Episode 19 - Matt Kreutz - Life on Firebrand

Matt Kreutz (00:00):
I remember, like my brother snuck out one time and she like found out the next day. And she's like, why, why the are you sneaking out through the back door? Just like go out through the front door and be back and be, make it down time to school. Like, don't be an idiot. She was ended up like embezzling money to try to pay your mortgage and then did it again and got arrested and put in jail

Young Han (00:21):
Greetings. Hey guys, I'm young, a full-time dad and a full-time professional with the goal to become the best parent possible. The girl dad show is my journey interviewing fellow working parents aspiring to be both good at work and parenting. I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives from my guest to join me. As I research parenthood one interview at a time today's episode of the grilled ad show is sponsored by something I'm very passionate about coffee. Bluejean coffee brings sophisticated coffee brewing straight into your home. Delivering an elevated coffee experience all without how having to make a trip to a cafe. They source their specialty beans directly from farmers all around the world and roast them in small batches. Just for your order. Are you ready to upgrade your home brewing experience? Bluejean coffee is offering a special deal just for my listeners. Really good. Visit BlueJean coffee.com for slash T G D S to get 10% off your first order of blue Jean coffee. Oh yeah, that's a good coffee. Awesome. Love it, Matt. Welcome to my show. Thank you for joining me today. Yeah. Happy to be here, dude. That's really, really cool that you're building such a cool company. Let's jump right into it. So what do you do for a living?

Matt Kreutz (01:47):
So I own bakery called firebrand Artisanal Breads here in Oakland and we just opened a facility in Alameda.

Young Han (01:54):
That's amazing. What are some of the big things that you're working on right now?

Matt Kreutz (01:58):
You know, I mean, we, so we focus on hiring people who are formerly homeless from incarcerated or otherwise barriers to employment. And so a lot of what we're focusing on here is just tightening up a lot of our, our systems here at the bakery, making sure people are successful. You know, we're, we're opening a worker resource center here the next couple weeks and that worker resource center is gonna be staffed by a nonprofit called five keys. And they're basically help us create a finer kind of net for employees. So if there's any issues they're having with, you know, substance abuse or, you know, education or housing or anything like that, they can kind of go to this group into the worker resource center without firebrand knowing as a separate entrance and get any help that they need without their manager or boss, knowing if they don't want their manager or boss knowing that. So we're kind of focused on doing that and getting that set up, making sure that's successful and yeah, that's kind of a bigger priority and, you know, still, always the, you know, the always thing of sales and running a business and all those things.

Young Han (03:03):
Yeah. This isn't a normal bakery, right? I mean, you recently close a pretty large round of funding didn't you?

Matt Kreutz (03:09):
We did. So we closed a large round of funding to move into, to this space here and, and also used it as a mechanism. So every time we've done any kind of expansion and type thing, we've used it as an opportunity to really make a big shift in the company. You know, the first one, obviously starting the company, the second one we moved into to Broadway in Oakland and then opened a cafe kitchen, started a pastry line. And then this one, we really used it to actually change the whole corporate structure of the company. So not only move into here, but we also moved to what's called like a trust stewardship model. So 51, I was a hundred percent owner of the company. So 51% of my shares, 51% of the company got put into a trust. And that trust is responsible for upholding a set of 11 principles that they have a legal obligation to uphold. And then that trust can never be sold, can never be put on the market. So the company is officially off the market. It's not a commodity anymore. And like all the companies any profits have to be used for the purposes to benefit employees. So there's 11 purposes that we set up are enshrined in our legal charter and yeah, something we're, we're also kind of working through kind of that process and that system. But so yeah,

Young Han (04:29):
That's the wildest thing I've ever heard. Wait, so it feels like, yeah, it feels completely different. So what made you do that? Like what made you go from you know, just running a very successful business to wanting to incorporate so many social social aspects to it?

Matt Kreutz (04:45):
Well, one, I never feel like I'm successful, but, I'm always feeling like at the brink of disaster, but the I think, you know, we, I want fire brand, you know, I mean, when you asked what I did. Right. You know? Yeah. I think for, since I was 14 to, so, you know, three or four years ago, I would've said baker, I'm a baker. Yeah. Cause that's all I've done in my whole entire life. I've never had a job outside of a bakery.

