlib (14:04):

Exactly.

Katie Hankinson (14:05):

It’s kind of like that, that innocent little pocket of enjoyment that you can have with, with something like a sweet treat. Yes. So during the last seven year is tracking from that moment on the plane, and I’m sure the pandemic and, and decisions you had to make about the brand and the pandemic sort of led into this. Um, you have really grown steadily. And in fact, you were named to the five, the list, the ink 5,000 list of fastest growing private companies in America, when the bear very top 50 of all food and beverage comp companies. So what would you say has contributed to that in those early days? And then, and then maybe we as a second one, we can talk a little bit about what happened with, um, the company during the pandemic.

Anouck Gotlib (14:48):

Definitely. So we were not an overnight success. We’re not, and I do think that, you know, it is the hard work in all of that, but what we’ve been really good at is building that foundation and that’s Bel boy is 1.0, for me, we’ve built a foundation. We found out what works, what does our consumer wants? Our Bel w used to be named Thelia waffle mm-hmm

Katie Hankinson (15:11):

<affirmative> nobody knew what that meant.

Anouck Gotlib (15:12):

Nobody knew what that meant. It’s S a city in Belgium where the authentic waffle is originally from, but what we did is give the consumer the feeling to be stupid for 4 99 <laugh>. And I’m like, why did we do that? You know, when you think about it, but it’s all those little things that you find. And we decided to do it first, because we just didn’t have the budget because we were a bootstrap company, but we decided to, to really take a methodical, methodical approach to it, um, and incubate test learn, and then scale incubate, test learn and scale. We brought it concept of fresh breakfast. Um, you’re from the UK. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you are familiar to that. But when we started, we brought our product to the us, grapes, pancakes, WAFF people told us frozen breakfast next to Eggo. That’s where you need to be.

Katie Hankinson (16:05):

Ah,

Anouck Gotlib (16:06):

Interesting. And we were like, well, in Europe, these products are merchandise fresh. That’s what we grew up with. CREs are in the fridge next to, you know, you go the,

Katie Hankinson (16:15):

But in the milk. Yeah, exactly.

Anouck Gotlib (16:16):

Because that’s where you buy breakfast food. So why do you make people walk across the stores for those items? I don’t get it, but it took a lot of years and a lot of time to convince. So we started at Costco, we did a rotation that went well. Then we went to Walmart, 65 stores. Wow. We then grew that in a span of three years to 800 stores, same. So it took a lot of, uh, small steps that gave us just good, uh, data. Mm-hmm <affirmative> to know what we’re doing once we go bigger

Katie Hankinson (16:48):

And where, and now, if you look at the footprint of the brand, are you, is it still big, but retail predominantly, or how does the split look as you think about the company?

Anouck Gotlib (16:57):

Yeah, so we really started with, it was more of a, you know, we started at the local bodega here in New York. Uh, and then we grew into specialty accounts, like called food, central market, uh, creating the, the story there. And then we really grew into those mass retailers. I, Walmart target, um, Kroger, but, but we haven’t done anything yet. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so it’s exciting for what to come.

Katie Hankinson (17:21):

So, and what, what, what is on the roadmap for you next, do you think?

Anouck Gotlib (17:24):

Well, we just, uh, launched our newest item, French toast, which I’m super excited about. It’s just to be honest, it’s so exciting to launch an item in 2022 that I honestly think is going to be our best seller. Mm-hmm <affirmative> it is French toast. If you think about French toast, it’s like restaurants. Yeah. Or

Katie Hankinson (17:45):

Brunch type staple.

Anouck Gotlib (17:46):

Yes. Or, you know, if you need to make it at home, you’re like, okay, there’s eggs everywhere, milk everywhere. Oh gosh. Like it’s a headache already just thinking about it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> we made it just toast. You take it out of the package from your fridge, you put it in your toaster, you know, the one that goes up and down, that’s it. We made it fast, free mass free, and it’s made out of brioche. It is honestly the most delicious, like, wow, I’m <laugh> I just want it now. <laugh>

Katie Hankinson (18:12):

It’s

Anouck Gotlib (18:12):

Really,

Katie Hankinson (18:12):

Really

Anouck Gotlib (18:13):

Good. And so I’m excited to, uh, launch this product to market, bring it to our, uh, existing partnerships and bring it to new partners. And we just announced our first ever fundraising mm-hmm <affirmative>. So that brings a lot of excitement into the brand. And finally, we’ll be able to support the brand the way we should support it, put the marketing, uh, budget towards it, bring in amazing people and key talent that I’m so excited to find. And,

Katie Hankinson (18:42):

Oh, we actually promoting the brand think you’re thinking influencer, like

Anouck Gotlib (18:46):

Yes, but also on our team, even we need to grow our team, bringing people that have, that we can learn from also. Um, and, um, I’m excited about that cause we haven’t done anything yet.

