Branden Lisi | From Hurricane Katrina To Surviving Cancer and Building Candy Stores

Branden Lisi 11:33

You know, I don’t know if I would say I understand all the best practices. So I’ll use the EO paradigm of speaking from experience for you. Yeah, we use a tool called ZoomInfo, a lot of different takes on that product out there. There’s some pluses and minus, but it’s a pretty good database. We’re very focused on digital lead generation for manufacturing companies, especially OEMs, that sell through dealer distributor networks, that kind of company has some very specific nuances that have to be addressed and their digital marketing solutions that we kind of figured out, we know how to do. And so we build that list. And then in addition to using LinkedIn, and, and email to target those people, we get on the phone and call them say, hey, marketing director, you know, are using outside agencies? Are you using more than one? Do you have a gap? Is there an opportunity? And you know, there’s a little bit more to it than that, but that’s really the foundation of it is? Are you you know, are you happy with what’s working right now? And if you’re not, let’s start a conversation and see if this goes somewhere and it’s worked.

John Corcoran 12:38

And yours. When you got into working with the audio, one of the brands you worked on was Red Stripe, right? Yeah. And Red Stripe, also kind of a similar, similar in the sense to PBR and that it’s a brand of beer brand that’s been around for a long time has a long history. Talk a little bit about what what working on that brand was like? 

Branden Lisi 12:59

Well, there’s a bazillion stories that we don’t have time to talk about, because working with the Jamaicans was a very different experience. And it was a hell of a lot of fun. Give me one of them, you get back to the Jamaican stories in a bit. But one of the key things was when we Diaz, you actually came because it was them calling us which was interesting, because it’s awfully hard to get into the audio, just like it’s hard to get into PNG or code because they built walls to keep all agencies out. And we were actually judging a competition, I think in Chicago, around brand revitalization, and they read about some case studies and things that we were doing. And so they wanted to revitalize Red Stripe, because they’re all the tariffs that were protecting all those Island beer brands were going away. And they realized they needed to, you know, actually get good at marketing the brands and Diageo, which is bottom. What was different is that PBR has been around 180 years and it kind of fallen on the wayside. And it was competing in the US against very overly commercialized beers and there was sort of a rebellion against over commercialization that was being you know, sort of predominantly led by Budweiser, Coors and Miller right back in the day, those were the three things and and we were the underdog brand and we were kind of going for that retro chic and connecting with a very specific audience that was appreciating and looking for retro authenticity, which you know, the big brands could not offer. When we first started having conversation was with the audio they actually were thinking well that’s kind of what we need to do because we have this old brand. And the reality is that in the use case they needed to go the other way. They were losing market share because Heineken and in particular Heineken and guess were coming in to that market which were also diazo brand owns the very sophisticated sexy packaged products and very modern marketing campaigns. And so the revival is revitalization. PBR was about tapping into that authentic route. The revitalization of Red Stripe was more about making it progressive and modern. And so you know, that goes to say, yeah, they’re both loggers, and they taste boredom in a cup. Most people couldn’t tell you the difference between the two. But given their marketing circumstances and the customer perceptions that the time required diametrically opposed solutions. So anyway, it was fun to work on. One story with those guys is, you know, we go to this place where, you know, we’re being shepherded around and we’re like, Okay, we’re gonna go out and do the customers are. And they gave us a bodyguard, in his Jeep to drive us around, because it was three white guys riding around Jamaica in the hinterlands, right? We don’t know where we’re going. They’re like, Oh, no, we’re not gonna let you ride around anywhere, because you you’re never come back. And they took us out to a bar. And we met this guy who moved a lot of booze through his bar, and it was the strip club. And this guy talked to me for 20 minutes. And I never understood every single word he said, Because he spoke Spanish. Wow. And so like, the whole time we’re doing this, we’re listening to this guy. And he’s the most menacing human being I’ve ever met in my life. I mean, it was just like, This guy is like a killer. And, you know, we’re just these three dudes are bad Roos that are just trying to sell some beer. And it was amazing because the bodyguard slash driver would end up translating everything for us, because we didn’t understand a word anybody was saying, because they don’t speak English very well, they speak patois. So the whole thing, I mean, it’s just bizarre stories where you kind of go into this subculture that you have no point of reference from I mean, the people the conditions they live in, you know, just the way they drink beer I went inside, you know, what one of the problems that Red Stripe had with the locals is that they don’t drink their beer refrigerators. So when they go up to the bar, they will buy three beers. And they put one kind of they look their fingers around the neck of the bottle, and they loop another one, and they’ll actually turn the labels out so people will see what they’re drinking. And then they’ll have another one, they might have a joint in their hand or a cigarette and another beer. So they’ll go get three beers, it’s hard to have three beers in your hands, when you got a stubby neck bottle. Because the shoulders of the bottle get in the way. And that’s one of the reasons that they like some of the European beers is they had longer bottles, and they can hold more of them in their hands and still keep their cigarette or their joint while they’re drinking. And so it’s like, it’s like, how do you overcome that, right? Because you’re not getting rid of the stubby bottle that’s iconic, right? You know, it’s kind of digging into all these weird little things that you can have to you have to consider when you’re trying to figure out how to position or reposition a brand somewhere.

