After graduating college, Kyle Noonan followed his gut instead of his degree and worked in the restaurant world because he loved it.
While his mom was initially disappointed by his decision, he got his hands dirty on the ground level of the food and beverage industry for years. He took that experience partnered with a pal’s serious business skills to launch FreeRange Concepts, an experiential brand that blends food, drinks and things people are passionate about from pets and sports to live music.
Today their company, which includes The Rustic, Bowl & Barrel and MUTTS Canine Cantina, has grossed over $60-million. We sit down with the CEO and founder to learn about his small business journey and how he’s now managing the highs and lows of a huge company with over 1,000 employees.
Favorite motto/quote/life advice:
You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.
What made you fall for the food biz?
I worked as a cook in college at a restaurant and immediately found my calling.
What is your favorite thing about working in the industry?
I get to throw a party everyday!
If you didn’t do your current job, what would you be doing and why?
Sell dolphins on the black market, Just kidding. I don't even want to think about doing something else.
Describe your picture-perfect day off:
Traveling with my family (listen to the podcast to find out where).
Favorite meal and drink at one of your restaurants?
Just like a parent can't pick their favorite child, I can't pick a favorite dish!
Walk us through a day in your work life:
Each day is vastly different, but never boring or slow. Being an entrepreneur means constantly looking forward while simultaneously putting out fires.
Dream restaurant concept?
The ones I already own.
If you could score a mentor session with anybody for an hour, who would you want to sit down with and why?
Walt Disney. He was a master at creating a brand that connected with the human spirit.
Don’t miss Kyle’s podcast. It’s so good! Check it out along with other Fridays with Flea Style episodes on iTunes here. Want to nominate somebody to be a guest on our show or have a question for Brittany to answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!