OK, let me give the whole story.
First, the reasons I did not want to get into this because I feel like this place is a message board intended for restaurant discussion. I don't have a problem with telling anyone anything about my personal life, but I do feel like the details don't really belong here, but I guess there have been enough questions regarding exactly why I want to do the business the way I want to do it that I ought to plug in some details.
I grew up in Northern New Jersey. (I ate at most of the really famous North Jersey dog eateries riding in my grandpas garbage truck) I moved down to Kentucky at age 18, for college.
All through college I was involved in political campaigns, and before long I got a really good knack for the public relations end of things. I learned to get a name in front of people for cheap. I learned how to sell a candidate. I learned the art of using free media. I have learned the value of grassroots networking and asking people to help. In short, I learned how to be a really good salesman.
A couple of years after college I was in grad school part time and involved in political campaigns full time, and delivering sandwiches during the political off season to help pay for grad school.
After working there for a while and getting to know the owner pretty well he convinced me to invest some money in the business, to "buy in" and for me to be the public relations guy. I was pretty skeptical about being part owner of a restaurant, but he phrased it to me like this... Your running a political campaign and the candidate is pizza.
The business did not work out. Our pizza was VERY good. Our prices were the best in town. $5.99 for a large one topping delivered. We had a GREAT business. I brought the business but my partner never really lived up to his end of the deal in being a brilliant restaurateur. He eventually bought me out for only a little less than I put into it, but skipped out on the last few thousand bucks shortly after I left and the thing totally fell apart.
Here is what I learned from that and I'll never do it again:
1) Don't try to be the cheapest. Provide a good product and ask a reasonable amount for it.
2) Anybody can make good food, but not everyone can sell it. My partner was EXACTLY right, selling food is just like selling a political candidate.
So after leaving the pizza store I left Bowling Green all together. It is a long sad story, like a country song. I recently posted the details on my blog for the first time. http://maleknation.blogspot.com/2007/01/another-life-somewhere-in-sun.html
It is in the details of the story that all of my stubbornness can be better understood.
I have learned, the hard way, to demand quality and excellence. In everything. Period. For me, being the guy who rode around on my Grandpas garbage truck eating at Rutts and the Hot Grill as a kid, to come back to Kentucky and sell crap hot dogs is nuts.
From a personal perspective, I try to deal in quality in everything I do. I don't care if its the hot dogs I sell, the people I associate with, the actions I take, etc... The fast buck, the easy way, the cheap dog to maximize profit, is short term thinking that is not a decision based on maturity.
Maturity teaches the law of process... It may indeed take a little time for people around here to catch onto a real hot dog. It may take a few seasons for me to start really raking in some money. Who cares! This is fun! If I can sell enough dogs to pay the bills of the business and put a few dollars in my pocket, good enough for now. It's NOT that I am not in this to make money, but I plan to make ZERO the first year, because the wisdom of my life experience has taught me that anything worth it will take time. I'm only 32. I have plenty of time to build this thing.
Bottom line is I won't be a whore and sell crap for a quick buck. I'd rather do something else.
Public Relations and the Business Name---
People around here know me. I am not, nor do I pretend to be, anyone important, but I know lots of folks. My past in being involved in politics and campaigns has given me a unique position that I know a ton of people, and through most of my involvement here I was FAT. I was a big ole boy. I was a moose.
I no longer am. I am actually pretty skinny.
Its pretty much the same with being a Yankee. A big part of my personal story is that I am from the north. I make no bones about the fact that I grew up there but everyone that knows me knows that I had a very bad time up there and harbor a fair amount of hostility toward my time spent in northern lands I love where I live, I love Bowling Green, and I would never leave here again, but like it or not, I am a Yankee.
Folks in the community know me as Fat Rick the Yankee. I got an e-mail yesterday from a long time friend and the opening line was, "Hey you fat Yankee bastard" The way I see it you need to take your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. I don't care for Yankees any more than people down here do, but Yankees sure do make good hot dogs.
With all that said, I won't be using that name.
I am in a unique position in launching this business. I took all the attributes I have... Restaurant experience, well connected locally, versed on public relations and making a sale.
Thats a little more on my background and why I have come at this project from a bit of an unconventional angle...Its what my life experiences have taught me.