Young Han (05:11):
You're such an anomaly, especially coming from the fact that you're in the bay area. I mean, that is literally antithesis to how the Silicon valley ecosystem of, of businesses even work. Right. Like the whole concept is, is completely backwards. And it's really fascinating to hear you talk about this. So obviously like, but it's not that obvious. Right. I think that you are actually breaking the mold and being very, very anomalous in this situation. Well, taking

Matt Kreutz (05:34):
You look at, I, I look at companies that I admire, you know, like there's like that book little giants or small giants, you know, by Bob Bur that's a great, you know, I don't like, you know, we struggled with this for years, you know, it was like, Hey, we know we've got this thing and we know we could grow it, but we don't wanna just like grow it just to grow it. Cause the idea of making more is like, not that interesting, like the idea of just being like seeing our numbers grow, like I don't like get it that doesn't like super excite me. And so it was like, well then what does, and how do we do this in a way that's like socially responsible? It's our mission. Doesn't dilute us. Like we are able to live our values. Like how do we do that? And I think when I found that book, it was, oh, there's all these companies who are really big companies who are doing a really good job of that, you know, like Zingerman's and Greyson and, and all these businesses that are just killing it and are doing it their way. You know, they have their, you know, may not be the fastest, but Hey, in 30 years you look around and you're like, oh, we, we gotta, this is here. Yeah.

Young Han (06:39):
Most people don't, it's a big business too. Yeah.

Matt Kreutz (06:41):
And those businesses are huge and, and they're doing a really good job and I think that's right. That's, that's a hard thing to do, but I think you have to look 10, 15, 20 years out and then start planning for that now. So it sounds insane right now, but then doing the, every, the things little by little, every day, every year, you know, just to try to get to that point you know, you'll find yourself in 20 years being like, oh, we did this, you know, so totally.

Young Han (07:07):
I almost think that you're gonna end up getting it there because of the focus and the desire to get all of these components in there. I mean, like hearing you talk about it, it seems much more clear, right? Like it does make a lot more sense, you know? And I think that's incredible, man. I, I, now I know why you guys are growing so fast and, and I got to tour your facility the other month and it was amazing to see the scale at which you guys are scaling up this bakery. And it's so fun to think that all of this is coming from bread. Right. Like,

Matt Kreutz (07:32):
Yeah, dude, you know, I mean, I think, you know, unfortunately Greyson took like the best tagline in the world. Like they like their whole thing. Yeah. What is they say was like, we don't, we don't bake, we don't hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people, you know? And I think like, it's like, God, you, that was like such a great saying, you know, it's like, oh, can I steal that? But it's just so true. You know, I think we we've always approached things backwards in that way. You know? It's like, how do we, how do we get more, more brain we're doing that now? It's like, how do we ramp up sales really quickly? So we could hire 10 more people or we could, you know, cause we've got a great pipeline right now. And so I think we we've always approached it kind of back asswards in that sense, you know, it's it's and always been like, we just hired you, you, you know, Joshua, I mean, we just hired Joshua what like six months ago and he's our first salesperson in 13, you know, it's never had, so it's just always been like very like word of mouth chef to chef kind of like thing, you know?

Young Han (08:28):
And I mean, I've learned so much about your guys' company and your ethos through Joshua, just because like he, he can't speak more highly of it and he's so jazzed about the mission and it's like so interesting to watch him get so inspired. Yeah. And you're literally drawing in team members that are just getting passionate about your passion and it's really fascinating and it's really cool to hear from your voice and kind of hear it firsthand. Do you mind if I switch gears and a ask you about your ask you about your kids? Yeah, sure. Just cause I kind of wanna know the parallel between these two things, cuz this is a lot of work. Oh, definitely wanna know how you're doing this with a

Matt Kreutz (08:59):
Kid. Who's your kid. Yeah. So my daughter Lil Jean she's almost be three in November. She is. Yeah man. She's. She's she's a little fireball. She's great. And cause like, you know, they, my family really kind of like turned this franchise around of, of me here. <Laugh> like, you know, I mean, I, my first day off was my first date with my wife five, five years ago. My first day, my first two days off in a row were our honeymoon. My, my first weekend ever often I think at that point it had been 11, 11 and a half years was after our daughter was born. And so like, you know, we've had to, it's like, okay, we have a daughter, we have a daughter on the way, like get your together. Like design the baker and you so that you can do all these things you want to do. And, and that's a bit like, I mean, my schedule's been like nailing gel to a wall for the most part. I mean it's changed bazillion times as she's gotten older and slept and not slept and napped and not napped. I mean, my schedule is like very all. There's a, a kind of a core to it, like a thread of it, but it's moved all over the place and fire, brand's just kind of pivot around it. 

Young Han (10:22):
You know, that's I was gonna ask you, I was gonna say, it sounds like what you're doing is actually adapting your work schedule to your kids' progression child development.

