WYBC & Yale University salute The Anchor Spa

WYBC & Yale University salute The Anchor Spa

Name: Karl Williams

Business Name: The Anchor Spa, 272 College Street, New Haven

Year Business was started in New Haven: 2016

Why did you start your own business? 

Growing up in an innovative, business driven household, I learned from my father the value of creating something on your own. I developed an intimate knowledge of not only the hardships and challenges to owning your business but also the incredibly rewarding experience that comes from giving your unwavering attention to something you are passionate about and seeing it blossom. I started my professional career in Brand Marketing with a focus on Beverages and had the opportunity to connect with numerous innovative and influential figures in the Craft Cocktail domain that I found incredibly intriguing. Fueled by my growing interest in this world and inspired by my family’s entrepreneurial legacy, I ventured into opening bars and restaurants, including the establishment of the Anchor Spa in New Haven.

Why did you choose to start your business in New Haven?

I went to Yale as an undergrad and always knew I wanted to bring something to New Haven both because of the impact it had on me at such a pivotal point in my life, but also because of New Haven’s reputation in the culinary and cocktail world.

What challenges did you have to overcome in starting your business? 

One of the biggest challenges I had to face is something that I think many Black entrepreneurs are faced with – and that’s the lack of available capital and resources to Black-owned businesses. Combine that with the inherent challenges of just running a restaurant in general definitely contributed to us having some hard times when we first opened. However, with an excellent team and the unwavering spirit I possess in making things work, we were able to overcome these challenges, which ultimately helped us get through a tough time like COVID and come out on the other end stronger than we ever were.