Matt Hassler and Nick Rhodes
1665 West Towne Center Drive
South Jordan, Utah 84095
When Matt moved to Utah he met Nick Rhodes. They were both salesmen for a company, and both of them knew that their true calling was in the food industry- both of them realized that they would like to attend Culinary School. They decided to start their own Philly Cheese Steak House- and that is how the ‘The Downtown Philly Cheesesteaks’ idea came into existence.
Matt found the Small Business Development Center four years ago, but shelved his business ideas due to lack of funding. They decided to give the SBDC another try, and this time found Ken Fakler. They bounced idea after idea off from Fakler, and received many helpful answers. They found out what to expect in a lease, how to set up a business, and they received valuable information fast. They were able to find a good location with heavy foot traffic and tender an offer on needed equipment. The building was ready to open, without needing a build out. Ken sat down with Matt and Nick and checked over their lease before they signed.
A big challenge they faced was financing. Most SBA Loans were not structured for new business startups. They would need access to a quarter million dollars in assets to apply for the loan as a new business, and they just didn’t have that kind of money. They ended up fronting their own money by borrowing on their own houses and credit cards. Their goals was to make a substantial profit in the first year, and they are well on their way to reaching that goal. Also, they are planning to open a second store in the Salt Lake area this year; and eventually have 5 stores in the greater Salt Lake area.
Matt and Nick make the ‘Best Philly Cheese Steaks in Utah’ and couldn’t have done it without their very supportive wives – their wives quit their jobs and are working in the business. Matt believes that “People should open their own business” because “it is so rewarding to work for yourself”. He has “learned more in the last 3 months about business than in taking business classes for many years and reading business books.”
The Downtown Philly Cheese Steak provides a true Philadelphia atmosphere when you walk through the door and authentic Philadelphia food. Their most popular subs are the traditional steak which is filled with steak, fried onions, and cheez whiz or American cheese; and the Garlic Steak which is filled with steaming steak, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, garlic butter, provolone and cream cheese. It makes your mouth water just reading about them! Matt, Nick, and their wives are making their dreams come true with the help of the Orem SBDC. See the SBDC to help you make your dreams come true, too.