July EYE Award Winner: Cory Nadilo, founder, Wings Your Way
What inspired you to start your business? I don’t know if I was actually inspired to start a restaurant business, but I was drawn to the concept of “Wings Your Way.” It was fun, and I think that’s what kind of pulled me in that direction. It was the whole concept that excited me. I tend to be a long-term thinker, and I could envision what this would become. What about this endeavor are you most proud of? The response we’ve received. To put something together with my partners, Kirby and Derek, and then win “Best of” after being in business less than a year - I was so excited. When I got that phone call it just blew my mind. All those countless hours are really paying off. Where do you see your business 10 years from now? I hope we have a bunch of restaurants by then. I’d like to have a nice little corporate-owned chain. I’d like to see “Wings Your Way” become a household name, at least in the New England region. I want everyone to know what an “Eminem Wrap” is and to associate Del Fontaine with our bacon cheeseburger. Mostly, I hope people view Wings as a fun place. How do you kick back? I don’t relax that much. I’m always thinking about work, payroll, backend stuff. When I do take time I like cycling a lot and getting to the gym as much as I can - it’s a mental break for me. Who are your role models or sources of inspiration? My father. From day one, he has drilled into my head, “Have your own business.” We talked about having a business together, and I feel lucky that right out of college we’ve been able to do that. He’s always worked his tail off to provide for his family. He always tells me, “Reflect on what you’ve already done.” What is it about New Hampshire that’s brought you here? My family had moved close by just the year before - that, and having just graduated from college and knowing what type of place I wanted to make this, being in a college town just made sense. We didn’t even look anyplace else. Our next location will not be in a college town. What advice would you give other entrepreneurs like yourself? Plan, plan, plan, plan. You can’t plan enough. You’ll never be able to plan for everything, but if you have a to-do list and break it down you’ll get to most things. You just can’t wing it. I know it’s a terrible pun, but we say it around here all the time. One thing my Dad taught me is to go with your gut. If you feel something in your gut, do it. Putting Wings together felt right, so we went with it. The Emerging Young Entrepreneur awards program is presented by New Hampshire Business Review in partnership with Centrix Bank. The monthly award honors New Hampshire's young business owners for their creativity, determination and business success. Visit Centrix Bank online at www.centrixbank.com.