Matt Kreutz (10:29):
You know, I've had that luxury, you know, like when, when I stepped away from baking and I had to kind of be a CEO, it was kind of like as part of that to discovery of like, cause I've never worked in an office in my life. And so it was just like, I don't know what the hell I've never worked at a company as a CEO where like, I literally didn't know what it was. And so when designing that, it was kind of almost better because I had, I was able to kind of mold it to like where fire brand was at and where I was needed, you know, and, and how I was needed. The benefit of being a 24 hour baker is that I could kind of plug in at any hour and still be useful and still kind of be a CEO and have operational, you know, knowledge and consistency and, and all that. So, you know, I think maybe if we had a little more traditional nine to five schedule to be more difficult, but you know, I can get up at three in the morning and still get a ton done. I could go to bed at midnight and get a ton done, you know? So it doesn't, that doesn't really matter. Yeah.

Young Han (11:30):
Yeah. I, I do have to, I, I have, I, I just wanna point this out really quick. Cause I think it's just funny. My daughter is four years old and her name is Lily June. isn't that wild. Yeah. Isn't that wild really?

Matt Kreutz (11:43):
Yeah. Cause when you said that Lil was my, like my, my wife really wanted Lily. And I was down, you know, I'm, I'm all good with that. And Jean yeah. Is my mom's middle name. So I was like, well I get the middle name. Nice. You get the first name. that's how that word, if we would've a boy, we would've been, so she got Lily. Yeah. We were like we were not even close and still not even close down the same page. I mean, I think we're coming to a, a point, but you know yeah. It's if it was a boy living a problem, we were, we were pretty, pretty quick with a girl, but she's been great man. And those, our daughters like really like, I mean, she's really like her temperament is really loose, really like go with the flow, like really really even temperament, like, you know,

Young Han (12:28):
You think, you think that's because of the way that you are raising her with kind of fluidly with your business, where do you think that comes from?

Matt Kreutz (12:33):
It's not anything to do with, oh, that's your to do with me? I mean like my wife has, you know, we've had the luxury of, of my wife has been able to stay at home with our daughter. Right. So, and my, my wife has like wanted a daughter, like since she was a, a kid, you know, she's always wanted a daughter. And so, you know, she's always wanted to be a mom. She's wanted to be a mom since she was a kid. And so when Lily, Jean came around, she just kind of like slid into this amazing spot, you know, and just, yeah. And just took over in an amazing way, you know, and she's a dope mom. She's got an even temperament, you know, and she's really like really talkative, communicative, very like emotionally mature. And so our daughter has always kind of grown up around somebody. Who's got a really high level of emotional maturity and is very communicative. You know, like her family is so communicative my mom and my wife's family. And so they're very, like, it's just, she's kind of had thatt to the kind of in her life. And my wife's parents were both entrepreneurs, especially her, you know, her mom and so, oh wow. Her mom was a studio entrepreneur. So she was kind of always all over the place and, and doing her thing and pushing. So she kind of had that like mindset. She knew what she, you know, and she came in, you know, she met me 10 years into fire, so it's not like she met me and then like I started a business and it was like, uhoh, you know, that's that's that was, she knew they knew what they were. She, yeah. She knew what she was getting into with me. And, and so she's, and that's the way, like my wife LE's has been like that just kinda like slid into my life. And like, it was easy. It was just like very, like, she integrated seamlessly, like not even a moment of problem with that, you know?

Young Han (14:22):
Yeah. It almost sounds like you're, you're surprised about it. Is it always the case?

Matt Kreutz (14:25):
Even though I was married before and, and it wasn't that way, you know, we were, we were, we were together. Then we started firebrand. It was like a total shit show, you know? And it's hard, you know, it's difficult to be, to go from before to after, you know, I mean, it's like, you have a friend group, you have a schedule, you have a peer group and you start a business and all your friends go away, your peers go away, no one wants to hear about your problems. That's right, and it becomes very isolating, you know? And then it is, you know, when you have two people who are like kind of fine being okay by themselves, you end up like doing a lot of like commiserating and complain. You know, you just kind of like can spiral all down this like rabbit hole of shitiness. And that's very easy to do, you know, when Lila came around, it was like, well, she knew who I was. She knew what I was doing. Like, we wasn't like a mystery and you know, it was just very, like, I kept everything separate. Like she had not, she has nothing, absolutely nothing thing to do with firebrand. Like literally absolutely nothing. So it's just like, everything's separate, it's separate. I go home. I very rarely talk about firebrand for more. I, if I talk about fireman for more than two minutes, it's like, does she ask me to, but I very rarely talk about fire brand. I very rarely bring it home.

Young Han (15:51):
Yeah. It's really cuz there's two things that you just said there that I, I think are really interesting. One. You just talked about like the progression of friendship with, as an entrepreneur. Like I always find that anytime you start a business or you're an entrepreneur, like your friend group is like slightly absent.