John Corcoran 18:03

It’s so critical to be on the ground to see that in first person and because otherwise, you’re not going to know you’re not going to get it figured away. 

Branden Lisi 18:11

Because we couldn’t communicate or understand anybody. We were sort of reduced to just watching and try it. What are they doing that and deconstructing it and trying to figure it out? And there were some insights that came out of that, that I don’t think we wouldn’t necessarily would have picked up have we been able to talk because we would have been so focused on what people were telling us versus what we were seeing. So it’s a really interesting reminder, it was really one of the first times where I think I would say is probably the only time where I ever was working on a brand where I genuinely, linguistically just didn’t understand what anybody was talking about. Yeah. And had you’re from Louisiana.

John Corcoran 18:50

And you lived in Louisiana, which is saying something.

Branden Lisi 18:54

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And if you don’t, I mean, I can pick up a lot of things. But yeah,

John Corcoran 18:59

initially, it’s a beautiful country, Jamaica, I visited there once to have an amazing experience with my oldest, who’s four and a half of the time going up and doing Dunn’s River Falls mazing country. I want to ask you about August 2005, probably seared in your brain. Actually, coincidentally, I got married September 3 2005. It was right after Hurricane Katrina hit and you were Louisiana. Take us back to what that experience was like and you ended up, you know, change your life change the course of your life and your business.

Branden Lisi 19:36

It did. So my son my second son was born August 10 2005. My mom had come down because he when he was born, he had some health issues and had to have some surgeries. My mom came down to kind of help out. Wow, and

John Corcoran 19:50

she ended up are you still in the hospital with him then?

Branden Lisi 19:53

He was He had surgery but then he came home and he was a newborn. So because he was in ICU, For a little while, and then we were out actually, on Saturday playing golf I was taken, I took my mom out to go play golf and the hurricane just turned in across the Gulf. And we went in after the ninth hole to get something to drink because it was super hot. This is August in Louisiana. And the hurricane it turned. And it was like Red Alert, Red Alert, Red Alert. And so, you know, we went, we finished our round and went back. And we went through Katrina, and when you were living in Baton Rouge, which is sort of north and west of, of New Orleans, Katrina was not really that big of an event, Rita actually hit. You know, a few weeks later was a much bigger event, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, because we were on the east side of that storm. And it went by and it just seemed like no big deal. But, you know, then everything started happening on Monday. And it changed our business quite a bit, because a lot of we had already been looked, we had started the process of looking at other markets. Because we were doing national work already for PBR and other brands, that was always flying through other airports. And because you live in bedrooms, you got to fly through Dallas or Atlanta to get anywhere in New Orleans. And I’d already started the process and kind of thought Atlanta was going to be where I wanted to be. But a lot of business washed up on our shores, actually. And at the time I was in EMI join do in 2004, The Entrepreneurs Organization. And you know, some of my forum mates were in New Orleans and dealing with nine feet of water in their business and 12 feet of water in their house and break down in civil order. And it’s also pretty nasty things and a lot of death and some grim experiences. And, you know, I was starting the process of moving to Atlanta, at least in my head, I was waiting for a good deal at while my son was healing. But you know, I’d already known that I’m probably gonna go that way. And actually, Katrina delayed that for a couple of years, because a lot of business washed up on our shores. And we have been doing is

