As a serial entrepreneur, Rob Stolker is a franchise and business owner, author, the Membership Chair at Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and proud Founder of Hummingbird Sports. His franchise, Bubbakoo’s Burritos, serves a unique interpretation of traditional Mexican cuisine while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere and fresh food quality.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Rob Stolker’s insights on innovating through Hummingbird Sports
- Signs you should turn your business into a franchise
- Rob shares important business lessons
- The differences between business and franchise management
In this episode…
In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen welcomes Rob Stolker, owner of Bubbakoo’s Burritos. They discuss the challenges of operating multiple businesses, knowing whether or not you should start a franchise, the top business goals you should keep in mind, and the importance of working in accordance with brand values. Rob also shares the difficult lessons he learned the most from during his entrepreneurial career.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Rob Stolker on LinkedIn
- Bubbakoo’s Burritos
- It’s A No-Brainer: An Entrepreneur’s Battle to Reduce Concussions in Girls’ Lacrosse
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode
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Welcome to the Top Business Leaders Show, powered by Rise 25 Media, we featured top founders, executives and business leaders from all over the world
Chad Franzen 0:20
Chad Franzen here co-host for this show where we feature top restaurant tours investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series.SpotOn has the best-in-class payment platform for retail. And they have a flagship solution called SpotOn Restaurant where they combine marketing software and payments all in one. They serve everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and subway to small mom-and-pop restaurants. To learn more, go to spot on.com This episode is brought to you by Rise 25. We help B2B businesses to get ROI clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcast. If you have a B2B business and want to build great relationships with clients, referrals and thought leaders in your space. There’s no better way to do it than through podcasts and content marketing. To learn more, go to rise25.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Rob Stolker is a true entrepreneur. He currently serves as membership chair for EO Entrepreneurs Organization in New Jersey. He is the founder and owner of Hummingbird Sports a female-focused athletic company and he created the first-ever girls lacrosse headgear. He has started and exited among others, a day trading company, a solar panel installation company and a real estate company. He’s currently a franchisee for Bubbakoo’s Burritos. A father of four four grown daughters and a great guy. Hey, Rob, thanks for joining me today. How are you?
Rob Stolker 1:37
I’m great. Thanks. Thanks for having me on chat.
Chad Franzen 1:41
Good. Hey, this show is mainly about restaurants. So we’ll focus on public who’s in a bit. But first, first, tell me what led you to create the first-ever girls Lacrosse headgear?
Rob Stolker 1:52
Yeah, it’s pretty simple. I as a kid, I love playing sports. I grew up in Philadelphia, playing basketball, soccer, I My dream was to hopefully have kids one day and have them play sports and be involved in sports. And I’m very fortunate. I have four daughters, very athletic. And it started now eight years ago, I was coaching them a basketball, soccer, all those sports I played. And my two youngest asked me to play lacrosse. And I said of course I I was excited and other sport. I put I went to the field, not knowing anything about it. And the boys were on one field and the girls were on the other and boys were wearing big hard helmets on their head and girls were on the other field wearing nothing. I just assumed from having four daughters and I have three older sisters to that it was just another example of the girls being underserved. Maybe their helmets hadn’t gotten there yet. And it was an example of that. But it was more that hey, the girls don’t wear helmets. They don’t need them. Now let’s get started. And that answer didn’t work for me then and eight years later, it still doesn’t work for me. I made the first certify that year ever. It’s my life’s mission to see the US lacrosse USA lacrosse the Governing Body lacrosse mandates that every girl in the country wears and it’s going to happen it’s just a matter of time.
Chad Franzen 3:09
Why were girls not wearing helmets.
Rob Stolker 3:11
It’s an old school every I thought I shouldn’t say every but other sports have gone through it. The NFL went through what the NFL went through the NHL. It’s only 50 years ago in our history that the NHL had to grandfather in helmets. Because there was resistance I always say if you went to a ski slope 15 years ago and went to a good skier with a helmet they would have looked at you and said get out of here I don’t like your helmet and now I don’t like you go find a kid I’m a good skier. I don’t need a helmet. Now go to a ski slope everybody’s wearing so like I said I thinking the first ever certified product that I had the first one on fields ever and now the state of Florida mandated others are gonna mandate it and eventually soon USA lacrosse the governing body is going to mandate
Chad Franzen 3:52
what makes girls lacrosse headgear different than you know boys lacrosse headgear.
