Matt Frey, the founder and CEO of Bub's Burgers, visited Ball State on Jan. 26. Frey, spoke to a several hundred business students as well as served them all burgers out of the Bub's food truck. Robby General // DN
Bub's Burgers founder, CEO visits Ball State
Matt Frey, founder and CEO of Bub’s Burgers, made a visit to Ball State Jan. 25, speaking to a couple hundred students within the Miller College of Business while handing out free burgers.
Frey, who graduated from Ball State in 1994, makes it an obligation to visit different schools, when he’s asked, in order to shape the next batch of business leaders.
“I do this because it’s fun, to give back is what I have to do,” Frey said. “As a business owner, I have to give back, you know, tell my story to hopefully motivate somebody to do theirs.”
This wasn’t the first time Frey was a guest lecturer, however. Since opening Bub’s Burgers in 2003 with his wife Rachel, he has been down to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, along with many high schools and DECA programs throughout the state.
However, becoming a businessman wasn’t always the plan for Frey.
After spending two years as a finance major at Ball State, he decided it wasn’t for him. That’s when he shifted his focus to political science.
“Believe it or not, I went down the major’s manual, and the one with the least amount of credits to graduate? Political science,” Frey said. “Started studying it, and I loved it to death.”
But even with a political science degree and the career options that came with it, Frey still wasn’t happy. He even took the test to become a special agent for the IRS, but decided against that career route as well.
From there, Frey began working a sales job in food, going across the Midwest and selling up to 60 different food products at time.
“I had some doors open up, took advantage of it, worked my ass off,” Frey said.
After being promoted and a good number of years on the road, Frey decided he wanted to do something else. That’s when the concept of Bub’s Burgers came into fruition.
“I was on the road a lot [as a salesman],” Frey said. “I just decided to, you know, do the sure thing and open up a restaurant.”
In 2003, Bub’s Burgers opened in Carmel, Indiana. It was a sit-down restaurant based off the idea of a family restaurant that used simple ingredients in its food.
Since then, Frey has opened up two more Bub’s locations in Zionsville and Bloomington. He is also the founder and CEO of a bakery called Lucy’s Bakery in Indianapolis.
“It’s been crazy over the past 13-and-a-half years,” Frey said. “The food business is very risk to say the least … I’m really blessed with how it’s worked out.”
Frey tells his story every time he speaks as a guest lecturer. He also preaches the same lessons to all of his employees throughout his franchise.
“Keep trying, that’s the big message we send at Bub’s to all of our employees,” Frey said. “That’s why I lecture here, to teach people like this who want to open their own business one day.”