Jacki Marsh, of Rabbask Designs, became a client of the LCBD in the beginning of July, 2014. Jacki had her unique, hand-crafted, jewelry in galleries all over the United States. Each piece of her jewelry is one of a kind; using stones and beads from around the world. When she came to the LCBD she was ready to purchase a building that was for sale on 4th Street, to sell her jewelry locally. There were many issues with the lending process of acquiring the particular business site that she had her heart set on. The LCBD worked with Jackie tirelessly, and was able to help her get her financing. Jackie is a very gracious member of the Loveland community and offers her space to other artists; she now has over 50 artists in her gallery located at 243 4th Street in Loveland.
Tammy Prestien, of Avani, LLC, is rather new to the Loveland Center for Business Development (LCBD). Mary Ann Huffines discovered Tammy at the Winter Market in Fort Collins and invited her to be a vendor at the LCBD Community Marketplace, held twice a year in Loveland. It was a perfect fit, since Tammy lives in Loveland. Tammy had never heard of the LCBD and was anxious to become a client. She began working with the LCBD in March of 2014.
The idea for Avani was born in 2007 after many difficult searches to find a natural soap that did not irritate the eczema that Tammy’s young daughter had. It seemed odd to Tammy that a truly pure and natural soap was so hard to find. So, Tammy and Robert decided to try and make it themselves. After more than a few batches they hit upon a base formula that they really liked…and so did their family and friends!
The mission at Avani is to provide the highest quality, all natural, soap and bath products to their customers. They NEVER use any synthetic ingredients.
Kathrin Reams is a hospice nurse who invented and patented a product to help terminal patients keep their mouths closed. Kathrin began working with the LCBD in December of 2010. The original name of her product was WillaWrap, named after her mother. In the beginning of 2014 the product was rebranded to DignityWrap™.
From the BridgMed website: http://www.bridgmed.com/dignity-wrap-.html: In early 2014, BridgMed signed an exclusive licensing agreement to manufacture and distribute the DignityWrap™ product. DignityWrap™ is an end of life chin support used to maintain dignity after death by securing a closed mouth for a deceased person. This compassionate gesture promotes comforting final memories for the family.
Texas Health Resources, a non-profit company that operates a network of hospitals and related health facilities in the North Texas region of the United States, began using DignityWrap™ in their postmortem care protocols mid-year, 2014.
Food Cart/Truck Success Stories
Angela Norman came to the LCBD in September of 2013. Angela is an engineer by training, but had a strong desire to open a food truck business that serves healthy food. Angela found a fun truck…anyone see Hoosiers 2? In a previous life, the Seasonal Soup bus was the vehicle that was used in this movie. It was later on used as a school bus for the Dept. of Education in Indiana then recently bought and retrofitted into a food truck. The name of the business is Seasonal Soups, Salads and More. You can find the truck at the Fort Collins food truck rallies and many Loveland events. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seasonal-Soups-Salads-and-More
The LCBD started working with food cart/truck vendors in 2010. Rick and Diane Janecka came to the LCBD in September 2010 with the idea of building a food cart to sell premium hot dogs and brats. The Janeckas worked tirelessly to learn cash flow projections, develop food costs, and complete their business plan to present for financing. They received financing, built their cart and started selling hot dogs in Loveland in April 2011. You can find The Daily Dawg at the Chilson Center in the late fall and winter months. During the summer Daily Dawg can be found at the farmers’ market that the City of Loveland holds at Railroad Park on Sundays. They have also been regular vendors at Grimm Brothers since they started their business. During a recent conversation with Rick, he said Daily Dawg is booked out for the next 5 months. Daily Dawg…”Tasty Dawgs on the Go!”
Billy Daniels, a chef with 20 years experience in corporate food service, came to the LCBD in June 2011. His idea was to utilize his extensive culinary experience to start a mobile food cart business complete with a proprietary product line of sauces. Billy took class after class at the LCBD to augment his cooking skills with the business knowledge that he would need to be a successful business owner. On April 27, 2012 he had his cart ready to go and started Chaulkboard Gourmet Express. One of his specialties is a Philly cheese steak sandwich; you can’t get any better, west of Philadelphia! Billy was spotlighted in a Reporter Herald article on May 11, 2013. Billy can be found cooking regularly at High Hops Brewery in Windsor or Grimm Brothers in Loveland. He pulls his food cart behind his yellow mini Cooper to many local events.
