Bear’s Backyard Grill is for sale. Who wants it? Who should have it? How?
Bear’s Backyard Grill burst onto the Northern Colorado food scene in June of 2014 and served thousands of satisfied customers at food truck rallies, birthday parties and weddings, company picnics, and all kinds of other special events by the end of 2015, when we discontinued operations. Burn hot, burn bright, burn out – like a shooting star!
For me (founder Curt Bear), making a small business out of my passion for food was a good way to risk falling out of love with both, and so I chose to park the trailer and use my talents in other ways. I just celebrated one year in business as a partner in the Poudre Trail Associates office of Thrivent Financial, and I also manage the LoCo Think Tanks, the first of which started 3 years ago. Though it was a tough decision to leave Bear’s Backyard Grill behind, it was the right one for me and our family. So we winterized and stored the trailer, and in the past year we attempted to develop a non-profit partnership for Bear’s (didn’t come together), and got down to building a new career – which is going great so far, thanks for asking.
Now it’s time for the trailer to move on and get back out there in 2017 – but what’s yet to be determined is how to go about doing that. Am I selling a food trailer? Selling the brand? Would I consider an operating partner? Perhaps I could lease the trailer to someone for the 2017 season? The answer is, it all depends on who wants it – I’m open to multiple options. I’m looking for the right person first, and think we can put something together that works for whoever that person is and where they’re at in life.
The trailer is a 14 foot custom built event catering specialty vehicle. Myself and a friend (mostly him really) built it on a new flat bed in the spring of 2014. It includes a 3-zone propane grill, a six-foot cold-top fridge, a meat fridge below the grill, prep and storage space, two commercial food warmers, a hand wash sink, 3-drawer Alto-Shaam, and a ton of backyard style. It’s been licensed and re-licensed, and with a few hours and some elbow grease it’s ready for inspection and re-licensing. Probably it’s worth $20,000. I’ve got WAY more into it than that – but custom is kinda like that so there ya have it. The open trailer makes for an interactive environment for guests; highest and best use is for event catering for between 50 to 250 people – with service either from the window or with the trailer as support for a buffet line to reduce wait times.
What’s the brand worth? That’s hard to say. According to the numbers, not much – we didn’t operate long enough or get big enough to really make much money. But I know how much work it has been to build the brand, and how much it cost me, (and the cost of not having a good brand), and I would really like to see this value retained and built upon. Consider the following items of value that would be included in a comprehensive acquisition or a partnership of some sort:
1. S-Corp entity – Colorado Food & Beverage, Inc. (DBA Bear’s Backyard Grill)
2. Great logo, clever branding, and a generally cool business identity.
3. Very nice website built by Old Town Media – www.bearsbackyard.co.
4. Facebook page has over 750 likes; with zero attention paid to the page in 2016.
5. I took over 200 phone calls and received over 200 emails in 2016 with zero promotion.
6. Could include a Yamaha generator, two tents, rolling storage bins, catering gear, etc.
7. Could include training and/or consulting by me for transition period.
8. I’m out in the community all the time, and can refer many events annually.
Because of all this hidden value in the brand, I’d consider an operating partner or even leasing the trailer and brand to someone on a lease with purchase-option setup. If I had it to do again, I’d focus on events with known revenues only and minimal public sales – we had to do a lot of public sales in the beginning to get our brand out there, but now have enough reputation and contacts to reduce the number of events but increase the quality of events (and make more profit).
Who might want it?
1. An established caterer, looking to add this to their offerings
2. An early retiree foodie, part-time gig to stay busy and have fun
3. A food-services program grad, looking to get in business for themselves
4. A restaurant chef or manager who wants to do their own thing
5. Anyone, really, so long as they love people and love food – COULD IT BE YOU??
So, keep your eyes and ears open for us kids, and help us find the person to write the next chapter of the Bear’s Backyard Grill story. It’s a great opportunity for the right person, and I’d especially love if we can find a way to keep the brand alive. As always, you have my thanks, my love, and my respect. Curt can be reached by email through the website, or by calling Bear’s Backyard through the number on the website – forwards to Curt’s mobile.
Happy New Year, God Bless, and here’s to making 2017 the best year yet!