John Corcoran 21:59

that was the companies that were rebuilding and needed help. What kind of business was it?

Branden Lisi 22:04

It was a combination of these companies from New Orleans and relocated. You know, it was a really interesting time in that, you know, the weekends after Katrina, cars were driving around, I live in the southern guard district of Baton Rouge, nice old house and whatnot. You know, people were riding around and just, you know, the House would go up for sale, you’d have eight or nine offers on it, you know, or people would just walk up the house. They’re like, I was like, I’ll pay you twice what it’s worth, because we’re going to move up here and we’re not going to ever move back. And I know

John Corcoran 22:32

a lot of business does. These are people leaving New Orleans and moving to Baton Rouge got it.

Branden Lisi 22:37

So a lot of business from New Orleans sort of washed up in Baton Rouge. And at the time, we had just landed not too many months before that the Baton Rouge area Chamber account, which is like the economic development entity. And we were starting to do some work for Entergy or there came a little bit later, which is power company. But we had gotten into the world of economic development because we had all this brand experience at a national level and people were interested in our take on branding. And that just changed economic development in Baton Rouge for the next 20 years really. And so we were you know, wrapped up in all of that activity. And it was a sad look for New Orleans. But it was really actually a net positive for us. But it never really changed the fact that I knew I needed to go to a different market, we needed access to talent that they didn’t really have at the time in Baton Rouge. And you know, a couple years later, we ended up moving to Atlanta, but the whole experience with Katrina really changed a lot of my attitudes about the importance of functioning government. And having alignment between you know, the foundations within community, the business community, the political elements of the community. Everybody really had to be aligned. And I thought Baton Rouge actually did a very good job at that time. You know, I’ve had criticisms about certain things that they’ve done. You know, New Orleans kind of fell apart in a lot of ways, and it took them a long time to kind of recover from that. But I was able to see Houston and Baton Rouge actually rise up and I think Atlanta rose up to there’s a lot of communities that, you know, got their act together and were able to, you know, benefit from that disaster, sadly for New Orleans, but you know, well, yeah,

John Corcoran 24:24

I mean, it’s no secret that that hurricane has kind of been held up as you know, the prototypical kind of failure of government to support its people in the aftermath of the major disaster.

Branden Lisi 24:41

Yeah, and it’s not just, let’s say this, it’s not just the government. It’s the business communities. It’s the churches is the foundation. It’s there was not a lot of alignment, you know, in that community. And it wasn’t again, it wasn’t just The political elements of it. Yeah. You know, it was the whole thing. New Orleans had been dying for a number years, in my opinion. Again, I had watched it. You know, there’s a lot of corruption in that town. And, you know, the businesses that were there already moving over to Houston long before the storm, you know, they lost a lot of major corporations there just because they didn’t want to deal with the BS corruption, you know, yeah, yeah. And Tiller thinking that you get, you know, but I don’t want to bang New Orleans is like good people down there, they just don’t always have the best leadership,

John Corcoran 25:31

right. Um, I want to ask you about after many, many years of doing CPG, consumer packaged goods, products, you beer, liquor, stuff like that, you decided to make a pivot. And so you, you know, the company moved into, I think you said, lower volume, higher margin type of work, talk a little bit about that conscious decision to change the business after so many years and go after a different type of work.

