his is the story of how a first-time, mid-career entrepreneur bought a small business in a forgotten industry, and turned it into a star.

Back in early 2017, Reg Zeller didn't know what "search" was.

He just knew he wanted out of his corporate job, and that buying a business seemed like a good way to finally strike out on his own.

He had manufacturing chops from his years in corporate, as well as a "thesis", though that too was a word he didn't know.

Reg just believed in onshoring, that is, bringing manufacturing back to the US.

He identified a small foundry that he liked.

Everyone told him not to buy it, that it would be a terrible move.

But Reg "touched the hot stove" anyway, as he puts it.

It went OK initially, though not without some scares, including finding himself in the fetal position on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night. (This is an image Reg has become somewhat known for on Twitter.)

But 6 years later, Reg's company CaneKast has emerged as one of the most dynamic in foundries.

There have been 7 acquisitions in total, aggregate revenue is on track for $30 million in 2023, and Reg is confident that $100m is attainable in the not-too-distant future.

We get into so much in this interview; you're going to learn the many decisions and insights along the way that turned a first acquisition into a streamlined acquisition machine with playbooks, best-in-class operations, and a large and growing moat.

Enjoy this deep dive with Mr. Foundry, Reg Zeller.