AFL players have a great understanding of the food that fuels them. They have to. But Shaun Grigg has taken that dedication to a new level.
The Richmond midfielder’s love of SpudBar products is now his business.
His investment in the chain originated from his inability to prepare a decent meal for himself. It then developed from a desire to have a life outside of football.
“When I got to Carlton I was living with a couple of the boys from the club and I wasn’t the greatest cook,” Grigg told aflplayers.com.au.
“I was looking for something quick and easy and healthy for athletes. It’s been a pretty big part of my diet since.”
These days Grigg enjoys a spud or salad from one of his own SpudBar franchises, including one in the Tigers’ heartland in Swan Street, Richmond.
Grigg and his business partners now have 15 SpudBar stores to their name, including interstate ventures, and are steadily growing the franchises.
“Spudbar has been around since 2000 and aims to provide tasty food that’s healthy, great value, quick and casual,” Grigg explained.
“It’s a really good fit for a sportsperson and there’s a connection for me that is really natural.
“One of the great things about the business is the fact Matt Wilkinson is the chef and he’s always coming up with new ideas.
“He’s worked at some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and brings that to SpudBar.”
Grigg is hands-on with the business and enjoys helping new franchises get off the ground.
“I did a couple of business courses early in my career so I am putting them into practice now and also getting some real-time experience,” Grigg said.
“It’s important to have some time away from the game. Something like this keeps me pretty busy and gets your mind ticking over on other things.”
Grigg, who played 43 games with Carlton, is injury free after hamstring troubles impacted his 2014 campaign.
He is enjoying his footy and will play his 100th game for the Tigers this weekend against Gold Coast.
“I had four great years at the Blues, made a lot of friends, and had some great coaches.
“The opportunity came up to move to Richmond and I saw that they were building something pretty special so I jumped at the chance at it and haven’t looked back.”