Today the Venice Paparazzi Spotlight shines on entrepreneur Klaus Moeller.
The Venice Paparazzi’s “In the Spotlight” is an interview series that highlights people and organizations in the Venice community. The purpose is to shine a light on all the positive things being done by the fantastic folks in our town!
In featured photo: Ben & Jerry’s owners Shelle and Klaus Moeller. Photo taken at the 2017 Venice Sign Lighting.
How many years in Venice?
Give us a brief bio of yourself:
Moved to the US from London. Grew up in the south of Portugal. Have been in California for 30 years and love it here. Founded the Baby Genius Children’s brand and the L.A. Comic Con. Have worked for 30 years funding orphanages and helped build a school for handicapped and blind kids and a center for street children in Thailand.
Tell us about your company:
We started Ben & Jerry’s as a fun project. We loved the grunginess of Venice Beach and thought it was the perfect brand for the Boardwalk.
How long in business and how did you get started? Where did the idea or inspiration come from? And, how did you come up with the name?
We started this project about 4 years ago. It took over a year to open as it was extremely difficult to get coastal commission and other permits for even the smallest things. We loved the concept that Ben & Jerry’s would help the local community; Free scoop day and the owner/operator donates a % of sales to local charities like SPY, Heal the Bay, Venice Family Clinic, etc.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Not having gone bankrupt yet despite the local politicians doing everything in their power to turn the boardwalk into a zone of complete anarchy. We have had several shootings outside our store, a multitude of thefts and much, much more.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Don’t. This business sounds/looks like fun but it is a 24/7 hour job with zero downtime. You are constantly trouble shooting. If you are still wanting to start out in this field; call us ASAP and we’ll make you an incredible deal!!!
How are you surviving Covid-19 and the lockdowns? What moves or pivots have you made?
Barely. We are very lucky in that our landlords have reduced our rents since Covid started. Without that we would have had to close down. We have an excellent manageress, Nadine, who is running a tight ship. We have wonderful kids working at the store. Unfortunately there will be few tourists this year and the world’s press is warning people not to travel to Venice, showcasing photos and video’s of this sad “reality show” that we are living in.
A few personal questions:
Staying healthy and happy and sleeping well.
What is the best advice you have received:
Take time for your health today or you will have no health for your time tomorrow.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:
“If you don’t want to quarantine it’s OK.” Charles Darwin
Favorite book, band or movie?
Pablo Neruda poetry. Rolling Stones.
List 1-2 things on your “post covid” bucket list?
If there is a post Covid… Travel to Positano and Rome
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world?
Would love to be involved in helping to solve the current “homeless” crisis as I have worked with street kids, etc. for 30 years. But doubt that the politicians and developers are actually looking to “solve” this as there is so much money at stake.
Not sure I want to describe Venice “today.” Before I would say the most eclectic, grungy beach community.
What do you do for fun in Venice during Covid times?
Beach runs. Cycling down the boardwalk. Ordering in.
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?
Love it here and hope we get back to normal craziness.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?
Bob Hurwitz, master beach volley ball player and free diver.
Anything else that you want to share with our readers?
Venice Paparazzi has been amazing and supportive since day one. We do have tons of specials for locals, like free giant size coffee mugs with your ice cream purchase (ask Nadine). We cater events, parties, TV nights and we make wonderful birthday cakes.
Life is better with ice cream! See you at Ben & Jerry’s on the Venice Boardwalk!
- Open daily: 12:00-8:00 p.m.
- Located on the Venice Boardwalk, 1307 Ocean Front Walk. Venice, CA. 90291.
- Shop #: 424 433 8099
- Catering #: 424 433 8099
Fan and follow Ben & Jerry’s Venice Beach!
- IG: instagram.com/benjerryvenicebeach
- Facebook: facebook.com/benjerryvenicebeach
- Website: benjerry.com/venicebeach