Building a Food Service Empire — Shawn Burcham

This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes hosts Shawn Burcham, Founder and CEO of PFSbrands — a wholesale food and equipment company. If you’ve ever shopped in a grocery store with a hot food section, you’ve likely had run-ins with PFSbrands, whose family of brands includes the likes of Champs Chicken and Cooper’s Express. Burcham has built a powerhouse — his company is featured in 1,300 stores nationwide, has generated $60 million in revenue, and has been featured on the Inc. 5000 for 9 consecutive years.

In the podcast, Shawn recounts the story of his company, from the nerve-wracking first days as a young entrepreneur to his company’s current success. Notably, Shawn spends a great deal of time exploring the ins and outs of scaling a young, successful company in order to deliver more services and, ultimately, generate more capital.

 

The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway:


“[When you start off as an entrepreneur], reality sets in pretty quick. It’s all of a sudden really quiet, and you have to go out there and drum up the business.”

 

Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

2:05: Shawn discusses the circumstances that gave him the “entrepreneurial bug” that could only be quenched by creating a business of his own.

2:52: Burcham highlights the events that primed him to create a foodservice industry startup — a startup that would become a direct competitor to his most recent employer.

7:24: All solo business endeavors involve risk. Shawn shares the secret that ultimately helped him overcome these often-felt entrepreneurial fears, even with a newborn at home.

8:42: Shawn recounts what day one was like at PFSbrands, including the immediate shock of realizing that he was now solely responsible for paying himself and his employees.

12:33: Shawn reveals the surprising location where PFSbrands was operating in the company’s earliest days.

19:08: Burcham shares some sage advice on how to effectively scale a business and details his own business adjustments when PFSbrands began to experience double-digit growth.

20:38: Shawn outlines how PFSbrands was funded from its earliest days and how the company’s darkest days were directly tied to these sources of funding.

22:55: Shawn shares some advice that he would have given himself as a young entrepreneur, which involves building your business around transparency and education.

 

Bullet List of Resources –

Shawn Burcham

 

PFSbrands

 

GRITT Business Coaching