Holy Family University Marketing Students Receive Lesson on Creating Social Entrepreneurship from Saxbys Founder & CEO Nick Bayer
Holy Family University’s students in Dr. Don Goeltz’s Principles of Marketing class received valuable advice from visiting Saxbys Founder & CEO Nick Bayer, learning how to harness their entrepreneurial spirit and to rely on their own emotional intelligence and resilience to craft the career of their dreams.
Bayer shared details of his childhood from his upbringing in Chicago with parents who believed in the importance of education. After attending college in New York and testing out career paths through summer internships across the country, he settled on a consulting job in Atlanta. Though he excelled in the role, Bayer yearned for an opportunity that would allow him to be in a for-profit model with a non-profit mentality. In 2005, he decided to break out on his own, and Saxbys was born.
“I decided to start a coffee business, even though I didn’t like coffee,” Bayer said. “I wanted to create a business that would connect my heart and my head, one that would allow me to use profitability to create opportunities.”
After enjoying initial success, - including pioneering a location for the purpose of experiential learning at Drexel University in 2015 - on March 15, 2020, the pandemic closed all of his locations. Five months later they were still closed. Bayer used that setback to fully expand his Experiential Learning Platform (E.L.P) and his student-run cafe concept, where students earn full academic credit and wages while gaining invaluable leadership experience that cannot be learned in a classroom.
“I wanted to create an opportunity for students to be entrepreneurial,” he said. “My mission became to create an education company disguised as a coffee company that would empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.”
Saxbys is now on 27 campuses, including Holy Family University under the direction of Student CEO Beth Montgomery. The average Saxbys’ location employs 40 students and brings in $1 million in revenue. The Saxbys workforce has swelled to 750 team members, the majority of whom are college students, and the Saxbys E.L.P. has created a talent factory of sought-after graduates who land at companies like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan often because of the skills they honed at Saxbys. Many of them, too, have remained with Saxbys to continue their careers.
“I tell students all the time that the greatest opportunities exist when you tackle an obstacle head-on and make it through it,” Bayer said. “Figure out what you are passionate about. Try and fail. That’s good. Now you know what you don’t want to do. You will spend more hours of your life working than doing anything else. Do not do something that you don’t like to do. And always remember that people are your greatest asset and being able to effectively manage people is the lesson that needs to be learned to be successful.”