Matt Kreutz (16:06):
Like, I, you know, I three it's like your schedule was already, like free fire brand. It's not like I worked a normal schedule, like my last schedule before firebrand, I started at midnight. So it's like, where am I? I didn't like, I was totally straight edge. So it's like, not like I was gonna go out to a bar anyways. And so like, that's right. It kind of just like, yeah, everyone just kind of, kind of whittles away there, you know? And so I don't know. Yeah. It's a different experience for sure.

Young Han (16:43):
It is a different experience. And then I think the second thing is really about like keeping it separate. Like I also keep it separate and I, I don't necessarily know if that was, if that was good or bad, but now that I hear you talk about it and, and kind of coming from the latter side and learning your lessons, maybe I did choose the right way, but I also rarely talk about work with my wife and you know, just kind of keep it completely separate. Right. Cause I think that there's just like a thing about like a propagating negative energy or whatever that may be, but it is also like the idea of even positive energy. I'm not entirely sure if it even makes sense to like have her totally in twin and all the, the good and the bad,

Matt Kreutz (17:16):
Cause she doesn't know what's going on here. Like she doesn't know what's really going on, but she loves you. And so it's like, if you're, if you, I feel like if you don't be careful on the other side of the spectrum, you get a cheerleader for your ego and then notice feed your ego. Oh, I can't believe someone did that. Oh my God, fat per you have to talk to this person, da da, da, da. Cause they're trying to be helpful, which is what everyone tries to do. That's right. But what they end up doing is like feeding your ego because that's what you're telling her is the like you're not telling her like, well actually I up this whole scenario. And like, I I'm the root cause of all of these cultural problems. Like I'm the issue. Like you're not saying that. Right. And so like, wow. I think on the, yeah, on the flip side, you end up creating like a divide, almost like she's part of the team, but she really is not part of the team. And she doesn't know anybody else's side of the story there's is really a no position to help you other than to be supportive, which is helpful. But like it can, it can lead to her just like feeding or your partner, whoever just like feeding your ego in a way that's dangerous or your in or just like, or masking your insecurities. Oh, well I, they said that about you. That is not true. The way you are is da, da, da. And you're like, yeah, but at work it's different. Like, you know, like you could be one person at home, you could be one person at work and like, she doesn't know how you are. And I think that people who can be Dr. DEC and Mr. Hyde perfectly fine and, and do that. And I think I just didn't, I just don't want that. And I also, but I think the big thing for me is I just don't feel like it's fair to put my problems and decisions and life that I chose onto her. Like it's not her problem that like the driver didn't show up today and da, da, da like, like, yeah. I mean, it requires me to F in and maybe I'm not there and she wakes up or whatever. So she deals with it that way. But like, she doesn't wanna hear me come home and be like, oh my God, can you believe today? Da da. It's like, I don't know. It just, I, I didn't, I don't want, I just don't feel like that's her burden to bear.

Young Han (19:28):
No. Talk to me about this though. So then how does that part, like into your kid? So is that, is that also like part of that, like, you don't want

Matt Kreutz (19:34):
That problem and I don't want that on our head. Like I don't wanna come home. Yeah. And be like, oh, daddy's gonna go in a corner. Cuz he's a mess. Like I just like, my daddy needs a minute. You know? It's like, I grew up with like, my dad was like an, my dad was an alcoholic and you know, it's just like, I grew up with that or where it's like, daddy's gotta, daddy's gotta drink and disappear or like daddy's got, and it's like, I just, I want to be as present as possible. You know? I mean, in the, in the age of being constantly glued to your phone, it's like, am I on my phone? Like more than I would like, yeah. I am all at home. I am a hundred percent. Yeah. However, I try to be good and strategic about that and, and hide that from her. It's not like there's nothing worse in the world than my daughter being like, daddy, I want you to play blocks. And I'm like, oh, I'm sorry guys. In a slack message. Can you wait a few minutes? And she doesn't, you know what I mean? Like, like she doesn't give a that's right. She done care.

Young Han (20:34):
 It sounds so Doy. But just hearing it.

Matt Kreutz (20:35):
I'm sorry. I can't be a good father right now because this guy needs to know about this. It's like, dude, figure it out. So you don't have to do that anymore. Cause that sucks. Your daughter has no clue at all. And I don't no, no context. I don't feel like that's fair to put that on her. And so as, as much as possible, I'm not perfect, but I mean as much as possible, I try to not put firebrand on, on her, you know, and impact her. And that sucks cuz that's all, you know, it's a conflict staff wants you to be available. They want, you know, and they don't see you. So you're like, oh is the assumption. I'm just not doing. You know what I mean? But it's like, Hey, can you answer your call right now? I got like, I I'm playing blocks with my daughter. Like, I'm sorry. And for the next 20 minutes or however long her attention's been is right now, like that that's important. And I have to fit this message around whatever I'm doing. And so I try to be just conscious of those things and not, you know, I don't, I I'm horrible on my phone. Like I always tell people, I'm like, if you wanna get ahold of me, text me, email me, or slack me do not call me. If you call me, I am assuming the bakery's on fire. Like that's it only reason you are calling that's right. And so, so I just don't, I don't wanna be on the phone because she imitates that because of her phone, she's like, oh, I'm daddy, you know, I'm who are you calling? I'm calling work or whatever. And you're just like, oh, I'm a terrible human, you know know? And I think it's like, you just, I just don't want that. You know? Cuz she imitates that, you know?

