Discover the untold stories of small business success on 'How I Built Local'. Join us as we dive into the journeys and strategies of local entrepreneurs and small businesses who turned their dreams into thriving businesses.
S1 E6: From Food Stamps to the King of Referrals | HOA.com
42:08Brandon Barnum didn't have a lot of consistency in his early life. His parents split up, and he was constantly moving across the nation with his mother. She was more of a free-spirit, and wasn't really focused on finances, so Brandon grew up living off of food stamps and government assistance. As young as twelve years old, he knew he wanted a different life for himself and he found his consistency in thriving to make a better life for himself. In college, Brandon got a degree in marketing but always had plans to one day open his own business. After college, he went to work in marketing for a law office but was only making $20,000 a year. At the age of 24, he got full custody of his two year old son. That's when he decided he needed to pursue his entreprenuerial passions. He asked his boss to lay him off so he could collect unemployment for a short time, and he went and started working in the mortgage industry. While he didn't know much about mortgages, he knew he wanted to do things a little differently. He set up a website at that time, which at the time was not being used much to set up a localized version of a Zillow to help attract more clients. In 18 months, he 10x his income making over $200,000 a year. After about a decade in the mortgage industry, he realized the power of relationships in the industry. He founded a company which would merge to one day become refer.com. After taking refer.com to 5 million users, he had a successful exit. Now, Brandon runs HOA.com to provider better solutions for homeowner associations nationwide. He has also written the book Raving Referrals to help everyone understand the power of referrals.
S1 E5: Taking a "Step Back" in Her Career Might Have Been the Best Decision of Her Life | Little Blue Bakehouse
48:54Allison Vick was always baking things as a kid. For one of her birthday's her parents bought her an Easy Bake Oven. She loved trying different recipes, but as she grew older, she never really though of baking as a profession. She went to NCSU for degrees in Textiles and and Spanish. After she graduated, she took a job working for a travel abroad company in Austin, TX. While she enjoyed the work she did, she realized it wasn't her passion. She took a huge risk, and left her job to work in the bakery at Whole Foods for $9/hr. After two years of learning everything she could at Whole Foods, she started working as a pastry chef in different restaurants in Texas. After the birth of her son, she moved back to her home state of North Carolina and started her own business, Little Blue Macaron. Initially she sold at Farmers Markets, but eventually grew to wanting to open a retail location. However, her husband and her opened a very unique concept. Little Blue Bakehouse, effectively a dessert food hall, allowed her to sell her macarons in retail, while also giving other small businesses a chance to share a commercial kitchen with a retail front.
S1 E4: A Chef's Kiss on Ice Cream | Simons Says Dip This
42:38Join us for a mouthwatering episode as we dive into the story of Nathan and Audrey Simons, the creative minds behind Simons Says Dip This, a one-of-a-kind ice cream parlor where you call the shots on how your favorite treat gets dressed.Their journey is as unique as their concept. Nathan and Audrey's whirlwind romance led to marriage just three months after they met at church in 2006. Nathan's passion for cooking led him to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and later to acclaimed kitchens in North Carolina and New York.Audrey, a UNC Chapel Hill graduate in English Literature and German, transitioned from financial advising to guest services, discovering her knack for enhancing customer experiences.The idea for Simons Says Dip This sparked during a late-night drive to Atlanta, reminiscing about their love for dipped ice cream cones. Fast forward to 2020, and their dream became a reality. Now, three years later, they're not only thriving but also gearing up to open a second location.
S1 E3: Leaving Engineering to Nashville Hot Chicken & Smashburgers | SmashvilleNJ
45:24Omar Habib's parents taught him one thing his entire life: education is everything. Growing up in a low-income area of Houston, TX, Omar's parents stressed the importance of him getting a great education to help create a stable future. Omar took that advice and got a degree in engineering while working full time to help pay for his tuition, even though he always thought his passion would be in business.However, when the COVID pandemic struck, his cousin told him to come learn real estate with him in New Jersey. Within a few months, Omar realized that the lifestyle the business world afforded him was what he wanted to do. His cousin realized Omar was a foodie and suggested he open his restaurant one day. Omar didn't take the suggestion too seriously at first, but soon, the right opportunities fell into place and Omar started a Smashburger and Hot Chicken restaurant called Smashville in New Brunswick, NJ. At only 27 years old and with no restaurant experience, Omar risked it all to try to reach his dreams. Within a few months, Smashville was a hit and now Omar wants to share his story to young entrepreneurs to help inspire them to not overthink it and just take the plunge.
S1 E2: Never Working A Late Night Again With Carolyn Roy | Biscuit Head
55:02Carolyn Roy had a major problem... She was working too many late nights and was missing out on valuable time with her growing son. After working in the restaurant industry for years, she was finally ready to take control of her hours and together with her partner, launched Biscuit Head.She wanted to start a business where it was impossible to work late hours, and Biscuit Head was born. A fast-service Breakfast / Brunch restaurant was born in the charming mountain city of Asheville, NC. While there were many sit down brunch places, no one had brought a fast-causal breakfast concept to Asheville. Biscuit Head was revolutionary to Asheville with its concept and especially its free jam and condiment bar. Her work paid off quickly, as Biscuit Head was packed from the very first day. Now, Biscuit Head has 4 locations in Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC. Tune in as we uncover the secrets behind Biscuit Head's rise to success and the lessons Carolyn learned along the way.Subscribe now to How I Built Local!
S1 E1: From a Refugee Camp to Running the Top Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC | Med Deli
44:13Join us in this exciting episode of "How I Built Local" as we dive into the journey of Jamil Kadoura, the owner of Med Deli. Inspired by the wildly popular "How I Built This" series, we sit down with Jamil to uncover his storyFrom its modest origins as a tiny eatery to becoming a beloved local hotspot, Med Deli has been a thriving testament to passion, perseverance, and the art of crafting exceptional Mediterranean cuisine. In this exciting interview, Jamil takes us on a rollercoaster ride of his entrepreneurial adventure.Whether you're a budding entrepreneur, a food enthusiast, or simply curious about the journey behind a local success story, this episode of "How I Built Local" will leave you inspired and hungry for more. Tune in as we uncover the secrets behind Med Deli's rise to fame and the lessons learned along the way.Subscribe now to How I Built Local!**DISCLAIMER: This episode was recorded before a fire caused severe damage to Med Deli. Please continue to support Med Deli and visit their social medias to get the most up to date information about the reopening**