ZACH BLACKWOOD | BURN ‘EM BREWING
My name is Zach Blackwood, and I’m currently the self-proclaimed "Director of Operations" at Burn ‘Em. I attended several different versions of Indiana University, but to no avail (no degree) and have a background in hospitality in several different operations. Before Burn ‘Em, I worked with Trigo Hospitality as a General Manager/Lead trainer for one of their franchised establishments.
Tell us about Burn ‘Em Brewing
We are a beverage purveyor of sorts. We primarily make and sell brewski but also host events (on and off premise), sell merchandise and even a little food. We began construction of our building in February of 2013 but did not "open" for business until June of 2014.
How many employees do you have?
Currently, we have 10.
What’s the inspiration behind your name?
Steve's father who was the previous owner of the business MCA, whose operating facility became our brewery. His middle name was "Burnham."
Favorite thing about being an entrepreneur
In a very broad answer, the challenge of success is my favorite part and most exciting. It has been a very difficult road, and every day brings new challenges and surprises, which fends off the monotony of knowing what you will be having to do every single day.
MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR
Haha, I could literally just paste my answer from question 4 here as well. Not having to do the same thing every day and having to wear a lot of different hats, so to speak, can be stressful and difficult to maintain. Some days, I definitely miss be able to clock in and clock out and have someone tell me what to do with a limited job description, but, as I stated earlier, that's part of the fun as well.
FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT
Oh man, I might step on some toes here, but I think I will go with Chickpea because I am a sucker for Mediterranean food. Plus, the owner Moe is my neighbor.
FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP
Not exactly local, but I am big into cooking, and the butcher Falatic's up in Sawyer, MI, have been taking good care of me for the past few years. There’s even a picture of my oldest daughter (now 3.5) hanging up in their store from only weeks after she was born.
FAVORITE ENTREPREUR RESOURCE
Our accountants at Applegate & Co. have taken great care of us, especially the first couple years when we had no clue how to handle the financials of a business. So, as a professional resource, they have been fantastic. Also would be lying if I didn't mention Facebook as a great resource for marketing and brand building.
MOST VALUABLE THING/LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR
There's that one phrase everybody has heard 100,000 times: "Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life".... personally, I think that's BS. Great things are supposed to be hard work, and you aren't going to love everything that comes along with doing that thing you love, and that's okay. The most important thing is making sure the juice is worth the squeeze. In other words, does what you are working for and what you're working towards matter to you?
Cheeseburgers and true crime shows (not necessarily together).
FUN FACT ABOUT YOU
I can lick my own elbow.