32 episodes

Welcome to SO MUCH MORE, A Mall of America® Podcast. From personal development and entrepreneurship to leadership and learning; we are excited to delve into a wide range of topics and share inspiring stories from a diverse group of guests.

So Much More, A Mall of America® Podcast Mall of America®

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 26 Ratings

Welcome to SO MUCH MORE, A Mall of America® Podcast. From personal development and entrepreneurship to leadership and learning; we are excited to delve into a wide range of topics and share inspiring stories from a diverse group of guests.

    Ep. 32: Nur-D. Comic Book Nerd to Hip Hop Sensation

    Ep. 32: Nur-D. Comic Book Nerd to Hip Hop Sensation

    It’s our pleasure to sit down with Matt “Nur-D” Allen, a fresh new Hip Hop artist and one of the fastest rising stars in Minnesota’s music scene. Nur-D has been sharing his energy infused musical performances at Mall of America® and beyond. Want to know how he turned his love for comic books and pro wrestling into a music career? How he ended up crashing a Mall of America employee retreat and had everyone on their feet? Or what it is like to work with a Grammy Award winning Orchestra? Then this episode is for you!
    Growing up in Rosemount, MN and nurturing his love for theater and music, Nur-D burst onto the stage in 2018 and has since shared his boundary-crossing musical style with audiences around the globe. Never abandoning his roots, he has also been a featured performer at Mall of America. 
    His journey has been winding, interesting and full of stories. Join us to learn why Nur-D believes bringing people together through music is so important. 
    Guests: Matt “Nur-D” Allen, Musician, Artist, Performer
    Hosts: Chris Grap, Daniel Jasper
    Presented by the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau the official destination marketing organization for the city of Bloomington, Minn.

    • 29 min
    Ep. 31: Nothing Bundt Amazing

    Ep. 31: Nothing Bundt Amazing

    Our guests are Kim Cassens and Joe Cassens, the mother and son team who brought the delicious flavors of Nothing Bundt Cakes to Mall of America and other locations. Want to know how a party gift can turn into a career? How a family can work together and enjoy it? How a bundt cake became a national obsession? This episode is for you! Nothing Bundt Cakes started more than 25 years ago in Las Vegas by two friends who loved to bake and has grown to more than five hundred bakery locations across the country. Kim shares her journey to becoming a Nothing Bundt Cakes business owner, how she and her family have grown the business and what their future looks like. Both Kim and Joe – with no previous bundt cake experience – have helped to build the family business and share their stories.
    If you are a fan of entrepreneurs, realizing your dreams or simply of delicious desserts this podcast episode is for you! Guests: Kim Cassens, Franchise Owner and Joe Cassens, Director of Operations at Nothing Bundt Cakes at Mall of America Hosts: Jill Renslow, Grant Buntje Presented by the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau the official destination marketing organization for the city of Bloomington, Minn.

    • 27 min
    Ep. 30: Slice Brothers Pizza: Creating Community One NY Slice at a Time

    Ep. 30: Slice Brothers Pizza: Creating Community One NY Slice at a Time

    Our guests are Adam Kado and Hosie Thurmond, creators of Slice Brothers Pizza, a new Mall of America fan favorite! They brought the classic NY slice of pizza to Minnesota– and people are loving it!
    Kado and Thurmond are longtime friends whose individual journeys reshaped their initial dreams as business owners and redefined what dreams means to them as entrepreneurs. With varied professional backgrounds, they came together to fill a need in the Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood, which they identified as affordable, single sliced pizza for the busy single consumer. And they continue to grow.
    Want to know what is their most popular slice, how pickle pizza came to be, or what their dream flavor of pizza is? Curious about their current locations or their plans for growth? Join us as we dive into the story behind hometown favorite, Slice Brothers Pizza, how they adapt and respond to changes and how the power of community is often strengthened through food–one slice at a time.
    Guests: Adam Kado & Hosie Thurmond, Co-Founders and Owners of Slice Brothers Pizza Hosts: Daniel Jasper
    Presented by the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau the official destination marketing organization for the city of Bloomington, Minn.

