Cinnamon Toothpicks to Scotty’s: Scott Wise’s Entrepreneurial Path

scott pic starI ran the gamut of businesses from babysitting, to lemonade stands, to even employing my two sisters in the 3rd grade to sell “cinnamon toothpicks” at school for a dime each.  This business failed quickly, as I forgot to let the toothpicks air dry from soaking them in cinnamon oil and wrapping them in tinfoil.  Do you want to know what happens when you touch cinnamon oil to your face or eyes?  Let’s just say that was my first business lesson…don’t employ your sisters.  Not really, I actually hired them again and they were among my first servers at the original Scotty’s Brewhouse in Muncie in 1996.

When I was about 13 or 14, my best friend and I started a company we called, “Odd Jobs, Inc.”  No, it wasn’t actually incorporated; but, I thought it was so cool to have “Inc.” after your business name on a card; I just did it, not even knowing what it meant.  We rode our lawn mowers around town (yes, on busy streets) and did “odd jobs” for people:  pulled weeds, mowed lawns, raked leaves, etc.  I also ran the concession stand at our neighborhood pool when I was about 16 or 17 – this was my first experience with inventory, hiring, firing, scheduling and more…  So, not only do I have memories of watching TV with my parents as a child and they signed payroll and vendor checks for their businesses as my earliest recollections of learning; but, I knew from an early age, I was meant to own my own business.

I love inspiring people and leading a group of people to be passionate about my own personal dreams and then figuring out how to inspire them to work to the best of their ability to accomplish that goal.  I love challenges and opportunities for development, fixing “problems” and overcoming hurdles.  I love when someone says, “you can’t” because I know I WILL.  (“Can’t” was considered a curse word in my house growing up…  seriously.)  I love seeing a light go off in one of my employee’s eyes when they “get it” or when they accomplish a task and I can give them some public praise for a job well done.  I love seeing them smile and appreciate where they work and for whom they work.  I love being an entrepreneur.

Scott Wise is the President/CEO of a Pots & Pans Production, the parent management company for eight restaurants including Scotty’s Brewhouse, Scotty’s Lakehouse, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company and his newest venture Scotty’s Burger Joint in Columbus, Indiana. The key ingredient he has used to “bake” this success is understanding that he is only 1 spice the cupboard that encompasses a team of over 1,000 employees and 15 “executive team members” to create the perfect dish of success.

Leave a Reply