Before Smoke’s, I owned a branding and design company, AmoebaCorp, for 11 years. I’m all about brand experience, and ultimately for Smoke’s, it’s about being an entertainment company.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
In 2009, my wife and I were at a summer barbecue with some buddies, and we came across a Time magazine, which had food trucks and Roy Choi from Kogi in it.
I started working at Starbucks when there were 30 stores, and when I left there were 3,000, so it was quite an incredible experience.
I grew up thinking I was going to be a professional drummer and travel the world. My journey to the restaurant industry began in high school when I started working in restaurants.
My first job was working for a little sub shop called Frank’s Place. The owner knew every guest and most of their orders, so I began to learn their orders, too.
I like to say I’ve seen this business from every angle.
This is the greatest industry in America. It took me a little longer to find it than some.
We had a family business in pet products; my dad had invented the rawhide dog treats.
My past experience wasn’t in foodservice; I spent 10–15 years in infomercials.