Meet the Team! Carl – Account Executive

Next up in our series of interviews with the Hazlnut team, we sat down with Carl, an Account Executive for Hazlnut:

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today, Carl.

Thanks for having me!

What did you do before Hazlnut?

Most recently, I was a Food & Beverage Manager at the Sawgrass Country Club. Before that, I worked as a Sales Associate at Greenshades Software. Most of my experience prior to Hazlnut had been in selling HR & Payroll software, or management roles in private clubs/the food & beverage industry. 

It sounds like you were already trained for the role before you even got here!  How do you feel your previous positions prepared you for your role at Hazlnut?

Both Greenshades Software and Sawgrass Country Club developed my ability to constantly adapt and solve customer pain points. After Greenshades Software, I came out of it already prepared to sell software without the traditional face-to-face interactions. It was all handled over the phone, through email, and with online meetings.

I joined the team at Sawgrass Country Club just prior to the pandemic in 2020. Being able to help spearhead a To-Go only service showed me the importance of having technology that works for restaurants when dining-in isn’t an option. I came into my role at Hazlnut with that perspective, and I think it helps me empathize with restaurant owners and managers who may be looking for a similar solution for their business. 

How did you hear about Hazlnut? 

My recent experience in the Food & Beverage industry, plus my previous role selling software led me to look for a job that could marry those two together. I started searching online for software companies in the Jacksonville area specializing in the restaurant industry and I found Hazlnut through a job post. I did some research on the company and recognized Larry’s Giant Subs as a client of theirs and became more interested. From there, I scheduled an interview with Dick and Steven. Soon after that I joined the team!

We’re happy to have you on the team! What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to workout and watch sports. I mainly like to watch football, basketball, and MMA. If I had to narrow down my hobbies, I’d say they are: Traveling, creating music playlists, and playing basketball. 

If you could pick your favorite athlete, who would it be and why?

I would say my favorite athlete is Steph Curry; he’s an amazing basketball player. I’m particularly fascinated at his ability to shoot the ball from anywhere, and the way he can make these shots that look like something out of a video game… Curry is very dedicated to his craft and he gets better every year. It’s not only his athletic ability, but also his character on and off the court that makes him my favorite. He does a good job of not letting his emotions get the best of him, and he has an easy-going personality. 

But on the court, he is very competitive. I like that!

So do I! I have one more question before we go: What’s your favorite thing about working at Hazlnut?

It’s exciting being in an environment that isn’t rigid or stuck in old ways. Hazlnut is consistently looking forward and onward. As a whole, this company is always finding new ways to improve over time. 

Thanks again for your time! 

Click here to schedule a demo. Remember to ask to meet with Carl!

Jacksonville Startup Hazlnut Raises $3 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate Growth

Hazlnut, a SaaS company that provides restaurants with their own branded apps and online ordering platforms, announced today that it has raised $3 million in a Series A funding round. Atlanta Ventures led the investment, along with PS27 Ventures Rhea Fund.

Jon Birdsong, a partner at Atlanta Ventures, said Hazlnut was the right company to invest in because, as soon as they crossed paths, “[Atlanta Ventures] immediately knew they were a team who obsesses over the customer, solves their gravest problems, and provides a preeminent user experience.”

Hazlnut is on a mission to help local, independent, and regional restaurant brands thrive. They do so by providing a software template for web-based, app, and in-store ordering solutions. The cost of hiring web and app developers is a greater investment than most restaurant owners can afford. Hazlnut offers development, onboarding and on-going support at an affordable monthly rate. 

The restaurant industry has proven to be tougher than ever for smaller brands thanks to the increasing competition, the rise of third party delivery providers who take a large chunk of every sale, and the overall complexity of managing multiple technology solutions. With Hazlnut, your local favorites can offer online and mobile ordering solutions, a full scale loyalty program, and Panera-like kiosks for guests who want an interactive menu with high resolution images and robust descriptions. 

“With software, if you can envision it, you can build it. We come in and help lift up small businesses to help them compete with bigger brands like Panera and McDonald’s. It’s rewarding seeing local businesses rise to the competition,” said Dick Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO of Hazlnut.

The company had previously closed a seed round funded by PS27 Ventures in 2018 of  less than $200,000. Jim Stallings, CEO of PS27 Ventures, is excited to see Hazlnut grow exponentially.

With this funding, Hazlnut is not wasting any time to grow aggressively. They are looking to fill key roles such as Head of Software Engineering, Sales Director, and Director of Marketing, as well as growing their sales, service, and engineering teams. 

About Hazlnut

Hazlnut is an all-in-one ordering solution that helps companies develop deeper relationships with their customers through beautifully designed websites and custom branded apps.

If you know a restaurant owner who is in need of an online ordering and loyalty solution, let us know! 

About Atlanta Ventures

Atlanta Ventures empowers entrepreneurs to start, grow, and scale.

Create Companies / We co-found companies via the Studio with driven founders in a collaborative environment

Fund Founders / We partner with companies seeking early stage funding

Equip Entrepreneurs / We provide content, tools, and events to empower the startup community

About PS27 Ventures

PS27 Ventures invests in early-stage companies that are driving dramatic changes in high-growth markets. ​​We invest in early stage startup ideas and businesses, supporting their growth with a broad range of expertise from a team of highly regarded professionals. Bringing selected startups into our accelerator, we work side by side with them to grow their business and help them realize their true potential. 

Our team of experts takes a hands-on approach, helping startups succeed. 

About the Rhea Fund

The PS27 Rhea Fund is a 20 million dollar venture capital fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Rhea Fund is seeking to invest in early-stage solutions in SaaS, HealthTech, FinTech, Sustainability, and E-Commerce companies that can scale rapidly. Rhea Fund also has an interest in founders who are women, veterans, and people of color.  

For more information about the Rhea Fund please email us at info@ps27ventures.com.