Meet Cameron Smith, President and Co-Founder of Kodiak Cakes! Cameron, a Lincoln native, is our featured speaker at this month’s Economic Development Breakfast on Thursday, May 27 from 9 – 10 a.m.
When did you know Kodiak Cakes was an adventure you wanted to embark upon?
“I always loved the idea of starting or running a business. When I met Joel (Kodiak CEO) and his Dad, it clicked for me that this could be a lot of fun. Kodiak was just under $1m in annual sales, and I could see so many possibilities. The first day I started, a consumer called asking to track their online order and that they couldn’t live without their Kodiak pancakes. I realized then that there is a strong passion behind this brand, and it helped me know this was something I should hold onto and help grow.”
Biggest challenge for Kodiak Cakes since the pandemic started?
“We have been fortunate to be winning a lot as a brand and organization. When COVID hit, we closed our office and went to a remote working setup as most others have. This started to impact the energy that people felt from being a part of Kodiak. We still saw many successes during COVID, but it didn’t feel like we were winning as a team. We had to start thinking of creative ways to keep people connected and feel that winning atmosphere.”
One place in Lincoln you always visit when you are back in town?
“Is there any answer to this question that doesn’t include the stadium for a Husker game!? I sold pop in the stadium for seven years, from middle school to high school; the passion is very deep for me. I am looking forward to going to a game or two this fall.”
What movies/books/podcasts are you consuming right now?
“Ultimately, I love to learn from other businesses and people!”
Books: What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There – By Marshall Goldsmith
This book taught me so much about how to scale as a leader.
Born a Crime – By Trevor Noah
This was a fun book to listen to.
Podcast: "Business Wars"
I am a big fan of how they tell the stories of brands that have gone head to head.
Podcast: "Business Movers"
I loved listening and learning what Coca-Cola did when they changed their formula.