Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kickstart It!

In my opinion, there is nothing more scary in the business professional world than taking the entrepreneurial plunge. Bryan and Tim are shaking up Ely, MN with their new TexMex adventure.
They are Kickstarting it as well with impressive success. Right now they are hours from meeting their deadline and goal. Do you want to go and invest so you can always TACO 'bout it? See their awesome Kickstarter page HERE.
I interviewed Bryan and wanted to share with you some information about his adventure and experience with Kickstarter. My hope is that it will light a fire under that idea you have. 
Bryan has been an employee for most of his career. His partner, Tim, has been an entrepreneur since he was a teenager. Per Bryan when I interviewed him and got a sneak peek of 2 Gringos:
“Tim and I have been friends for ten years or so. We met through mutual friends when I began working at the Ely Steak House in 2006. I have worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. I love food and enjoy bringing smiles to people’s faces with that food and great service. Tim is a lifelong entrepreneur. He started his first landscaping business as a teenager and rode that business to where he is today. Owner of the Ely Bowling Center and now a part owner of 2 Gringos Grill. I have the food and service know how and Tim is very business savvy, so the two of us together makes us a team built for success.”
Bryan has been planning a long time too:
“I have had the dream of opening my own restaurant my whole life! I started thinking about what is now 2 Gringos Grill about 5 years ago. Throughout my years in the Ely restaurant business, there has always been a demand for Mexican food and really very limited options.”
I must agree with him. In fact, when I talk to the locals in the tri-city area way up here on the range.... You are looking at a four hour round trip to Duluth for a good Mexican meal. Not anymore.
Bryan's vision is well-developed. Considering his extensive experience, I would expect nothing less.
“My vision for 2 Gringos Grill and the dining experience as a whole is to transport the diner to somewhere a little more tropical and festive! Anyone who lives here knows that the winters are long and I wanted this to be an escape from the 30 below temps and dreary gray landscapes. In the summer I want people to come for cool frozen beverages and a fun festive atmosphere. The food is going to be delicious year round no matter if someone is dining in, carrying out, or getting a delivery. I also want people to know that they are welcome to stay and enjoy the atmosphere in a non-hurried environment while having food and drinks, or they can stop in for a quick lunch or dinner if they are in a hurry.”
So, less than one year ago, Bryan and Tim took over a Pizza Hut that was closed. Today it already looks like a fiesta. The craftsmanship that has gone into this renovation was very impressive to me.
Per Bryan:  “My favorite part of the renovation so far is just seeing the transformation from the old to the new, and knowing that we built it with our own hands. There is nothing in the building that we haven’t left our mark on. It is satisfying to know that we did it with the help of our friends and family.”
I have a love for Mexican food, and I am committed to serve my new community to the best of my ability. Bryan and Tim have the demand, the recipe for success, and most of all they're experienced.
Bryan shared with me his same passion for Ely and the Northwoods of Minnesnowta:
“My biggest inspiration for this project is my family and community. Apart from trying to achieve my dream of having my own restaurant, I am trying to build something for my family and community. I want to have a successful business to leave behind for my kids, and I want to bring something new and vibrant to the community while providing revenue and jobs to help keep our city going. I want my family to be here for a long time!”
Kickstarter had my attention along with all the crowdfunding out there a few years ago. How neat to allow the entire digital world to get behind your dream. I wanted to get some information from him about his experience with this platform so I asked him more questions. Not a surprise, I learned more about how crowdfunding works:

Regarding the simplicity of the platform and navigation to build your Kickstarter page:

“Doing the actual set up of the Kickstarter page is pretty simple. The preparation for it however is the hard part. There are many tools that they provide to help you build a campaign and tips and tricks to make your page more engaging. The biggest part of it is making a good pitch for your idea, and knowing what kind of rewards you are going to offer the people that are choosing to back your project. They recommend making a video to explain your project and that was the most difficult part for me.  Also, you can see a lot of Kickstarter videos that have a huge amount of production to them, many people actually hire professional videographers to make the pitch videos, but as I was trying to make my campaign on a tiny budget, I just went for it!”

As of this afternoon, 4/20/2016...... They are getting really close to their goal and deadline:

Per Bryan: “It feels great to be so close, but yet very scary because we are not there yet! The thing with Kickstarter is that if you do not reach your goal, you get nothing. All those people that pledged support for your project will end up not getting charged for the project if we don’t reach the end goal. So it is a bit nerve racking being this close yet still a few thousand away from reaching our goal. It is very gratifying to have watched it grow over the last few weeks because every time someone backs us, it is a vote of confidence in what we are trying to do!”
Do you have the urge to build your own empire? Let Bryan's advice motivate you:
“Go for it! Make sure you take a lot of time planning your pitch before putting it out there to the public. Get a lot of opinions from family and friends, see what works and doesn’t. Once you go live with the project, there are a lot of things that can’t be changed, so make sure that what you want to put out there as a message is in line with what you are trying to do! After you go live, just make sure that you are getting it visible to the public and the audience you are trying to go after. There are many ways to do that, some free, some cost money. Do what you can afford, and have faith in your idea!”
I happen to love studying people. Their ideas, passions, and dreams are important to me. When I moved to Ely in 2015, Bryan was one of the first to offer me the excellent service I have come to expect. The least I can do is study them, spread their ideas and passions around the world, and hopefully, help 2 Gringos reach their goal.
So if you are inclined to invest, you have hours to do so. I believe this business will be a whopping success.
This year, Ely has its first ever Annual Canoe Festival in early June.
2 Gringos will be open by then and I hope to see you there! Feel free to send me a message or email and I will recommend the places that fit your desires. Trust me, after you visit us, you might want to come back again and again. Ely has tons of accolades for various reasons. See more about my new home HERE.
As always, thanks for reading and remember.... Everyone has the right to write.

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