Rising Junior Jack Barber Talks Food Truck Entrepreneurship
It was only last summer that Jack Barber opened his food truck Mainely Burgers with business partner Ben Berman. In April, they won Eaterâ€™s Best Burger in Maine. And last Wednesday, they became one of just five businesses honored at the annual Entreverge awards. (Entreverge recognizes local entrepreneurs whose businesses exhibit a scalable vision and long-term commitment to Maine.)
Whatâ€™s does the Entreverge win mean for your business?
When Ben and I heard our name called, it was pretty unbelievable. Last summer, we were prepping food to try to get through a day. Stepping back to see how much our business has grown in just one year â€“ itâ€™s been amazing. To have 15 employees, nowâ€¦
You have 15 employees?
Yes. All high school and college kids, home for the summer. Both our brothers are working for us. Plus friends or friends of friends â€“ people we know who need jobs.Â The personal aspect has been great and has made training and interacting so much easier.
Wow. Youâ€™re a job creator!
Yeah, itâ€™s really cool for us. We created this business so that we could come back to Maine.Â There really arenâ€™t internships for kids here â€“ people have to go to Boston for them. But we just love being here. To me there is nowhere better than Maine.
How has Babson helped you get here?Â
Financial perspective, definitely, and understanding accounting â€“ our books are so much better now. And learning about social media and how to use it to interact with our customers.
Having Andrew Zimmern tweet at us â€“ I could never have imagined that when we were starting out. I have to pinch myself when I think about it!
And of course Food Sol has been huge for me to understand the food system and care about where our food is coming from. Weâ€™ve started sourcing through Farm Fresh Connection â€“ for potatoes and other veggies.
So whatâ€™s next?
Weâ€™re adding a third truck. Itâ€™s being inspected this week and we should be on the road in a few weeks. Itâ€™ll be called Mainely Treats and will be all gourmet, locally-sourced, ice cream sandwiches. Mount Desert Island does funky flavors â€“ so really fun ones.
Iâ€™m so excited for whatâ€™s to come!