How Speakcheesy Founder Hillery Sawyer Achieved Her Gourmet Food Truck Dream with a PayPal Small Business Loan

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners watching know just how challenging it can be to start, secure financing, and grow your business—especially through a pandemic. It’s easy to quit and give up, but you can also turn things around. Hillery Sawyer, Owner of Speakcheesy, a gourmet grilled cheese food truck, has had quite the entrepreneurial journey thus far. From once operating off the previous day’s sales, to securing a PayPal small business loan, and overcoming a pandemic pivot, Hillery’s story of persistence is one everyone needs to hear.

Transcription:

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Hillery, thank you so much for joining us on the show.

Hillery Sawyer:
Thank you so much, John. Happy to be here.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah, fantastic. So tell us about Speakcheesy? I love the name.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And I love the concept and of course, who doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwiches.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right? So.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we categorize Speakcheesy as a funky rolling gourmet grilled cheesery.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we have 36 different types of gourmet grilled cheese.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow, that’s a lot of different grilled cheeses.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yes, a lot.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
I know of maybe one or two, with tomato or without tomato. How did you want it? But you take it on from there. Right?

Hillery Sawyer:
Right. So we make cheese blends.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So everything is grated and blended together. We even make our own spices to go into the cheese.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we call it edge to edge flavor.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
We sous vide the cheese.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Before it hits the bread.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
And that keeps the moisture and the fat in the cheese, and then it makes for that perfect stretch.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we’re a little bit of cheese nerds about it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s pretty cool. So take us back. How did the whole idea come about? We talked a little bit before we got recording today, but I think it’s a great story that our viewers would love to hear.

Hillery Sawyer:
Sure. Yeah, so I started Speakcheesy in 2014 with my two best friends.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
I was turning 27, newly moved back to my hometown and they wanted to do something special for my birthday. So they asked me what they could make me for dinner. And I was like, “I want you to make me the best grilled cheese you can make me.” Because grilled cheese is my favorite food.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
And so it was sitting around that dinner table that we got to talking about how there was a need in our community for a late night food truck. Our beautiful downtown has so many great spots for hanging out and even a beer garden and a brewery and all of that stuff.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And that’s in Rome, Georgia?

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s in Rome, Georgia.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Yep.

Hillery Sawyer:
And, gorgeous downtown. But there wasn’t a food truck and there wasn’t anywhere for folks to eat after 11:00 PM or even after 10.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Sure, sure. And if you’ve been out drinking, you’ve been to the beer garden.

Hillery Sawyer:
Exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Everyone knows, you want that cheese or something cheesy, right?

Hillery Sawyer:
Right. Carbs and fat. That’s what you need.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

Hillery Sawyer:
And so yeah, we thought this was a great creative opportunity for us to have a lot of fun because grilled cheese is so versatile.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Sure. And it was an idea we just couldn’t get past.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. You had to develop it.

Hillery Sawyer:
It was just, yeah, we had to.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
It was just where the need exists, the solution must be found.

Hillery Sawyer:
It was so neat.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we didn’t have the name Speakcheesy right away.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Originally we were call it, Say Cheese. Two of us were marketers and one of us was a recent culinary arts grad.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we wanted to build the marketing right into the business.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
So that folks would be interested in taking pictures and sharing their cheese pools with everyone.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure, sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
So yeah, it took us about two weeks to come up with a name. And as soon as we did, we’re like, “We’re getting the LLC now.”

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
We didn’t have any money, no business know how, we didn’t know if we needed lawyers or anything like that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
No one in my family had started a business like that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
And neither of the other two ladies as well.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we figured it out, figured out what we needed to do, and filed it ourselves and then started down the path of building the awareness. So we took to the streets.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And started making a grilled cheese pop up.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Okay. So it might be just something on the street corner, or?

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Something like that, right?

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That all of a sudden people are.

Hillery Sawyer:
A little speakeasy of grilled cheese right around the corner.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. We would just set up under an awning. We partnered with the local Maker Space there.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
They gave us kitchen space and we would carry the grilled cheeses down flights of stairs out front and spread them out on a table, put out a bunch of mason jars. We already came up with all of our branding by then.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So it was really cute. We created a little place where you could take your mugshot with the grilled cheese.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
And all kinds of 1920s flare.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, cool. Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
For you to pose with your grilled cheese.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. You’re kind of looking back or counting on your marketing expertise, right?

