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NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

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Wednesday
Aug052015

Laura Soncrant: Founder/Owner of The Growling Rabbit Cafe

My NativeAdVantage: Founder and owner of The Growling Rabbit – a cafe

Bio:

Laura Soncrant is founder and owner of The Growling Rabbit – a cafe, a full-service bake shop and café specializing in healthy comfort including hearty brunch, sweet treats, and refreshing drinks. Located in Chicago, Soncrant opened The Growling Rabbit in 2011 after a turn in the economy left her searching for a more meaningful career.

What do you do best?

At the end of the day it all boils down to being a project manager. The first day I worked in a restaurant was the day I opened the doors to The Growling Rabbit. With my career in landscape architecture behind me and my newly obtained master of arts management degree ready to be applied, I felt I had what it would take to turn my small farmer’s market bakery into a full-service restaurant. I look at every day as nothing more than a series of projects that I organize, plan, delegate, and then follow up with, only to re-address and complete the steps again based on an updated set of parameters. While we are called The Growling Rabbit, I remind myself daily the tortoise won the race. While the method I have used to grow may not be the fastest, slowly but surely, I have grown one project at a time into what is now a thriving cornerstone business within Chicago’s Rogers Park community.

What makes you the best?

Having the ability to quickly assess a situation and, in my head, form it into a project that needs managed. Once I have a clear understanding of the project, I am then able to make a quick and calculated action plan based on known elements. Having a good understanding of the people and the team around me helps me delegate tasks as needed. Checking back to be sure all tasks within the action plan are completed and are successful is the main ingredient in the recipe used to move my business forward. It’s at this point I am able to learn what is working well within my system and what needs to be adjusted. This strategy is one I apply every day and it is one that has helped me grow from a few thousand dollars in sales a year to a growing business projected to do over a half million dollars in sales this year and looking to expand into a new space and new concept. It is equally applied to grocery shopping with my four year old as it is to staffing and supplying a restaurant.

How will you stay the best?

I will stay the best by surrounding myself with people that know more than I do. I am a leader who will never ask my team members to do something I am not willing or able to do myself. With that said I would rather surround myself with a highly talented team who knows how to do what needs to be done and can do it better than me. I choose to direct the orchestra rather than play in it. With that said if one of my team members is out, I am able to pick up where they left off and fill the void as needed until they return.

What are your aspirations: business & personal?

Personal: As a mom to a four year old, I find so much of what I do in personal and business I do thinking about how it will better my son. My personal aspiration during this phase of my life is to be the best mom possible so that in turn Kai is able to grow into the best adult possible. I opened The Growling Rabbit when Kai was three months old so I have watched both the business and my son grow side by side. While there are a lot more players involved in the business, I must say parenting is really a lot more pressure.

Business: To grow The Growling Rabbit into a brunch pub. While we have enjoyed success with our current brunch cafe business model, it is one I find will not be sustainable long term due to our space limitations. Since we are at capacity in our current space upwards to 70% of the time, and with no room for kitchen expansion, it is not one that offers much growth unless we move. With a move needed for survival, I surmise adding the component of a pub to the already wildly successful brunch we currently serve would create a win/win situation for myself, staff, and our community. In order to find out more, check out bitly.com/thegrowlingrabbit to see this future vision of The Growling Rabbit – a brunch pub.

What fascinates you?

How connected, not electronically, but rather personally, everything and everyone is. This is an idea that has become a bigger part of who I am since becoming a business owner in the small Rogers Park neighborhood within the large city of Chicago. You never know which customer is going to provide your next big wholesale lead or who is going to suggest your place to a reality TV show scouting crew. You never know if that first date enjoying the window seat is going to be next year’s big wedding cake order. By investing time and genuine interest in the community The Growling Rabbit serves, I have been able to personally fulfill my interest of running a successful business.

Favorite Motto?

While no one famous has said it and there are no cute posters touting its virtue as a motto I think applying the idea of “need versus want” best encapsulates my guiding principles when making decisions.

Favorite People?

My Dad. In fact it’s the respect and appreciation for his advice and knowledge that I have based my whole company on. I incorporated on what would have been his 59th birthday as a way to personally celebrate the lessons he taught me and apply them to my daily actions.

Favorite Places?

I found Paris to be the most natural city for me to navigate. Australia’s Wilsons Promontory National Park was a life changing experience. Yosemite National Park was the most beautifully stunning place I have visited. Mackinac Island, Michigan holds some of the most precious memories I cherish.

Favorite Products?

There is no one silver bullet product in my life. I am a bit more focused on the end results and whatever item or product is needed to get me there is what I use. I am not really brand or product loyal rather I appreciate items of modern convenience like dishwashers, and air conditioning.

Current Passions?

Being an entrepreneur my business is my passion. It has to be. If it’s not I have 16 people who lose the opportunity to earn a living. With all the personal reward and connection The Rabbit offers, it’s easy to state that being a restaurateur is my passion because each day is a new adventure. My passion outside of business, though, is instilling an enthusiasm for learning and living in my son, Kai. After all, orchestrating an environment that allows for discovery, creativity and growth is nothing short of an obsession when you are a mother.

Most challenging moment?

I feel I am living through one of the most challenging moments within my business right now. I would like to grow and expand what is a successful business. Figuring out the economics of making this growth a possibility has been to date a challenge at best. Raising liquid funds and establishing collateral, seeking investors, and negotiating for real estate all while continuing to run a wildly busy restaurant has been, is, and will continue to be a challenge. I thrive on challenge though and it is in situations like this I feel on top of my game. I look forward to what the next few months will bring as I feel at the end of the day, while there may be bumps, bigger and better is our future.

Biggest disappointment - how did you/will you overcome it?

Living in the small town of Truckee California, while an experience I would not trade as it taught me great life lessons, was one that turned out to be a huge disappointment. While on the surface it was a beautiful place, it taught me beauty does not pay the bills. The wonderful opportunity to meet amazing people was a priceless experience and one I am grateful for but Truckee taught me I am not a small town person. Knowing what drives you and being in an environment that allows for personal growth to flourish was a lesson one can only be taught by living in a personally stagnate environment for some time. I am a Chicago gal and thanks to the disappointment of living in the Lake Tahoe area I now know this without a shadow of a doubt.

Biggest success?

Currently I think my biggest success is building a sustainable business. A sustainable business in an industry that within Chicago city limits has a 75% fail rate. A sustainable business opened in at the height of the down economy in a hard working class neighborhood with minimal disposable income. Despite all these factors we have grown revenue year over year 25% or more and we are currently looking to grow into a bigger space that would allow us to evolve our brand.

www.thegrowlingrabbit.com

https://twitter.com/growlingrabbit

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Growling-Rabbit-a-cafe/190086097702427

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