Entrepreneurs

From NFL to business: Why Brent Celek is his own boss

Some NFL players go broke, but Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek refused to be one of those statistics.

Celek was a fifth-round draft choice in 2007 to the Philadelphia Eagles, and has since aspired to one of the best all-round tight ends in the NFL.

However, at age 31, Celek did not want his legacy to stop with football.


Brent Celek of the Philadelphia Eagles after the game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 1, 2013, in Philadelphia.
Drew Hallowell | Philadelphia Eagles | Getty Images
Brent Celek of the Philadelphia Eagles after the game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 1, 2013, in Philadelphia.

Sports Illustrated recently estimated that within two years of retirement, 78 percent of former NFL players go bankrupt or encounter financial stress because of divorce or lack of employment.

"I think they trust other people with their money, and that's why I've gotten into being an entrepreneur myself. If I lose it, it's on me. It's not me blaming anyone else, it's me blaming myself," Celek said.

"You screw up here, you screw up there, you learn from it. You move on, you get better and you make your own money." -Brent Celek

Growing up in Cincinnati, Celek's parents, Steven and Debbie, shared the same spirit of ownership as they owned three hair salons and spas.

And while Celek might be an Ohio boy at heart, his entrepreneurial roots are in Philadelphia.

In 2013, Celek decided to open an American bistro-style restaurant called Prime Stache in Philadelphia with his long-time friend, chef Hee "Chino" Chang. That branched off into the Prime Stache food truck, which was designed for private event catering.

In February 2016, Chang and Celek signed a lease to turn the Bellevue on Broad Street in Philadelphia into a bar and restaurant that will serve small-plate Korean-inspired dishes.

The reason why Celek decided to take on living a life of designing his own success was to give himself the ability to make his own mistakes and learn from them.

"You screw up here, you screw up there, you learn from it. You move on, you get better and you make your own money," Celek said.