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s right. Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Pretty cool.

Hillery Sawyer:
And we really were just seeing if folks were interested. And it took off.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
And we ended up doing that for about six months and the demand kept growing.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then soon people wanted us at events and stuff like that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, that’s neat.

Hillery Sawyer:
And we were like, we really have to figure out how to get a truck.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Right, right.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
So how do you go from that to saying, alright we want to jump right in and get a truck and take this business to the next level?

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Trucks are not cheap.

Hillery Sawyer:
No, they’re not. And when you start looking out there at the food truck world, there is no MVP or minimal viable product that you can see. You can’t go to a website and be like, this is how to food truck, it doesn’t exist.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
There’s no food truck bible, in a sense.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we didn’t know how much we needed.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Or we had literally zero credit between us.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Most of us were fresh out of college or ruined our credit in college, or had tons of student debt.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we had to be creative about how to do that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
So this whole agile from our marketing background of taking the most basic form of getting started and then bootstrapping from there.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So what did we need to get started with? So we started with the tent, right?

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then we started with a flat top grill that we put on a propane grill.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Someone gave us a propane grill.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then from there, each of the girls actually got better job opportunities before we got to the truck location together.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. So now it’s just you and the business?

Hillery Sawyer:
Then it was just me.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
So I kept doing popups, I had a couple of folks who volunteered, just really wanted to see this happen.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow, that’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
And so they would work with me.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
And.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Everybody has those people in their life that are willing to do that, right?

Hillery Sawyer:
It’s amazing.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah, yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Whether it be parents or, or kids or siblings or cousins or friends or whatever.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
There’s always somebody that says, I believe in you.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And let’s do this.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right?

Hillery Sawyer:
And for me it was folks who were just from the community.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And perhaps people that liked the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Hillery Sawyer:
Exactly, yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That they just ate and say, “Wow, this thing needs to be something that goes much further.”

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. And there was, one of my biggest helpers was Kris Erda, she was a mom at the local theater.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And we had done some productions there when I was younger.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So she just knew me from growing up.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
So, and she just saw what we were doing and wanted it to happen for us.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. That’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
So it’s really amazing.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then from there it took me about six months. I started looking at trucks, all different.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Price ranges and trailers and all kinds of stuff. Really just doing the research to see what was out there.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then, because there was only one food truck in Rome and they had just moved into a restaurant. So they had their hands full, they weren’t really able to be a mentor right away.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
I started looking for folks to help me figure out licensing.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Because that didn’t exist.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
It’s a big part of it.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right, right.

Hillery Sawyer:
Not in our area at least. And so I ended up landing on this little trailer and I actually received a small, quick pay loan from the Maker Village.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Which is the nonprofit sector of the Maker Space.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And they incubate businesses. So they gave me a $5,000 loan.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And I’d have a two week grace period and then I had to start paying like $450 a week.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. A week? Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
A week.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’ll get you out there.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
So I had to find the truck quick.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Because they wanted to get that back. Right?

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
And so I found the truck, I rented it for a week, tested it at a local tasting event and then figured out what I needed to do. And then in 10 days, a friend and I converted this trailer to be license ready by the next Friday.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Because our health department only licensed on Friday.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s funny.

Hillery Sawyer:
So I got it two days before Thanksgiving of 2015.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And got it ready for our debut on December 3rd.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. That’s fantastic.

Hillery Sawyer:
So it was crazy.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s great. So you get the license, you probably have got it now, unless you had by then, get the wrap on it or get the graphics on it and such.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
To let people know what you’re doing. Right?

Hillery Sawyer:
Well, I had a friend who worked at a print company and he made a bunch of vinyl stickers for me to start.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
The truck was candy apple red, which is not what I wanted.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And it took me a year, but then I raised the funds on top of working the truck and paying off the loan.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Which I did in the four months time.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Great.

Hillery Sawyer:
I actually got a PayPal loan.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Through PayPal Working Capital.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s kind of cool.

Hillery Sawyer:
To help me hire an artist.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
So PayPal was there with the money for you to Go to that next level?

