What is your full name and title? How long have you been in this role?
My name is Carlos Eduardo Campo. I am vice-president of operations with Yogurty's and Yogen Früz. I'm also a food scientist but better known as froyo mixologist. I've been in this role for 7.5 years. Previously, I was a master franchisee for Yogen Früz for 12 years.
What exactly do you do?
I create flavours and develop products for Yogen Früz and Yogurty's. I am also responsible for tasting anything and everything that comes into the office that can potentially be used in a new frozen yogurt creation – I taste everything available in the industry. I also train and manage franchisees in countries around the world.
Describe what you do on any given day.
Outside of creating delicious froyo, travelling is a huge part of my job, and I always dreamed that I'd be a man of the world. Though our head offices are in Toronto, Yogen Früz has over 1,400 stores in more than 46 countries and I've been to most of them. I'm usually on hand for grand opening events; most recently I was in Amsterdam and Spain to launch new stores. I also do routine visits to stores. For example, I go to Dubai every year have recently trained franchise owners in Pakistan and Lebanon.
What's your background and education?
I was born in Colombia and attended a British High School. I went to the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. I have spent my entire career in the food industry; my first job was with Griffith Laboratories (a global leader in food and flavour science) in Colombia. I also worked for a company called Givaudan (specializing in flavour technology and product development).
How did you get to your position? Give us some details about the path that has led you to your current role.
After working in the food industry for years, I finally decided to go out on my own and that's when I started my first Yogen Früz franchise in Colombia. I eventually opened 35 stores with Aaron Serruya (president and chief executive officer of Yogen Früz and Yogurty's) as my partner. We sold the business in Colombia to a major ice cream company and that's when Aaron asked me to come to Canada to work for Yogurty's and Yogen Früz, with the opportunity to travel the world. I moved to Canada in 2006 to become a franchisee trainer and have the opportunity to share my passion for frozen yogurt on a global scale.
What's the best part of your job? And what do you like best about it?
The best part of the job is creating flavours and products for people to enjoy; the joy on the customer's face when they are just loving it is so rewarding. My goal is to create a party in everyone's mouth! My job is always interesting because each time I go back and taste one of the flavours I've created, it's so good and I can't stop eating. I grew up in the kitchen and that's where my passion for food began, that's why every day is interesting to me.
What's the worst part of your job?
When I have to clean the test kitchen after I make a creative mess! I tend to get inspired after hours.
What are your strengths in this role?
I think my major strength is that I'm playful and innovative, I always take risks. I've worked with the Yogen Früz and Yogurty's brands for years. I also think that coming from a different country with a different state of mind and culture makes me unique.
Or, what do you need to be able to do to handle your job?
Coffee. Just kidding!
I need to enjoy my time off. I love to barbeque and spend time with friends and family. It's important for me to forget about work sometimes and just recharge my batteries.
What are your weaknesses?
I'm a very easy going kind of guy. I guess sometimes when I create a flavour that doesn't get chosen for the market, I can be hard on myself and think about how I could have made it better. I need to remind myself that the products are for everyone, not just me, and I need to be cool with that.
What has been your best career move?
My best career move is always keeping it moving.
What has been your worst career move?
I don't think I made any moves worth regretting, because in my opinion I have the best job in the world.
What's your next big job goal?
Right now I'm thrilled to continue doing what I love. I suppose my eventual goal is to retire somewhere next to the ocean. I'll never stop creating, even if my innovations are just for my family and friends, I don't do it for monetary reasons.
What's your best advice to others who might want to follow in your footsteps?
Do what you like. Any job that you do, do it for the passion, and the success will follow.
Do you know an executive or leader who has an interesting career story for My Career or My Career Abroad? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org