Branden Lisi 26:02

So it’s really predicated on a couple of things. Number one, we enjoy going kind of back to our roots, where we were technology guys, at the beginning, we really enjoy manufactured products, machinery, equipment, you know, those kinds of things, companies that have an engineering ethnos joy, just working with those people. And that kind of creativity that comes out of that. And the spirit that you get innovation and ideation and building things is something that it just resonates with my partner or not. But on a practical level, one of the problems that I’ve seen with consumer packaged goods companies, the bigger consumer brand companies in particular, is that there’s it’s a, it’s a hamster wheel of people where their cars, it’s people are constantly coming and going and coming and going and coming and going. And there’s really no stability and an agency environment. You know, it’s already, you’re all it’s all about relationships, and the relationships are always changing, it’s really challenging to, you know, build value, because you’re having to re state your case for doing work, you know, every couple of years. And, you know, I know for PBR, I think the numbers like over a three year period, we help that brand, because we’re the only agency that worked on all the creative and all the marketing, all the advertising. So what the sales team, there were some people that did some event stuff. But that brand grew 53% by volume, and that three year window, which is a huge number in a mature market, like beer, right? That’s we took a lot of market share from other people,

John Corcoran 27:31

and we’re 180 year old company.

Branden Lisi 27:33

Yeah. And at that time, you know, then they make some changes, and they bring some other people in and, you know, it’s like, does it matter that we did all these good things, we know the brands, and we understand the customer, we know, all these things, I’m gonna bring my other guys in. And then they brought it to

John Corcoran 27:47

me, demoralizing.

Branden Lisi 27:50

It’s, it’s demoralizing for the team, you know, it’s aggravating as hell for me as a business owner, but it says it’s demoralizing. You pour yourself into all this stuff. And after a few years of that, it’s like you don’t want to hell with these people, you know, I’m tired of chasing my tail. And the other thing I’ve found through the years is that the bigger the CPG companies, the more they treat agency, people like horse, you know, you know, Amsterdam window, and it’s like, I’m not a horror fan. But I’m going to be treated like that. And I enjoyed working with manufacturing companies, I enjoyed the people, there’s a lot more stability in those companies. People that get in those businesses tend to stay in those businesses more. And we just like the people and end of the day, this isn’t about, you know, after 30 years, man, it’s not about you know, all the creative work you get to do. It’s about the people you work with, in both in the company and outside the company. And, you know, one of the things I’m very proud of the average tenure in a marketing agency in the United States, I think, is somewhere around 26 months, you know, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t necessarily put myself on that. But it’s somewhere around that as a statistic. I read the average in new in our companies over 10 years. And it’s it’s the culture, and it’s the people we want to work together, we enjoy working together, we respect each other. And I like working with clients that have that dynamic. And in the manufacturing space, especially heavy equipment, or sort of that OEM kind of mindset. You find those people there, and I enjoy those people. And so machinery equipment, you know, if you’re making widgets that are high margin, low volume, and you need to move units, we know how to do it. A lot of those guys were really behind the times and digital marketing. Many of you still are, especially as it relates to setting up a Mar tech stack and doing it at scale. And we’ve figured out how to do it and done it quite a bit and enjoy it. And so we move towards that. We really started that migration around 2012 2015 When we realized we were just burned out on the CPG stuff. And realize that wasn’t just the work it was the people in the constantly changing chairs. And so really for the last seven days yours our focus has been digitally Jen for OEMs. 

John Corcoran 30:05

And I want to ask you about, I want to ask you about the culture piece. What are some things that you’ve done? Can you point to a few things individually that you’ve done consciously to build that kind of culture where people want to stick around?

