Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ric Gruber, Owner of Billy Bricks Restaurant Group, located in Lombard, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Billy Bricks® has specialized in the craft of thin-crust, Neapolitan & New Have Style pizza since 2005 and wows its guests by preparing the entire menu in an authentic wood-fired brick oven right in front of their eyes!

Tell us about yourself

I'm a Restaurateur & Attorney licensed in California & Illinois with an LLM in Information Technology & Privacy Law. I started working in our business as it started when I was in College by my step-dad (Billy) and my mom. Billy Bricks Restaurant Group I serve as an Owner & as General Counsel, leading the charge for the company's structure and growth of both the Billy Bricks & ZZA BABY concepts. I'm motivated by a desire to serve the communities we are in and grow a legacy for my family.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to grow our business to a point where others come in seeing our vision and believing in our culture and the way we believe families should be able to dine at Billy Bricks and our team members should be able to afford to raise their families working for us and be able to spend time with them. Also, the trucks (Billy Bricks on Wheels) are pretty amazing.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The responsibility we carry for not only the business and ourselves but what it means to our families and the families of our team members who rely on us to make decisions for everyone.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't start and already have a plan B.
  2. Don't be afraid to make changes and admit when you were wrong
    be adaptable.
  3. Take it seriously; those around you are watching how much you care, but don't take yourself too seriously, lighten up and enjoy it - remember you chose to be where you are for a reason

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Being a business owner is one of the challenging and rewarding things someone can do to create something from nothing, shoulder the risk, carry the burdens, and then share in the rewards. That's how you make the juice worth the squeeze.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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