For Rob, Rider was an attractive choice because it was close to home and it offered a wide variety of academic programs. A musician, he started off as a Broadcasting major — but soon decided to pursue business studies.
That Rider experience was a huge influence on my ability to start a business.
Rob Behnke Bowman '06,'07
CEO and Co-founder of Brooklyn Salsa Co.
Rider's impact on Rob's career
As a member of Rider’s DAARSTOC (Developing Administrative Abilities and Resources through the Synergistic Training of Organizational Competencies) program, Rob was connected to alumnus Richard Rizzuto ’01, the former senior partner & CEO at RPR Marketing Solutions, who offered him an internship. That experience opened doors to other opportunities in New York.
After completing his M.B.A. at Rider, Rob moved to Brooklyn where he began selling online advertising space by day, and by night, becoming heavily involved in the music scene as the producer and drummer in his band, The Blue and Red. He began staging rock shows in the basement of his apartment he shared with roommate Matt Burns. One night in 2008, they served up some homemade salsa to their guests to rave reviews — and the Brooklyn Salsa Company was born.
Rob relied on the strong business background he developed through his marketing and management studies at Rider — including a business plan he had created as part of an independent study with Dr. Drew Procaccino. “That Rider experience was a huge influence on my ability to start a business. I was able to think about an idea and follow through with it,” he said.
Since Rob and Matt, who became his business partner, first started blending sauce in their Brooklyn loft kitchen, Brooklyn Salsa has earned a wide following, showing up on the pages of Esquire, Martha Stewart Whole Living, and The New York Times, as well on the Cooking Channel’s Food(ography). Most recently, the company launched nationally, with more than a thousand accounts worldwide. The product is sold in the VIP suites of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn and is now available in London and Tokyo.
More on Rob
An Organic Plan
Rob Behnke Bowman '06, M.B.A. '07, is the CEO and co-founder of Brooklyn Salsa Co., which uses local, sustainable ingredients from farms like Hepworth Farms in Milton, N.Y.