Sammie Bove, Aha Pure Foods & Danielle Gertner, Gertner Grind | WHOA GNV Podcast

– [Announcer] You are listening to WHOA podcast coming to you from Gainesville, Florida. Good morning everybody this is Collin and this is the WHOA GNV Podcast. Ty, what is up my man, how are you? – I’m feeling good, hyped. (laughs) – He’s always like, I’m hyped, I’m hyped. Hey so I don’t know if I told you but we got some really good feedback from a listener so I
wanted to, one just say thank you to everybody
who has listened this far, you have to understand that my history so far when it comes to media and media production has been in video so I’m very conscious of
these cameras in the room but I will tell you that
this is our first podcast so I literally know
nothing about podcasting. Which I think is apparent to everybody who listened to episode two on iTunes because the sound was really messed up and I thank everybody who has reached out to us we know that the sound was messed up, we are going to try to fix the sound on episode
two the best that we can and we are making adjustments each episode so that it gets better and better. And the one thing that people said, you’re not explaining enough about what this podcast is about so I want to take just a few seconds to do just that and I want everybody to know that this podcast is about bringing you businesses and people that just make you go, whoa, damn. (laughs) So that’s why we named it WHOA podcast, I thought it was cool ’cause WHOA is kind of like call letters
at a normal radio station and I’m like this is a
podcast I can make my own call letters, am I right? – I like it. (laughs) – So anyway, we want to get right into this episode and we
have very special guests that we want to introduce you to and one is Sammie from aha Pure Foods, I like saying aha ’cause
it goes with whoa. And she is the CEO over there and then we have Danielle Gertner who is a personal friend of mine, thank you
so much for being here. – [Danielle] Of course. – She runs the Gertner Grind, the CEO so I’m gonna let them introduce themselves a little bit more just
to give you a little bit of story of their business and how these businesses came to be so Danielle how about you get us started. – Awesome, well first
of all thank you guys so so much for having me, I’m
really really really pumped, get ready to grind, I
might make you do a workout at some point.
– Please don’t. (laughs) – At some point during this, so my name’s Danielle Gertner, founder and lead trainer at Gertner Grind. I started the business in 2016, literally the month I graduated from UF. I recognized a need to put the creativity and the passion and the excitement back into wellness and just really went down this rabbit hole of learning about myself and what people
really need in the process and so I founded the business, it actually started with a
boot camp that I still run at the stadium called Gator Grind every Monday at six pm and
I started that bootcamp when I was a junior at UF and it blew up pretty quick, you know my friends started to come and their
friends and their friends and almost three years
later we’re still doing that bootcamp and when I graduated from UF my two full time job
offers didn’t excite me the way teaching a bootcamp excited me and so I said screw it
I’m gonna take the leap and started teaching boot camps literally like a week after I graduated and the rest is history. I’m celebrating two years in June which is really exciting and I teach boot camps around the city, I have an online training program and really just up and
getting everybody grinding and really inspiring people
to see the world as their gym and letting them know that wellness should fit your world no matter what that world looks like so it’s what I be doing. – I cannot believe that
it’s already been two years. – [Danielle] Yeah I know,
you saw me at my infancy. – Seriously, so Danielle
and I knew each other before she was this rock star– – [Danielle] Oh, should
we tell them our story. – Yeah so give them a
little bit of our history how you, I don’t know came to know me and I don’t know is that the right word? (laughs) – Yeah, stumbled upon this fantastic human sitting across from me, well so– – [Collin] Stop that. – My senior year I was in a small family businesses class at UF, very much in this confusing overwhelming state
that most seniors are in like holy shit I’m about to graduate and I have no idea what I’m about to do with my life and we had to do a project on a small local business
and I had never heard of New Scooters for Less, it was actually one of the girls in my
group that suggested that we use your business for the project and she did a lot of the leg work, she was the one who really
communicated with you but Collin was so awesome,
our final presentation he gave us 50 t shirts to
give out to the entire class. – [Collin] Yeah. – And it was pretty awesome. – [Ty] That’s good work. – Yeah, we definitely had
the best presentation, actually the professor Ms. Susanna still comes to my boot camps and always says how amazing we… How amazing, sorry I thought
that was my phone alarm I was like oh my god he’s gonna kill me he literally told me to be quiet. – This is our in house studio where cell phones do go off
so it’s gonna happen. – It was nice music, it
was like good morning. – [Collin] Good morning, welcome. – Let’s do this. But yeah so that’s how the relationship really started and I just really admire your craziness and your
just, this blunt attitude to do what you’re passionate about and figure the rest out as you go and I really try to
model that in my business I’m like, well this
sounds like a good idea, shit let’s try it, if it works out, great, if it doesn’t well we’ll figure it out. – I was psyched when you told me, when you’re like I’m gonna stay, I’m gonna start my own business, I’m gonna do my own thing and I don’t think, I don’t know not enough people are
willing to take that risk at such an early age, they feel like oh I got that college
degree, I need to go use it and make my parents proud and I think you can make your parents proud in a completely different way even if they don’t realize it at the time. – Absolutely, I hope we
get into that later on about just how we felt,
’cause we’ve talked, Sam and I have talked about this, staying in Gainesville
and kind of the pressures of you’re supposed to be here then leave and how that perspective
has really changed for us so I’ll shut up and we’ll
talk about it afterwards. (laughs) – I’m just kidding. Hey, Sammie please introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about your story and how you became the
CEO of aha Pure Foods. – Okay well thank you guys, and I just got really
excited because this is gonna be a wellness podcast, pretty much and I’m like really stoked
about it, it’s gonna be fun. – That’s good by us. – So I’m Samantha, I got involved with aha about a year ago, coming up on a year, just we are first of all aha Pure Foods is a plant based soup company. We believe that food is our medicine and we’re on an absolute mission to inspire and educate people of that. So we use hi vive ingredients
from around the world like adaptogenic mushrooms, turmeric, all things that are feeding
us, feeding our souls, our minds, our bodies and what I think is the dopest thing about the company is we are changing the
way that people are eating like getting people excited again, who the hell gets excited about soup? Seriously, a few people, a few people are really like, yes your soup.
