Monday, June 16, 2014

One year ago tomorrow, June 17th 2013, my family and I open "The Original Paul's Wood-Fired Burgers" for business. We hired a great team of young and older alike to help us "Create the Dream," and "Create the Dream" we did for 3 months. Those short 3 months proved to us that it is worth all the pain and work to realize one's Dream. That Dream became a reality because of great people like you reading this post. I am grateful for all the kind words and support while we were still at the restaurant as well as after we were no longer there. Over the last 9 months it has been absolutely humbling to receive all the great support and kind words through a rather difficult time. Beth, the girls and I want all of you know that we have no regrets and that God's will is at work here. Our lives have changed in a way I could never have dreamed 9 short months ago. I have had no less than a dozen people offer to finance a new "Original Paul's Wood-Fired Burgers" during this time and for now I am saying "thank you but no Thank you." I am confident the offers will keep coming and "maybe, maybe" one day I may jump back in the saddle. In the meantime I pledge to all of you who are interested that we will have a reunion in the fall and ALL of you are invited. "The Grillin is on me," 

Thank you are truly great friends and we will meet again.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oh.....Lookie it? Yes......yes I think it is...........Yep it's my old friend that has come out of retirement. Man those "Original Paul's Wood-Fired Burgers" are truly special. Yum!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It Was Meant To Be

To all my friends:

A little over a year ago I sincerely believed, along with my family, that I was going to live the American Dream and build my own business. Well, as you all know that did not work out.

Fast forward to this past week. Tuesday I flew out of Charlotte for a 2 day trade show with Nicvape, my new employer. To say it was a great show is an understatement. I am a few

negotiations, and flights to California, away from closing the largest wholesaler in North America. Additionally I have leads for 80 more heavy hitters all across the world.

I would publicly like to thank NicVape for believing in me and allowing me to contribute. It's refreshing to work for an owner who listens to my ideas and implements them. I don't know it all but 25+ years in the c-store and mass channels does bring a certain experience level. To top it off, the owner is buying a grill this week and I get to grill "Original Paul's Wood-Fired Burgers" for the entire company. Gonna be a blast

For all you loyal "Original Paul's" friends, rest assured we all enjoyed a great burger experience together and no one can ever take that away from us. As I build my career with NicVape I want to bring us all together occasionally to grill out and fellowship together.

God knew what he was doing when he directed the loss of the restaurant. For the last 8 months I have not questioned his sovereignty but prayed for an answer. This week, talking to all those people from all over the world gave me my answer and the direction for the rest of my life. For that I praise God, thank my family for their unwavering support and thank all of you for your friendship.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

I've Been Told to "Get Over It!"

I have received  a post and/or message or two from people telling me to "get over it" and move on. Well, all I can say is if the shoe was on the other foot and "that person" had dreamed and worked for nearly 5 years to perfect the recipes, and there were original recipes not just "wood chips," perfect the very unique chili, create to logo, create the caricature, design the mobile rig from scratch, have your wife and daughter be asked to resign their jobs, work 92+ hours a week for the first 6 weeks, see your dream a reality, be told daily you had "the best burger I have ever eaten, create "Funnelnut" from scratch, and so and so and so on.

You tell me that you do all that, with your family and in one day have it all taken away, and someone say "get over it."

How do you feel??

Not so easy is it?

For all the rest of you who continue to hold out hope of an "Original Paul's Wood-Fired Burgers" I can tell you there is a great deal of interest in the idea but this time I will take my time, find the right investors or do it myself and do it right.

Thank you all.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Thank you to all of you who have messaged me asking if we were at Spring Fling in Spartanburg this weekend. No, we are not involved in any way nor do we want to be associated with what is happening in Roebuck. The concession rig, that I designed by the way, is at Spring Fling but the Eberhart's are not involved. I want to thank all of you who continue to support us and trust me when I say, "I am down, but not out by any means." Stay Tuned

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Here is my segment on the Nationally Syndicated Radio Show
The John Boy and Billy Big Show

Thursday, February 6, 2014

For Potential Investors...............

I am going to cut to the chase, put all my cards on the table and as the Eagle Scout in me dictates and be brutally honest. I had been looking for an investor for 3 years when I found my former partner last year. My original pitch to him was a mobile rig in order to build the brand and then move to brick and mortar. He wanted no part of the mobile rig at the time and infused $50,000 in equipment and working capital on an old restaurant in Roebuck, SC. I am just a working stiff with great ideas and he was the bank. We agreed to a weekly salary for the first year and I would handle operations which for the first 2 months were 92 hours per week. I absolutely loved it. The customers were lined out the door for weeks on end. From June 17th to the end of July we had $101,000 in sales. Week 1 we did $20,000! You would have to see the location to understand how big that was. We were in a crossroads away from all the prime locations. The customers were buying in to the concept 100%. We used small chalkboards to write their name at the register so when the runners took the food to the table the customer would be greeted by name. I was out in the dining room shaking hands at every opportunity. Many customers asked if we were a national franchise because of the branding and food quality.

When I decided this was what I wanted to do I knew we had to be different in order to compete in the burger category. We were different. I landed an exclusive 80/20 chuck blend from Burger Maker in NJ. The quality of that patty was the exact same quality of the bulk blend we started with and were hand pattying. That patty was grilled indoors on outdoor ceramic grills (identical to Big Green Egg) over hickory and oak wood lump charcoal. I also hit the patty with a special dry rub before grilling that gave the burger a truly unique wood-fired taste profile. The fries were Lamb Weston skin on fries that were better than the fresh cut fries we tested. The bun is the same bun Culver’s uses and is nothing short of awesome. To top all that off we had funnel cakes, fried Oreos and fried Snickers. The funnel cake mix I used is a world class mix made with real vanilla from The Funnel Cake Company in Gatlinburg, TN.

I’m sure you are wondering what happened with the investor. Well, September came and that is traditionally the slowest month of the year for restaurants. He began cutting expenses. The first cut was my wife and daughter. He asked them to resign their jobs to join me at the restaurant and decided on September 20th that he didn’t want to pay them anymore. A week later he did the same to me. He broke our contract and refused to pay me. I had no choice but to go find a job and find one fast.

I have kept the Facebook page which still has 1400 Likes. My daughter and I administered the page and that is where the bulk of the business came from. I engaged the customers daily in the restaurant and on FB and it paid off. All of those 1400 to this day want me and my family to re-create Paul’s. That is why I am confident we could open either a food truck or brick and mortar and never miss a lick.

I have a great deal to learn about the financial side of the business beyond labor and food cost. My strength is my absolute passion for my product and willingness to shout it from the rooftops. I think the best way to answer your questions is for us to get on the phone and you tell me what you want and I will do my best to answer. Food Trucks are just starting to pop up here in SC and I think that is where the real opportunity is. Overhead is very low and profits are much higher in that at an event the menu price increases.

I hope this has given you a glimpse of who I am.