Anastasia Alexander has had a thriving catering business since January 2004. Her idea was to operate a food truck to enlarge the service area in which she could deliver her authentic Greek food. In January 2012, the The Giggling Greek hit the road. After her successful launch, she worked with the LCBD to explore financing options and ultimately apply for a bank loan. You can find her food truck at many of Northern Colorado’s breweries and outdoor events. Her Spanakopita is out of this world.
Lance Bublitz stopped by the LCBD in April 2012 hoping that he could turn his passion for barbeque and smoking meat into a viable business. His idea was to start small with a food cart. Lance had won BBQ competitions and was ready to try his hand at a small business serving his BBQ and his proprietary barbeque sauces and rubs. Bedrock BBQ’s specialties are: chicken, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pig candy and sauces. Lance launched Bedrock BBQ in January 2013. Lance is a regular food vendor at High Hops and Grimm Brothers Breweries. You can also find him at JAX Outdoor store on most Saturdays during the summer. He will be teaching cooking classes at JAX in the fall of 2013. Bedrock BBQ will be a vendor at Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews this summer.
Joel and Linda Wentz contacted the LCBD in November 2012. Frustrated at not being able to find high quality diner / roadside grill food that he had come to love around the country, Joel found his calling. Coupled with his background in food service, a food truck seemed to naturally fit the bill. Joel and his wife Linda had many counseling sessions at the LCBD as they worked through the details of what it would take to get financing, cash flow projections, what type entity would work best for them, working with the local health department, etc. The name of their business is The Road Grill and their food truck will be on the road in the beginning of June, 2013. They already have a standing vendor location on Fridays at a local business that employs 700 people and have been asked to join the Longmont Food Truck Rally that is held in Longmont at the Twin Peaks Mall every Saturday. Also look for them at Grimm Brothers and Verboten breweries in Loveland.
The food truck craze started to grow in the Big Apple in 2008. Top Cities for food trucks include San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Austin, Texas. The trend continues as you see more and more food trucks and carts all over the U.S. This is such a great alternative for people who want to get into the food service business, but don’t want the huge expense of brick and mortar.
More Success Stories
How do you handle writing up success stories for your business? At the LCBD we have a huge problem of deciding which businesses we would want to write about as our Client Success Stories. That is because there are just too many. It is so hard to limit this to a hand-full each year.
Not all the success stories are as impressive as LCBD client, Grimm Brothers – located at 623 Denver Ave. The LCBD has been trying to write a success story for quite some time about how Aaron Heaton and Don Chapman came into the LCBD to get some business advice before they opened Grimm Brothers. Each time it looks like a good time to write about their success they do some new awesome thing like expand their business by building a new larger tap room or win yet another People’s Choice Brewery Award at the Gnarly Barley Brewfest (third year in a row for 2012 – how awesome is that!) What you don’t hear about is all the hard work these guys did before they opened their doors. They worked diligently, after hours with the LCBD Executive Director – Robin Shukle, to be fully prepared for the business challenges that lay ahead. With great passion comes great risk. Aaron and Don had a lot of skin in the game when it came to financing their venture. They are a shining example of how you can succeed and that due diligence pays off.
Newcomer to the Loveland Breweries, Loveland Aleworks – located at 118 W. 4th Street, would fall into the category of another highly visible LCBD client success. They officially opened on August 10-12th, after a soft opening to work out the kinks. Behind the scenes, Nick Callaway had challenges in opening at the projected start date. They are now full steam ahead and will make Loveland proud as a growing business, strengthening the Loveland downtown area.
The LCBD also works with many individuals carving out one-person businesses in Loveland. Linda Joy is a voice talent – http://lindajoyvoiceover.com, she has been working with the LCBD for quite some time. Linda wrote this testimonial for the assistance she received from the LCBD: “Without the counseling services and support from the Loveland LCBD, I would not have been able to secure a loan to finish building up my business (studio). I am a voice talent, lending my voice to narrations, commentaries, commercials and movies. My kids and I have been able to stay and live in this wonderful community, while I commute to work by connecting via Ethernet with clients from my voice studio here in town.”