– It’s like of course I do. – At least your soup
they get excited about. – Well yeah, I get really
excited about my soup too but people get excited about this because it’s good and it’s good for you and you feel higher after you eat it and you can’t really say that about a whole lot of things. So I got involved with the company about a year ago just
because I met the founders at a tasting they were doing at Lucky’s and I live at Lucky’s and I picked up one of the soups and I was
reading the ingredients and there was a lot of adaptogens, a lot of mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, and Reishi and Maitake, and I’m like what the hell are these two older men doing with this soup,
like what’s the deal here? And then the founder told me his story just long story short he’s Australian and he was diagnosed with
cancer back in the ’80s, given a six month diagnosis, they were like we really can’t
do anything for you here, last resort he went to Asia to see how they were combating disease which was largely and still is
today, food as medicine. Like they have mushrooms
and cancer clinics and all these different things that are thankfully now spreading west but largely in pockets like in New York,
in California, Portland in these pockets and that’s emerging here. And that’s what’s so exciting and I think that our company is really at the forefront of that and I felt it the second I was in that store and at first I was like
do you need interns like I’ll do anything,
I just want to be here I want to learn more, I want to promote these ingredients that they made so accessible because they
made them in a soup and they made them taste really good because bitter melon on its own tastes really really bad
but our bitter melon soup is like the best thing I’ve ever tasted. So yeah I’m really excited. – So would you say that
this passion found you because I feel like in business, I mean that’s exactly what happened with us I mean people still to this day think that I grew up in
like a scooter dealership and I’ve just always been
obsessed about scooters and I’m like oh yeah didn’t
really touch a scooter until my senior year of college when I realized that it was the solution to every parking problem at
the University of Florida so scooters found me. I mean would you say that
these soups found you and this passion just found you and what was it about soup? You know what I mean, it sounds so basic. – Soup, it’s literally
anything but though, it really is an energy around it, I think it largely comes from the intentions of the company
which was to help people. They started at the farmer’s market both driving a couple hours away ’cause they thought
Gainesville would be good and he traveled to Asia,
compiled 15 years of knowledge, came to America, studied
more, he’s a natropath and then teamed up with our chef, Alfie, who’s an American chef
and just another genius and they took years to
put these soups together with everything that he learned and then we’re at the farmer’s market and it just started
catching on and rolling and Lucky’s was like come in, and they’re like okay why not? And when I saw them it was just this baby with so much potential
it just needed a little package redoing and maybe a name change and it needed a bigger team to really carry out this mission and to really distribute this soup and these ingredients that are healing and that is largely the first step is making people see food as something that can lift you and not just something that fills a hunger void. – Yeah so that purpose just
really clicked with you. – Oh yeah, it’s magnetic and you see it in a team now, it’s like whoa we’re attracting all
this because it’s energy and it definitely calls you, it called me. – [Collin] How old’s the company now? – It’s about two years old. – [Collin] Two years.
– Two plus years. – Awesome. Ty what you got bro? – So I’ve had the soup probably maybe– – They’re cooking it
in there for us to try. – Oh very good.
– That’s crazy. – I think this will be awesome, new experience here we’ll
try the soup right here if they can get it in here. – Yeah so I kind of had
the same story as Sam, at the farmer’s market downtown, Wednesday farmer’s market where there’s just an amazing amount of great things, always. Always new companies,
always cool entrepreneurs, people hanging out, if you
haven’t been you gotta go. – Where is it located for
everybody who’s listening? – Bo Diddley Plaza, four
to seven on Wednesdays and then its– – And Haile Market is where we are now. – In Haile, and that’s
on Saturday mornings, eight to eleven, eight to twelve? – [Sammie] It’s 8:30 to 12. – You can get there early, yeah. – I used to live in
Haile for a little while. – That was another piece
of the feedback that we got is that we need to unpack things more. – [Sammie] Yeah, give detail. – So seriously if you have feedback send it to me, you can email it directly to me, [email protected]
’cause I want to make this thing awesome and so
that was one of the things. I’m like, alright I can do that, I can unpack things more as we go so that’s why I asked where, when that kind of stuff. – Yeah, no I’m excited to have some, the Lion Mane soup, the
mushroom’s pretty awesome. But I just love, I always
look at the farmer’s markets almost like its own
little incubator up there and the LEJ pretzels, there’s so many cool farms, Swallowtail,
Frogsong, there’s just a lot of things up there and
aha does really good job. – So, sorry go ahead. – I always say, well I was writing a blog which, I don’t blog,
it’s like one of the only blogs I’ve ever written. – [Ty] I’m reading that blog right now. – Oh okay awesome, cool
let me know how it is. But I made this food comparison chart about farmer’s market versus going to Publix just to show people really the price comparison but if you really want to get to know your community, go to the farmer’s
market and see the local businesses and just the local people. A lot of times people who
go to the farmer’s market aren’t so much students,
you get to see the families you get to see these smaller businesses that are starting out and that is what got me so connected to Gainesville was seeing this farmer’s market and being like holy crap there is an amazing amazing community outside of the university here
and the farmer’s market only just taps the
surface of that community. – Oh yeah, we could dive
into everything else because I love it here. – Yeah, it’s great. – The farmer’s market is one of several places that you sell at. I mean when you say