Branden Lisi 30:17

I think it comes down to doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, you know, and putting your people first. I mean, I, when I’m hiring for the candy stores, I do this a little bit more now. Because, you know, we haven’t had to hire a lot of people for the agency, because we’re not really trying to grow that business, per se, in terms of staff. You know, I tell people, I’m the root ball, you know, you’re the is the manager of the store, you’re the trunk and all the employees and customers, the tree, I’m the root ball, you know, I’m just down here to get you all the nutrients and support resources you need to thrive and be successful. And, you know, I think the mindset that we have of having an inverted organizational chart is where we’re John and I are at the bottom. And our job is to lift everybody up resonates, you know, people know that we’re trying to make them, our clients, but more importantly, to a certain degree, our staff in the concept of culture, like we’re just trying to make people successful, and we’re trying to have a good time. And, you know, keep the drama to a minimum. Yeah, and just do what you say you’re gonna do when you say you’re gonna do it, and just be honest and straightforward and put other people first. And that’s what we do. And it’s I don’t think it’s a big secret. I don’t think it’s a magic formula. It’s just treat people Nice. Yeah. And I don’t see that a lot. Sometimes in the agency world. You know, I’ve been approached by other people about, hey, we could roll up our businesses together and sell it off to some, you know, roll up and like, Dude, I don’t I don’t view my people as assets to be sold off. Yeah. And I, you know, and I know people that have done that, and their employees hate it, because the culture sucks. And it’s all about money, money, money, you know, just feed the money be so we can pay off the debt and then turn around and flip it sell somebody else. And I just reject that. It’s just not what I’m about.

John Corcoran 32:03

And you mentioned, you mentioned the candy stores, and you own a couple of Rocket Fizz candy stores. After 25 years in business, you decided that you wanted to tap into something that was harking back to your childhood, your grandfather, you were looking around, I mentioned earlier that your title and your business card for the agency as pastry inspector, because you love donuts, you thought it was gonna be the donut space, you end up owning a couple of candy stores, which you’re really passionate about. So talk a little bit about how that came about.

Branden Lisi 32:35

So I wanted to own a pastry shop, because that’s what connects me to my grandfather. You know, whenever I would go away as child and traveled around a lot and come back home, my grandpa and I would always go get doughnuts to this day, I can’t I don’t I see a pastry, a powdered donut, I think I’m horrible Fischer. And he was a really important person in my life. And I loved him deeply. And I was always looking for that kind of nostalgic connection. And one of the things that I saw when I was looking at the donut businesses because I was evaluating those kinds of franchises. And it was really a case of baker’s hours suck. It’s hard to balance a life when you have Baker’s hours. And you know, so I was looking around and really kind of grappling with that one aspect of it, my partner had been looking as well, he’s like, Hey, man, I found this concept called Rocket Fizz. He actually saw it on Undercover Boss. And, you know, we really liked it, because it still had that nostalgic connection to the past as sort of what that brand is rooted in. But it didn’t involve making product, which was really appealing on a lot of different levels for us. And in 2018, we finally made the decision, you know, we’d love to just do a business, it’s about making people happy. You know, marketing is about making people money. And that doesn’t always, ironically, make people happy. And so we just wanted to do something that will be fun and make people happy. And also we made all the decisions and it really didn’t have anybody dealt with some client, you know, overthinking or, you know, mind effing something to death. We could just do whatever we wanted with it because we had a lot of flexibility within a construct. And so we bought the franchise we opened our first store in February 2019. And I was really the one that kind of went in and set the store up and I fell in love with it, man. I just it was so fun to just put an apron on and talk with walk around the store, talk to people ring up their candy and figure out what they’re here that memory because if you stayed in that store, you’re going to hear I haven’t seen that sense. And that connection to your past and your childhood. And those important memories are are wonderful. To be a part of creating. And so we decided, you know, Hey, man, let’s do more of these, because it’s also a profitable business. And it’s a fun business. But it’s also, you know, it’s good mailbox money. That’s kind of how we looked at it. And, you know, our ability to hire managers was super important. And we had a phenomenal one and Missy, and she’s still with us. And we were going to do some more. And I took my sons and our my son and some scouts and we went to Nepal and hiked up to base camp, through the Himalayas. And while all that was going on, some things happen with me medically. When I came back, I found out I had kidney cancer. And that kind of delayed it because I had some surgeries, and then COVID hit and I had more surgeries and more surgeries. And in February 2021, you know, I’m looking at it going, I honestly don’t know how much time I have left. So let’s just start doing it. And we opened up our second store in Knoxville last year, which is very successful. And we’re opening up our third store in Greenville. Permit in this the City of Greenville permitting office wheeling will be opened in September 2022. And got a couple of markets slated for 2023. So that’s just going around playing Candy or cheese, man,

