Steven Gonzalez, Reporter
Gavin Georgitsis’ household of four tends to have leftover brisket, so it became a regular occurrence at the his home to give out free meals to friends and family. The more people began to clamor for the food, the more Georgitsis started to think that there was money to be made in his cooking.
Georgitsis is a 17-year-old Pierce College Puyallup Running Start student who found his passion in cooking after watching Chef at 15. Georgitsis recalled the cast visiting a place called Franklin BBQ in Austin, Texas for the movie and how good the food appeared to be. After finding out that Franklin BBQ was a real establishment in Texas, Georgitsis had a desire to bring quality barbecue to the Washington area.
Georgitsis co-owns George’s BBQ with friends Francis Babauta and Kennethan Heng. Georgitsis thought working alone on his passion was boring, but working with his friends made it all the more enticing. Once the time for expansion to the Puyallup Farmer’s Market came, Georgitsis decided to legitimately give his friends positions in the establishment.
“Kennethan’s really taken to it, he’s a complete workhorse,” Georgitsis said. “Francis is one of those guys that seems like he’s not doing a lot sometimes, but really he’s just thinking of the best way to get it done.”
Georgitsis found the lack of connections to be his biggest challenge when starting out, and the unexpected requirements like permits, menu approval and a business license. Having his friends to lean on makes all the difference to Georgitsis.
Georgitsis stated that between his mother and girlfriend who help out when things get busy, and another friend, Nick Lasalle, shifting responsibilities is a must.
When business is slow, the three co-owners will rotate employees around so everyone can get experience in the different aspects of the BBQ trade.
With George’s BBQ getting an opportunity to debut at Addo Seattle on Father’s Day, the co-owners are considering whether or not they’ll require more workers. With the work ethic promoted at the farmer’s market, Georgitsis doubts there will be much of an issue.
He said every stand operators around George’s BBQ have been supportive and credits the farmer’s market as a whole for the business’ success.
George’s BBQ knows success well, despite its short time at the farmer’s market. George’s BBQ was notified by the market manager that it had the highest revenue within its first three weeks on site. At first Georgitsis wasn’t happy about their site being at the end of the market, but he found that word of mouth and loyal customers made all the difference.
As he said there is no better way to draw an opinion on the establishment, Georgitsis recommends people come down to the farmer’s market and try the BBQ for themselves.
“If you have any ideas of starting your own business, just go for it,” Georgitsis said. “It’s all about work ethic.”
With George’s BBQ debuting a pop-up stand at Addo’s Seattle location on June 17, Georgitsis hopes that he and his friends will be able to find themselves with their own brick and mortar location soon.
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