For some people, entrepreneurship is a way to get out of the “rat race.” For others, like Rivers Corbett of Relish Gourmet Burgers, it’s a lifestyle and passion.
It was a passion that stirred him to start Relish Gourmet Burgers with chef Ray Henry, the captain of Culinary Team New Brunswick.
“I’ve been a chef for over twenty years now,” Henry said. “I moved to Fredericton about four and a half years ago and met Rivers about four years ago.”
The duo began brainstorming on a partnership project, the project originally being opening a culinary school.
“We couldn’t do it, the logistics were too crazy,” Henry said. “So we decided to try something different, and we opened Relish.”
However, the idea wasn’t immediately accepted.
“Gourmet burgers was Ray’s idea,” Corbett said. “I was initially against it, but we talked about it more and I began to see that it was a good idea, and worth a try.”
And even when the idea was accepted, there was still work to do before it could become a reality.
“Fortunately, we both have a lot of experience doing things wrong,” Corbett said. “So when it came to launching this thing, we pretty much had the formula down, and we had the capital to start up, so we did.”
Corbett and Henry consider themselves to not only be selling a burger, but an experience as well.
“We give each burger character,” Henry said. “We strived to be different from the beginning, and as a result our food product is different, our experience is different, and our service is different.
Corbett and Henry may have started small, but they’ve both been thinking big from day one.
“We thought like a big company from the beginning,” Henry said. “We re-invested a lot of money, and our goal has always been to operate 101 Relish locations around the world.”
Rivers isn’t just known throughout Fredericton as the co-owner of Relish, but for his volunteer work and philanthropy to help further the entrepreneur movements in New Brunswick.
“There used to be very little support or mentorship for aspiring entrepreneurs,” Corbett said. “It used to be that you would get sent to a banker, or an insurance agent to talk about starting a business … [Now] things are going in the right direction, but they could be a lot farther along.”
Rivers now serves as an example, a mentor and a leader for the entrepreneur movement in New Brunswick.
“It’s my firm belief that entrepreneurs are going to save the world,” Rivers said. “Entrepreneurs create businesses, and businesses create jobs.
The road to entrepreneurship has been a good one for Corbett and Henry, and they have a tip for those who would seek to do the same.
“Ask for advice,” Corbett said. “People who have done it are very open to sharing their tricks and tips. It’s not a secret society, there’s a lot of help out there for those who need it.”