Culture shift inspires entrepreneur

Adam Lopez, of Naugatuck, founded The Naugatuck Beer Truck, now known as The Naugatuck Truck, in 2015 and is working to expand the business beyond Naugatuck. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Adam Lopez always knew that he wanted to own his own business.

“It was always something where I wanted my own hours. I wanted to be my own boss and to control my own destiny,” said Lopez, a 30-year-old Naugatuck resident. “I’ve always had an appreciation for bringing business to life.”

Lopez took his first step toward his dream when he started a small management firm for a music artist in 2011. He would take his next step — a much larger one — in December 2015 when he founded The Naugatuck Beer Truck, a service that would pick up alcohol and deliver it to customers’ homes.

“We did the beer truck because we wanted to do something that was eye-catching and different,” Lopez said.

Over the years, the business and Lopez’s ambitions have grown.

The Naugatuck Beer Truck became The Naugatuck Truck in 2016 when the business expanded to also deliver items such as fast food, medicine and groceries. Lopez, who has lived in Naugatuck since he was 6 and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, is looking to continue that growth by expanding the business to five to seven new towns.

In the borough, the company will remain The Naugatuck Truck. Outside of Naugatuck, the delivery service will be called Stodo.

Lopez said he’s taking advantage of a 2015 federal law that lets non-accredited investors invest money in a small startup business to drive the expansion. According to Lopez, small businesses would have to seek out venture capital prior to the new law, which allows people to have a stake in the company and own a piece of the business.

Running his own business hasn’t been the only thing Lopez has on his plate over recent years.

Lopez served as a member of the Board of Finance from 2016 until his term expired in June. He has also been attending Harvard Business School’s executive education program, which he expects to complete by 2020.

Lopez said sitting on the finance board fulfilled an interest in local politics as well as a desire to serve the borough. His time on the board also helped broaden his business acumen.

“I got a great familiarity with how budgets work, which is a great asset to myself as CEO,” said Lopez, who didn’t seek another term on the board in order to focus on his business. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

Lopez’s accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed. In 2017, Connecticut Magazine named Lopez one of its 40 under 40. The list highlights “people under the age of 40 who are excelling in their fields, leading and influencing others, and making a difference,” according to Connecticut Magazine.

Lopez said he was proud to be listed along with people who embraced the “entrepreneurial spirit” in the state.

“For me, it is about changing the way people consume goods. There is a shift happening in the consumer paradigm with Amazon Prime and Uber Eats. I want to shift the culture as much as I can,” Lopez said.

Correction: The article published in the July 12 print edition of the Citizen’s News incorrectly reported Adam Lopez graduated from Naugatuck High School. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury. This post has been updated to reflect the correction.