5 Questions for an Eater Entrepreneur: Jack Barber
An eater entrepreneur begins by assessing his desire in terms of what’s on his plate right now, what’s not, and what he want to change. Next, he considers what he knows, who he knows, and his skills and personal strengths as tools to help him collect more information. Then, he takes a small step to see what works for him, reviews what happened, takes another step, and learns as he goes.
Jack Barber is both a food entrepreneur and an eater entrepreneur. He is also a senior at Babson College. His interview originally appeared on Examiner.com.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your food journey.
A: My family has been in the food industry for over fifty years. My passion has always been food, so when I was finding it difficult to find a job or an internship in the summer of 2012, I co- founded Mainely Burgers. We are a food truck company that specializes in gourmet burgers and, I’m proud to say, now employs 17 college and high school students.
Q: To what extent are your food choices and purchases reflective of your personal values? Would you share what a few of those values are?
A: Working in such a beautiful part of Maine, I have really seen the value of sourcing ingredients as locally as possible. Our burgers, buns, potatoes and most of our produce all comes through Maine companies and farmers. One of my favorite sayings is “a rising tide lifts all boats” because it surrounds the notion of helping one another and that is precisely what we are doing with these local companies.
Q: “Eating is an inherently entrepreneurial act.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
A: I agree 100%. From my experience, family dinner is one of the most important business meetings we have every week. We enjoy new types of food as well as discuss new ideas for Mainely Burgers. It allows me to take a step back for an hour.
Q: Given all that you’re learning about entrepreneurship, what entrepreneurial actions or decisions have you made when it comes to your meal planning at Babson?
A: Over the past few years at Babson, I have found a lot of great food markets and stores in the area that have allowed me to create a variety in my diet so that I am not attached to my dining plan. For example, Volante Farms is right up the road from campus and offers a variety of produce, prepared dinners and lunch. The quality is truly impressive and they never disappoint.
Q: Do you feel that through food, you have agency in effecting the food system? How so?
A: I firmly agree with this statement. Through our actions, consumers can bring about the necessary change. We can bring the focus to local rather than big business. And we can encourage sustainable food business practices through our choices, effectively making healthy food accessible to everyone.