About this episode
Christopher Gallant joins the show today to share his story and childhood dreams of becoming a lawyer, studying at MIT, starting The Bronx Brewery, and becoming a CEO. Chris is the CEO of the incredible talent-led brand, Chamberlain Coffee and has many years of experience in the beverage industry. In this episode, Chris tells us all about his illustrious career in multiple massive beverage companies, his very own business, how imposter syndrome affects him, and much more! We delve into his particular leadership style before he tells us what it’s like to work with a celebrity and run a talent-led brand. Wrapping up, he shares some pearls of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs and CEOs!
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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:
- [03:43] Chris tells us about his childhood, his family, the sports he played, and what it was like growing up in Boston.
- [12:08] When Chris knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur and the journey and challenges through drink companies to make it to his goal.
- [16:33] What it was like to work at Red Bull, how they continuously grow, what Chris learned, and the challenges he faced there.
- [18:24] How he dove into non-alcoholic beverages through health, wellness, and kombucha.
- [19:17] How Chris entered the coffee category, what the team was like when he joined Chamberlain Coffee, and why he’s moving them into retail.
- [21:40] Where Chamberlain Coffee raises its funds from and the key to finding investors.
- [26:58] Why imposter syndrome is very real and how Chris has grown personally and professionally as a leader based on his leadership style.
- [31:35] Chris tells us what it’s like to work with a celebrity, Emma Chamberlain, and why she created Chamberlain Coffee.
- [36:30] The challenges Chris has had to overcome as the CEO of Chamberlain Coffee and why they decided to split equity and debt.
- [41:52] What people don’t know about being a CEO and what advice Chris would give to aspiring CEOs and entrepreneurs.
To Find Out More:
Christopher Gallant on LinkedIn
Lee Greene on LinkedIn
“[You should] find what you like and not be afraid to try new things.” [0:06:32]
“I think it’s healthy to do lots of different things and to get different perspectives.” [0:07:31]
“I realized I don’t really enjoy [software engineering,] I’m not very good at it, so maybe I should find something else to do. I met some really great people that I’m still friends with now but that path wasn’t for me.” [0:09:11]
“I didn’t have enough of a worldview yet. I think that’s one of the challenges: I went to a regional university that had more of a regional view than a worldview. I really wanted to be with people that have been everywhere and have done everything.” [0:09:41]
“A really big threat that I found at MIT and I hadn’t seen anywhere is this willingness to take risks and to do anything.” [0:10:27]
“If we’re going to become a big company we need to be where people buy their coffee every week.” [0:20:54]
“What are investors looking for? [You have to] make sure you’re finding an investor that’s looking for the same thing as you are. That alignment is key.” [0:22:44]
“Getting [investors] that understand your industry is very important.” [0:26:01]
“One of those things that you do as a leader is you challenge yourself. You put yourself in situations where you are forced to figure out how to do things.” [0:28:45]
“One of the ways I’ve personally grown is I put myself in situations where I’m uncomfortable. – I’d like to think that over time, I’ve learned to think about people more.” [0:29:05]
“If you think about people first, other things will fall into place.” [0:29:38]
“Pay attention to your mental health. The enormity of starting a business is huge and it can be all-consuming. So pay attention to your mental health, find an outlet, and know when you’ve reached your limit.” [0:43:18]