18-year-old uses college savings to buy restaurant

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 10:04 AM CDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WEWS) – Instead of spending four years in college, an Ohio graduate took the money she would have used on tuition and invested in her future in a different way.

Samantha Frye, 18, owns Rosalie’s Restaurant and is putting all she has into making it a success.

She started working at the restaurant as a dishwasher when she was 16 years old. As the years passed, she moved up in the ranks, from kitchen prep to line cook.

Like most high school students, Frye went to college after graduation.

She went to Ohio State for business and then environmental engineering, but when the 18-year-old came in for a shift during winter break, an idea sparked when the past owners told her they wanted to sell the restaurant.

“I was thinking that maybe this was something I wanted to do,” she said. “I had savings because I was saving for college, so I had quite a bit of money saved away. And I was like, I could possibly do this.”

Frye paid her down payment and took ownership of Rosalie’s in April.

She has become an inspiration to her customers and her staff alike.

“I really think she’s just a great example of a young lady that is following her dreams and doing what she loves,” employee Leanna Gardner said.

Frye doesn’t want to change the name of the restaurant or update much, but she hopes her story has one clear message for her generation: you don’t need a college degree to make a decent living.

“Follow your instinct,” Frye advised. “If it feels right, just do it.”