“I’d been working in restaurants since I was 15, and there was no order or discipline. It was complete chaos,” he says. “I wanted to get into the hospitality industry, but I thought I’d be working in hotels the rest of my life.” Then he took the required cooking courses. “I was infatuated with the order, organization and discipline in that kitchen.”
Turbush cooked in kitchens in Minneapolis, Thailand and Atlanta, where he ended up executive chef at a popular Buckhead restaurant. From the beginning, though, he knew he wanted to run his own kind of restaurant.
So he put together a business plan and financial projections and went to find a lender.
“I found out about the SBDC after I went to a couple of different banks. They said ‘your numbers look good, but they could look a lot better, so go talk to these guys.’ I did and came back with the complete package,” he says.
“Doug came to the UGA SBDC at Kennesaw State University with good financial projections, but he needed more detail in his monthly projections” says consultant Antonio Barrios. “Banks want to make sure your cash flow is always positive and your working capital is enough to support your business operations.”
Barrios helped Turbush prepare detailed three-year financial projections and reviewed the narrative part of his business plan and made recommendations.
Turbush returned to the bank with his detailed projections and was able to secure an SBA-guaranteed loan. That, together with build-out allowance and equity injection, allowed Turbush to bring a new upscale restaurant to the East Cobb market in 2011: Seed Kitchen and Bar.
“Seed” now employs 45 staff in 5,000 square feet. Turbush will soon open a planned 1,500 square foot wine bar requiring another five to ten employees.
“Doug was already top chef in a very good restaurant in Atlanta. When the bank read his business plan, that was a very strong point,” says Barrios. “He’s also the type of business owner who asks for advice and was an active participant in our GrowSmart™ program. He knows it takes a team to build a successful business. We are glad he’s doing well and think he’s going to do even better.”
“Antonio was a blessing,” says Turbush. “A former loan officer, he knew exactly what the lenders were looking for. He took the numbers off my excel spreadsheets and put them into a document that looked like it had come from a very expensive consulting firm. It looked like it was worth a million bucks.”
Turbush describes Seed as a modern American, chef-driven restaurant. “It gives me a lot of freedom; no boundaries or borders on the cuisine, and I try to cook local,” he says. “I didn’t want there to be a theme. I wanted it to be my sandbox where I can play and cook what I want to cook.”
Recently named one of Atlanta’s best new restaurants by Atlanta Magazine, it appears that Seed’s customers like it Turbush’s way.
(Article Written in 2013)
After successfully opening Seed Kitchen & Bar, Turbush went on to successfully open Stem Wine Bar as planned, and will soon be opening another new eatery called Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar.
“What’s my recipe for success? Entrepreneurial spirit, eye for detail and utilizing The UGA Small Business Development Center.” Doug Turbush, Owner