I ended up co-founding Stubb's BBQ with my roommate and C.B. Stubblefield, the sauce's namesake. Stubb was friend of my roommate's. He had mailed us a cooler of BBQ and sauce. We had a party that night, we were eating the food and a lightbulb went off -- we knew the world needed to taste this stuff.
Nineteen years later the sauce company is a $30 million business. I also co-founded a separate company, Stubb's Austin Restaurant Corporate, which opened a restaurant and music venue. When I left the sauce company three years ago, I was looking for something new and ended up helping start Rhythm Superfoods, which makes vegetable and fruit-based snacks.
Staying in the same industry helped me grow this company faster and smarter. Back when we started the sauce company we were so young and dumb, we thought we could take over the world. We didn't know how to deal with retailers. We were just pitching the sauce to stores and hiring brokers in different parts of the country.
Finally one of the store managers told us he would carry our stuff if it came through his distributor. There was this whole network of specialty food distributors and sales brokers that we didn't even know existed. But when we started Rhythm those relationships lined up the first day. We are moving along three to four times faster than we did with the sauce company.
From dream cars to family time, these entrepreneurs have sacrificed a lot.