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. It’s really cool. PayPal gives you loans based off of how many sales that you have.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So it’s percentage based.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
It’s not a fixed loan price, especially for the Working Capital.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
They do have the PayPal Business Loan, which is a little different structure.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
But with PayPal Business Loan, once you meet the eligible sales, you can apply for a loan within a range. I just got a small $1500 loan.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So I could hire an artist to paint the truck.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then from there you just pay it back out of your daily sales.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So it takes the stress off of going to a traditional bank.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah, that’s great. Sure. Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
Especially for someone with no credit.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And as we all know, as entrepreneurs, it’s tough to get any money from a traditional bank.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
You have to go in there and show that you really don’t need their money or their loan.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And then maybe they’ll consider you.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
So to have PayPal right there with the cash, saying, “Hey, we believe in you, let’s go.” That’s pretty cool.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. As a former freelancer, no collateral.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
I was a renter.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
I didn’t even have a car loan at this point.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure, sure. Wow. Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
So.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And as you mentioned, you didn’t have a tremendous amount of credit, so.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
So it was really amazing. And the cool thing about that is that sort of pummeled us into being able to, like with, I paid the artist with a section and then I was able to take on more marketing.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So that I could expand my network, where I was actually vending.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then later on, and that was in 2016.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
So do you have certain spots during the week that people can count on you being there in Rome to say, “Oh, we know that Hillary and her truck will be here fixing grilled cheese sandwiches on such and such a day.”

Hillery Sawyer:
Right. Well, we started that way.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
We don’t do that anymore.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yep. So now my husband and I run it together.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And we do events only and bookings.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we do the first Friday of each month with all the other Rome trucks, there’s now six trucks in Rome.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. That’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
In the last six years.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
So.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s great. Otherwise, a company or a party or individual could hire you and say, “Come on out, your grilled cheeses are amazing.”

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s right. Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Do they pay you and, and say, “Alright, we’re going to pay you, charge us for the grilled cheeses that you deliver.”?

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Or anybody that buys one kind of goes on our tab. Is that how that works? And you give one?

Hillery Sawyer:
There’s two different ways.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
In the food truck world, there’s caterings and guarantees like that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Where you just run a tab.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
But a lot of times you have public vending opportunities.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And that’s where either someone guarantees your minimum.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Which is what we do.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And as long as they say, “Hey, we’ll guarantee your minimum come out. We’re expecting 75 people to come through.”

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure. Okay, okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Those people would pay individually.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Gotcha.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And I would imagine, I’ve seen companies that have hired true trucks before, paid the tab for their employees.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
To say, “Come on out. We’re going to have a day outside the office here and get you lunch.” Right?

Hillery Sawyer:
Yep. We do that throughout the week, for sure.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. That’s pretty cool. So what are the plans moving forward? What does Speakcheesy look like? A second truck, a third truck?

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Maybe you franchise to somebody that says, “I love what you’re doing Hillery, and I want my own speakeasy truck.”

Hillery Sawyer:
Right, yeah. Well, all of those are on the table, hopefully.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Immediate plans are, well, the truck gets shut down at the end of December.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And that’s just because January is not our month. I’ll just say that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And typically we’ve had a lot of freezing issues in January.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we’re going on a publicity tour instead.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
So you could take the truck down to South Florida or something.

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s right. Well, last year we did try. But we’re going to have to put that off for a couple of years.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
But what we’re doing, and we want to do a national tour.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
With the truck.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, that’d be cool.

Hillery Sawyer:
Take it all the way across the US and back.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
And into small communities like ours.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, okay. Do you have a website?

Hillery Sawyer:
We do.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
It’s EatSpeakcheesy.com.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. We’ll show all that on the screen right now. And, and so if somebody wants to learn more, do you also sell merch? Do you sell shirts or tee shirts?

Hillery Sawyer:
We do have shirts and stickers.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And we also sell our cheese blends by the pound.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, wow. That’s cool.

Hillery Sawyer:
So you can take like a pound of our White Lightning, or.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay, and make your own?

Hillery Sawyer:
And make your own.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. That’s fantastic.

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. What’s the key to a really good grilled cheese sandwich? The bread?

Hillery Sawyer:
Well, there’s a lot. We have a 13 point toasty scale.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
But really with cheese, it’s moisture.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And then I would imagine there’s different cheeses that you can choose from?

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. That’s incredible. And in addition to the grilled cheese, you sell soft drinks, I would imagine. And do you sell French fries or anything that goes along with it, or what?