Rob Stolker 3:56
Yeah. So I’ll show you real quick they put in a standard for soft headgear, so you can squeeze it to withstand serious impact, like hard head gear. So it has to be soft, and also withstand those impacts and we made some great partnerships. And I made all kinds of patented things a ponytail hair board here, and I’m a bird sports our company behind it. We are working on another model headgear, we never thought that our first model was gonna be our last model. We’re in this for the long haul and I’m excited to be leading this mission to get USA lacrosse the governing body of lacrosse. It’s a mandate that every girl in the country playing who’s registered under USA lacrosse wears.
Chad Franzen 4:37
So you mentioned Hummingbird Sports. You’re the founder and owner tell me about kind of what led to that and what it is.
Rob Stolker 4:43
Yeah, like I said, I we knew that girls as female athletes were underserved. We knew that products were being made for boys. And then as a secondary thing, the manufacturer saying you know what? We have pink good trinket, get it out there put it out for our girls. Filling the fields, courts. We know they’re underserved. We know there’s so many products and so many different sports that we want to make specifically designed for female athletes and if you look at it there’s not too many of us there’s not a companies who make products for girls, but their primary market and their primary conversations. Trust me are about the boys.
Chad Franzen 5:21
So is that a like a brick and mortar location? Now,
Rob Stolker 5:25
so we’re making products we made the first ever leather gloves for these girls, lacrosse players. The second thing I noticed was, girls were going like this. And I said, Why aren’t they wearing gloves? The boys were big, like hockey like lacrosse gloves to protect their hands and girls were wearing nothing. I said why the basically the point was, there’s a couple on the market, but they’re designed by those boys manufacturers. They don’t work for thin girls love. So we made the first ever please girls. And they’re you know, it’s it’s been great. So again, my Hummingbird Sports and leather gloves, gloves, they’re protective. The girls love them. And we have so many things in the pipeline we want to do for sure.
Chad Franzen 6:04
Hey, tell me about some of you. You’ve got all kinds of entrepreneurial experience. Tell me some of your past entrepreneurial experience. I don’t know. Maybe there’s a story that comes to mind as you think about your journey, you know, maybe an exit or a great failure. Maybe is there anything that comes to mind?
Rob Stolker 6:21
Yeah, so I wow, I, I’ll say the number one story I can tell is that from a young age, what’s made me I was never a student. I did not like school, at least the Lord. When I got a textbook, I instantly realized I had no chance of doing it. My attention span was very limited, but I always loved business. And I’m very fortunate that I was from a young age fortunate enough to make friends. And I always work with my friends. And I still work with my friends. So in Bubbakoo’s Burritos, my friend Wayne Jordan, who I’ve been friends with for 30 plus years. And my answer always is, why wouldn’t I want to work with a friend and I have worked with so many. And I’ve even so many relationships I have, whether it’s my interior padding, my friend, Shawn Springs, the number three pick in the ’97-’98 draft, one of the best college players ever, this is his technology, we have an unbelievable relationship. So I’ve always worked with my friends. And then my story would be in 2008, I moved into a new house, the house, the back of the house space directly south, just like my neighbor’s house. I didn’t know my neighbor at all. We talked for a very little bit and we both decided to put solar on our house. Next thing I knew people were coming to us saying put solar on my house. Within three months of knowing the guy, we were in the company and we’re doing lots of jobs. And next thing you know, there was a lot of money in the account and a lot of assets and he stole it all. Oh, and we were in court Monmouth County Court for 10 years, from 2009 to 2019. And I got a judgment against them. I write about it in my book and you can google Rob Stolker, Randy go over and read about the case but I got a judgment of $288,000 against them. But people who know a 10 year lawsuit know I spent double that and legal fees, and the time and energy wasted and the lesson that some people took from it was that’s why you don’t do business with friends. And my answer is No no, no, no, no, I’ve lived my whole life my family. We do business with friends. This was my one example that I did business with somebody who was not a friend was a neighbor moving in with a really good idea a good business idea. There was no trust there clearly no friendship whatsoever. And it was in the end my fault and my biggest lesson that said I need to stick with my friends and my friends and never let me now would never let me down and there are endless in business as well. And that is people have asked me what’s the secret and it’s just that step great friends who I always work with and connect with and we feed off each other do we argue of course but we you know, we always have a lot of love.
Chad Franzen 8:51
Shawn Springs cornerback, right?
Rob Stolker 8:53
Chad Franzen 8:54
All right, and he played for Washington?[continue to page 2]