Austin Business Journal-Profile on Larry Foles
Austin Business Journal August 6-12, 2021 |Family Business Issue|ppA18|PROFILE| “How Larry Foles turned into one of Austin’s most noteworthy restaurateurs” Interview by Paul Thompson.
Image from foodabletv.com 2016
Read the Austin Business Journal article for all the details.
Summary offered by 2244
Larry Foles, a high school dropout, “one of Austin’s most noteworthy restaurateurs” and famous father of Nick Foles QB MVP for Philadelphia Eagles Superbowl Win 2018 opens up on his business ethos, setbacks, success and yes being at the 2018 Superbowl in this ABJ interview.
As it was, early in his work life Larry was selling nuts and chips to restaurants out of a truck on behalf of “Tom’s toasted Peanuts." He didn’t really like it all that much and jumped at an unsolicited offer from a restaurant client to join their team. He obtained further restaurant chops working for “Bobs Big Boy”, “TGI Fridays” in the 1970s and then opened “Saturdays” in Baton Rouge then later in Austin. In the early 1980s as “the owner-operator of Guy and Larry Restaurants” Foles along with business partner Guy Villavaso “created institutions such as “Red Ash”, Hopdoddy, ATX Cocina, Salty Sow, and Eddie V’s. In between there was some “heartbreak” with the failure of Chez Fred American Bakery which Larry attributed to “a combination of business naïveté and the restaurateurs overextending themselves.” They lost everything in 1987 but Foles remarked “I think more than anything else it was just a wakeup call.”
Shared wisdom from Larry Foles
“Once you open a place that has good energy, good food, people like it … you can open another concept...if you can pay attention to what customers like, Austin, Texas, will embrace you and you will be successful.”
Q (ABJ) What’s it like working with a long-term business partner in Guy Villavaso?
A (LF) “It’s really the trust factor. He does the administrative role. He’s really good at it. He’s Great…[working together since 1973]...To become best friends and business partners, that’s pretty cool.”
Q (ABJ) What’s a piece of advice that you’ve never forgotten?
A (LF) “Don’t sign a guarantee unless you absolutely believe you can deliver on that guarantee.”
Q (ABJ) What was it like watching the Philly Special (the famous play where son Nick caught a Super Bowl touchdown)?
A (LF) “I was at the Super Bowl, and believe it or not I only remember two plays...the first play and a play in the fourth quarter.” “Nick showed up at the hotel at 2 a.m. after the Super Bowl [and asked] ‘Did you see the play?’ “I said ‘Which Play”? It was pretty special…”