Mandy, ’09, and Bo Sibilsky, ’90, had been in business together in Milledgeville for quite some time. But, it wasn’t until they opened Stacked—a sandwich shop—four years ago that they found their calling in a rewarding career.
“Before my dad died, he wanted to get back into the restaurant business,” said Bo. “But he passed away before he had a chance to.”
Then, the Quiznos’ site on Highway 441 became available.
“We sat down and asked ourselves, ‘Hey, do we want to do this?’” said Bo. “And Mandy looked at me and said, ‘I think this is your dad kind of pushing you this way. Let’s go for it.’”
Bo gained restaurant experience working in his dad’s establishment “The Porch” while he was a student at Georgia College.
“Bo told me, ‘I’ve done this before, so I think we can do this,’” said Mandy.
“We use our marketing background from Georgia College to differentiate ourselves from all of the competition,” said Bo. “We don’t talk about the competitors. Instead, we talk about what we do best—our brand. Having that marketing knowledge helped us grow really well.”
Mandy spent her last two years at Georgia College working extensively on marketing plans for small businesses. This experience helped her to step outside the box and form a unique marketing strategy to survive against the larger, chain restaurants.
“That was really helpful,” said Mandy. “Because sometimes a business school will focus on huge corporations and the global market and not on Milledgeville-sized communities. So, when I got into advertising, I was placed with struggling companies and nonprofits, which didn’t have a marketing budget. It was very difficult to figure out how to reach people when you take the money out of the equation. So being able to adapt to the situation was very beneficial to me.”
Bo is grateful for what Georgia College Marketing Professor and Advisor J. Gordon Long taught him.
“His tests would make us take Chapters 2 and 3, and explain how Kmart and Walmart utilize these theories in competition with each other,” he said. “So, we had to know them backwards and forwards and apply these theories. He would bring us into reality to describe what the concepts meant.”
Bo felt that Georgia College was small enough to become familiar with everyone.
“The professors and students knew who you were,” said Bo. “You saw them in the community as well.”
The Sibilskys remain active with the university’s Greek community, athletics, business and mass communication departments.
“They target us to do a lot of different advertising projects or to create a business plan,” said Mandy. “We also do a lot of bulk order discounts for the sororities and provide give-a-ways for athletics.”
Bo and Mandy also provide help with local fundraising efforts for school yearbooks, football teams, all-star dance teams, gymnastic squads and church groups.
“We’re here to help make our community strong because we live here,” said Bo.
The Sibilskys also consider their staff as family.
“We really have that family, community vibe going on at Stacked,” said Mandy. “We are a pretty small staff, so it’s easy for us to know and interact with them.”
Part of the Sibilskys’ goal is to help prepare the younger generation for what’s ahead after college. Some Georgia College students had worked there since Stacked opened.
“We try to educate the younger generation on how the world is going to be when they get out of school,” Mandy said. “If they have a good work ethic, it’s a whole lot easier for them to travel upward.”
The Sibilskys also have a heart for the Georgia College students who are their customers.
“It’s about getting to know these kids,” said Bo. “But, the sad part of it is a lot of them graduate and move on. They say, ‘This is my last time at Stacked.’ They have become a part of our family. It’s sad.”
The nurturing efforts don’t stop with the community, customers and staff. The Sibilskys’ business relationship has also made them strong.
“A lot of people ask, ‘How do you live with the person you work with everyday? That must be so hard,’” said Mandy. “We’re a lot more respectful of each other, I think, from a business relationship perspective. We’re head-to-head everyday, and everything is always equal.”
They are a team no matter what life throws their way.
“We go through the struggles of the day together,” said Bo. “If we’re at home, and Mandy brings up things that happened during the day, we can talk about them, so we always know what’s going on in each others lives.”
Even though Bo and Mandy are at Stacked approximately 70 percent of the time, the restaurant and the community they serve are their passion.
“We have really enjoyed this business,” said Mandy. “It’s been a lot of fun interacting with the community. We finally found our niche.”