you’re selling at Lucky’s and stuff, I mean you’re setting up a tent or you actually have it
retail like for sale. – Yeah so retail for sale in Lucky’s. – They got their own little section. – Yeah we have, they’re all over, they’re in the natural living section which is I just think the
raddest because food is medicine like we’re right next to the probiotics I was freaking out and
we’re near the hummus and we’re also near the hot bar we have a giant refrigerator
but we’re also in the Orlando, Gainesville,
we’re launching in St. Pete this week for the grand opening and slowly we’ll just get to more and more Lucky’s and keep it rolling. – Let’s talk about that for a second because I think that’s something that’ll bring a lot of people a lot of value because I think everybody just knows I mean if you’re retail,
especially in the grocery space it can be very very competitive. What advice, what steps could you give a business owner about
getting their product into a place like Lucky’s or Ward’s or– – [Sammie] Whole foods. – Whole foods, yeah,
what’s that process like and what steps should an
entrepeneur take to get there. – Okay so I think first
is absolutely know, no before that I would
say it’s human connection. Lucky’s and Ward’s I should mention, they’ve been so supportive
since the beginning and we’ve, and the founders of course laid that foundation of, if you’re coming to drop off a case of twelve soups, who are you dropping that off to. You know, it’s like try our soups it’s building that community within those establishments and with nothing but the sole intention to just be a human to just foster those human connections and if that happens organically
and with the right intention everything else will fall into place. Also you have to have a damn good product which we do, but it’s number
one those human connections. Be respectful, if our shelf isn’t stocked, don’t expect them to, they’re busy just ask them and build those friendships. I love walking into Lucky’s, it’s like a party every
time because it’s really fun and also someone had
mentioned it in one of your last podcasts, start grinding, we’re sampling all over the
place three times a week. Soup is really heavy and
we’re in glass containers, you should see my car right now, it’s a lot of lugging and
carrying and setting up and taking down and whatnot
but it’s so worth it because people are
experiencing our product and they’re experiencing
that energy around it. Granted we did a good
job with the packaging and stuff but it’s hard
work, get out there, sample do tastings. But you had set getting it into the store I would say know your worth,
foster those human connections and come prepared and also think of it as an opportunity for them. It’s an opportunity if they’re there and they’re holding an establishment especially if that
promotes healthier products they want that, they want
to give their customers that so absolutely know your
worth and you can get it just keep trying, don’t
be scared to follow up, I annoy people all the time. It’s like whatever, it’s
the best advice I got, I’ll thank my mom for that. – That’s awesome. Hey so this has me really excited to try some of these
soups, do we have them? Yeah we have them. Oh my gosh. This is gonna be the greatest thing ever. – They put them in coffee creamers. – [Collin] You did? – [Brooklyn] We were trying
to be resourceful. – [Collin] In like
little cups, oh my gosh. – [Danielle] That’s awesome. – Just don’t spill it on the equipment. – Oh I would love to. – Oh I’m pumped. – Yeah I’m just gonna set
them right here, Ty you can. So everybody who’s listening
just to the audio right now, Joanna and Brooklyn
brought in some samples of the soups from aha Pure Foods. So do you want to kind
of give us just a little explanation of the different ones and maybe a few of the ingredients and then we will give them a little taste. – Okay, so Ty Lion’s Mane
isn’t here, I’m sorry. – [Ty] I like them all. – Fireproof– – [Collin] Well how many are there total? – There’s four.
– Four, okay. – And we have very large pipeline of about 15, that’s one
of the things we did also word of advice is, scale back, we had like nine soups out, focus because it’s really hard
to market even four. And to be able to communicate the power of these ingredients over nine soups and educate a whole team on that, it’s way more difficult so grow slowly. – When did you make that decision? – Pretty immediately, I started and then within week and a half
two weeks I was like– – [Collin] We need to focus. – We need to change the
name, focus and just do it and then by November 19th we launched. – Awesome. Alright so what’s this one right here. – Okay so let’s start with
Sweet Chi, that’s my favorite. – This is your favorite? – Oh my god Sweet Chi’s amazing. So Sweet Chi that’s coconut milk, bisque, butternut squash soup, it has some Thai curry in there, it has– – Oh my gosh, dude that is awesome. – It’s really good and then also mind you all 100 percent dairy free, gluten free, they’re incredible. So there’s bitter melon in there, so good for the pancreas
which is so important. – Are you gonna eat your
sample, can I have your sample? – You can have it, I have
a lot of soup at home. – [Danielle] Her whole car and life is filled with soup, I get it. – Alright so Lucky Bones what’s this one. – Okay, Lucky Bones is our
plant based bone broth, super cool because bone
broth is such a craze and our founder, Wayne Garland he compiled different alkalizing vegetables to achieve and promote the same thing
that a bone broth does but without sometimes
really icky animal bones and all the things that those can hold. So super alkalizing, really
good for the digestive system, twelve grams of protein a cup in that. – How?
– Plant protein, you feel so clean after and
then we have our Fire Proof and that is our inflammation kicker. Fire is inflammation,
you gotta put it out. And it’s loaded with turmeric,
the highest antioxidant really on the planet, turmeric, ginger, other root vegetables
it’s a grounding soup. It’s great. – Forgive me for not caring about any of the healthy stuff and the fact that it just tastes really good. – But that’s great, that’s great. – That was amazing, wow.
– Yeah that was awesome, thank you for that.
– Yay, I’m so glad you like it – Here you guys try these samples, the rest of you that are in here. Pass them around that way. – Do it now or I’m gonna finish them. – Those are great.
– Thank you. – That was fun.
