"We believe in people more than we do in things"

Meherwan Irani got an MBA and spent 15 years in corporate America, working for other people. He was not unhappy, but never jumped out of bed in the morning excited to head to work. So in 2009 as the economy was collapsing, he and his wife Molly took a leap of faith and decided to start a restaurant. Meherwan was a self-taught chef with a dream, a thoroughly-researched, 150-page business plan and need for $70,000 to get started. All the banks turned the Iranis down for a loan, as did the SBA. But they raised the money, convinced the landlord of a prime location in downtown Asheville, NC to lease them his space, and opened Chai Pani on day one with customers lined up around the block while having spent $0 on advertising and having only $250 in the cash register (and $0 in the bank), knowing they needed to sell a lot of food in the first three days or they’d have nothing left. They were so busy the first day they had to close at 2pm because they ran out of food. Just five years later (2014), Meherwan was nominated for a James Beard award for best chef in Southeast, and today he and Molly own five successful restaurants with another opening soon. This is a very inspiring, educational story about trusting the people that work for you, having passion and faith in yourself, using scarcity to your advantage, and not relying on conventional wisdom. Enjoy…


If you are reading this on your phone or in an email, you won’t see the podcast player. Click here to listen on iTunes.