How to Test Your Restaurant Concept with Minimal Cost

Episode 15
Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern are the co-founders of Chaia, a very popular, fast-casual vegetarian restaurant in Georgetown, DC that features delicious plant-based tacos.

Despite their different professional backgrounds, a common passion for food brought the two lady bosses together. In this interview, Suzanne and Bettina shared their story from food blogging to testing their food at a local farmers’ market, to then building their own vegetarian restaurant together. They talked about how to test the water with a new restaurant concept and what you can do to make yourself stand out in the highly competitive food industry.

“You have to be truly inspired by what you are making.”

– Suzanne Simon




3207 Grace St NW
Washington DC 20007
Phone: (202) 333-5222
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Union Kitchen


Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

Thor Cheston’s Epic Story of Fundraising for His Dream Brewpub


We’re living in the renaissance age of entrepreneurship. Starting a business and being your own boss is easier than ever. But even though it’s easier, it’s still hard, especially if you want to start a business in a relatively capital intensive industry. And today on the show, I interview a founder who demonstrated, realistically, what it’s like to go out and raise money for a new venture. Thor Cheston is the co-founder of Right Proper Brewing Company, which owns a very popular brewpub in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington DC and a brewing facility in Brookland, DC. Thor’s entrepreneurial adventure was nothing but easy. After he quit his job as a successful restaurant manager, it took him over two years to get the necessary funding to start the brewpub, with lots of twists and turns in the process. I really like Thor’s story because it shows you that, unlike the overnight successes you often hear in the media, entrepreneurship is not glamorous. It’s a daily grind, and possibly for a very long time before you see any result. And even after you see some results, it’s still a grind.

I really appreciate how open and candid Thor is about the challenges of starting a business. He also demonstrates that patience and perseverance is your friend when you’re starting something new. I think you’ll get lots of practical lessons and inspiration from Thor’s story, no matter what type of business you’re building.

“I took my business plan and I hit the streets. I took every meeting I could get and presented the business plan to as many (investors) as I possibly could.”

– Thor Cheston


Right Proper Brewing Company

Shaw Brewpub

624 T Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
202.607.BEER (2337)

Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 12am
Sunday: 11:30am – 10pm

Brookland Production House

920 Girard Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 526-5904

Wednesday – Friday: 5pm – 10pm
Saturday: 1pm – 10pm
Sunday: 1pm – 8pm

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Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh

Setting the Table, by Danny Meyer