    • 29 min
    Ep. 29: Business + Journalism: Open to Opportunities

    Ep. 29: Business + Journalism: Open to Opportunities

    Guests at Mall of America often see news stories on shopping, attractions, holidays and even celebrity events. The public gets to experience the Mall through these stories, but rarely gets to see behind the curtain and experience the story from the reporter's point of view.Today, we are honored to talk with Allison Kaplan and find out how she combined her love for journalism, fashion and business to tell the story of Mall of America and the greater Minnesota business community. Kaplan is a writer, editor, speaker, retail guru, entrepreneur and a leader in the Twin Cities business, journalism, and retail landscapes. Kaplan shares her career journey, how she came to create a Mall of America ‘beat’ for a local newspaper, and how she has expanded her reach through podcasts, radio shows, online retail and so much more. Fashion remains a core focus in her life.
    When asked how she can accomplish so much, her response was first to laugh, quickly followed by advice to master the art of multi-tasking, efficiency and loving what you do. She talks about how her role as a journalist is to inspire, explain and connect with readers, viewers and listeners. Kaplan also points out that life is about storytelling which includes serious stories as well as those focused on life and energy.We invite you to join us as we take a deep dive into the retail industry, the local business community and the world of storytelling and journalism with Allison Kaplan.Guests: Allison Kaplan, Editor-in-Chief at Twin Cities Business Magazine
    Hosts: Jill Renslow, Daniel Jasper
    Presented by the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau the official destination marketing organization for the city of Bloomington, Minn.

    • 27 min
    Ep. 28: L.L. Bean an Outdoor Tradition

    Ep. 28: L.L. Bean an Outdoor Tradition

    L.L. Bean is the epitome of an American success story. This family owned and operated business began in 1912 and has built a multi-generational and very loyal fan base. And its iconic store has been at Mall of America for ten years.
    Steve Smith, President and CEO at L.L. Bean is joined by Guy Booth, L.L. Bean Store Manager at Mall of America–together they share the history of the company, its legendary return policy and the heart of the company which is helping people enjoy the outdoors.
    Smith shares the inspirational story of brand-founder, Leon Leonwood Bean and how he invented the original Bean Boot. L.L. Bean sent his new boots to one hundred outdoor enthusiasts in 1912–and ninety of the pairs were returned to him as defective. That was the origin of the brands world-famous product guarantee and return policy. He fixed the flaw and created a boot that remains one of the most popular in the world–and is still completely made in the United States.
    Booth and Smith share the importance of hiring and empowering outstanding team members. In fact, Booth was one of thirteen recipients of the 2021 Beans Best awards out of more than 3,000 nominations. During the holiday season their employee base jumps from 5,000 to 9,000 which includes inviting partners, neighbors and friends to join the effort.
    Listeners will learn about the company values, purpose, and vision; omni-channel and store expansion strategies. And there are even insider tips on favorite products and the latest items to watch for. The key message that both guests impart the audience with is to encourage everyone to spend time outdoors – even the casual walk counts.
    Guests: Steve Smith, President and CEO at L.L. Bean; Guy Booth, L.L. Bean Store Manager
    Hosts: Jill Renslow, Daniel Jasper
    Presented by the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau the official destination marketing organization for the city of Bloomington, Minn.

    • 30 min
    Ep. 27: Operations by the Numbers

    Ep. 27: Operations by the Numbers

    This episode is all about the numbers—in a fun way. If you’ve ever been curious about how many parking spaces there are, how many rolls of toilet paper are used, or how many rides are taken at Mall of America in a year—this one is for you.
    Between our two guests, Rich Hoge and Brian Spielman, both long-time leaders at Mall of America, they have more than 50 years of experience at the Mall. They have seen it all, heard it all, and experienced it all. Hoge began his career at Mall of America before the Mall first opened in our HVAC department. Right after trade school he joined the Mall, and he is one of 11 current team members who were hired on or before opening day in 1992. In his role as COO, he oversees all aspects of operations at the nation’s largest Mall.
    Speilman started his MOA journey in the Camp Snoopy General Store—his specialty was making fudge. As a self-proclaimed ‘coaster kid’, he has had an affinity for rides and considers his role as VP of Attractions his dream job. Both Hoge and Spielman—along with our hosts—share fun stories over the years at the Mall, including creating our infamous ‘farting chair’, interacting with guests in interesting ways and planning for the future of retail and entertainment.
    They share some specific advice for young professionals early in their career journey including life-long learning, problem solving, attitude is everything and be willing to pitch in and help. Good advice for everyone.
    Guests: Rich Hoge, Chief Operating Officer at Mall of America; Brian Spielman, Vice President of Attractions at Mall of America
    Hosts: Jill Renslow, Chris Grap
    Presented by the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau the official destination marketing organization for the city of Bloomington, Minn.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

Lil-Corn ,

Makes Me Want To Visit MOA

Love the show. It’s been a great way to learn more about a Minnesota/National Treasure.

allwerlover ,

Dan is the BEST

Love this podcast, so informative and entertaining. I listen to every episode. The episodes with Dan are better than the ones without him. Ps, Dan, please drop the skincare routine! You are glowing! Dan for president!

M@ttM€ ,

Love The Pod

So much fun to hear about what goes on behind the scenes of this iconic destination!

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