Katie Hankinson (18:58):

<laugh> so, wow. You barely scratched the surface and yet you’ve achieved huge growth in seven years and now a, a new product unlock new audiences. How exciting. Um, I’m curious. No, because you know, you’ve, you’ve come from this, the, the background of being two bels in the us, you’re bringing a lot of that kind of Euro nostalgia food. Um, what have you learned about the us consumer that, that was surprising as you grew into this market? And I, I, it was really interesting what you said about not wanting to make people feel stupid for not knowing the French, these kind of French, proper nouns, you know, are there other things which the us consumer has kind of done differently from how you expected or kind of caused you to really pivot on, on your product roadmap?

Anouck Gotlib (19:44):

Yes. I think it was discovering who our consumer is. Mm-hmm <affirmative> also, and, you know, as a founder, especially food that it’s so easy, you think, okay, I’m the consumer and this is my life. And it needs to fit the products for me, it needs to fit up, uh, something, a gap for me. But we learned over the year, it’s absolutely not. It doesn’t. We used to be merchandised on the European sets in the stores, you know, where you have

Katie Hankinson (20:09):

Specialty food council

Anouck Gotlib (20:10):

Special, or the nostalgic brands like white and blue packaging kind of, and our consumer is not looking for Belron boys, which has a branding of mainstream. And that mass appeal in that set, we shouldn’t be there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> we realize, you know, one time they try to sell us, um, New York subway. And I was like super excited. Like I would love to take a selfie in front of a New York subway ads. Right.

Katie Hankinson (20:37):

My

Anouck Gotlib (20:38):

Brother, that would be cool. Right. For Greg and me and our team here in New York. But I’m like, yeah, our customer isn’t like, we have our customer here that goes to the bode, but that’s not our mass consumer. Mm-hmm <affirmative> our mass consumer goes to target, goes to Walmart on a Saturday afternoon for two hours. And they spend the time there with the family, with a coffee in the hand and every kid can choose one new product and that’s an activity. And that’s where consumer is. Our consumer in their basket has eggs, has, uh, Nuella has strawberry, has Tropicana, OJ and lucky charms

Katie Hankinson (21:11):

And maple syrup

Anouck Gotlib (21:12):

And maple syrup. And

Katie Hankinson (21:14):

You know,

Anouck Gotlib (21:15):

And it’s totally not. I can’t say that these are things that I, I knew a few years ago. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and you learn from that you learn from your consumer when you actually ask them the questions. I think

Katie Hankinson (21:27):

That’s fascinating. So as you think about this new launch, what’s what do you, think’s gonna be the real, what, and when you have, hopefully this next round of investment will enable you to really kind of go to the, the, off to the races with the, with spend and, and maybe a bit more scaled marketing. What are you, what are you thinking about in terms of that marketing strategy? What are your, is gonna be, what what’s gonna be your big workhorse, do you think?

Anouck Gotlib (21:51):

Oh, there’s just so much, you know, there’s been so much opportunities that we’ve had to say no to not because, uh, you know, like, yes, we do say no to a lot of things that are not a part of the strategy, but some opportunities we just couldn’t afford. And now we actually have the means to go or them not only on a test or on a small scale, but on a big scale. I mean, those two guys on our logo, they need to come alive. That’s a part of the brand that’s going to just differentiate us. That’s, that’s, that’s just a dream for us and continue to grow with our consumer, be more experi, to be more in front of our consumer drive more trial. I mean, they’re just,

Katie Hankinson (22:34):

I love that you talked about those two characters and I dunno if you’ve been paying attention to some of what Gary’s been talking about recently, but the idea of building brand equity in, in, or building out the brand equity of whether it’s a character or a particular asset or an aspect of the story, it’s just such a valuable part of brand building in this, this modern world that we’re in, you know, kind of, yeah. They, if you, if, if there’s one thing to dig into, I think I I’m on the same page as you, it’s bringing those little brothers to live or the boys to life and thinking about how they might, I mean, social is gonna be a really fun place to bring that to

Anouck Gotlib (23:09):

Yes. And, you know, going back to Belgium, it’s part of who we are because we grew up in Belgium with Tinton, with the SMIS like when we started with the brand development, we immediately went to animation because it’s, it’s a part of who we are. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and today it is very relevant to what is happening, but we haven’t done anything yet with them. I mean, they’re going to be dominions of the food business. <laugh> dominions of food

Katie Hankinson (23:35):

Business. That’s awesome. So in a year’s time, we’re gonna be checking out all of your various social channels. You’re gonna have a, to devoted entirely to. I love it. The, the little minions running around <laugh>

Anouck Gotlib (23:48):

Wow. The dream, right.

