All Star Specialties Relies On Special Accounting Software
Long Island-based All Star Specialties (www.allstarspecialties.net) is more or less like any commercial manufacturer. Clients come with a particular need, and they work together to develop a prototype. Only, in this case, the end product might be a frozen chocolate truffle shaped like a tiny tuxedo, or pumpkin spice ice cream, or even Guinness® beer-flavored ice cream.
“I don’t think beer and ice cream go together, but hey, we made it anyway,” says Kevin Kronrad, who helps run the family business, which launched in August.
All Star, a manufacturer of specialty, gourmet desserts, works with smaller restaurants, catering halls, and country clubs who have specific needs but not the volume for dedicated dessert chefs. They can take a hum-drum dessert menu (think: three flavors of ice cream, a brownie, maybe a lava cake) and turn it into something special and create something truly remarkable and unique for that business.
“From beginning to end, we can customize everything for the customer. The flavors, the colors, even the packaging,” Kronrad continues.
This company may be new, but founder Greg Kronrad has been in the frozen dessert business for over 30 years delivering ice cream to shops, delis, and restaurants. They started asking him, “Hey can you make this for me?” He answered, “I don’t see why not.”
The new outfit is big: All Star operates a 5000 square foot manufacturing facility and 6000 square foot, two-story freezer—but the approach is small and focused.
Every time I call up the team, they know who I am. I don’t know if it’s because I call them too much, or they’re just an awesome team, but they have never said ‘no’ to me.
The team interviews potential clients, gets to know their menu and dessert needs, and then has a culinary jam session with the managers and chefs.
“It’s all about that two-way street,” Kronrad explains as he discusses the collaboration process All Star uses with their customers. He describes a recent creation: a white chocolate ice cream truffle with bits of real apple and a caramel center. “We had a chef who needed something for the holidays. He said, ‘Hey, I really want something with apples in it. I have apple pie on the dessert menu, but our holiday creation has to be cool.’”
Sometimes requests are simple, like a seasonal color scheme or an exact portion size. Others orders are a bit more ambitious.
Need Japanese “Kitagawa” Berry Sorbet? White Cheddar Ice Cream? All Star can make it happen—and then deliver by the gallon.
All Star’s sales have doubled each month since launch. As it puts more ice cream in the freezer, its small business, start-up status is starting to melt. Kronrad likes the growth, but it also makes him cautious.
“Taking lessons I learned from my father as a kid, you can’t be really good for the first few months, but then get too busy and not come through for your customers.” All Star is committed to delivering for its customers today and into the future.
All Star uses Cougar Mountain’s Denali Accounting Software to both maintain a business of 15 employees and chart a course for the future.
“We’re using Denali to analyze where we’re going to be in a few months. We look at sales, growth rate, and financial forecasting. We ask, ‘What are our inventory levels going to be in a month? Do we have enough cash in the bank to support that payroll right now?’”
The products may not be lean, but the business has to be.
Kronrad uses Denali to track each flavor of ice cream and tub of gelato, and can generate customer profiles to easily track who needs what and when.
“One of our main concerns was finding an accounting system that could generate our specific distribution load sheet,” he explains, referring to the daily manifest for All Star’s delivery drivers. It might list, for example, 60 tubs of two different flavors of sorbet for seven customers. Denali can generate a single sheet showing exactly who should receive what and how much. “When we load the truck we need to pull everything at once. We can’t have our guy in the freezer go to the same spot 20 times.”
On the receiving end, an invoice could account for everything from design services to the dessert itself to the box it comes in. Denali can easily break down inventory by topping and ingredient, or kit them together, so a box of twelve custom white chocolate raspberry truffles appears in the system as a single item.
“We can control the fonts, layout, look, and feel of invoices,” Kronrad says.
“Billing is really easy too. It makes it quick and easy to look at accounts receivable and our overall financial health.”
But, as a new company, All Star hasn’t been running a Denali system for very long. Just as All Star’s team works with chefs to design the perfect desserts, Kronrad has an ongoing conversation with Cougar Mountain’s support staff to adjust the software to their unique needs.
“Every time I call up the team, they know who I am. I don’t know if it’s because I call them too much, or they’re just an awesome team, but they have never said ‘no’ to me.”
I feel like Cougar Mountain’s team understands what it’s like to be a small business. It’s like they are saying: ‘Hey you’ve got a business to run and you can’t wait till next week.’ I like that.”