Greg Golden was a frustrated forensic accountant when his wife’s job relocated their family from the east coast to Arizona. After years of joking that he would someday sell pretzels shaped like mustaches, he decided to start fresh doing something lighthearted.
“So I launched Mustache Pretzels in the spring of 2014 with a broken-down, nondescript food truck and a pretzel recipe I’d developed myself," he recalls.
But Golden lacked food service experience, and didn’t know his way around commercial restaurant equipment — or diesel engines . And after spending his entire life on the east coast, he didn’t feel connected to the business community in Arizona.
Meanwhile, Mustache Pretzels saw irregular cash flow, which made it hard to budget, forecast, and obtain funding.
“I sought mentoring from SCORE because as a former consultant, I understood the value of having another set of eyes looking at our company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats,” Golden says. “I wanted an experienced decision-maker in our corner to help us navigate through some unforeseen changes.”
Volunteer mentor Jack Wilson helped Golden assess the situation when faced with another big change: his wife’s job was about to relocate them back to the east coast. Mustache Pretzels was about to launch a second food truck in Arizona. Was it worth moving the business? Was it worth running the business from 3000 miles away?
Golden decided to focus on building the business in Arizona. “Beyond just making the decision, Jack helped us develop a roadmap for launching the second truck, to make sure everything from the buildout, to the permitting and the marketing was done on time,” Golden recalls.
Mustache Pretzels now operates two Phoenix-area food trucks and a storefront at the Phoenix Convention Center. Wilson and Golden are still in touch every month or two by email and phone.
Mustache Pretzels was selected as one of 102 state winners in the 2017 American Small Business Championship.