Linda Joy’s voice is known in Europe as the German voice of Jim Henson’s Miss Piggy in the Muppet Babies cartoon series. You can hear her voice as some of the fuzzy little hamster-like creatures in Ice Age IV who help Seth the Sloth and his friends fight the ‘bad guys’.
Philip Bearly, of Ultramech, LLC – www.ultramech.com, is another individual who would be a great candidate for a success story. Philip’s business is designing and selling a piece of machinery, designed to fit on the front end of a wheel loader or motor grader that breaks up ice. Philip has worked with the LCBD since September 2011. Philip is another small business owner willing to do the hard work of figuring out the unpleasant aspect of business…cost accounting, the spread of fixed indirect costs, marketing, etc.
Remington Technologies – www.remingtontech.net, environmental remediation services provider, first contacted LCBD when they were having a difficult time managing their opportunities for growth with their cash flow limitations. The LCBD connected this business with the resources needed to address their small business needs.
As a result of the work with the LCBD, Remington Technologies was connected to the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) as well as the USDA. Through these entities, the business was able to get a USDA small business loan for educational opportunities and business promotion. Most recently, they applied for, and were awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant that was offered jointly through the USDA and the NCEDC. This grant was used to contract services for an in-depth business and opportunity analysis which helped identify market opportunities and the most cost effective ways to pursue them. Remington Technologies has grown from 4 employees to 8 employees. In these uncertain economic times, having an employer double their number of employees is definitely a mark of success.
These are just a few of the clients that we are so proud of in their accomplishments. The list of other LCBD success stories is quite extensive; we will attempt to give them the credit they deserve for a job well done in the future.
November 20, 2014
Dear Mary Ann and Robin,
We wanted to express our gratitude to both of you for all of your time, hard work and support to Avani Natural Soaps! In just these last 8 months we went from a small online retail business to now being in ten stores and counting! The resources that you have given us have been phenomenal and we feel like you are working with us and supporting us everyday both during the workday and when you are out in the Community. You are continually finding ways for our company to grow and putting our name out there. We feel with all of your help and support, it has created amazing credibility to the community that we have a superior product to offer.
You both are so awesome at knowing what to do and when and creating the path for that. Your unique skill sets working together create a perfect partnership for businesses to grow. We can’t thank you enough and look forward to continuing working with you and see what the future holds!
Avani Natural Soap
November 17, 2014
Dear Mary Ann and Robin,
Thank you for the opportunity to promote our Loveland business at the Community Marketplace event on November 15, 2014. This event helped us meet and sell to buyers who want products of high quality that are made in Loveland. Thatʼs a good target market for us.
Satori Grill had a great experience! Our specialty food and catering company had strong sales, and thereʼs the potential for continuing business from many of the customers we met. It was also a prime public relations opportunity for our company, and we received lots of positive feedback from the people who tasted our food.
Here are some details about our sales:
- We sold out of our tins of Chaco-La-Tay Mole Rub! We took orders for more, which weʼll fill in the next couple weeks.
- We sold 75% of the rest of our inventory at the event.
- Close to 90% of our buyers were new customers.
- Two-thirds of our customers bought more than 1 item.
There were some additional benefits of having a booth, too!
- We talked with two vendors about possibly working together on projects in the future (products at wholesale for catering, for instance).
- A customer approached us to write content about meals for her weekly newsletter.
- We added new names to our email list of customers.
Weʼre glad we participated in this yearʼs Community Marketplace and would do it again! We appreciate that the dollars from these sales stay in our community, supporting our local economy. Thank you for all you do to help Loveland businesses.
Mary Bahus- Meyer
Satori Grill “Nirvana for Your Palate!”
“Remington Technologies would like to thank the Loveland Center for Business Development for assistance and ongoing support over the past several years. When we first contacted LCBD, we were having a difficult time managing our opportunities for growth with our cash flow limitations. LCBD has taken a personal interest in our business since that day. We truly appreciate the time and energy spent in connecting us with the resources we needed to address our small business needs. I am grateful that our community has the valuable resources for any small business through LCBD and I remain eternally grateful that we are able to access their assistance at no charge. I feel strongly that programs such as this should remain available for small businesses in our community as I believe that most new businesses face many of the same challenges we have encountered.
