Who are you?
Tacos, Tequila and Mezcal
maybe not in that order.
Why Did you start your business?
I had been part of a regional restaurant group that sold in 2005. I looked at a piece of paper that read "resume" on top and knew I had to stay self-employed!
What makes your business unique?
A loaded question. that we have the best selection of Tequilas, Mezcals and fish tacos in North Florida makes us unique. That we sell tacos with ingredients that are made fresh here every day makes us different and that we aligned ourselves with Jason SurfrApp (nee Headsetsdotcom, nee Sadler) makes us creative enough to know who's really creative around here...
Having Debbie around makes us all three at the same time!
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
The biggest mistakes were not investing in the right equipment early, or not totally redesigning our kitchen for our new location. My brain tells me that we can't spend the money (or more likely, don't have it) but my in retrospect, it would have made total sense, and absolutely saved me money in the short and certainly long-term. I learned that Cash-Flow is king, and spending money up front on well thought-out/planned design saves money down the road.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
The big goal is to keep this pace and keep this crazy show going. I know there is a life cycle in this business, and to extend that life well beyond the "typical" or expected cycle is to keep it fun and exciting every single day.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
(music softly building...) Too often, we hear people say that they want to own a bar or a restaurant, or open a retail store--or whatever--without any experience in that field. To me, it's obvious that you don't just jump in blindly. No matter what the field, you jump in, indeed, but you jump in to learn from someone who can teach or train you. We got super lucky, but I put in about 15 years of working retail and restaurant for others before I thought I could do it myself, and Debbie has about a 10 year head-start on me in retail experience. It looks like fun, but while I type, I'm reminded that I awoke early, arrived at the restaurant at 8, did my thing, had meetings with people, worked the dinner rush and now, 13 hours later, I finally have time to get some work done. It's only MOSTLY fun and games...
Advice is this: learn as much as you can before you jump. You may learn pretty quickly that you are in the right place. Or not.
(I'd like to thank the academy, the writers, the tequileros and palenqueros...)