Entrepreneur, professional bow hunter, philanthropist, pilot, cyclist and chef, John Cassimus is well known for his entrepreneurial endeavors. Born in Birmingham Alabama, he excelled in sports as a young man. He was an All-American and All State football player. He earned a scholarship from the University of Alabama and was a 3 year letterman for the Crimson tide and won an SEC Championship in 1989. At an early age, John was always passionate about the outdoors, hunting and fishing anytime he wasn’t running track, playing baseball or football. He learned at an early age that if he needed money he could grab the lawn mower and cut the neighbors yards for money. The entrepreneurial seed was planted. During college he worked for the Southwestern Company in a sales program for college athletes. He won the national sales contest in his first year. He said this about that experience. “The tools I learned that summer prepared me for my entrepreneurial journey. Learning how to sell a product, make sales calls and demonstrate the product was the best training I ever received. If you can sell you will always control your own destiny.”
After college, John sold insurance for The New England company where he excelled for 3 years winning many sales competitions. Deep down inside he knew this career was not for him. He decided to change his career and started an apparel business. This was John’s first start up. J-Rag Inc. produced apparel for the outdoor retail industry. Within one year, John had established national customers including REI, Performance Bicycle and Shimano. After 3 years, John again felt this industry was not where he needed to be. He sold the business to a long time friend.
His next stop was working for a consulting company based in Atlanta, Ga. for a couple of years. The growth the company experienced while John was an Executive VP of Sales exceeded any and all expectations. Following 2 years of non stop travel John said this, “if I am going work this hard and travel 180 days a year I am going to do it for myself and own my own business.”
Next, during a 6 month sabbatical he launched a record label, Big Air Records, with a friend and artist Greta Gaines and spent the winter in Colorado to learn how to snowboard.
Upon returning to Birmingham and at the advice of mentors, he decided to start a company based on his parents new start up fast casual restaurant brand called Zoë’s Kitchen. Zoë’s Kitchen was a small single restaurant that had a cult following. Over the next 7 years with John’s leadership he grew Zoë’s Kitchen into a wildly successful regional brand He sold the majority of the company in 2007 but remained a partner until 2018. In 2014, Zoë’s Kitchen went public on the NYSE. John also founded 2 other restaurant brands. Jinsei Sushi in Birmingham and Oxford MS as well as Maki Fresh.
John retired for 8 years spending time at his hunting property, Sawtooth Plantation, as well as serving as Entrepreneur in Residence at Samford University and also served as an advisory board member for the University of Alabama Business School as well as the University of Mississippi business school. John is also a highly regarded motivational and business strategy speaker. He has also appeared on CNBC Mad Money and Squawk Box.
In 2018, the entrepreneurial bug bit again. Launching Last Word Liquidators then Crazy Cazboys in 2019, John has taken the liquidation world by storm. After establishing a strategic partner in 2019 their liquidation business has exploded. With over 250 employees and a fast growing retail chain as well as e-commerce business he is expecting massive growth for 2021 and 2022. “We plan to add another 250 employees in 2021 and 2022 and are investing heavily in technology”
John is also a renowned bowhunter and pro staff member for several companies including Hoyt Archery and Badlands Packs. In 2021, John launched an internet based cooking show called Darn Hungry with Spypoint Cameras. The 12 episode series can be seen on all of Spypoint Cameras social media outlets. Having earned his pilots license in 2003, he continues to fly frequently and has logged over 3500 hours. John said this “flying has allowed me to grow all of my businesses at a rapid pace and the ability to move rapidly anytime I need to fits my personality and allows me to continue to grow both personally and professionally.”