John Corcoran 36:22

it’s been an eventful couple of years for you. How was it running this business? You have this new business? You only have a year before COVID cancer diagnosis? How have you managed to keep all these things running? Is it you know?

Branden Lisi 36:40

It’s it’s the team? It’s the people? You know, it’s not me, you know, I mean, I play a role in it. But it’s John, my partner who’s just been, you know, best person. I mean, I’ve we’ve been partners for 30 years. I mean, you think about that, man. It’s, it’s like being married, you know, I mean, and all the people on the Object 9 team and all the people on the Rocket Fizz team? I mean, it was never a question. Everybody just said, Yeah, I’d love to do what you need to do, they’ll get well, and we’ll you know, we’ll take care of it. And so I’ve never, and I’ve never worried about it. You know, I’ve never sat there and went, Oh, my God, what’s going to happen? If I’m not there? You know, I just those people have my back. And so what about,

John Corcoran 37:21

what about opening, you know, a new store in a new city that you don’t know, as well? Maybe you don’t know, the lay of the land as well? And do you bring the manager from the previous location? Or do you hire someone brand new? Because that can be fraught with danger?

Branden Lisi 37:41

Yeah. So I feel like as a CIO picking a location, I because I’ve done economic development work, I actually feel like I have a really good understanding. Because what are that high volume, low margin businesses that we do that’s not manufacturing is franchise development work, right? It’s the same kind of concept just to b2b sale. And I actually did a lot of that over the COVID experience, and I got a good handle on that. But I always kind of understood how to do site selection. It’s a marketing question, really. And I go into a market and I evaluate it, because I know exactly what I’m looking for. And I love doing that on the ground research piece. One of my former mates said, Why don’t you outsource? As I do, that’s my favorite parts to hunting, right? Finding the spot. Because I really have to I have to decisions, where do I put it? And who do I hire to manage it. And those are the ones that I want to take responsibility for. And I feel like I’m the most qualified person to make those decisions in our business on on the team, because I know how to interview people and I know what I’m looking for. And, you know, I think we’re gonna have a third store that’s super successful everyone on the team and the corporate side is super excited once they finally saw the market because they’ve actually not seen the market. They’re more West Coast guys. And so, you know, I’m I the idea of how do I manage all of that, you know, I don’t bring I bring the managers in to help get the store set up from other locations and other staff members, and that’ll continue to happen because I think it helps foster community. But I actually am looking for somebody who’s going to be you know, rooted in that community. Because when I put a candy store and I looked at I call it the candy orchard, all the LLC is or the Knoxville candy orchard or the the Greenville candy orchard. And I look at it like planning an orchard of trees, you know, you don’t get the payoff for a long time. But you know, it’s not a let me make money next quarter kind of thing. It’s, you know, I’m planning this that my children and my, my wife and my children should have, you know, shuffled off the mortal coil. There’s going to be an annuity there for them. And in that in that team, long after I’m gone, so I take a lot of joy in finding that location and hiring that manager. actually get to hire one this week. It’ll be that is I get to go up and do my final interviews for my green bowl and get the picks somebody this week. So I’m excited by this

John Corcoran 40:01

great. I want to wrap up with my final question, which is, I’m a big fan of gratitude and big fan of expressing gratitude to people who helped you along the way, especially peers and contemporaries. I know with your cancer diagnosis, when you’re going through that battle. You know, we talked beforehand about your, your EO forum mates were really instrumental, really helpful. You, you mentioned others during this interview, who would you want to acknowledge publicly for, for helping you in terms of peers and contemporaries?

