In 1993, Greg Hoyt graduated from college, and landed his first job with Caribou Coffee. He discovered two things: He fell in love with the coffee industry, and he learned that he wanted to become an entrepreneur. 

Now, Greg is an investor who helps entrepreneurs. He’s also the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Gather Venture Group, a Minneapolis-based investment fund focused on emerging food and beverage businesses. 

On my podcast, The Irresistible Factor, we discuss why Greg decided to become an entrepreneur, and how he’s drawn to the uncertainty, ups and downs of starting a company. After many years of working in the food and beverage industry, Greg decided to open up a bakery of his own. He still owns the bakery, but his main focus has shifted to using his entrepreneurial knowledge and instincts to help other brands realize their potential. 

Greg knows that food brands can take many years to become established and profitable, and Gather is in it for the long game.

“Trends will come and go, as far as methodology, and ways to build a business,” Greg told me. “But it really comes down to fundamentals, and the fundamentals are: ‘Do I have something that somebody wants? Am I solving a problem that exists? Is there value for the consumer? Is this something that I can see myself doing, and can it be something that generates a profit?’”

Together, we explore Gather’s approach to investments, what the fund currently looks like — and how he hopes to see it evolve in the future — and the fundamental elements that lead to business success.

Listen to The Irresistible Factor’s Interview with Gather Venture Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Greg Hoyt.

Here’s what you won’t want to miss from our conversation: 

  • Why learning to slow down is an important lesson for entrepreneurs 
  • What Gather Venture Group looks for in potential investments
  • Gather Venture Group’s investment strategy
  • Fundamentals that define a great brand


Links mentioned in this episode: 

Gather Venture Group

Greg Hoyt on LinkedIn

Rustica Bakery

Caribou Coffee

Punch Pizza

Kind Snacks