Hillery Sawyer:
We have kettle chips.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
We do kettle chips. We don’t do fries.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then we have my grandmother’s creamy tomato basil bisque for dipping.

Hillery Sawyer:
Oh my gosh.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
It’s got to be the best.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
I’m going to go get one right after this interview. That’s all I’m thinking about are these incredible grilled cheese sandwiches, which we’re showing right now. But so that’s fantastic, so the future is, as you said, those things are on the table, possible franchise, more trucks.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Are people asking you like, “This sandwich is so good, I love what you’re doing. We’d love to buy a truck or we’d love to get into this?”

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. We have a couple of folks who that’s now their dream.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Is to be able to have their own Speakcheesy truck.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. They’re like cheese heads.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Kind of like Wisconsin, right?

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
And my husband and I have actually just figured our own MVP truck that we would offer folks.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Sure, sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
But right now we’re opening a wholesale kitchen in Atlanta.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right in Candler Park.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow, that’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s going to offer Door Dash, Uber Eats and delivery only options.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Fantastic.

Hillery Sawyer:
That will open in March.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
And then that wholesale kitchen will supply not only our truck, but hopefully the next franchisee.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. Okay. So what about the two girls you started with, are they envious of you now? Do they call in and go, “Oh my gosh. I had no idea you were going to actually run with this idea.”

Hillery Sawyer:
No, they’re not envious. We’re all still best friends.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
In fact, one of them is now culinary arts teacher in Calhoun.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, that’s great. That’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
And I work with the school a lot.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay.

Hillery Sawyer:
And with the students.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
That’s a great opportunity that that’s opened up for me. And then the other one, she still does marketing, but she started her own business.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, that’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
So we get to inspire each other. Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s great. That’s fantastic.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And there’s nothing better than being in your own boss, right? And being in your own business, right?

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah, it takes a lot to learn.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
It does. It does.

Hillery Sawyer:
And really, I feel like in the last two years, I’ve really come into my own as being my own boss and also the boss of my husband if we’re honest.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
What words of advice would you have for those entrepreneurs or those people out there that think they want to be an entrepreneur and be in their own business? What words of advice? Because you started right there at the ground level.

Hillery Sawyer:
Right.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
And worked it up and persevered and got through it all. What advice would you have for them?

Hillery Sawyer:
I would say, go for it. I want young people and just people in general who have a dream to know that if you can put it on the pavement, you can do it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
Like, if you can think of it, you can do it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right.

Hillery Sawyer:
It takes some time to work it all out for sure. But don’t be afraid because it was really fear that held me back in the beginning.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah it does.

Hillery Sawyer:
And that first whole year of my business was I was just fearful.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
Until I started making those actual leaps and jumps and being like, you can do this.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right, right.

Hillery Sawyer:
You’ve got this. And after each one.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Hillery Sawyer:
It becomes easier. And now we just had our sixth truck-iversary on December 3rd. So sixth.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Truck-iversary?

Hillery Sawyer:
Truck-iversary.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. That’s what we call it. So now literally anything can be thrown at us.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s great.

Hillery Sawyer:
Like we had to get a new axle this year. We had a 5,000 pound tree hit our trailer last year.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, geez. Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
After repairing the trailer.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh, boy.

Hillery Sawyer:
We had another tree hit it, but.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
You’ve got to stop parking this thing under trees.

Hillery Sawyer:
There’s not any left. No, I’m just kidding, but.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Hillery Sawyer:
Luckily.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah.

Hillery Sawyer:
But yeah. So literally anything can happen and you have to not be afraid of letting that hold you back.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. That’s right.

Hillery Sawyer:
Because you can just keep going.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right.

Hillery Sawyer:
You’ll find it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right. The very inspiring Hillery Sawyer, owner of Speakcheesy. We’re showing pictures and the website right now, for those of you that want to learn more and maybe you’re sitting out there saying, I want to start my own truck and be one of her franchisees. Maybe there’s some interest there for Speakcheesy. So, but I want to thank you so much for coming in and sharing your story with us.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. Thank you.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
You’re very inspirational, congratulations on all your success thus far. We’d love to do a follow up with you in the months to come and see how things are going.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. I’d love that.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’d be great. Thanks so much.

Hillery Sawyer:
Yeah. Thank you.


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