Young Han (22:12):
oh yeah, they pick up everything.

Matt Kreutz (22:13):
I think everything, my wife has been really instrumental in that recently because I think she's, and it warms my heart because she didn't, I didn't ask her to do it. You know, I didn't at all ask her to do it, but she, you know, she's been explaining to my daughter like where does daddy go? Cause she, yeah. She's like, where's going, why does he have to go here on Saturday? You know, that's right. She's like, well daddy has to work. And it's very important that daddy goes to work because daddy has to put food on the table. And if you wanna buy this and you want this and daddy has to work hard just so that we can live in this Playhouse. That's right. And da, you know, she kind of explains it to her like that and you know, she gets it, you know? I mean she understand, she just, so she doesn't trip out about it when I have to go, it's just like, oh I has to go to work. Okay. Yeah. And she feels secure.

Young Han (22:57):
You know, that's a good life. That's good partner.

Matt Kreutz (22:59):
You know? And so it's like, it makes her feel secure. So when I leave, she's not insecure about me going to work. You know, she doesn't like playing to my leg and she's not like, oh my God. She's like, oh, dad has works, but it does.

Young Han (23:12):
That's great, man. I love that. You're just like, you're just like so much more complex than, than meets the eye. I mean, from looking outside in, you just look like a hipster baker. And like, when I talk to you're just like, you're like, you're like a philosopher. You're like a P

Matt Kreutz (23:26):
Too. We, we never like the hipster thing. Like if people put that, put that on us, you know? And, and it makes sense, like whatever, you know, with fire bakery, beard tattoos, like I get it. But we always have been like very like, I mean, we didn't have a website for the first like eight, nine years. Like we did. Like we didn't, I don't know. We, we never wanted to be that way. You know, we always knew that too. Like we were like, we don't never wanna be like artists in the now, like we could give two about like competing with X, Y, and Z bakery. Like I don't have like, yeah. I don't like, I don't care what other bakeries are doing. Like yeah. At all. Like we we're very, like, we always say like, we're very, like, we're two things. The fire brand, like we always say like, we're the bad news bears of bakeries. And then we always say like, we're kind of like the band that doesn't listen to other people's music when they make their record, you know, it's like very us, like we're very insular in that way. And I think it's gets so to track. I'm not on social media. Like I haven't posted any, I don't, I don't look at Instagram stuff. My wife sends me some to look at, but like, I haven't posted anything. I'm like, I dunno, two, two and a half years. I don't plan on it. I bury it on my phone. I've never been on Facebook or Twitter or any other. I just don't care. Like we there's so much to do here. Just impossible to do that kind of. And I think we just, we like to be very like, just focused on us, you know? And I think too, having a men like mentality of like having like some kind of starve, like a, what do you call it just, Hey, if, if, if, if another bakery wins, that's not my loss happy for them. I'm so for them, I think it's fantastic. I want all these, these bakeries to do well. I want them all to do well. And if, if one bakery takes an account from me, I gotta do better. That's what that means. That doesn't mean they suck or do it. It's like, no, like I, they just, I have to do better if someone's taking my shelf space to do better, but like I'm not wanna on them. Like I don't, I love that. I don't wanna expend. I think also too, those first, you know, four or five years, I've been pretty toxic. And I think I don't wanna spend anymore of my life being negative towards people. I don't know. And shadow boxing, that I don't even, you know, it's like, Hey, if, if all these other bakeries are doing well. Awesome, great. You know,

Young Han (25:49):
Dude, Matt, I feel like, I feel like you've like, you've like lived through some times and you're, you're like coming to a lot of revelations through these histories and tribulations. Like, do you mind sharing a little bit about your childhood? How did you grow up?

