Brant Stockamp discusses how he went from dreaming of basketball hoops to custard scoops.
Indiana is synonymous with basketball.
The passion displayed for the sport is typical of people in the Hoosier state, so it’s not unusual that Indianapolis resident Brant Stockamp had ambitions of NBA stardom as a child.
He practiced daily, honing his skills in hopes of one day playing alongside some of the world’s greatest athletes. Unfortunately, Stockamp would never make it to the NBA, but his tenacity would eventually spill over into other aspects of his life.
Backed by his strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit, at only 26 years old, Stockamp is now the co-owner of Ritter’s Custard in Indianapolis.
But this isn’t his first foray into the business world. As a kid, he started a residential lawn-mowing service.
“It wasn't huge—it didn’t even have a name,” he said. “I started by mowing my parents’ yard, then I started mowing the neighbor’s lawn. Pretty soon I bought my own riding mower, and I ended up having a pretty good amount of yards to cut around the neighborhood.”
For Stockamp, the values he possessed were unlike those of many kids his age. While he was busy working, many of his friends were doing typical kid stuff.
“After school I’d go to work, but my friends were sitting around playing videogames,” he said. “I’ve always recognized things like that. When they were reading ‘Harry Potter,’ I was reading ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad.’ My parents really encouraged me to think outside the box and to not follow the crowd.”
Although basketball was his dream, Stockamp realistically saw himself one day starting his own business—a business that was more secure than his childhood lawn mowing service.
“I always saw myself owning a huge technology company or something similar,” he said. “I think it was just the times I grew up in, and that's where everybody was making the big money. But I realized that for my first business I wanted to buy something already in existence with a blueprint for how to succeed—I just never thought I would be scooping frozen custard.”
Stockamp said he knows nothing in life is concrete and plans can change at any time, and that’s just part of the thrill of involved with being an entrepreneur.
“There are so many businesses and different routes you can take; you can change paths at any time,” he said. “You don't need to focus on just one field your whole life.”
Growing up in the area, Stockamp was familiar with Ritter’s. As a kid, he frequented the establishment, but he admittedly said he never imagined owning the same location he visited as a customer. When he and his longtime friend and business partner Steve Kaderabek were considering franchise options, the opportunity to purchase Ritter’s presented itself and the duo quickly jumped at the opportunity.
“It just kind of happened,” Stockamp said. “It was essentially a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I never even thought I would own a restaurant or custard franchise, but now that I do, I’m glad that we found the opportunity and I’m very grateful.”
For Stockamp, the best part of owning Ritter’s is having making others happy.
“It’s really good quality, and once you’ve had Ritter’s custard you won’t want any other brand,” he said. “But I love being able to interact with people and put a smile on all the kids faces as I hand them a cone. That makes it all worthwhile.”