Mike Wystrach

Journey from Restaurant Owner to Startup Founder

Freshly, Petfolk

Mike Wystrach

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What You'll Learn

  • Embracing the journey of entrepreneurship, including the inevitable obstacles and learning experiences, as they ultimately shape the success of a business.
  • How solving one’s own problems can lead to innovative business ideas that resonate with a broader audience.
  • How operating a business requires a balance between being unrelentingly committed to the vision and being flexible enough to adapt based on data and experiences.
  • Achieving financial success in a venture is rewarding but is often less satisfying than the day-to-day challenges and growth experienced during the journey.
  • Strong leadership involves recruiting capable individuals who can execute the vision and contribute to the company’s growth effectively.

We Been Drankin'


Episode Details

Mike Wystrach is a seasoned entrepreneur with a diverse background in the food and tech industries. Growing up in southern Arizona on a ranch with family ventures ranging from the restaurant business to veterinary care, Mike has a wealth of experience in managing and growing businesses. As a founder of Freshly, a food delivery company, Mike led the venture to great success, exiting to Nestlé after experiencing rapid growth and scale. With a passion for innovative solutions, he’s now taking on the veterinary care sector with Petfolk, aiming to revolutionize the industry through technology and customer-centric care.

Episode Summary:

In this captivating episode of Story in a Bottle, host Dan Maccarone sits down with Mike Wystrach over a pint of Guinness to discuss the trials and triumphs of entrepreneurship. Mike opens up about his journey from a family-run restaurant to founding Freshly and his current venture, Petfolk. This conversation reveals the raw and real path to success that is often peppered with uncertainties and challenges, contrasting the typical narrative of overnight achievements.

Mike shares key insights into how solving personal problems led to the creation of businesses that resonated with consumers. From starting Freshly in the midst of economic turmoil with just $15 in his bank account, to the eventual sale of the business to Nestlé, Mike’s story is one of determination, adaptability, and relentless pursuit of visions that others may not immediately see.

Notable Quotes:

  • “One of the keys to my success has always been kind of scratching my own itch.” – Mike Wystrach

  • “I always have fun on things that I think why does this not exist? Like, why does this not exist? And those are always the funnest things for me to create and build and do.” – Mike Wystrach

  • “I wasn’t the expert on things. I’m a quick learner… generally can learn complex things fairly quickly. But I’m nowhere near a vet.” – Mike Wystrach discussing the start of Petfolk

  • “We’re like the hair club for men commercial where the guy says, I’m not only the president I’m the first customer… I generally look at myself as the CEO, the first customer.” – Mike Wystrach

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