The Jason Hill Interview: Building a Better Burger in Ohsweken

For many residents of southern Ontario, entrepreneur Jason Hill is the burger king of Six Nations of the Grand River. As founder of the Burger Barn in Ohsweken, he has added a must-taste attraction to the itinerary of visitors to Canada’s most populous First Nations territory.
Jason is also well-known in Six Nations as the creator of a string of other successful businesses, including convenience and specialty stores, a wholesale confectionery supply outlet, a fueling station and a construction company.

Recently we talked with Jason about his dreams and achievements:

Q: What Does Entrepreneurship Mean to You?

Jason Hill: I believe “entrepreneur” is an action verb. For me, entrepreneurship means simply “to go forward.” It’s a path, a journey. Maybe a destination too, but it’s the voyage that’s exhilarating. That’s probably why Burger Barn is one of several businesses I’ve started, and why I’m still constantly considering ideas for new ventures, expansions, franchising and other opportunities. Entrepreneurship is achievement, and the only way to reach it is at high velocity.

Q: In the 1980s there was an iconic television ad for Wendy’s that featured a sprightly senior citizen demanding, “Where’s the beef?” I think you’ve just given us an insight into why your own burger chain is so successful — the “beef” is the passion you have for creating a quality product.

Jason Hill: Yes, to put it another way, I like to say that Burger Barn’s secret sauce is not just the entrepreneurial mindset, but also a deep respect for our customers and the community. And here in Six Nations — we’re the largest First Nations territory in Canada — community is a central part of life. We proudly acknowledge our heritage, which is based on the rich cultural inheritance and traditions of the Iroquois people: Respect for others and reverence for community are important parts of that tradition. That’s the real substance of my success. And that would be my advice for many other entrepreneurs — never forget where you have come from, and never leave anyone behind when you reach your goals.

Q: Are you Ever Surprised by your Success?

Jason Hill: I don’t think I’m necessarily surprised, and I say that in a very humble way, because it’s sort of like the ancient Chinese proverb: You begin a long journey with a single step, and once you simply put one foot in front of the other, and keep up the pace, keep up the rhythm, remain resolute, you know you will reach your destination. The surprise would be if you found you were still in the same place! But there are times when I marvel at what a simple idea has become, how it flowered so beautifully over a very short period of time. I think when the camera crew from the TV show “You Gotta Eat Here” arrived at the restaurant I had one of those moments. A national television show thought there was something extraordinary about our food and our story, and suddenly I knew it too: We were pretty special.

The post <strong>The Jason Hill Interview: Building a Better Burger in Ohsweken</strong> appeared first on Entrepreneurship Life.

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