Rally From dark days, business success blooms

June 3, 2018 GMT

After Rob Morrison left work on a Tuesday evening in December 2016, he headed to his New York City apartment to read and sign hundreds of bankruptcy documents.

Morrison had been elevated to chief executive officer of Gracious Home, a longtime New York City retailer, just weeks before.

“The chairman could have stepped in, but he was just a money guy, not a retailer,” Morrison said. “So we didn’t even discuss it. He just said congratulations.”

The company was in trouble. It had already filed for bankruptcy once in 2010. Like many retailers, Gracious Home didn’t adapt quickly to a landscape altered by online shopping. In October 2016, the bank foreclosed on Gracious Home’s loan, meaning it then owned all of the retailer’s inventory.

Morrison tells his story of navigating bankruptcy court and charting a new course for an established retail brand on Hearst Connecticut Media’s new business podcast, Rally. Tune in on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

On Sunday, Rally is releasing its first two full episodes. They include Morrison’s story as well as that of the entrepreneurs behind Ample Hills Creamery, which Oprah Winfrey has named her favorite ice cream.

Husband and wife team Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith opened their first ice cream parlor in Brooklyn in 2011. They had a plan for what they’d do if no one came and they had to close the store. But they never considered how they’d handle the crowds of customers if they became popular immediately — which they did.

Four days after opening, the couple had to close because they’d run out of ice cream.

Find out what happened next by tuning into Rally. Every week for the next month, you will find a new episode of Rally available via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and SoundCloud. You can subscribe on those platforms to have the latest Rally episode delivered to your phone automatically or listen online. Each episode will tell one businessperson’s story of things going awry — from filing for bankruptcy to feeling lost after giving up a high-powered legal career — and the lessons learned that eventually led to success.

If you’d like to learn more, please reach out by emailing Rally@ctpost.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at Rally_Podcast.

Contact the writer at mbennett@greenwichtime.com; Twitter @Macaela_