“Being an entrepreneur is a mindset. You have to see things as opportunities all the time.” – Soledad O’Brien
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Business Visit | Global Brew Tap House - Edwardsville, IL & Sugarfire 618
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CEO students received two business visits in one as they went on a talk and tour with Global Brew and Sugar Fire 618 owner, Ryan High!
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Ryan’s unique story began back in 2011 when he and his wife opened the very first Global Brew Tap House in Edwardsville, IL. Their goal? Launch a business that provided good beer and a great atmosphere to the community. Their vision caught on quickly as they opened a second location in a neighboring town (O’Fallon) just a year after their initial launch. After the popularity of the first two locations, Ryan decided to franchise his business and has since expanded to six different locations across the states.
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During the pandemic, the opportunity to purchase the neighboring restaurant franchise, Sugar Fire, presented itself. Ryan’s entrepreneurial advice to our students? In any business, you can never anticipate all of the challenges or opportunities that will come…you have to recognize those opportunities and be ready to take a risk in order to be successful.
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Start off with a plan for your business, but understand that something will ALWAYS come up that was not anticipated in the plan. You have to be flexible, willing to work hard and pivot to make it happen.
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Other topics and lessons covered this morning included:
• The importance of business location and process of expansion
• Franchising (both starting an original franchise and purchasing an existing!)
• Federal law surrounding alcohol distribution (3 tiers: breweries – distributors – retailers)
• Set up and spacing in a restaurant/bar setting (cost per square foot and value consideration)
• How customer demands drive supply
• Supply chain shortages and issues
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Ryan not only donates his time and energy for yearly business visits, he is a program mentor and advisor! Thank you so much for sharing your story, business/life lessons and for all of the support you provide our students and program. We are thrilled to have you as a CEO partner!

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