Karl Franz began his mixology career in his parents kitchen, watching his father create unique non-alcoholic drinks made from herbal teas, juices, and ginger or lemon/lime soda. Quickly developing a palate and an idea for what flavors worked well together he was soon making his own drinks.
Karl went on to study at Yale University, before spending 10 years in the marketing, brand management, operations, and innovation departments of Procter & Gamble and Pepsi Cola North America, in positions of increasing responsibility. He has worked on mega-brands like Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Gain and his strategic creativity has driven strong brand growth and been recognized with key industry awards (both a Reggie and an Effie award). Karl has also been honored as one of FOX Business’s Young Guns, by Black Enterprise Magazine, and was the Wallpaper* City Guide New York Insider for 2012. He is also the Founder and CEO of Good Ice Marketing, a strategy and marketing firm that creates engagement for brands by developing experiences for influencers that touch all senses and create lasting memories.
While working at Pepsi in Innovation and searching for inspiration for new beverage concepts, Karl started working with top mixologists in NYC. He instantly fell in love with the artistry, craft, and historical perspective they employed. Inspired to learn more and create his own cocktail haute (Karl’s first restaurant – Society Coffee had already been open for three years), Karl left Pepsi in early 2008 and opened 67 Orange Street, in December of 2008 to critical acclaim, receiving strong reviews from NY Magazine, the Post, and the NY Times. Rated excellent by Zagat in every category, it is a cocktail bar that takes its name from the address of one of the first successful black-owned bars in NYC circa 1847.
A graduate of Yale University, Karl has designed cocktails for the Yale Club of NY, jcpenney, D’USSE Cognac, and many other commercial and non-commercial clients. He is a proud resident of Harlem, NYC and a founding member of Harlem Park to Park, a neighborhood merchant association formed to help more local businesses succeed. His hobbies include snowboarding, hiking, the martial arts, and music. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.