Star City Six – Matthew Rogge
Located in downtown Lincoln, the Talon Room (talonroom.com) is a unique reception and event venue offering a wide range of amenities on-site as well as off-site beverage catering services. Matthew Rogge is the co-owner of the Talon Room.
Tell us a little about your business.
The Talon Room is the perfect space to host a wedding reception, Husker tailgate, company party, business meeting, or social gathering. It’s a flexible space with a full-service bar and a host of amenities to fit any need, and we’re more than happy to help plan all of the details. Or, let us bring the bar to you for your wedding reception, business after-hours, outdoor event, or other destination where you’ll need to arrange for one.
How did you get started in the business?
I began my college career pursuing an engineering degree, but discovered an interest in culinary science, so I switched my major. I landed a job at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, and then moved through several positions until I ended up doing banquets. I worked a lot of weddings, and gained a lot of experience in that area of the hospitality industry. An opportunity presented itself to work for ChefauChef, first in catering and then also as general manager of the café. When ChefauChef opened Talon Room in February of 2016, I took the lead role of operations until March of 2017, when I purchased the business.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
The criticism that often goes along with entrepreneurship. Everyone thinks that they know what’s best for you, and it does come from a good place, but it’s tough not to let people’s opinions and initial reactions deter you from doing what you feel in your gut is best for yourself. That being said, once they see you’re doing well, then you get the encouragement and compliments, which are still satisfying but also well-earned at that point.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Taking the leap to do something I’ve always wanted to do, start my own business.
Tell us a little about your family.
My family is originally from the Pleasantdale area. I’m the oldest of three, with a younger brother and sister. My mom, Michelle, is a dental assistant and my dad, Steve, is an engineer for Vankirk Bros. I’ve had excellent role models of business owners going back generations who I’ve admired and credit for getting me started on my entrepreneurship journey, including my dad, my grandpa Milt Rogge, and my great grandpa, William Rogge. I’m engaged to Nicole Rehbein, who works at West Gate Bank and is also my business partner and main source of inspiration. We have a puppy named Saul.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I enjoy golfing and spending time with my fiancée.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I can operate heavy machinery.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
ProStart, a program offered to high school students that teaches culinary arts and restaurant management skills. I’m passionate about it because I participated in it, which led me to this career field. I’ve also been a mentor, which I really enjoyed.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
A favorite of mine is The Ten Commandments for Business Failure by Donald Keough.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Wilderness Ridge (shout out to Eric Straley!).