– Those were delicious. – We need to make sure
that that is on the agenda every time we have a
food person in the room. So talking about the health stuff I feel like in 2018 there’s, and maybe this is just my perception but I feel like there’s a lot more food startups, there’s a
lot more fitness startups, is this my perception or
are we just in a state where health is just now for some reason becoming such a focus? – I don’t think it’s your only perception I think we all feel that way, the space is at least from a professional standpoint the space is starting to
become quite saturated which is a good and a bad thing I mean it’s great to see how many people are becoming more health conscious and wanting to take care of their bodies and I think my only concern is making sure that it’s for the right reasons and we’ve talked about this a lot, the energy and I think
that’s why Sammie and I have bonded so much
because what she mentioned over and over again and what
I kept nodding my head about was just this intention, the reason why so many people are attracted to aha is because of the
intention behind the soups and that’s really what
it has to start with if you’re gonna live a healthy life if you’re gonna change
your life it’s gotta come from a very pure genuine
place of I want to make this change for life and I’m doing it for me and for nobody else and so yeah a lot of
people have been popping up I also think barriers to entry are a lot lower now with technology and social media, we can access trainers and recipes and food
way easier than we could when our parents were around and I think, that has allowed for this kind of boom and people just realize like holy shit we really need to step our game up, our country is overweight and angry and a lot of that has to do with them not fueling themselves
properly from the inside out and then not taking care
of themselves physically. – Having the energy to do so. – Exactly. – Okay so if the space is becoming more saturated and just
more crowded over all what things do each of you do to make sure that you are standing out from the crowd. – [Sammie] You want to go first? (laughs) – It’s a tough question right? – I would say standing out from the crowd, immediately I’m like it’s so easy no one’s doing what we’re
doing but that’s, you know. – [Collin] Hey, I mean– – It’s the wrong thing to say
but it’s the truth right now, I think it’s really what it is is staying at the forefront of noticing
that there’s a movement taking place in our
country, there’s a movement taking place towards
a healthier lifestyle, whether it’s eating,
whether it’s incorporating mindfulness, whether it’s
getting on a real fitness routine and witnessing that change in your body it’s happening but there’s also a socially responsible movement coming in and environmentally conscious, people are becoming more
conscious about the environment and the footprint that we’re having on it. So I would say for us
specifically with food is taking responsibility
that your decisions as a company is going to impact the world on a greater level. So if I want to do good by giving people these ingredients, I also want to do good by not leaving a massive footprint, that’s why we use the glass jars. And advocate for their reuse. And noticing those trends
and staying true to them and taking time and investing money when there’s way easier options out there and cheaper, that’s
what’s gonna set you apart beyond the ingredients that people aren’t using in a soup right now and when people keep saying, just be shelf stable throw some more salt in there,
some more preservatives. No, refrigeration is the future
because it has a shelf life and yeah, so recognize and then stay at the head of the movement if you can. – I 100 percent agree, it’s
a lot harder to position yourself as a leader in the industry when you’re playing catch up so I definitely second
that and I think for me, at least my outlook I have two things. Number one is education,
that is extremely extremely important for me especially in the fitness wellness space, everyone
everyone and their mom is a personal trainer right
now or a yoga instructor and a lot of the times
they’re not educated, they don’t have
certifications they don’t know about the body and they’re not looking at you as the individual they’re looking at the mass as a big group, let me write a work out plan for everybody and for me education has been
extremely extremely important that’s why I’m a certified
personal trainer, I’m studying for my CSCS,
I’m a kettle bell specialist because those things to me set me apart from my peers who’re
like yeah I look great which probably means I can help you. And wellness, my definition of wellness has changed a lot over the last two years and I look at it has getting healthy from the inside out, so a lot of people come to me that talk to me about, I want to change my life,
I’m a personal trainer but one of the first things I ask you is what is your nutrition like, what are you eating, how
are you fueling your body, because before we can
even step into the gym I need to know that you have the energy, you have the whatever but around that. So that’s the first thing is education. The second thing for me is do you, and own the shit out of it. And that has been my ride or die kind of forever, that’s just who I am and I think that’s one of the reasons you and I get along so well and why I’m always really inspired by you is there’s gonna be a lot of people that tell you don’t do it that way, stop cursing on your Instagram, somebody told me that, I’m like F you, no I’m just kidding but do you. If you genuinely, like to my heart I believe in what I’m doing so much that I hope you feel the energy I put out like I feel it, I get butterflies when I talk about it and
you have to ride with that. There’s so many people
that are gonna tell you that’s not the way it should be done and you, a lot of times,
if you’re a leader of an industry, if you want to be at the front of an industry, a lot of times you’re
gonna have a lot of people that are like, we don’t like
you for whatever reason. And you have to have those
blinders on in a sense and understand that your
intentions are pure, you’re grounded in your values and no one or no obstacle is gonna stop you from getting where you go and I think, at least in Gainesville that’s what set me apart is people know that about me, it’s not something I have to say, it’s something that people feel and it all goes back to energy. Every time Sammie and I sit
down and have a conversation it always goes back– – This is the wellness energy podcast. – It always goes back to energy, it always goes back to mindset and pure intentions because that’s where everything in life starts,
everything, and so– – What’s, I don’t know I
have questions everywhere and the more you talk I
keep getting more and more questions, if you need to interrupt me just interrupt me. – Yeah so I wanted to
cycle back on one thing both of you guys just touched on and that was kind of Gainesville kind of leading all of is into this kind of wellness, healthy
eating, working out but it’s kind of always been that way it’s just starting to kind of show itself on a more national level. I know growing up here
our junior programs, middle school high school it’s dominant across the board, all sports, Olympians move to Gainesville to train here for cycling or cross
country or whatever it is. Being a former Gator
athlete I mean everyone knows just how ridiculous
the University of Florida is for every single sport,
I think there was some stat in the spring where every team in the spring was ranked in the top ten. Which I think kind of cycles forward to those types of people
wanting to stay here. They’re used to living in a healthy community that understands
kind of what we’re trying to do and they see these companies starting up that kind
of serve their purpose or serve them and it’s
like why would they move when they’ve got this amazing community around them that’s growing. There’s just a lot of
opportunity for the wellness professionals to collaborate and I know you guys both do so at some point further along the podcast I’d like to see who they work with and
kind of the best places to work out or set up shop or you know your favorite pockets of where you find, yeah where you guys find people. ‘Cause I mean I see Danielle all, we’ve never met each
other but I’ve seen her, you know she’ll just run right past me or I’m at the stadium and she’s
yelling at a bunch of people with pure focus and I’m always like I’ll reach out to her in time. But yeah it’s very cool and I know it’s a little saturated and I agree, I mean I get Best of
Gainesville gets tagged in just ridiculous amount of
health and wellness things but it’s cool, it’s people
grinding, loving it, trying to better themselves and I think that’s what we’re trying to do on our side so it’s cool. – Well I mean hit it now,
like let’s talk about it. That and why in Gainesville specifically. I mean you could do this anywhere so I think when he was
talking about pockets like Gainesville, where is that, I don’t know the meeting of,
you know what I’m trying to say – I think people, Gainesville
Health and Fitness obviously is one of the– – [Danielle] It’s the big name, yeah. – It’s the big name and I think it’s done an unbelievable amount
for people understanding how to work out and just
getting them in the gym but it’s so beyond that now. So what are your favorite
places to work out with just yourself if you’re doing an individual workout or one on one and then where do you like to take groups of all different sizes? – I’m really excited to talk about this. So really quick to your point, why Gainesville? And this is something again that I feel like we’ve
talked about a lot of things but when I graduate from UF there was a lot of pressure, right? Because students come here, conditioned to know that this is a
stepping stone place. I come to UF, I get my four year degree I’m out of here, and I
face a lot of pressure when I decided to stay
because all my friends left and very quickly the more
I put myself out there the more I met amazing
people in Gainesville the more grounded I felt that there is this amazing community
and these incredible opportunities to grow and scale here. And why pick up and go to an Austin, Texas or to Boston when the magic is happening right here so I just have to say that, we can talk about that more but– – Real quick.
