Many know Justin Clouden as the secondary Humanities teacher or even the business and economics teacher. But, what you may not know is that he launched his own restaurant in Argentina back in 2014 with his best friend. 

What follows is his story, in Clouden’s own words: 

“Many years ago, I was a strategy consultant, and my best friend and I were living in Argentina. You know, after a while, sometimes you’re just doing your job and you’re looking for different things to do to keep things exciting. And we kind of realized that there weren’t any chicken wings in Argentina. Which was really strange to us, because we both love wings.

We sort of realized that everyone loves fried chicken around the world, whether you’re in the U.S. or Asia. Most of Latin America, but for some reason, Argentina, was such a beef-heavy country that no one was making chicken.” 

[Clouden later clarified that the two decided to quit their jobs and dedicate themselves to the restaurant full-time. Over the course of several years, it expanded into an extremely successful full-time restaurant that became a centerpiece of the social and culinary scene in Buenos Aires, a home for expats and locals alike. After continued success in the main restaurant, they eventually opened up a franchise, which finally closed down last year.]

Justin Clouden with his business partner. (Submitted photo)

“When the pandemic happened, we closed up for the day, put all the food in the freezer, and walked away like, what’s going to happen? They just announced that things would be shut down for a week. We kind of got home and sat there for a bit, and then the next day we were back at it. We were like, okay, we don’t know what’s going to happen; we know we can’t open right now; so, while every restaurant on social media was just quiet, we were making content from our homes. So we had this thing called Chicken in the Kitchen with the Bro’s. We were cooking chicken recipes at home, filming it, and just getting engaged with it. So while all the restaurants were quiet, we weren’t selling products, but we were still marketing.

[After about five years, the restaurant came to an end.] We were lucky enough to make it past five years. The vast majority of restaurants close within one year, and very few make it past five years. For us to get that far in such a challenging time, the pandemic, in Argentina, it was quite an accomplishment. But in life, you often you have to make decisions and weigh in. Like I tell my Econ students, opportunity costs. Yes, it’s going okay, and it’s lovely, but what else could you be doing? I reached a point where I thought my time wasn’t being used effectively in a business that didn’t have the growth potential that we originally anticipated.”