Matt Kreutz (26:00):
I grew up outside Virginia, outside DC in Northern Virginia in the super suburby, you know, area in kind of in Northern Virginia at the time was transitioning, you know, away from being like part, really part of the south and being really just an extension of DC. And so you, that was really changing and we had a very like kind of upper middle classy suburb, like super nice, you know, area grade schools. Yeah. but then kind of like behind the scenes was kind of a lot of drama with my dad and alcoholism. And then when he was 12, I kicked him out of the house and was like, okay, he'll move like down the street. And it's like, and he's like piece. He moved to like San Francisco. Oh. You know? Wow. And it was just my mom, my brother and I, you know, we had black mold all over the house. She couldn't pay the rent. She couldn't pay the mortgage. I mean, you know, our telephone was getting cut out. Our electricity was getting cut out. You know, we were like was working two jobs, high school. I would work like 80 hour weeks. I had a restaurant job and then I had a bakery job and it was like, it was just like a lot of drama. She ended up like embezzling money to try to pay your mortgage and then did it again and got arrested and put in jail. And you know, it, it was just kind of like a, kind of like a two like gotta do wow. To the, to growing up. And I think, and I was also very like a lonely kid. Like I was a loner kid, like a latchkey suburban kid. And so like I walked to, and from school every day, all day, I didn't have any friends. And so like, you get to think a lot, you know, like you spend a lot of time, like in your own mind when that's the case. And so, you know, I found punk rock when I was 15 and that was like my everything forever. I mean, for, so now do you play music now? I don't now for a very key reason. One, well, because I can't, I need to be able to do music again cause I can play the drum and I could, I was at a band and we toured and like, it was super dope. I could play the drums. I could play the accordion. They were never related to the same musical genre, but awesome. 

Young Han (28:18):
That's great, I was expecting at all!

Matt Kreutz (28:19):
But yes, very cool. I have made a deal with myself that I'm not gonna play music again, until I can't suck the fun out of it. Cause I'm somebody who just like, I can't, I can't just be like, oh, I'm just gonna like learn how to like crochet. It's like, no, I'm making like 20 scarfs. And I'm like, you know, yeah, you're going ham. It's like, not fun. I hate it. It's all filled with like obligations and responsible abilities and like, it's just a mess. And so I told was like, I'm not gonna play music again until I just sit down on the drum kit and just play, just have fun, play some punk rock songs or do whatever. And just like, it's not a thing. It's not a, I love it. I don't need to work on and like work on the fi it's like, no, I just, and having fun. So until I could just learn internally just to have fun with it, I'm not gonna do it. Cause then it becomes like another thing. And I just don't have time for another thing. 

Young Han (29:17):
My gosh, I love talking to you. I'm learning so much about how you perceive life in, in business. I do have to ask more directly though. Does this parlay into how you want to be a parent? Right? Like what does success look like to you as a parent?

Matt Kreutz (29:31):
I think it parlays around like discipline and focus. Like I'm a very disciplined and focused person. Yeah. Tell me about that. You know, it's like you are,

Young Han (29:39):
Yeah. It sounds like you're all in or not.