– Yeah. – When did you make those connections? When did you realize that this was a place you could do that, was
it your freshman year or was it, I mean that’s
what I want to know. – Yeah so it was after I graduated, so I remember– – And that, that right
there just proves my point. When we get in this– – I could combat that a little bit. – Yeah we get in this so much I talk about this a lot, I want to do everything that I can to get these students more involved with businesses and see this community outside of UF while they’re in school. Why are we waiting until they’ve graduated for that to come to fruition. – Well I mean the university
is a monster in itself and we can do an entire
podcast just on this and I’ve talked a lot about this with Quon and how we can start to lead the example and pull these
students into this community. – Tell who Quang is real quick for- – Quang well he does a lot of things, I’m a part of his Collective and Co. team so he, man, he started
Launchpad and Starter Space or has a hand in all of
these different things and right now I work out
of the Firestone building and they, basically their whole mission is to keep the talent
here and make Gainesville this destination to
showcase how incredible this place is, the people that
you can sit in a room with, the talent that is here
that is just untapped. How we can amplify it,
and if he hears this he’s gonna laugh because that word ever since we talked about I’ve used in my vocabulary every day,
amplifying what Gainesville has to offer and I’m so so so lucky that I have a space
there because now I’m in on what they’re doing and so I’m helping him with his accelerator business program, I run the wellness program for them and that’s really their mission. So for me it was when I was a senior because, it’s interesting
because I was a business major and the business school does something called Human Library every semester where students can “rent out books” which are humans that
have different stories and I talk as an entrepeneur and the title of my book is The Business Bubble, Join It or Pop It and the
reason that is my title is because the University of Florida is great and it gave me so so much very holistic well rounded experience but they put me on this conveyor belt of get on freshman
year, get a nice resume, get some leadership positions,
get a good internship okay ship off and be done and it wasn’t until I stepped off the conveyor belt and slowed down was I able to see the bigger picture that the
end of the conveyor belt was not where I wanted to
go but I didn’t know that because they just placed
me on the conveyor belt when I came into UF so we do have an issue that we need to solve, we collectively as business owners and
just Gainesville fanatics, people who are really
passionate about this community we need to come together and get into the younger classes and
get them to understand how amazing this place is. So for me it was when I was a senior, when I graduated I was on the phone with my mom and it was just this whole conversation of oh I’m only gonna be here for a couple months and all
my friends left and I’m lonely that I was like, that’s a choice. I have a choice to be lonely, I have a choice to not get myself involved in Gainesville
and I can’t remember the first networking group of sorts that I stepped out and went to but I did and it changed my life. And I started to meet all
these incredible people and you start to see familiar faces in different organizations and groups and that changed the game,
finding people who lived here who weren’t students, it’s not you know, I still have
friends that are students but it’s a different mentality and yeah, it just blew up from there and I started to get myself more involved and show up for myself and for my business at other events and built
some really deep relationships and I’m not a surface level person. – As you’re talking I
can see Sammie over there getting amplified herself. – Oh this connection between
me and her is like real real. – I love you. – It’s amazing. – So you were gonna comment on
the same subject, so I mean– – So I have a little bit
of a different experience just because I’m fortunate enough to have woke up during school, so it really and I think the power of that starts like what you said with leaders, with business owners with people who are in and they’re fanatics about Gainesville but also largely with the professors. I mean I finished up my advertising degree and then I added on a
health and spirituality certificate through UF
and both of my professors my fall semester I just graduated in May, were granted they were teaching like healing with the arts and
plants, health, and spirituality so they were vibrating
at a bit of a different frequency but they’re
the ones that pushed me, they’re both two of my best friends so and I think one of them dragged me, we ended up becoming good friends to Aurora Healing Center
to an ecstatic dance, tricked me and I’m like
what is going on here and then ten minutes in I’m like just absolutely having
a ball and then also another part of that is, just as much as people are
advocating to get involved on campus, as many
people as are doing that, get involved off campus,
go to one farmer’s market and you’re gonna feel it, I’m grateful in the sense that with aha every weekend we’re
at that farmer’s market because it changed my perception of what is this town, it’s
farmers and families and innovative minds and then being we’re out of the innovation hub now and that connection of people and then just inserting
yourself into situations that you might be uncomfortable in because you’ve been used to
being on this conveyor belt of going to a club and
then going to Midtown club being like a student organization and then maybe going back
to your fraternity house or wherever and it’s this little thing and it’s uncomfortable to insert yourself into a community that you
feel like you don’t belong in. I felt like that for the longest time, I’ve eaten organic and
all these things for years and I remember walking into Karma Creamer, walking into Daily Grains and feeling like I don’t belong here and
now they’re like my homies. I really just, it’s a mindset, I thought that I was different, I thought that I was not connected or supposed to be in these places or going to these workshops
or wherever I frequent now but it’s switching that
mindset and just doing it like it’s all in your head, these could be your best of friends. – Yeah, and keep exploring until something does click or resonate. I mean I just feel when I
look back at my college career which was a very long
time ago, 2000 to 2004 I know
– Geez. – I was very involved, I mean my parents they were the ones that always pushed me to be involved and so you know I was in the marching
band and I was in a band. – [Danielle] No way. – Yeah I played trumpet and then I played trumpet in like a local band that we went around to
different bars and did that. And then I worked at Rock 104 which is now Gator 103.7 and I was doing
promo stuff for them, emceeing events at Eddie
C’s which was a bar way back in the day. Everybody who’s listening who’s been here for a long time is gonna know exactly what I’m talking about and then I worked at a recording studio. I mean I thought music was the direction I was gonna go in so I kept exploring different music things, right and then this just hit me but I think because of those experiences and actually getting outside of the
university square– – [Danielle] A bubble, it’s a bubble. – Yeah I mean getting
outside of it exposed me to so many great things
here in Gainesville that I’m constantly encouraging students to do the same, get out and get involved. – And I have to say, one thing whenever I talk to, I was just on
the phone with somebody who just graduated and he was expressing concerns of just being very overwhelmed I’m like, well welcome,
