Late-night snacking is a pillar of the college experience, though, many college late-night favorites have come and gone. Athens residents Brian Godfrey, commonly known as BG, and Leslie Aguilera have taken advantage of this opportunity to provide this pivotal college experience.
Godfrey did not stumble upon Athens by chance, but from 2017 to 2018 Godfrey was a student at Ohio University. However, he left Athens to pursue his entrepreneurial goals in Colorado. Now, he finds himself back in Athens to further his career.
“I've been into entrepreneurship now for (the) last about three years,” Godfrey said.
Godfrey and Aguilera began their culinary journey in Athens after enjoying YouTubers, like Joshua Weissman.
Godfrey said that at first he was not interested in cooking but after some time, the culinary scene piqued his interest. Once he started exploring the culinary scene he began looking to expand his career. His next step was TikTok.
Godfrey began creating TikTok content. He was posting on TikTok originally to grow his business network, but it quickly expanded into a TikTok chef career, and Godfrey started referring to himself as an “Enlightened Eater.” Godfrey worked with a mentor to build his TikTok account, which allowed him to explore other business opportunities in culinary.
“HP (Hewlett-Packard Company) reached out to me and wanted to do the cookbook,” Godfrey said
HP sought out Godfrey to create a cookbook full of vegan recipes.
On top of having about 450,000 followers on TikTok and publishing a cookbook, Godfrey was also looking to expand his entrepreneurial goals within Athens. Godfrey and Aguilera were looking to make money by doing something they already knew how to do.
The recipe development for their new culinary enterprise was an even split process for Godfrey and Aguilera. Aguilera worked on the waffle development and Godfrey took care of the chicken.
“I'm Black, I’m African American, so my grandma cooked fried chicken and that fried chicken was good as hell,” Godfrey said. “I thought about what her fried chicken tastes like, and using my abilities that I've come to grow as a chef, I was kind of able to replicate those flavors a little bit.”
The flavors were able to create the signature Bad Boys Chicken, or BBC. Aguilera worked to find recipes for their waffle batter and eventually came up with her own, but with a twist.
“Our waffles are naturally vegan, which is pretty cool,” Aguilera said.
After a short period of time and some recipe development, the duo found a product that worked for them.
“Once we came down to that product, and were like, ‘This is fire,’ that's when it was done,” Godfrey said.
The two had Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority come and sample their food before they began their business.
Nia Dumas, a senior studying journalism, visited BBC with Sigma Gamma Rho. Dumas endorsed the food quality and the business as a whole.
“I think it's good, especially because it's a Black-owned business,” Dumas said. “It’s good … to get some food diversity in Athens.”
After they introduced the Athens community to the idea of their fresh take on chicken and waffles, Godfrey and Aguilera worked to create a storefront. BBC officially opened on April 8 at 61 N. Court St. The storefront was opened approximately three months after the business' conception.
“I guess the moral of the story is we move quick,” Godfrey said. “Don't be surprised if you hit me up in six months to seven months and we got another store.”
However, Godfrey and Aguilera's speed does not only come from their impeccable drive and entrepreneurial spirit. They both strive to make their business matter and hopefully become a franchise, but their driving force is their families. Godfrey plans to set his family up well when he can and Aguilera plans to help her family once she has the means to do so.
On top of their combined ambitions, Godfrey and Aguilera plan to push their business further. Their plans for this are even embedded in their name and company colors. They looked at successful chain restaurants and modeled their colors, yellow and red, off of their research.
“We actually took different colors from each one of those places, and we kind of incorporated it into our color scheme,” Godfrey said.
The beloved restaurant name came from some of their favorite entertainers. Chef Gordon Ramsey and Keith Habersberger, from Try Guys on YouTube. They combined two sayings from both entertainers and were left with "Bad Boys Chicken."
Their future plans include adding different variations of their original waffles and bringing back one of their popular menu items: The Walking BBC. The Walking BBC is a drumstick dipped in waffle batter that is fried fresh and served with their warm maple syrup. Together, the two are also looking to create merchandise.
On top of running a business, Godfrey posting on TikTok and Aguilera being an OU student, they plan to inspire the Athens food scene.
Godfrey hopes that their story allows others to get over their fear of pursuing their dream.
“Take note of this equation … desire, plus skill, times faith, equals success,” Godfrey said. ”It all starts with desire.”