MB013: Buying an existing business with Kevin Gentzler from the Queens Pantry

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In this episode we talk about, the challenges of buying an existing business and leveraging the military skills of initiative and innovation while adapting to a new opportunity with Kevin Gentzler.

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The Pre-Brief: Kevin Gentzler is the owner of the Queens Pantry and a professor of Leadership at the Command and General Staff College.  In 2008 he retired and began teaching at the Command and General Staff College and then purchased the Queens Pantry on Guy Fawkes day (5 November) and opened on Veterans Day (11 Nov) in its current location. The Queens Pantry provides premium tea blends as well as British specialty foods to bring a taste of the British Isles home.

Highlights:

  • Connection to the Military: Kevin’s father was a lifetime reservist. Kevin joined the US Army ROTC program at Missouri Southern University and branched aviation officer after seeing the Blackhawk coming into service. As a member of the US Army, he was able to fulfill what the need to serve something bigger then himself.
  • Experience in Transition: When getting close to transition, Kevin knew that he wanted to teach leadership and applied multiple times to teach at the Command and General Staff College until being picked up right when he was transitioning out of the Military.
  • Business idea: Kevin always wanted to buy or start a business and when the so when opportunity came along to buy the Queens Pantry, he explored the opportunity. The timing was not the best, but the opportunity to own their business and to teach the skills of entrepreneurship to his children motivated him to take the chance.
  • First Steps: Kevin’s first step was to call the owner and that started a personal relationship. That relationship made the transaction and business transition easier with the support of the former owner.
  • Big Take Away: The connection between initiative / innovation and the ability to run a business. The environment is constantly changing and so the skill set to adapt to those situations is essential for success.
  • Quote: Richard Branson on Business Opportunity – “Business opportunities are like buses: there’s always another one coming.”

Resources for this episode:

How to reach the guest.

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