Martin Blair Case Study Essay

6021 Words Oct 1st, 2014 25 Pages
9-914-521
DECEMBER 10, 2013

HOWARD H. STEVENSON
MICHAEL J. ROBERTS

Martin Blair
Martin Blair glided through the streets of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, grateful that his early morning commute spared him from the traffic that normally filled these roads. It was 4:30 on a fine July morning in 2013, and Blair was headed to help open Viva Italia, an Italian-themed trattoria that he’d started in late 2012. Indeed, Viva Italia (‘‘Viva’’) was one of two restaurants Blair had started in 2012; the other was Pizzetta, a quick-service pizza and Italian sandwich restaurant. As he drove to work, Blair was excited by the prospect of growing one-----or both-----of these businesses:
‘‘After 6 years of working for others in the
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What decided it was, one day, I was driving and I saw a small storefront for lease. It looked like the perfect spot for Pizzetta. There were businesses nearby that would create a lunch business, and also it was on the edge of a residential district, so that could drive evening and weekend business. I looked into it and it was owned by a big developer in Charlotte; and one of my business school classmates, Scott Becker, happened to work there. So he put in a good word and I sold the merits of my concept. I still had to personally guarantee the lease, but at least I got the space. In the end, it was a 10-year lease with two five-year renewal options at market rent.’’

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BRIEFCASES | HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL

Martin Blair | 914-521

Financing
Blair had saved some money from his six years of working. His wife worked as well, which made it a bit easier to build up a bit of the required capital:
‘‘The build-out of the space would require about $300,000. I had about half of that, and my parents offered to loan me the other half. I was nervous about taking the money; I’d certainly heard enough stories about uncomfortable holidays after you’d lost your family’s money. But

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