Branden Lisi 40:32

You know, my business partner has probably the most important person in my professional life. I mean, he and I were best men in each other’s weddings, we became men together, we both got married, we had kids, kids grown up, or almost had a house. You know, so I don’t want to go without mentioning him. But also, you know, especially going through so much change and some of the emotional challenges that you deal with when you find out the idea of a cancer diagnosis and your your lifeline, you know, does not look very long, being an EO my forum mates, my epic for mates in the Atlanta chapter, Kelvin, Derrick Hall, no, Josh, David Colby, you know, those guys and all the guys, Ryan and folks that were in the forum throughout the years, Hugh and whatnot, going in dealing with the cancer diagnosis in particular. Having those guys there to be able to talk to about mortality, and working through the emotions of that was probably one of the most valuable experiences I ever got, in my 18 years of being in a NEO chapter or Neo forum. Because I really didn’t have anybody to talk to about what my life, you know, was potentially going to be given that, you know, I didn’t have 30 40 years ahead of me, I might have four or five. And I could live four or 540 or 50 years, right. But the math does not suggest that. And that I was enormously grateful for that opportunity to be able to share that with those guys and have that love. Because that’s what it was, it was love. That was given back to me and surrounded me as I went through that is one of the things I’m most grateful for in my life. Outside of my wife and my kids, for sure. It was, it was exactly what I needed when I needed it. And for that, I will always be grateful to all those guys in the epic forum.

John Corcoran 42:50

Branden, it’s such a pleasure sharing your story. Where can people go to learn more about you connect with you? And where can they go buy some retro candy?

Branden Lisi 43:01

Now well, they can go to the nearest Rocket Fizz where you go to and find a location near you. If I’m if you’re in Columbus, Knoxville or Greenville, South Carolina, I’ll sell you some candy. But you can go into any one of the other stores. If you want to get in touch with me about marketing work or talk about entrepreneurship or what that journey is like, you can find me on LinkedIn, Branden Lisi, or you can reach me through, fill out a form and you know, it’ll come to me all the all the information and submissions of names and whatnot on the website always come to me and I’ll follow up with you and answer any questions you have or help you in any way I can.

John Corcoran 43:41

Just telling my kids recently about the candy cigarettes. Do they still sell those anymore?

Branden Lisi 43:45

Yeah, man, we sell a ton of those very popular items. That’s such a funny

John Corcoran 43:50

thing, isn’t it?

Branden Lisi 43:52

It is about you know, but it’s something from your childhood, right? That is like pixie straws. For me. It was goo goo clusters, you know, Marathon marathon bars or Idaho’s buds or whatever. I mean, everybody’s got their thing as a number. And that’s one of the cool things about our candy businesses. Yeah,

John Corcoran 44:10

we’re fortunate we have an independent candy store, which isn’t as cool as a Rocket Fizz, which I’ve been into Rocket business before. But there’s the independent candy store in my town, which it’s just such a joy to take my kids there and a chore but also to see the looks on on other people’s faces as they walk in.

Branden Lisi 44:30

Yeah, one of the thing I’ll say about the candy businesses, you know, the why of that business is so simple, right? Your job is to make people happier when they want them when they walk in. You know, they’re happier when they walk out and when they walk in. That’s it. That’s your job. How you do that. Okay, here’s how you do it. Right? It is so fun to have a business where it’s just about making people happy and smiling. Because nobody ever walks into a candy store in a bad mood. You know, are they they are in a bad mood. They’re putting them so they’re conscious They’re going in there to put themselves in a better mood to generally deal with a lot of happy people when you’re in a candy store. And that’s the great thing about that’s great. 

John Corcoran 45:06

Great. Thanks so much, Branden.

Branden Lisi 45:09

Thank you, John. Again, it was a pleasure being on your show.

Outro 45:12

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