We had the good fortune of connecting with Colton Grubb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colton, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I knew deep down, being my own boss was something I wanted after growing up around entrepreneurs and gaining real-life business experience. I never knew how it would happen until I was at a career crossroad. I decided to end my time in the car business in August 2014, not knowing exactly what I would do. Once the initial idea popped in my head over the following month, it continued to snowball, and I was determined to see where it took me. I’ve always been passionate about food and experiencing different restaurants. So one day in 2014 — a simple conversation with family reminded me of this how passim and how I “stak’d” my food at home growing up. The conversation evolved about fries with different dipping sauces for a late night snack, so I did initial research on the restaurant industry and specifically the fast-casual segment. At the same time, I started creating a concept focused on building an entree on a base of food whether it be roasted veggies, waffle fries or something else. To me there were similarities with bowl concepts, but after continuously researching I knew we were creating a unique identity. Over time, with various tweaks and test kitchens we opened Grubstak in December 2016. Our menu and concept have continued to evolve since the initial idea began to come to light. We will hit our 4 year mark of being in business in December 2020.
What should our readers know about your business?
Grubstak is locally owned and operated starting from the ground up as a one-of-a-kind concept. We are proud of our fresh made, high-quality food and our unique entrees. Our goal is for guests to leave full and happy. Guest service is our main priority as we try to keep it simple and treat everyone as we would like to be treated when dining out. The entire experience has been a challenge and there are new ones popping up each day as we’ve seen even more in 2020. One of the biggest lessons which has helped overcome continued challenges is remembering brands take time to develop. It is very true and oversimplified, but Rome was not built in a day. It is important to stick to who you are, what you believe in and remembering why you created your own business in the first place. These all come into question at some point and having a strong foundation gives you a better chance of learning from the good and bad challenges and sticking to your long-term goals. Our Grubstak story is one of family and incredible food. I grew up knowing I wanted to own my own business after seeing the success of my grandpa and dad and absolutely loved food and going to restaurants. Dinner time means family to me. This was when we were all together. It only made sense my jump into the entrepreneurial world was centered around food and the lessons I learned from my family at the dinner table.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would spend our time mostly in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area playing golf, taking a hike like Camelback Mountain and enjoying one of our professional sports teams games. Restaurants we would definitely hit would be Chelsea’s Kitchen, Tarbell’s, Hillstone, and Tratto.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I met my now wife about 8 months into creating Grubstak and she has been with me every step of the way since. Her constant support and belief are incredible to say the least! The best part about Grubstak is it led to us meeting. Also, my family and close friends deserve a shoutout for understanding the time, effort and sacrifice it takes to start and operate a business especially in the service industry. They have been nothing but supportive as the majority of my time and energy outside of my wife and son is towards Grubstak.