Nick Bayer, Founder and CEO of Saxbys®, a certified B Corp with a mission to “Make Life Better,” has always been in the business of bringing people together. When he created Saxbys in 2005, he never considered it to be just a chain of coffee cafes, but rather a social impact company fueled by great food, beverage, and hospitality.
He also believes a busy coffee shop is one of best places to learn the many lessons that come with running a business—- including HR and talent issues, global supply chain situations, marketing, leadership, and financial management.
Ever driven by his company’s mission, Nick Bayer introduced Saxbys’ pioneering Experiential Learning Platform® (E.L.P.®) in 2015 in partnership with Drexel University as the nation’s first entirely student-run cafe where participants earn full academic credit and wages through a university cooperative education program. His vision is to embolden the next generation of entrepreneurs, providing undergrad students with tangible experience as a supplement to traditional classroom learning. In eight years, one E.L.P. cafe has expanded to eighteen, with several more planned to open by the end of 2023.
The Saxbys team, now over 700 strong, lives by its core company values, painted on the walls of its Philadelphia headquarters, which supplement the brand’s mission to “Make Life Better.” They are inspiring to any purpose-driven organization and include these six points, which also shape a vibrant culture:
- We are a Community, Serving Our Community.
- Embrace being O.D.D. (Outgoing, Detail Oriented and Disciplined).
- Profit Creates Opportunity.
- Live with Pride, Passion, and Purpose.
- Serve Yourself by Serving Others.
- Care Personally and Communicate Openly.
To learn more from Nick Bayer about the entrepreneurial mindset, being purpose-driven, and the future of business, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.
In our conversation, we discuss the following:
- The origins of Saxbys…
- More about the partnerships with universities…
- You often say that you never really considered Saxbys to be a coffee company— instead, it’s a social impact company. Explain what you mean.
- Can you share anything about the career paths of some of your student CEOs and what have they accomplished…
- I’m curious about your perspective on being a purpose-driven company. When done right, Purpose matters, and many companies have demonstrated the difference a purpose-led ethos can make to their businesses, employees, stakeholders, and communities at large. Would you comment?
- How would you define the entrepreneurial mindset now? Or perhaps, more importantly, how do young people want to earn their living or build their careers now?
- What’s next for you and Saxbys?
In addition to being a very hands-on Founder and CEO, Nick Bayer is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, an adjunct professor at Drexel University and the Executive in Residence at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
He serves on the Board of The Franklin Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, the Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship and Drexel’s Steinbright Career Development Center, as well as being a Corporate Council Member for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
In 2017, he was named the “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as well as EY’s “Social Entrepreneur of the Year.” He resides in Center City Philadelphia with his wife and son.