you’re a freshman in life now so hey you’re back at, I hate to say the bottom of the food chain,
I don’t mean it like that but you just have to start over again, you get really comfortable
four years in college you’ve built yourself up, you’re involved, you’re probably a leader
in a couple organizations and then boom you graduate, it’s not that those things
don’t matter anymore, they just don’t exist in your world and you have to start over. And it’s very uncomfortable to be like I graduated the four year
degree and now I have to go meet people again,
I have to go build– – And maybe you don’t want
to do anything with it. That’s a real thing
that people just kind of don’t address and it happens. – Do you know 80 percent
don’t end up doing what they majored in? There’s a book, it’s called
“You Majored in What” and the whole foundation of the book is most people, I was a business major okay I own a business
but I’m doing fitness, I took anatomy in high school but it’s just all about like you said getting yourself out
there and no experience is a bad experience,
no experience you have is a wrong experience
because everything you do if you look at it that way is gonna teach you things about yourself, what you like to do what
you don’t like to do. Now this just turned into a personal development podcast. (laughs) But it’s true and if you’re listening and if you’re stuck, you’re overwhelmed, reach out to one of us,
reach out to somebody so we can pull you with
us to some of these events ’cause you’re right, I was speaking very much from a business perspective, a lot of those professors
in the business school because we’re one of the largest colleges is like Google, Wells
Fargo I mean my best friend works for Google, my best friend works for Fisher Investments
and it’s great for them but what about the entrepreneurs. – They’re teaching you how
to work for somebody else. – They’re teaching you how
to work for somebody else and it’s interesting so my degree, I was the BABA degree,
so bachelors of arts in business administration
and in the business school you can specialize, there’s
over 70 specializations and I was general business
with a specialization in communications and
leadership development. I can’t tell you, I think
there were like five of us in my graduating class
that was a BABA degree with a specialization–
– BABA. – BABA I hate that they call
it that but you know whatever but that had a
specialization and they don’t celebrate this multi discipline, it’s like when they tell you that athletes should train in different sports right? Because they pick up different skills and experiences and tricks and tools by practicing different sports. It’s the same thing, the
more you get yourself involved you pick and pull things that you like from all
these different things and it comes together
to make you who you are and then you run with that
and you continue exploring. It doesn’t stop, it’s not
like alright I got my shit figured out I’m done
learning about myself, no we go, I tried her
soups now hanging out with Sammie got me more
interested in holistic living and nutrition. – I don’t even remember
the question what was it? – I don’t know.
– I don’t even remember. – Whatever.
– I don’t know. (laughs) – I want to know why you
love Gainesville so much I know we’ve talked about this but really quick just a few things that you’re like yeah I love to go here, I just love this about this you know. Can I do that, can I ask questions? – Yeah yeah no of course. – No, get off the podcast. – I think I wish knew you guys
a little bit more because– – You know for me– – But I’m curious. – It’s really simple, I
grew up as an Air Force kid. I’m 36 years old, so the first 18 years of my life were bouncing around everywhere I mean I lived in England,
I lived in Alabama, I lived in Virginia, I lived in Texas, I lived in New Mexico, I
mean I lived everywhere, I went to three high
schools in four years. So I mean there’s… When I look back I
probably made my parents lives miserable a little
bit at certain times ’cause I was like that’s
difficult you know going to three high schools in four years is extremely difficult especially during– – [Sammie] Developing a self of identity too. – Yeah I mean your teenage years like you know it sucks, but
then I look back now and I’m like that’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me, you know because I’m super social, I can remember people’s names, I meet people. You know when you’re making friends as often as I had to, you had to remember, you meet somebody you
gotta remember the name you know if you want to
be friends with them. So I think and for whatever reason I don’t even really know the reason, my cousin went to the
University of Florida and I think he and the family just kind of brainwashed me that that’s where I was gonna go. When all my friends were freaking out about colleges and
where they were gonna go and applications and stuff I applied to one school and that was
the University of Florida. – [Danielle] That’s the
way it should be done. – And I got accepted. So that was it for me I was
like alright I’m going to UF. And now the second eighteen years has taken place right here, 2000 to 2018 right here in Gainesville, Florida. And so this is very much just become home but I know it’s because I made it home. I went to UF and I
could’ve, I mean I was doing what everybody else was doing I was going to career
showcase, shaking hands like wearing a suit and
tie like resume in hand and I’m just rolling my eyes thinking. – [Sammie] This is not for me. – And that’s not, I want to be fair it wasn’t right for me, it’s
right for a lot of people. – And find major fulfillment out of it and the whole experience of it, I’m sure. – But I remember one of
the recruiters asking me so why are you interested in
our company blah blah blah and the truth was, I’m not. – [Danielle] Yeah, just need a job. – I mean as soon as he said
it I was like, I’m not. Seriously, though like– – Everyone has that moment, yeah. – And I’m glad you brought that up that it depends on who you are and I did a workshop on
becoming crystal f’ing clear literally that was the
name of the workshop on just who you are and what you want because career showcase, my
friend who works at Google, my friend who works at Fisher Investment, it speaks to them, it works for them, that’s who they are but for people like us it’s not who we are and
it was feeling comfortable recognizing that and exploring that when we didn’t feel
like we had the support at least I didn’t feel
like I had the support to go and venture off. When I went to career showcase I interned for Amazon when I was a junior and the only reason I walked
up to the Amazon booth was ’cause they were the only
people in t shirt and jeans. At the entire career
showcase, I’m like hell yeah that’s where I want to work. Like this is my professional, guys this is my business
professional every day. And that’s because we figured out what works for us and
those that are listening you have to do that and goes back to what we talked about earlier, it doesn’t matter what anybody else says. If you’re looking at
yourself in the mirror at home at night and you’re fulfilled and you’re comfortable and you’re happy with what you’re doing and who you are, then you’re doing it
right because there are mad people that don’t feel
that when they go home. And that’s it. So I’m glad you brought that up, career showcase and
working for somebody else or working for a big
company like that works for a lot of people but
if it doesn’t work for you then it doesn’t work for
you and you need to own it. – And I just feel like
as soon as that was over and I made that realization that’s when the light
bulb started going off. – [Sammie] Those aha moments. – Very much so.
