Clark’s Fork owner Jeff Riggs came to Montana in 1998, on a basketball scholarship to play at Montana State University (Bozeman).

With a casual interest in finance, Riggs began building a stock portfolio with small investments. As the market began its rapid growth in the late 90s and early 00s, Jeff took advantage of the economic boom, even to the point where he was helping his teammates find success in the market too. Along the way, he channeled some of those profits into real estate knowing that, with his teammates, he’d always have a built-in rental clientele for homes he purchased. It was a perfect win-win. By the time he completed his studies, Jeff was a successful entrepreneur, but he was interested in expanding into other areas, so he decided to purchase a building and his first restaurant franchise—and started the Wheat Montana Deli in Bozeman.

Over the following years, Jeff grew the one storefront to a total of four (Bozeman, Helena, Billings, and Great Falls), along the way gaining an understanding of food service, restaurant management, and the value of a powerful and reputable brand. The Wheat Montana franchise was a great learning opportunity for Riggs, but soon he was ready to take the next step and develop his own brand.

Another important connection made during the building of the Wheat Montana franchise was with one of Bozeman’s City Planners (at the time), Susan Kozub. After all the city permits were approved, Jeff began a relentless and energetic pursuit of a different kind, and finally in 2009, Jeff and Susan were married. Together, along with their new baby son, Otis, they established the first Clark’s Fork in Bozeman—and plans are under way for additional locations around the state.