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Since 2006 - Celebrating 10 Years!



By MATT SAMUELS | JHV • Thu, Nov 03, 2016

When Cory Baum celebrated his Bar Mitzvah 15 years ago, he wanted it to be a party everyone remembered.

“I shared it with my twin brother, and we invited everyone we knew,” Baum said. “We had about 250 people there and it was a ton of fun. People were dancing on tables, and it was just crazy.”

Little did Baum know at the time, the party wasn’t going to stop after he turned 13.

As the co-founder and Managing Manager of Maxed Out Entertainment, Baum has been a part of hundreds of Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties all around the Houston area over the past decade.

With the company celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2016, Baum has no reason to believe the party will be stopping any time soon.

“Back then, I had no idea I would be doing this now,” Baum said. “Now, our goal is to do three parties every weekend at the same time in the Houston market, working about 30 weekends a year. It adds up to a lot of parties, and there are few things that are more fun to do.”

Baum, who became a Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Brith Shalom and currently attends Congregation Beth Yeshurun, started Maxed Out Entertainment in 2006 with his best friend from high school, who also was Jewish and had a passion for music.

The two friends had worked at the Sports House in Houston and often were requested to run the birthday parties for the 5- to 12-year-olds. When that location closed, there was a void in the community.

“Several families that went to the Sports House, many of which were Jewish, wanted to have sports-related birthday parties for their children,” Baum said. “These families would call us directly and ask if we could take their kids to a local park in Bellaire to play kickball and dodgeball and run the party similarly to how we did when we worked at the Sports House.”

Running children’s birthday parties quickly evolved into running the entertainment at their older siblings’ Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties since families were looking for a new option, and, as the friends finished off their senior year at Bellaire High School, they had a decision to make.

“We were about to go to college, so we had to ask ourselves – is this something we really want to get into,” Baum said. “When you book a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party, it’s a huge commitment, most of the time one to two years in advance.”

“We thought this was the perfect hobby to do on the weekends, allowing us to connect with people we wouldn’t ordinarily get to meet. And, since it was a weekend thing, we thought we could go to college outside of Houston during the week and come back to Houston for the weekend Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties. After a lot of thought and back and forth, we both made the commitment to stay in Houston.”

And, so it began.

Maxed Out Entertainment officially was formed in 2006. Over the last 10 years, Baum has built a core team of DJs, emcees, dancers and other entertainers to offer the Houston Jewish community the complete entertainment package.  Since going full time, they have expanded to include every aspect of the party, so they are now the one stop shop for anything Bar/Bat Mitzvah related.  

“Having a team is huge, and we feel our packages are economical the way we built them,” Baum said. “Our experience and team atmosphere sets us apart – each person has their role to focus on and nobody skips a beat as we change things around week after week to keep things fresh.  Our expectation is to give our full effort no matter what since that's the one variable we have control over!”

That philosophy is where the company found and evolved its name.

“Each child will only have one Bar/Bat Mitzvah in their lifetime, so at the end of every party, I always asked our team – did you give it your full effort?” Baum said. “We can't go back and re-do that party, so as long as we did everything we could to make sure the Bar/Bat Mitzvah teen had the best time, we were 'MAXED OUT'.  We even wore a percent sign on our uniforms as the symbol to remind ourselves of this.”

The once-weekend hobby became a lot of extra work to manage during the week. So, in summer 2015, Baum parted ways with his day job at PricewaterhouseCoopers and acquired 100 percent of the business to give the company his full-time attention.

“As difficult as it was to leave corporate America,” Baum said, “looking back, it was the best decision I have ever made.”

Maxed Out Entertainment, which was officially renamed to EZ BAR MITZVAHS (EZBM LLC) in 2015, currently works with a team of over 40 people and focuses solely on Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Baum estimates the company will do more than 100 Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties this year in the Houston market.

Future goals for EZBM LLC include expanding the business to other cities and using the original "MAXED OUT" concept to create a lifestyle brand geared towards the Bar/Bat Mitzvah teens they work with.  

For now, the local Bar/Bat Mitzvah scene will continue rolling, with Baum at the forefront of the parties.

“We have been a part of many parties since 2006, and we have met many great people along the way,” Baum said. “But, as much as we want to continually grow the company, we don’t want to become so big that we don’t know who our clients are when we run into them at the grocery store.”

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