March 24, 2016
Dish Washer to CEO – An Amazing Journey of an extra Ordinary Entrepreneur
The most important element for any start up to succeed is a good idea, strong determination, passion to follow your gut and tenacity.
Meet Ryan Novak who as a teen started his career working part time at his home town at a chocolate shop in Marcellus, New York. His job involved washing dishes, mopping floors and cleaning the trash. Later at the age of 21, he bought Chocolate Pizza Company from Bonnie Hanyak who also taught him the traits of being a businessman and became his mentor. In an age where scores of startups fail during the first five years of their operations, Ryan Novak not only turned his company into a huge success, but also took his Chocolate Pizza Company nationwide. Today his business has over 1,500 wholesale customers and continues to record exceptional growth over the past few years.
Ryan Novak’s Chocolate Pizza Company has a beautiful full page advertisement in the May issue of Gourmet News’s special Sweets & Snacks Expo edition. The company is participating in the upcoming Expo May 19-22 at McCormick Center in Chicago. Exhibition at the expo will give Chocolate Pizza Company exposure to more than 10,000 buyers and visitors where the company is planning to offer samples and display products and have meetings with new and old customers. Ryan Novak recommends budding entrepreneurs to become confident salesman and believe in their product and themselves.
Ryan Novak is the graduate of Syracuse University’s entrepreneurship program. The program seems to have thoroughly prepared him to conquer the business world. He saw the potential in the company’s signature product which is gourmet chocolate blended with homemade toffee and poured into pizza pans. It is then topped with nuts and candy and drizzled with white chocolate. He was quick to follow his guts and planed to expand the business into a national brand. In a recent interview Ryan Novak with excitement explained that part of the challenge of being an entrepreneur remains in the fact that you have to proactively look for problems that aren’t apparent upfront and try to solve those. According to him, a confident sales man can sell any product.
Started in 2010, the company has grown 365 times. In a short span of five years the company added a website, opened its own brick-and-mortar stores and landed a major wholesale contract agreement with likes of Hallmark stores. Before Ryan Novak purchased the company, it was going through a tough time. There was no reliability of service, customers weren’t happy and there were lots of damages in shipment. Ryan Novak took over the company with the idea to expand his company into a national brand. Immediately after purchasing the company, Ryan Novak established a strategic partnership with UPS to ensure reliable shipping and personalized customer service.
Ryan Novak had tons of people suggesting him to think about doing something else. But he was determined and believed in his product. He says if you put everything you have into your startup, it really pays off.