In his first two seasons as a football player at Bowdoin, Sam Silverman ’14 spent many evenings at Jack Magee’s Pub in Smith Union, eating late-night meals with his teammates. Tired from practice, the players often wished they could just order take-out and have it delivered to their rooms.
So after Silverman stopped playing football due to injuries, he decided “to make that dream a reality,” he said.
In the fall of 2012, Silverman launched Bowdoin Pub Delivery. A year and a half later, the senior makes between seven and 10 deliveries per night, earns on average $10 an hour and has two employees — Tom Furbee ’14 and Liam Blair-Ford ’17. Blair-Ford has talked about taking over the business next year after Silverman and Furbee graduate.
When it first got going, Bowdoin Pub Delivery was active seven nights a week, but Silverman realized the busiest nights are weeknights. Bowdoin Pub Delivery’s hours are 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday.
Silverman or his staff take calls from students and then put in their pub orders, pick them up and pack them in an insulated bag to deliver by car. The charge is $2.50 per delivery, not including tips. “Most students are generous with tips,” Silverman noted. On good nights — for example during finals or on cold, snowy evenings — Bowdoin Pub Delivery can pull in $30 to $40.
Adeena Fisher, manager of dining retail operations, called Silverman a “great advocate” for the pub. “I am sure on these cold winter nights, folks are happy not to have to venture out to the pub, which I am sure is good for our business,” she said.
A math major, Silverman is looking for management consulting jobs after leaving Bowdoin. He adds that he would love to be an entrepreneur again one day, now that he knows what goes into building a start-up. (His dad is also an entrepreneur; 25 years ago he started a PR business in Westborough, Mass., where Silverman grew up.)
“It’s really hard to run a business,” Silverman said. “It’s a lot more work than I anticipated. It takes a lot of effort to market yourself and spread the word, and then every night I have to sacrifice my free time.”
But other perks make up for that. Besides having extra spending money, Silverman has met many students, “which has been fantastic,” he said. “Bowdoin is such a small school, you can make a delivery to a new person and then start seeing them everywhere.”
And Silverman says that being the founder of a business catches the notice of prospective employers. “It has helped a lot in my job interviews,” he noted.