Episode 53: Turning Passion for Politics Into a Thriving Business

Special Guest: Andy Shallal, MBA ’19, Founder & CEO, Busboys and Poets.

Andy ShallalOn this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed Andy Shallal, MBA ’19, founder and CEO of Busboys and Poets. Shallal founded the iconic restaurant chain in 2005, where it started from a restaurant/events venue/coffee shop/bar/bookstore in D.C. and expanded to eight locations today across the DMV. After years of operating his business, Shallal returned to school through Maryland Smith’s Executive MBA program, where he has acquired newfound tools to help his empire soar. Shallal sits down with the Bootstrapped hosts to discuss his motivations for starting Busboys and Poets, how his passion for democracy became the bedrock of the business, and the challenges he’s faced in building Busboys and Poets to what is is today and what it can soon become.


The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship produces Bootstrapped, a podcast featuring founders, investors and serial entrepreneurs. While the podcast covers many aspects of startup life, the heart of the show focuses on funding from both the founder and investor perspectives, thus the name Bootstrapped.