Names: John and Jill Sabochick
Business/Location: Jersey City Fish Stand/Jersey City
Specialty: We provide wild caught or organically raised seafood from local and sustainable sources, ready-to-cook items, and ready-to-eat gourmet prepared side dishes.
What’s your business story?: John and Jill Sabochick and Kevin Pipchick opened Jersey City Fish Stand in June 2015 at downtown Jersey City farmers markets because they had a passion for cooking fresh seafood and wanted to bring that to where they lived.
What’s your personal story?: John and Jill met about 8 years ago in Hoboken, coupled up soon after, and have been working together and loving it ever since. Kevin and John had been working together for several years at a startup, so they were used to the small business atmosphere.
How did you decide to go into business together? What qualities, skills, etc. does each bring to the business?: One day while hiking, we had the conversation about starting the business. We had the crazy idea that we should do it! We laughed and then conversations continued every night ... until it was too late to turn around. We haven't looked back since. We play to our strengths: John manages overall management and day-to-day operations; Jill administers and directs our marketing and social media; and Kevin controls the systems and finances.
How did you decide the time was right to start your business?: We decided to first try our retail seafood business at farmers' markets. They were in the evenings and on the weekends, so we were able to manage our day jobs while we tried out the business.
What was the hardest part about starting a company together?: It is a balance. On the one hand, we try not to bring relationship baggage into the decision making process, and we treat each other as professionally as you would any another team member. On the other hand, additional positive encouragement towards a spouse can be helpful to maintain a happy working relationship.
What is the most rewarding part about running a business together?: You get to share something that was created together that wasn't there before. Also, it is just a way to spend time together.
What challenges have you faced as a team; how are you working to overcome those challenges?: We had to close down a portion of our business, which was costly and upsetting. We just tried to stay patient with each other and take it one day at a time.
How has your close relationship has helped your business grow?: Running a business together means you can brainstorm at night after the day quiets down. That additional collaboration allows us to keep pushing the company forward.