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When Jeff Fenster does something, he goes all in.
There’s no roadblock that can slow his momentum, and no wall in his way that he can’t break down. The San Diego “serial entrepreneur” behind many impressive brands (including Superfuel Coffee, WeBuild, and the ever-growing Everbowl) finds success in business by making friends and having fun.
Jeff Fenster has spent years building strong businesses and fostering powerful relationships and you can learn a lot from his story on this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast.
There’s a reason that Forbes recruited him to become an Entrepreneur Professor for their Forbes School of Business & Technology. His business acumen is as strong as his desire to be healthy and enjoy life.
“My superpower is I know how to start companies,” Jeff Fenster said.
All episodes of Digital Hospitality are a journey of discovery — this one is a literal journey on top of that.
After getting a first-hand look (and tastes) of the superfoods and fun vibes inside one of his many Everbowl locations in Southern California, Jeff Fenster hopped into Shawn’s ride and they headed to document the Farmer’s Insurance Open 2020 Influencer Day at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
We’ve wanted Jeff Fenster on our show for a while now. We heard him on Scott Kaplan’s podcast and David Meltzer’s The Playbook as well so we knew he’d be good company.
On the drive to the annual PGA Tour tournament, media passes and Everbowls on hand, Shawn and Jeff discussed being entrepreneurs, vertical integration, relationship capital, and lots more business advice and stories.
The coastal drive was beautiful and the conversation was fascinating and informative.
Jeff Fenster was a perfect fit on the Cali BBQ Media production crew for the opening day of FIO2020. You can tell Digital Hospitality is in his DNA as he jumped in to masterfully help cohost our behind the scenes video content.
You can watch full video interviews, including behind the scenes footage from all our episodes, on our Cali BBQ Media YouTube channel right now. Don’t forget to subscribe because there’s always more content being published.
Everbowl is organic craft superfood. You can eat foods that are good for you while still indulging in a ton of tasty toppings.
The natural food and juice chain specializes in make your own acai bowls with a focus on health, wellness, and living “Unevolved.” http://www.everbowl.com/unevolve
Unevolved is the tagline — ‘The Why’ — of the Everbowl company. It’s a motto that Jeff Fenster said is at the core of the business: eating healthy, moving your body, and striving to live well. The team members behind each Everbowl location are why it’s so successful, he said, because they all believe in the brand.
As a serial entrepreneur his goal is to build tremendous teams and then step aside and let them succeed.
“We’re on Team Unevolve,” Jeff Fenster said. “For us, it’s all about food that’s been around forever. No laboratory created foods, no man-made foods.”
The four excuses that he identifies as why people don’t choose to eat healthy are — 1: It costs too much. 2: It doesn’t taste good. 3: It doesn’t leave you full. 4: It’s hard to find.
“You go into shopping centers and it’s all fast food. We really wanted to build Everbowl to solve those four challenges and say, ‘OK, we’re going to make something that’s affordable, that’s filling, that’s delicious, and that’s accessible, which is why we’re opening so many stores.”
Now Everbowl is moving toward franchising to make the concept even more available.
Sourcing quality natural ingredients is a huge focus of Jeff Fenster and Everbowl, as well. Jeff Fenster’s brands are built around things that matter to him.
“There’s companies that do it in the right way, and there’s companies that don’t,” Fenster said. “We really wanted to make sure we did it the right way. It was non-GMO, it was organic acai … and the locals were benefiting from us bringing it here and expanding that whole industry and that whole market.”
Jeff Fenster is a dynamic businessman because he is always thinking of how to adapt and grow. For example, when he found out that there were tons of acai seeds going to waste, his company started to work with locals to begin crafting jewelry out of the discarded seeds.
“It provides them with income, and provides for their family, and we get to sell cool jewelry called Everseeds.”
And when he wanted to build a bunch of Everbowl locations he started his own construction company to make his big plans feasible.
“I know how to solve my problems by starting more companies and looking within and understanding I want to build 20, 30, 40, 100 Everbowls and it was costing me too much money to it through 3rd party construction companies. So why not start my own construction company and build my own stores?”
The vertical integration of the WeBuild and Everbowl brands in that way let him scale economically.
Personal Branding for the Private:
It’s hard being a private person who has to operate in the public spotlight. Yet, personal branding dictates just that.
Jeff Fenster is private by nature, but changing times led him stepping into the global stage known as the internet.
It’s important to remember that personal branding is not about your ego. It’s not about what you ate for breakfast. It’s not about self-promotion.
It’s about telling your own story instead of letting someone else do it for you. It’s about doing what it takes to stay alive, and thrive, in business in 2020 and beyond.
When people are searching for you online, what are they finding?
It took a push from Jeff Fenster’s daughter a few years ago for him to start on social media, and then another push from investors to post more about himself. He realized he was the face of his brands and that times have changed, and will continue to change.
“I didn’t really start until 2019,” he said. “What started to happen is people started to ask me more, not about Everbowl, but about my personal journey. … I started to share it because they were asking and I was uncomfortable.”
Everyone’s lives are increasingly becoming more on display and it’s not slowing down. In business, you either catch up with the times, or get left behind.
“People don’t get behind acai bowls. They do, but not in spades right? But when they understand the people behind the brand, and they understand what you are and what you stand for, then your community, whatever community that is you speak to, will get behind it,” Jeff Fenster said. “They feel like they are a part of it. They feel like they know you.”
“Everyone has a brand whether they want to or not. For some people it’s standoffish, isolation, and ‘I don’t like people.’ And that’s OK, but that’s your personal brand. For others it’s the life of the party and they’re at every scene and they’re the mayor of their city.”
So how do you begin to build your personal brand now that it’s the digital era? The first and most crucial step, as always, is to just do it. You’ve got to actually make the major step to set up social media profiles, fill them out, and begin posting regularly about yourself. Not just about your business, either.
There’s Jeff Fenster, and then there’s the “Jeff Fenster Brand,” just like there’s (usually) a real person behind everyone you follow online.
“Your personal brand is who you are.” he said. “And by connecting that to your business, you’re enabling people to really fall in love and get behind you, your story, your company.”
To learn more about Everbowl visit: http://www.everbowl.com/
Connect with Jeff Fenster on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/fensterjeff
Thank you for learning with Digital Hospitality. Let us know how we can help you on your digital journey.
Email us at email@example.com and visit https://calibbq.media/podcast-episodes/ for more episodes of the Cali BBQ Media podcast.