Matt Kreutz (29:41):
Discipline equals freedom. You know? It's like, if you're, if you do the things every day that you don't want, you know, it's like anyone can be motivated, right. You don't, that's not, that's not discipline. Right? Like, and you just be motivated every day. Don't give the. Yeah. It's brilliant. But it's like motivation. It's like every day doing the things you don't wanna do, like, what is your biggest challenge today? Did you do that thing? Because all the fun about, because if I wanna do all the fun, I'd be baking right now. That's fun. That's awesome. Yeah. My brain and my body love making nothing more than to be awake at three in the morning, slinging breath. I love that to this day. I love like hopping on a truck, delivering bread. Like love it. My body's like let's go. Yeah. But firebrand my life, my wife, my home wife hates all of those things. They just can't, they don't, they don't meet in the middle. And so makes I have to do the stuff that necessarily I'm not good at. I'm not good at like being like, I'm not the rara guy. I'm not super, like I have to work to be external. I'm very introverted. Like I'm not introverted at all. And so like I have to work at it. I have to practice. I have to like, you know, all these things that are not the things that I want to be doing, but the things that need to be done in order for me to have the freedom, to be a good parent, the freedom have my wife not worth. Yeah. The freedom to, to design my schedule, the freedom to be on this podcast and not be like, ah, Like I gotta be run and do whatever. Like, those things require a lot of boring grinding things that I don't want to do in order to be accomplished. And I think like with a parenthood, you know, it's like you with parenthood. It's like, how do we, how do we, and it's like, everything in our life, we're always like, Hey, in 20 years, what do we want Lily to be like, my mom was not. Cause we were latchkey kids. Like I said, my mom was working. My dad was all over the place. My, he was in San Francisco and was never really around. And so, but my mom was very like, it gave us a good foundation. So it's like, Hey, you're gonna up. You're gonna make all these mistakes. But you always are gonna come back to the middle and like, I'm not gonna get in the way. Like I remember like my brother snuck out one time and she like found out the next day. And she's like, why, why the are you sneaking out through the back door? Just like go out through the front door and be back. I think be, make it on time to school. Like, don't be an idiot. You know, it's just kind of like the attitude of like, like, just be honest. And I think, you know, like we, we had very like kind of key things growing up, you know? It's like, no one likes a liar. No one likes a thief. Like I remember my mom saying that like you was little things with like the way you shake hands, the way you walk, the way you carry yourself. If I sh up my feet, my mom will lose your, you know? Cause like, yeah, lose your sh on her feet. You know? It's like, but it's like, you know, and you think about that as a kid, you're like, well the. But then as a adult, you're like, oh, cause it's about carrying yourself appropriately. It's about sticking, getting your chest up, figure your head up high. How do you project? How do you interact with people? You know, how do you shake? Someone's hand you look someone in the eye. Like if I gave my dad a loose handshake or someone gave my dad a loose handshake, it was over. Like he would literally just walk away from you, like straight up, you know, you can't give him a fish, the basket handshake. Wow. And I think like we wanted to be so really, you know, a long-winded way of just being like, we wanna project how we, how we are to her as people ourselves first and foremost. Cause that's what she learns about. Right. Cause if you're like, yeah, there's all these rules. And then you're just doing whatever the you want, then you learn. Right. And so we wanna be as good as people, as we could be on a daily basis all the time to each other, our selves, how we are to her. But then also give her the structure to be a good person, you know, give her some rules and some guidelines. And, and then also like how do we instill values? You know, like how do we, how do we raise a smart, confident, capable person who goes out into the world and doesn't need eat us anymore? Who goes out in the world and is her own person who goes out in the world and then, you know, painfully for us patches from us, you know, you have to create what some people call it's like creating the monster. It's like, you have to be the person who's useful, useful at a funeral. You know, the person who, who could be a rock who's confident, wow. Who could, who could serve others, but be very confident in not being codependent on others who could detach from their parents and go out in the world and be their own person. And that's painful. You always want your kids to be close, but you also need them to, to tell you to kind of off in a way to, to, to go out in the world and, and be their own person. And then, so if we could raise somebody like that, you know, I mean, that's that goal, you know, she's that, she's smart, she's confident. And she's put together, you know, I mean, she's gonna have issues. She's gonna up. She's gonna have weird happen to her. She's gonna go through her teenage year. She's gonna be a mess. Like in the end, she has to come out of that in a good spot. And you know, that's our, that's our goal that really, when she gets to be that she learns and grows and develops. And in the end, is there her own independent person who doesn't need us anymore.

Young Han (34:59):
Sounds awesome, man. Thank you for sharing that answer. That was probably the most well thought out. I've heard we, we talk a lot about it. That was really great. 

Matt Kreutz (35:05):
I think when you, when you said earlier, it's like, you know, we were very disciplined in our lives and I think a part of that is like that we, we eliminate a lot of. That's in our lives like Lila and I don't have a lot of fat in our day in our, like we both don't, we don't really succumb to a lot of around our lives. You know, we keep a pretty tight friend network. We have very loose, you know, we have very tight family structure. We, you know, we, we don't, we don't spend a lot of time on extraneous. And I think that allows us to kind of talk a lot about these things and hash, a lot of these things out. We're also very much on the same page, but it's also like, we, we give a too. Like she always wanted to be a mom. She gives a a, you know, I've always wanted to be a good dad. And so we both are very invested in that. And very, we try to be very thoughtful about how we do these things, you know? And how do we set these things up from the beginning? How do we not her up in the first five years? You know? Like how do we, you know, and I think we try to be very like, and some of that stuff's like, you know, okay, get a 5 29 savings plan for her, get a, you know, a custodial and all these things and yeah, yeah, yeah. The tactical stuff, but also tactical stuff. Yeah. The stuff of like, she sees, you know, she sees like, when you are that's right, you are yelling, you know, I'm, if I'm driving the car and I'm like, ah, I'm not a. Ah she's like, daddy is everything okay. Idiot. Yeah. You know, get your together. Control your emotions. Cause she, she feeds that. I think part of that firebrand helped me with that too, because you know, when I'm really stressed, then you notice the vibe of the bakery gets different. And for one kind of stuff, walk on eggshells people. So I learned a long time ago, try to really separate my emotions also at firebrand too, you know, it's like handle, how do I handle my emotions? How do I handle my stress? Because I also can't put that on my employees. I can't go like running around like a lunatic all the time. Or, or even just like holding it and being stressful because they feel that then they get insecure. Then they start to think that's, I'll see mad at me. Did I do something wrong? Did I? And they're like, no, dude, I just had a rough night, but like you're putting it on them. They don't know. And they don't give a. They don't, that's a problem. Yeah. They don't know that. Yeah. And it's like, no, it's not the problem.

