What do baseball and Chaps Pit Beef have in common? More than you might think. Baseball is what led new Chaps franchisee owner, and Hall of Fame baseball sportswriter, Paul Hagen to open his first business at the age of 68.
Hagen is a huge fan of Chaps Pit Beef’s delicious brand of barbecue. He first discovered it while covering the Phillies and Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Daily News. In that job, he would often drive to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore to cover games. On these trips he would frequently carpool with baseball writer Jim Salisbury.
It was during one of these road trips that Salisbury mentioned seeing a profile of a great sandwich place called Chaps on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives“. They stopped in for a taste at the flagship Baltimore location – and both immediately loved it!
Ever since then he has continued to enjoy Chaps Pit Beef whenever he could get to Baltimore or Aberdeen, MD, finding joy in introducing it to family and friends.
Hagen, who joined MLB.com in 2011, was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 2013 at the annual National Baseball Hall of Fame awards presentation in Cooperstown, New York.
He now contributes a weekly column to Philly Voice. But after he stopped writing full time in January, 2018 he began to think about what the next chapter of his life would look like. It didn’t take long for him to decide that he wanted to start his own business. Opening a Chaps BBQ franchise was the logical option.
“Chaps was the only business I seriously considered. Not only do I love the product, but everyone I introduced it to loved it,” he said recently when asked why he choose to invest in a Chaps franchise. “Chaps has been incredibly supportive from the very first conversations, through the franchise and loan application process and beyond.”
Hagen is excited to bring the first Chaps Pit Beef to the Philadelphia area in the fall of 2019, sharing the unique pit beef taste with those who have yet to experience it.
The new Chaps Pit Beef will be located at 1067 W Baltimore Pike in Media, PA. It will be a part of a new development at the site of the old Granite Run Mall across the street from Riddle Hospital.
This location has a special significance to the Delaware County area. It’s right next to where the old Riddle Ale House, a popular local restaurant known for roast beef sandwiches, once stood. Now those customers can get an even better beef sandwich experience at Chaps!
“Chaps is very unique for the Philly area. There is nothing else like it here. That’s what I am excited about,” Hagen said.
More Retirees Are Starting Their Own Businesses
Hagen is not alone in his path to business ownership later in life. Although today’s retirees are living healthier, longer lives, some worry that they won’t have enough retirement savings to help them enjoy retired life. As seniors retire or are laid off, more and more are looking for ways to earn money and/or find new challenges to conquer. And many, like Paul Hagen, decide to start their own business.
According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, in 2014, 26% of all startups were launched by people in the 55-65 age bracket, with new business owners over the age of 55 having twice the chance of success compared those between the ages of 20 and 34.
Why the better chance of success?
Well, seniors have a lot more tools in their arsenal.
They have developed a lot of good contacts and relationships to help them develop their new business. They have more experience in managing money. They tend to have a stronger work ethic and a resilience that help entrepreneurs handle the challenges that come with starting a new business.
As with anyone starting a new business, seniors need to make sure that being a business owner is the right fit for them. That includes doing the proper market research, creating a solid business plan, and making sure to have enough money to be successful in any chosen new venture.
Franchises in particular have become a popular choice for seniors because of the built-in support and ability to hit the ground running. Franchisors like Chaps Pit Beef not only provide guidance and training to launch businesses, but provide operational support on a day-to-day basis.
Most franchises help with finding the needed financing to fund a new business.
Have you always wanted to own your own business. Do you love BBQ as much as Paul Hagen?
Having a strong brand like Chaps behind you will help you build up your customer base a lot quicker. Chaps is currently looking for more franchisees to expand their brand even further.