20-Something Business Owner Dishes on the Recipe for Success
At age 24, Skuddlebutts Pizza & Catering owner explains what makes him so driven at such a young age.
Most kids are still in school when they reach the age of 21, even fewer own a business by 22. Danny Glover is different than most. He's young, ambitious and owns two businesses, all of which came before the age of 25. While most of his friends were busy partying and attending college, Glover was on the fast-track to chasing down his American dream.
In the summer of 2011, Glover opened the Glen Ellyn location of Skuddlebutts Pizza & Catering, originally of Downers Grove. At age 15 the west suburban native begin bussing tables at the Downers Grove location, the same place where his mom worked as a waitress. Fast forward a few years and Glover was calling Skuddlebutts his—a full-circle moment for the 20-something.
“Right from the beginning I always wanted to do more. I wanted to have a part of the business, I wanted to have a part with everything,” said Glover.
Soon after first starting with Skuddlebutts, Glover moved up the ranks to become a server and he didn't stop there. When the original Skuddlebutts owner Bill Gall opened a new location in Downers Grove, Glover was appointed manager at age 18. Soon, Gall was bringing Glover to important vendor meetings and Glover soon found himself second in command.
“I was getting great experience that a lot of people don’t get at that age,” Glover said.
When he grew older, he found himself at a crossroads. Glover was outgrowing his role at Skuddlebutts and was looking for a new challenge, so he decided to take some classes at the College of DuPage. At this time, Glover opened up to Gall about his discontent. While talking with his mentor, Gall revealed that after many years he was ready to take a step back from Skuddlebutts and wanted to sell his business to Glover.
Glover was thrilled. Coincidentally, the only project requirement in one class was to finish a business plan. So, Glover decided to create and execute a business plan for buying Skuddlebutts and opening another location in Glen Ellyn. Even though he got an 'A' on the project, at the time banks weren't biting on the idea. It was 2009, he was 21, and at least a dozen banks kept telling Glover the same thing: the restaurant industry was too risky and was an overall bad investment.
"I started not to have any hope. Maybe I can’t do this. Maybe I’m just living a dream," Glover said.
Finally, a bank gave Glover the chance and off he was to become a business owner, all before the age of 25. You can't help but wonder what makes him so driven. And just like many stories before his, Glover admits it all stems back to humble beginnings as the son of a single mother.
“I want to be able to provide for my family, something that I never was able to have. I think that might have something to do with it. Seeing all your friends having all this stuff, and living in these nice houses, I was like I want that—everybody wants that.”
To attain the lifestyle he wants for his future, Glover puts in extra hours and teaches himself the ups and downs of owning a business. So far he's seeing results, in Downers Grove business is up 20 percent from the previous year. Now, he wants Skuddlebutts to become the household name for pizza and catering events in Glen Ellyn. Glover admits making this all happen meant one thing: hard work.
“I was doing the job that I wanted to have instead of the job that I did have.”