Spotlight: Caleb Spivak – Founder of “What Now Atlanta”

1.      Tell us about the man behind the website — who is Caleb J. Spivak? England born (Air Force raised), 20-something year old who would do anything for his family, surrounds himself with good people and opportunity, treasures every heart beat and breath (anyone else just throw-up in their mouths a little?).

2.      How did you get involved in creating What Now Atlanta? Oh, boy. This is a story of tangled lovers, betrayal and lost friendships, but for the sake of time, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: a friend and I started a similar concept in 2008 called “Repeat Atlanta.” The site took off but not to the potential I knew it was capable of. So I left that “partnership” and launched my own site, something I could feel proud wore my name.

3.      Do you have big plans for What Now Atlanta’s future? If so, care to give our readers an idea of what to expect? Yes! But I can’t share any of those details or David’s readers would start dropping dead. Let’s just say the business model for What Now Atlanta looks very different from what readers see now – stay tuned!

4.      What is your favorite part of running What Now Atlanta? Being first. The thrill of breaking news on restaurant or retail openings and closings before anyone else (including most of Atlanta’s mainstream media) fuels my competitive nature.

5.      Has there ever been a story you have regretted printing, or wish you approached differently? I don’t have any regrets but I do learn from the choices I make. “Don’t be sorry, just be right.”

6.      You keep your personal life pretty private, so give us some insight, are you single? Single and hating it. For a sentimental dreamer like me, being romantic with someone else is a must.

7.      What has been your favorite story so far to break or publish? Hands down, an article entitled, “Former Adult Toy Shop owner to open Cupcake Lounge in Grant Park,” which one of my mentors, Michael Alvear, helped me write.  Here’s an excerpt: Can a woman who sold dildos sell cupcakes? They’re not that different. It’s about giving people want they want, according to entrepreneur Tajuansar (Taj) Diallo…

8.      What is your favorite project being worked on in Atlanta currently, and why? I’m most intrigued by Legoland opening their Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza. Who would have thought one of Atlanta’s higher-end malls would turn amusement park?

9.      What are your 3 favorite restaurants? Our readers love good food, and frankly, I need new places to eat at. I don’t have favorite anythings. I can, however, share restaurants that meet three criteria I look for when dining out on a daily basis: consistency, affordability and quality. LottaFrutta, Urban PL8 and Metrofresh (Empire State South, Miller Union and Ecco are great dinner options, to name a few).

10.  When did What Now Atlanta start, and do you do anything else besides the website? What Now Atlanta launched in January 2010 and I wish I could say that’s all I do – talk about easy living! My full-time work is in Public Relations and Social Media for Graco, Aprica and Tuetonia of Newell Rubbermaid. I also work in Sales and Marketing for Mark Edge Jewelry Co. and have a few clients I consult on their Social Media strategy. Oh, and I’m still in school and am working on What Now Atlanta’s business plan.

11.  What did you go to school for? I’m currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Journalism at Georgia State University (I’m on the seven year program like Van Wilder) and have a degree in Hustlenomics.

12.  To the LGBT youth who look at a young professional building a successful company, what inspirational words can you give to them? A good friend of mine once said, “Someone’s got to eat steak so it might as well as be you.” Failure is not an option. When someone says you’re incapable of doing something, prove them wrong by surpassing expectations. Every day, I tell myself how capable I am through my “personalized commercial” (you can put your name where mine is): Caleb Spivak, meet Caleb Spivak—an important, a really important person. Caleb, you’re a big thinker, so think big. Think big about everything. You’ve got plenty of ability to do a first class job, so do a first class job. Caleb, you believe in happiness, progress and prosperity. So: talk only happiness, talk only progress, and talk only prosperity. You have lots of drive, Caleb, lots of drive.  So put that drive to work. Nothing can stop you Caleb, nothing. Caleb, you’re enthusiastic. Let your enthusiasm show through. You look good Caleb, and you feel good. Stay that way. Caleb Spivak, you were a great fellow yesterday and you’re going to be an even greater fellow today. Now go to it, Caleb, go forward! (Cheesy? Yes, but it works!).

13.  Is What Now Atlanta going to be branding into new cities in the future? There are plans for a ten-market rollout, hopefully beginning in New York City—but that’s far away from happening.

14.  Which song is stuck on repeat on your iPod right now? I’m the worst at this, just ask my landlords: I’ll pick one song and play it over and over again either while I’m taking a shower, cleaning or feel like obnoxiously blasting the same song for no apparent reason. Right now, that song is Right There by Nicole Scherzinger. But by the time anyone is reading this, it’ll be something else.

Interview: Maximillian Corwell

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