We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacob Kloster and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacob, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process was fairly simple. I come from a family of entrepreneur’s and had a first had look at what it takes to own and operate a business. I decided to branch out and start up Detroit Coney Cruiser out of sheer frustration. I was working for an employer and we didn’t quite see eye to eye. I thought he was making some bad decisions for the future of the business and let him know, as I was an invested employee. He told me that if I knew so much about operating a food business then I should get one myself. After a few months of research and reflection I decided to open up the food trucks. Best decision I have made in a long time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my hospitality career back in Michigan. I was a server at a local brewery. It was here where I fell in love with the food/bar business. It was a perfect match for me. I work best in a controlled yet chaotic environment. It was fun from the beginning, and still is! Shortly after working at the brewery I moved out to Arizona where I held a few restaurant jobs. An opportunity opened up at a local chain named Kona Grill. I applied for a server job and got it. This is where things changed for me and I decided to make a career out of hospitality. I worked as a server for a few years. An opportunity open up to join their corporate training team. Kona Grill was expanding rapidly and this would give me a chance to travel and learn how to open us restaurants. I decided to throw my name in the hat and see where it would take me. This decision was a huge life changing moment for me. I interviewed and got the job. I was able to travel the country for a year and a half opening up restaurants for Kona Grill. After I got back from an opening I was asked if I wanted to join the management team at the store I was working at, I took it, and the rest is history. I was on my way to becoming a restaurateur. Little did I know that would actually mean “food trucks”. Nothing worth having is ever easy to get. I have learned many lessons along the way and I am sure I will learn plenty more. To get to this point I had to overcome many challenges, mainly the challenge of getting out of my own way. I had to learn that I can’t force anything and with hard work, dedication and patience things will fall in to place.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being that I live in Arizona the first thing I would do is take them to the Grand Canyon. I’d suggest walking down to Phantom Ranch and back, but a nice stroll along the rim is just as good. I would also have to take them to some of the best Mexican restaurants Phoenix has to offer. Gold would be another thing we would have planned, as well as finding a patio or two to enjoy our nice weather!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a long list of people and organizations to thank. Too many to list. I would like to shoutout to everyone I have met along my path. Without them I would not be the man I am today. I would certainly like to thank my wife, Heather, for her support and hard work with our children, With out her, my dreams of owning a business would not be possible. She is my rock and a tremendous teammate. I love you babe.
Twitter: @DETConey Cruiser
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