Clifton Fischer, CEO of Doggery Craft Ice, provides wholesale and retail large format clear ice products and ice sculptures for Central and South Florida. Expertly filtered, carefully frozen, and neatly stored, their ice undergoes an intricate process to ensure that taste and clarity are unbeatable.
Originally from North Hollywood, California, Clif enlisted in the Air Force in 1986, where he began a career as a C141b Aircraft Loadmaster. By 1988 he was one of the youngest members of the Prime Nuclear Airlift Force and, in 1992, became the first trained airdrop instructor loadmaster for the 6th Airlift Squadron. He left active duty in 1996 to join the Reserves as a tactical instructor loadmaster compiling more than 3400 flying hours during his career. Clif retired from active duty/reserve in September 2012.
After his 27-year career in the Air Force, Clif was searching for a business opportunity he could be passionate about. Celebrating his wife‘s birthday at a Chicago hotel, they ordered a couple of cocktails that had these perfectly squared clear ice blocks in them.
Back home in St. Pete, Florida, he and his business partner, Jake, had been obsessing about ice, experimenting with inexpensive freezer molds and dropping them in whiskies, bourbons, and rums. As it turns out, Craft ice is a booming business in metropolitan areas, or anywhere people care about the aesthetics of their cocktails. It dilutes the beverage less, therefore keeping the cocktail cold longer, preserving the drink’s integrity. “The idea is to sell to craft cocktail bars, that‘ll definitely be our meat and potatoes. Then you‘ll have your large corporations – restaurant chains, hotels, things like that.“
Clif originally joined our CEO Mindset™ course to expand his horizons as far as trying to figure out how to build, scale, and expand his business. Working in the business with his partner, Jake, who is also his son-in-law, they were doing different things in different directions and needed to focus on what was needed to move forward. A big a-ha moment for him was realizing that he needed processes and procedures in place, so anyone brought into the company would know what was asked of them.
Communication with his business partner was a key part of overcoming any obstacles they were facing and setting core competencies as partners, whether wholesale, retail production or taking care of the bills and setting up step by step processes.
After completing the course, Clif saw revenue increase, especially after bringing in another employee. “It allowed us to go out and get business rather than staying in the warehouse and doing everything behind the scenes. We had more time to be productive, therefore bringing in more revenue.“
Trusting in the process and not second–guessing every decision they made was an obstacle he overcame. Learning to go with his gut instinct and not ponder too much on the little things helped them expand, which is why they now have gone retail and have six stores in Florida and one in Georgia.
Congratulations on your continued success Clif! We look forward to seeing where your Craft Ice business takes you!
Program expenses for all Florida veteran participants are covered through funding provided by the Florida Legislature and Veterans Florida