Katie Hankinson (23:50):

Um, I guess one last couple questions. One is you mentioned this round of fundraising. How did you know it was time? How do you know that this was the time to really step it up and notch and go into series a

Anouck Gotlib (24:04):

Yeah, we’ve been bootstrapped forever. Right. And you know, we’ve been very capital efficient with chase AMX line of credit debt loan, like name it we’ve we’ve had experience with it. Um, and so when we looked at the next phase of the business in of growth in the business, you know, mistakes just become way more expensive as you grow. But I know that I need to be surrounded by that strategic advice, that strategic support people that have been there mm-hmm <affirmative> that can guide us through that can guide my team through the next level of growth that is coming now, you know, I’m not minimizing from what we’ve done, but been there, done that. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> and now it’s, it’s a new, it’s a new, uh, phase that we’re in. And Greg and I were like, we want people from this industry to join our journey. We want people that have been there that can, that can help us think through the next challenges that we don’t even know are gonna come yet. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and we were very in intentional about our fundraising. I’m super lucky that in our fundraising, we have my role model, like Daniel Lubetsky, uh, the founder of kind bar. Yeah. Um, like you asked me a year ago, top five people you wanna meet in the world, like he was on the list. And so it’s, I’m very grateful for that and it’s very exciting. They’re two is

Katie Hankinson (25:26):

Amazing. Amazing. Yeah. And it’s, uh, great. E-com so you will be thinking about DTC as well as retail. We’re

Anouck Gotlib (25:34):

Talking about it DTC our, right now our consumer really, and our success is more in brick and mortar. Um, but lots of opportunities, huge amount, uh, for the future

Katie Hankinson (25:46):

And to unlock the brand itself too. Um, so we talked a little bit earlier on about the fact that you’ve gone into business with your partner, and I’m gonna end with a question that’s you about you as a leader, but also with bearing in mind that you’ve, you’ve kind of, you have a, a career and a life that are intertwined so much. Yeah. What would, uh, a couple of tips be that you would offer someone who was about to embark on a bootstrap business with their other half? Oh my God.

Anouck Gotlib (26:15):

Um, that support, um, honestly, Greg and I, during the pandemic, we got a, we got a coach and it has changed our life. Mm. I wish I, we had done it earlier, um, to be honest, it’s it changed everything for us and we do it every week. And it is the moment of our, we wait for

Katie Hankinson (26:37):

Like an impartial outside advisor. Yes. No matter where you are in your

Anouck Gotlib (26:41):

Trajectory. Exactly. Whether that’s a business coach or a consultant mm-hmm <affirmative>, but, but I like to, to us, it’s really a core of who we’ve become. Um, and what else will know that, you know, what your weaknesses are and surround yourself with either people or, or techniques to get data as part of your team. Um, yeah. And just be very patient with each other, but know that you’re in this together. I wanna say, uh, for a spouse. Yeah. But

Katie Hankinson (27:13):

I almost wanna say it, it, it it’s advice for anyone, whether or not you’re in business with your partners just invite into business as a CEO. Really.

Anouck Gotlib (27:20):

Yes. I mean, I think talk and yeah. A coach, you should do it with your co-founder regardless of if that’s your spouse or not. I am a big advocate of that. I think just be aligned on everything and call out the misalignments and just re how do you say recalibrate it? Yeah. Um, and, and also, I think another piece of advice, I would say, you know, you do this every single day, enjoy the journey, and this is, this is it for us. Like we are building a happy company. It starts inside, it starts internal and, and just be that for your team and, and embrace that culture of culture, of, of trust and loyalty and fun and happiness. You know, we, we have the power to do that, to just that work and life balance. I think for me, work is a huge part of our life. And so it’s up to us to make that a happy part of our life. And that’s totally in our hands of every found, the writing and, and the team that he surrounds him itself with

Katie Hankinson (28:28):

Really, truly wise words. <laugh> I couldn’t agree more. And, and what, what more motivating thing than to create a happy brand and a happy company

Anouck Gotlib (28:37):

<laugh>

Katie Hankinson (28:38):

But ultimately drives success all, thank you so much for joining going while flying. It’s been so great chatting with you.

Katie Hankinson (28:47):

Thanks for joining us for building while flying today. I hope you learned as much as we did. We’ll meet you right back here next time for another flight.

Mickey Cloud (28:58):

If you’d like to hear more about how business owners and brands are navigating these times, tune in to the next episode. And if you’re so kind, please rate and review us, plus we’d love feedback. So let us know what you think, what you’d like us to dig into next on building while flying across brands, businesses, marketing, and more

Katie Hankinson (29:13):

Original music by Fulton street music group.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by Sasha Group. We’re the consultancy meets agency arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding media and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together.

Building a Brand is Sweet. 

Anouck Gotlib is the CEO of Belgian Boys, a woman-owned sweet treats and snack brand on a mission to turn up the happy one sweet moment at a time. Belgian Boys offers a delicious assortment of breakfasts, sweet treats, and desserts, including stroopwafels, crepes, pancakes, and cookies.

In this episode of Building While Flying, Anouck joins Katie Hankinson to talk about Belgian Boys’ unique origin story, and how she and her team are bringing their favorite treats from Belgium to the U.S. She also discusses the differences between American and European consumers, and how building a strong brand foundation has led to their success. 

If you’re craving something sweet after listening, see where you can find Belgian Boys products near you.

Other in-flight topics:

  • How Belgian Boys was born
  • Going into business with your partner
  • Developing authentic products 
  • Making an impact during the pandemic 
  • Building a strong brand foundation
  • Differences between American and European consumers

Links | Connect with Anouck

New York, NY
Chattanooga, TN
Los Angeles, CA