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The Startup Junkies Podcast

The Startup Junkies podcast is hosted by Jeff Amerine and the team at Startup Junkie. We’ll cover topics ranging from getting started, planning, growing your business, proving your concept, leadership, marketing, exit strategies and so much more. We’ll interview business owners, entrepreneurs, experts and people we think will bring value to our audience. Subscribe, and together we'll take your business to the next level.
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This is the Startup Junkies Podcast. These are the stories of the people that are afflicted with creating the next great products and services that are going to change lives - not just in America, but worldwide. We're going to tell the stories of the next great beer producer, products and apparel makers, and the stories of people that don't accept the status quo and that want to make things better. 

Welcome to the Startup Junkies Podcast.

Jan 15, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Ahren Boulanger, the founder of Pleasant Counter, a family-run restaurant in Springdale specializing in burgers with a passion for sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. Ahren unpacks his diverse food influences, his take on the challenges of menu diversity, and why his preference for quality ingredients is revolutionizing the local dining scene. Additionally, he shares insights from his previous fermentation business, delves into the valuable lessons learned from international cuisine, and reflects on starting up in different regions, from California to Texas and now Northwest Arkansas. Caleb, Victoria, and Ahren also dive into what it takes to create food while aligning with your mission and discuss Pleasant Counter's recent trip to the World Burger Championships in Dallas where they placed 4th best burger in the world!

 

Show Notes

(1:09) Introducing Ahren Boulanger

(13:08) How Pleasant Counter fits into NWA’s Restaurant Scene

(23:10) Ahren’s Experience at the World Burger Championships

(36:03) How the Community Can Help Encourage Entrepreneurship

(44:49) Advice to Younger Self

(50:18) Closing Thoughts

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Ahren Boulanger

Pleasant Counter Facebook

Pleasant Counter Instagram

 

Quotes

“We leaned into a simple menu…there’s a lot of customization that’s kind of hidden in there, I’m not purposely trying to be cryptic, I just don’t want to clutter up the menu…[doing a few things and doing them well] is the philosophy I was trying to embrace.” - Ahren Boulanger, (8:37)

“There’s nothing we’re doing that’s so difficult. It’s just as long as we do it the way we like to do it, it works. But to try and do all that other stuff and not using an actual distributor that just shows up at your door and brings you things is rough, but it makes it so that we can do it the way we want to do it.” - Ahren Boulanger, (41:21)

“Also my personal phone number is the restaurant phone number. So my cell phone, you can just go on Google and literally call or text me…It’s just a little bit more personal. I guess it’s something that most people wouldn’t do, but it’s kind of our whole thing. There's not a lot of restaurants where you can go in and talk to the owner and actually have the owner bus your table, wash your dishes, make your food, take your order. So I think people like it.” - Ahren Boulanger, (49:01)