LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The entrepreneurial spirit may be alive and well. But it's nothing like seeing those "going out of business" signs to put a damper on that spirit. So what pushes a person to go out on a limb and take the plunge anyway? In the final part of our special report, "From Wall Street to Ryan Street," we highlight one young businessman who's venturing out in spite of choppy waters!
Josh Priola has been working on his dream for four years... A sandwich shop. But his vision wasn't just for any ordinary sandwich shop!
Josh says, " I wanted something even more than that. I wanted to be able to shake up what people think about a sandwich."
And that he did!... with the little cafe he calls Street Breads. Priola says, "I want to be able to take flavors from all over the world, Latin America, and Europe, and the Deep South... everywhere they have these great flavors and put them on a sandwich in a way that we rearrange them." Street Breads just opened about three months ago. And business is booming. Their sauces, 26 of them... all done from scratch every day.
But like any new business owner in a tough economy, Josh had his concerns. But he did his homework... "I looked at Subway and even during those times, the Subway franchise was still booming and growing and other people were going out of business. And even though the economy was a drag, these people were pressing on in spite of it."
So he went all the way to New York to the Culinary Institute of America and hired their consulting department to help him navigate through his vision. It took four years from the beginning of this dream to making it a reality. What has been the key ingredient in Josh's recipe for success?
"You have to have good people around you. So that when you start to fall, the guy next to you encourages you. And he makes you better than you could be otherwise. And if you get enough of those people around you, then you stand a better chance."