Sakoutis ’26 Running Small Business with a Charitable Purpose
November 28, 2022
Plenty of CBA students aspire to start their own business, but few have the confidence to execute it before they even step foot on campus.
For freshman Will Sakoutis, he has been running his own small business, Slick Willy’s Dills, since 2019. The idea of growing, making and jarring his own pickles started during a trip to visit his grandfather in Ikaria, Greece.
“Of all the experience and knowledge gained after spending what was about a month in Europe, the most interesting skill that stuck out to me was my grandpa’s ability to grow and pickle cucumbers,” he said.
Sakoutis had already considered himself a pickle “connoisseur” by middle school, so once his interest in making his own piqued, the rest came easy to the enthusiastic young businessman.
“I saw this as the perfect opportunity to not only learn a lot about what managing a business is like, but to also be able to help hundreds of people through supporting local charities.”
And that is the welcoming catch to his business, a portion of all proceeds go towards supporting local charities. Slick Willy’s Dills has donated to local food banks such as Bridges at the Shore and Lunch Break, both located in Monmouth County.
While making money would be enough for most young students, there was never a question in Sakoutis’ mind that he would use his business as a vehicle for good.
“I have always loved to participate in fundraisers and other charity work for those in need, and so I decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to local food banks,” he said.
To date, Sakoutis has donated over $5,000 to local food banks and charities, with his ultimate goal being to reach $10,000 donated.
“This goal gives me something to strive for everyday, and I think is a very attainable goal for the near future.”
The freshman started this business while he was in middle school, but his initiative fits nicely with CBA’s mission of providing aid to the community. He has embraced that as he continues to run his business and contributes his recent success to the Academy.
“CBA has had a huge impact on the success of my business,” he said. “I have been able to learn a lot about how to balance important things in your life and how to run a business, while still being an active student. Both the students and faculty are super supportive of Slick Willy’s Dills, and many of them have even purchased pickles and are returning customers.”
Running his own business takes up plenty of time, so Sakoutis has had to quickly learn how to manage his schedule. He has gotten involved in Lasallian Youth and the Ambassadors Program, while looking forward to wrestling for CBA this winter.
Of course, he has pride in his school work and wants to make sure he puts his academics first.
“One of the biggest challenges in my opinion was figuring out how to balance being a full-time student and an athlete, as well as managing a growing business. I soon was able to adapt to the challenge and separate my school life from my business life.”
Now, he “runs” the business on the weekends, working on producing and labeling his products. He prepares the orders to be shipped or delivered, with his products being featured in local delis and businesses. That exposure, he says, has led to increased online sales.
Like any good businessman, Sakoutis will always keep his options open.
“I plan to continue to grow the business by selling in multiple other stores, in addition to the five we are currently in,” he said. “I am planning on the possibility of selling the business before I graduate high school.”