An interview with Ashley Klatecki, co-owner of Spears Bourbon Burgers Beer in Wheeling.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
A: Spears is a full service restaurant, offering 100% grass fed grass finished beef, Amish chicken and wild caught seafood, not to mention our extensive craft cocktails, bourbons/whiskey and our wide variety of local and nationwide craft beers.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: We wanted everyone to be able to enjoy an amazing meal without having to worry about the unnatural things some of these companies are producing there beef/chicken with. And why not support our local farms, too? We proudly serve Strauss Beef out of Wisconsin.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: We think trying to find the right balance between home and work. Starting a restaurant is almost like having a baby. The first few years it needs a lot of attention and grooming to make it in such a competitive industry. Once it has its roots and ducks in a row, it gets a little bit easier.
Q: What's new in your business or industry?
A: This industry is always evolving and changing with all the new trends, whether it's food, the new craft cocktail movement or how huge the bourbon industry has become within the last few years. Spears is currently offering two hand selected barrels from both Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, which are both from Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: The best part is not one day is the same. I meet new guests and try out new items on the daily. I myself has learned and grew so much talking with some of the guests at Spears.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Honestly I never thought I would own a restaurant like Spears. I always wanted to be an event coordinator or wedding planner. I love interacting with guests and when you help create or organize that special day or party, it's a great feeling knowing and seeing people enjoy all the hard work that went into it.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: At first it was hard for me to ask for help. Creating a solid management team and support staff is crucial in this industry. You cannot do everything on your own.
Q: Do you have a hobby?
A: I'm a bourbon lover and my collection at home is growing, though not at big as Spears! I follow all the distilleries to see what's new that might be coming out or just read reviews and brush up on some bourbon knowledge. You would be surprised on some of the stories they have led them to where they are now.
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