– See what you did there. – And it just started clicking and my eyes were opened up to a whole new world. I’m like, you know what
I’ve been sitting at this bus stop for four years
and this bus drove by me again FULL, it was just like, light bulb. – Do you believe in the trusting
the universe type of thing. It’s a little out there
it’s a little spiritual. – Oh let’s talk about the universe. – I know Sammie loves to talk about this and I was a big non believer in this, I’m like that’s bullshit,
you decide your own fate but I think there’s a fine balance between becoming in sync with really who you are and what your values are
and what you’re meant to do and the universe responds to that. It puts things in front of you it’s like holy shit,
where did this come from. – And it’s also gonna put a lot of tests. It’s gonna throw tests at you, give you huge offers that
maybe you have to put down because it’s just saying
wait are you ready to take a step towards your truer self. To your more authentic self at every step for me that I’ve taken
towards my authentic self, it’s just been more and more blessings. – Whether you want to call a universe, for me it’s very spiritual,
very religious, it’s God. I totally believe in, I
mean if you go and watch our vlog and the very first, I’m walking through this building with a camera and over here somewhere where this building is just a disaster I say I was like I’m
gonna own this building. The owner doesn’t know it yet and we hadn’t even started
to remodel anything but on film I say I’m
going to own this building. And sure enough, a year, a
little after a year later I mean people in
Gainesville were blown away at the fact that I was
able to pull that off and they were surprised
when they found out that the new owner was Collin Austin. – You put it out there.
– So what I would really like to make clear though with that is that I feel like old me or fighter me against these pulls of
the universe would be like okay yeah, Collin so what
you had the money to buy it so you made it happen or
what, but it’s you felt it before it happened, that’s the difference. You put it on your story the other day, it’s gratitude, we’re big
believers in gratitude. My bar is gonna be room for gratitude to cultivate that daily
practice and what we said is you can’t just say
what you’re grateful for like whatever it’s like
saying a I love you and not meaning it, you have to feel it and you felt it when you came in here. So every single thing
that reacted around you pushed you in that direction. – Well not only that but when, I mean and this could literally be a whole ‘nother podcast– – [Danielle] Are you taking topic notes? – When you look back, when I look back at our old location and how great I thought we had it over there and how much I talked
to that business owner over there about buying that building and I thought that, just to see that God had something better
right around the corner was like wow, I mean wow. – Sometimes you gotta
hop over some hurdles and like Sammie said, you
have to get through the tests that the universe is
putting in front of you and it always leads you, again as long as those intentions are pure you know what’s driving
you from your heart then you’re gonna go exactly
where you need to go. – What I would like to do is maybe mention a few tools that we use because I think we’ve been talking a lot about that like those tests are following or diving into the town
or there are things I think like Best of
Gainesville is a tool, there’s this podcast is
gonna be a tool for people but there’s also other
modalities that you can use to help get more connected or get closer to your truer self, whether it’s fitness whether I saw, I posted
on my story this morning reading tarot cards, gaining perspective about things is so important. I think Gainesville does
a beautiful job of that with the healing institutes that are here and then also the mindfulness groups and conscious collaboration spaces and even the innovation
hub and all of these resources and tools to
really make you question hey am I on the right path instead of largely what happens with the university just happened is that it’s a conveyor belt because it’s not easy or
really encouraged to dabble. If you’re gonna dabble
in school you’re gonna be there for eight years and you’re gonna have to declare bankruptcy. – A risk I’m willing to take.