Young Han (37:23):
It's not their problem.

Matt Kreutz (37:24):
That's right. It's like, it sounds, but no one gives cause it's not their job. 

Young Han (37:30):
Yep, and it's still your Responsibility.

Matt Kreutz (37:31):
Yeah, that's right. It's not their job to deal with it. And so it's not their job to care and you don't it to be their job to care. Cause Fireman's been in that as a, and it's a nightmare, but I think too part of that fire brand's kind helped me with that managing motions thing. You know, just being like, Hey, like manage that so that you could be a better person. You know,

Young Han (37:53):
Matt, let me jump into my rapid fire questions here. I want to ask every guest. So there's some symmetry just cuz I know you have a busy schedule now I even know more so that you, you have a busy schedule. So let me jump into these. Okay. All right. So what advice do you have for other parents and soon to be parents?

Matt Kreutz (38:07):
Designing your life around how you want your kids to, to view you

Young Han (38:11):
That's a good one. That's a really good one. If you can go back and tell yourself one thing before having Lily, what would you say to yourself?

Matt Kreutz (38:21):
If I could tell myself read more books.

Young Han (38:29):
Yeah, dude, you're kidding you, That's what you would tell yourself?

Matt Kreutz (38:29):
My Tyson quote, everyone's got a plan to, they get punched in the ass, and I think, you know, it's like, you know, it's like you, you just, you, I just, I feel like, I feel like there's so much to learn about being a good person and being a better person and being just a better human on this earth. And I feel like I've, I need to be more prepared just to like be better for her. You know, like how I, I feel like I have to give her more. And so I, I feel like I'm playing catch, which is why too. It's like, I don't have time to worry about what this baker is doing. It's like, I need to read this book or listen to this podcast. Cause like I have to be a better human for my employees, for my daughter. Like I need to be better. And I don't have time to worry about how this person is doing this. They're they're on this website or they're listed best of, I don't give a. Like I have to read this book or whatever it is to be a better human. I talk to this other person, like whatever. Like I just wanna time and I, I wish I would've.

Young Han (39:34):
Yeah. I wish I would've kept growing.

Matt Kreutz (39:36):
Yeah more aggressive about that. Yeah.

Young Han (39:38):
More aggressive about that in the beginning. Yeah. That's awesome, man. What is the most surprising thing that you learned about yourself? Becoming a parent?

Matt Kreutz (39:47):
I wasn't as much of a mess as I thought I would be. I was think I was, I expected to be kind of a dumpster fire on my part, all the kind of tactical things of being a parent, like changing diapers and doing all that. Like I thought I would be a much more of a mess of that than I thought I would also not handle our two year. Old's kind of like bipolarness, like all over the place. Like I think I would God be, you know, I that's a surprise like kind of being able to be as fluid as, as Le and I have been, I thought I would be a bit more of a nightmare situation.

Young Han (40:22):
Yeah. That's really great. Thanks for sharing that. What, it's kind of funny that we talked about the reading, but what's your all time favorite business book?

Matt Kreutz (40:30):
That's a good, small is a good one. Any of the Zingerman's books are good. I think small giants is, is a good one. Yeah. Small. Yeah. I'll say that today. I'll make change. Small giants.

Young Han (40:42):
That's a good one. Nice. All right there we go. And then last one. Do you, what do you do for fun when you're not being an amazing dad and an amazing CEO of a fast growing Bakery?

Matt Kreutz (40:51):
What do I do for fun? I read, I listen to podcasts. I listen to a lot of, I listen to a lot of music. I try to always find like I love and rock music, but I don't wanna be the guy who's like, oh, back in my day, like our, our punk rock was, you know, so I'm always trying to find new music and like, you know, try to find new stuff or like, I love like hip hop and rap. And I grew up listening to a lot of that too. And so trying to find new stuff and like, I don't want, don't wanna be like get off my lawn guy. And so just trying to like learn and, and trying to always trying to learn, basically, I'm always trying to learn. I'm always trying to be better. And that's

Young Han (41:26):
Awesome, man. Hey Matt, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today on my podcast. I really, really appreciate it. That was so that was so fun and really great to get to know you and just so impressed with the depth of thought that you put into every aspect of your life. It was just an incredible interview and I really, really appreciate it. 

Matt Kreutz (41:44):
Yeah, man, pleasure to be on. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks so much for coming by the bakery a little bit ago and checking it out.

Young Han (41:47):
Yeah. And yeah, I'm gonna come by again for sure. Cuz I definitely wanna see it as it progresses. It's really, really, really fun to see it be later. Thanks for tuning into another episode of the girl dad show. We really hope you enjoyed that interview. And as always, please take a moment to review rate and subscribe. We'll see you next time.

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