– So I think Gainesville’s great for that. – And that just popped
up, we never answered your question which is
like where are the pockets that we do do these things so can we? – [Collin] Yeah yeah, please. – I feel like it’s really
important, that’s a great– – [Ty] Oh, absolutely. – So I’m just gonna start
with fitness, wellness the things that I’ve explored. So for me where I work out I
have to shout this gym out, it’s not even a gym to
me it’s a community. It’s the Ark School of
Fitness, it’s downtown on the corner of Waldo and University it’s right by my house
and they actually have an entire outdoor space with tires and pull up bars and Atlas Stones, things like that that’s open to the public for free and then if
you’re interested in doing the strength and
conditioning kind of crossfit lifts you can have a
membership with the gym. It is the, as far as I know,
the only non profit gym in Gainesville, the
owner Michael is awesome, the community there is a fantastic and I actually started a boot camp there because literally, if
you go on my Instagram everyone of my videos
pretty much is at the Ark and everyone always asks
me like where is this space where is this space and
it’s so much more to me than just a workout space it’s the energy. He started a community
garden and he educates the people on the east side of Gainesville that, they don’t always get a lot of love, because they’re on the
east side of Gainesville educating them on fueling
themselves properly and working out properly and it’s just an amazing place so
that’s one of the spaces that I go to and you had
mentioned Gainesville Health and Fitness which is a great space but the whole reason the
foundation of my business is the world is your gym is because the gym does not work for everybody. I have plenty of clients that are like I do not want to step foot in a gym for whatever their reason
is and that’s fine. And I have plenty of clients that do and it again goes all back to becoming really crystal clear on who
you are and what you want so the Ark is definitely one of them. Another space I frequent very often that I just think is an
amazing community as well is Flow Space, that’s the yoga studio and I have met some
really incredible people, I go to their community Acro yoga classes a lot of the time on
Thursday nights, 8:30 to 10 shout out Maggie, you’re awesome, and I’ve met so many people, I actually led my very first my own Acro event with a friend, Eli, on Friday
and I met him at Flow Space. And such a great community to come and laugh and learn so
that’s another great one. And then I have to say
Temple of the Universe which I think is something
that a lot of people don’t know about, it’s far,
it’s a little far from here– – And a little far out
for a lot of people. – It’s a little far out
it is both in distance and in mindset I guess, it
is it’s an interesting space but again if you’re trying to explore who you are and what you
love and what you want to do then I think spaces like
this it’s a great thing to put yourself in but
I guess you asked me more about like workout spaces. I go on a lot of trails,
I’ll take some of my kettle bells and just go out on a trail ’cause Gainesville is so beautiful, there’s so many places to explore. The Thomas Center gardens is another one of my favorite places to just workout. Man if you have not walked
through those gardens you have not lived, it’s
just another beautiful space and I’ll think of more as
Sammie starts to talk but. – The one I want to mention is the Swamp. – [Danielle] Oh yeah, duh. – I think that’s one of the biggest things people applying UF22 UF23, when they see those videos,
I know when I go live from The Swamp at any
time or I post anything that has to do with Ben
Hill Griffin Stadium people freak out. And if you haven’t been
there during the day or particularly like
around sunset to work out, do stadiums even just to
walk around it’s amazing it just looks like ants are
crawling all over the place and I know you do
something there, correct? That’s where Gator Grind originated. – That’s where Gator Grind, and it’s still there. So come grind with us
and that just sparked my, Depot Park so I teach a
bootcamp at Depot Park and even if I didn’t teach a bootcamp I am such an ambassador of that park because I truly believe
it’s absolutely incredible. One of my favorite parts is that it brings so many different people,
so many walks of life in Gainesville togethers
so they have something for the kids and families,
they have something for the young professionals. – They have a bar. – They have a bar it’s great. And it’s just an incredible, if you really want to see
Gainesville go to Depot Park. – Yeah and there’s trail
access right off of Depot, it’s a really cool place. – Yeah. – So I really apologize but we’re gonna have to wrap this sucker up. But I will say this
because this is something that’s starting to happen frequently. I mean I feel like these podcasts could go on for two or three hours I mean the conversation is just so great and I have like four
five more questions here that I want to get answered and I’m gonna make sure that they get answered so one of the things that we created was a Facebook page so WHOA GNV Podcast, go look it up on Facebook. We will put these videos of
the podcasts up on Facebook but I’m also going to
spend an extra few minutes with you guys if you can
and get like these last few questions answered
and we’ll make that just a separate quick Q and A video,
not podcast form or anything we’ll just stand up over there somewhere and just bust it out real quick but we’ll throw that up
so if you want to get a little behind the scenes
then go to our Facebook page and check that video out and
it’ll be up there as well. Ty I’ll let you wrap this up, man. – Yeah I guess just to give us a little, where we can find you you know online your Instagram, that sort of thing and we’ll wrap this thing up. – Okay, in the Q and A though real quick I want you to share the places that you go to ’cause I am even interested to hear more about where
you spend your time. – Well why don’t you wrap up with that since we were on that topic, sorry I didn’t mean to
like transition quickly. – No I just no she’s got some good– – No yeah I think that’s a good place to finalize and especially wrapping up since it’s about
Gainesville and everything. Or surrounding area. – I would say just thinking local like think of businesses you also support and source local so places like the Talk, Daily Greens, Satchels, Volta,
Karma, Public and General, those places not only do
they have great aesthetics and a whole vibe going on but they also are supporting the community. So think about that
before you go to Starbucks you’re also going to be
around really cool people. Yeah I would say those are
just some that came to my mind. – She says that as I
drink my Starbucks, sorry. – Yeah, I’m like I was
pouring the creamer in and she looked at me like, dairy, dairy, dairy, girl, dairy, but you
want to know what’s beautiful is hanging out and
meeting people like Sammie in Gainesville is what inspires
you to change your life and to make different decisions because you become educated on things that maybe you weren’t educated on before like I didn’t know about
mushrooms or Aurora or things like that until– – Aurora’s great. – Yeah, Aurora that’s a great spot. It’s like a little house down town. – He’s gonna yell at us if we have to end. (laughs) – Okay sorry sorry sorry, but anyway. – Where you can find stuff real quick, aha Pure Foods, Lucky’s,
launching online sales, follow, sign up for the newsletter, so much education, content, me,,
blog, creative outlet, let’s connect and have a
great time here, thank you. – For me everything is @GertnerGrind. Everything, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat which all I post is my cat so don’t follow me on Snapchat, Youtube,
and if you want to grind, you want to work out or if you just want to
talk and get connected. Please, please use us as a resource, I feel like every time somebody says that, a lot of people don’t follow
up on that, we are saying– – That would be a great word of advice. – Hit us up.
– We want to be friends with people. – And in this Q and A I’m gonna dive a little bit into your social media because you have a huge presence there and it’s gonna be a very very valuable to a lot of people for sure so definitely check out that extra the
after the pod session. Maybe that’s what I’m gonna
call it, after the pod. – [Sammie] I like it. – So Gainesville world, everybody thank you so much for
listening to the WHOA podcast, we look forward
to seeing you next time, everybody say bye. – Bye thanks guys.
– Bye. – See ya. (casual music)


  1. So grateful for the opportunity- had an absolute blast! Thank you WHOA GNV team for shining light on this wonderful city!

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