As a result of our work with the LCBD, we were connected to the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation as well as the USDA. Both of these entities have continued to support our business through a USDA small business loan, educational opportunities and business promotion. Most recently, we applied for, and were awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant that was offered jointly through the USDA and the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation. This grant was used to contract services for an in-depth business and opportunity analysis which helped us identify market opportunities and the most cost effective ways to pursue them.
At this time, our business has grown from 4 employees to 8 employees and we are hoping to do more for our community through employment opportunities and a commitment to local business. It never ceases to amaze me how we have evolved and grown since the first day I walked into the LCBD and asked for help.
Many, many thanks to both Robin and Mary Ann for everything they do for small businesses in the Loveland community. Keep up the good work! Your efforts are greatly appreciated.”
“Whether we are researching new markets, trying to figure out how to finance new endeavors, or just needing outside advice, Robin and her team are always available to help and their input is priceless. They are constantly introducing us to public and private resources that we would have otherwise never known about, their inexhaustible energy has provided us with critical insight into our own business, their experience has helped us navigate the complexities of being an employer, and their knowledge of what is happening in the local business community has connected us with what have become critical partners. The LCBDC makes us a better business, and I would like to think that we, in turn, contribute to making Loveland a better place.”
The Tenfold Collective
“The Loveland Center for Business Development is an outstanding resource not only for small start-up businesses in Loveland but also existing businesses looking for education and resources to improve their bottom line.
The Quick-Print Shop has been in business for 50 years. But the industry has changed so much that doing business as usual just doesn’t work anymore. Today the internet and in-house copiers have reduced the need for printing. The downturn in the economy has made people spend even less on printing with do-it-yourself business cards, postcards and flyers.
I watched both large and small print shops in Northern Colorado close. I wanted to be proactive in trying to make some changes before I joined them. I heard Robin, from the LCBD, speak at a Berthoud Chamber luncheon and was so impressed with her enthusiasm and sincerity in wanting to help local businesses succeed. I made an appointment right away and was instantly put to work charting and understanding my cash flow, meeting with a library resource person who helped me research my industry to see how other printers are adding additional services to increase revenue. They had information to see if my expenses were in line with the rest of the industry. The LCBD offers classes on web design, marketing, and many other topics.
But I think the best thing the LCBD does is connect business owners with each other. Both Robin and Mary Ann are always looking for ways to recommend the Quick-Print Shop to other businesses. They hold business-after-hours where they have introduced me to lots of potential customers. Many times, a new person will walk into our shop and say they were sent over by the LCBD.
In closing, I whole-heartedly appreciate Robin and Mary Ann and all they have accomplished at the Loveland Center for Business Development. Their work is vital to the continued success of small businesses like mine.”
Owner, Quick-Print Shop
“We would not be where we are today without the assistance of the LCBD. Starting with guidance during the discovery phase of our business, and continuing today as we start building our customer base through marketing and sales training, LCBD has been with us every step of the way. We call our LCBD counselor our ‘personal trainer” for our business.
Our first interaction with the LCBD was during the process of discerning which of several business concepts to pursue. The process continued with advice on business planning and market research. LCBD provided contacts with other people and Organizations to partner with during the startup phase, and helped us to think creatively as we encountered the inevitable “bumps in the road” during our early months. LCBD also helped us apply for and receive an SBA backed Patriot Express line of credit from a local lender.
With my background in business (I am a C.P.A. and M.B.A.) I was very comfortable with
financial planning aspects of the business, but we needed help with marketing and sales. Regular meetings with our LCBD counselor helped us understand the next steps that we needed to take, and kept us accountable to moving forward with our business plan. We received also helpful advice at training classes offered at the LCBD office.
Starting a business can be an amazing, exhilarating, and terrifying experience, but with the help of the LCBD you know there is a team of people engaged in helping you to succeed.”
Compliance Warrior & CEO
“I have attended many classes at the various SBDC offices along the front range and the expertise, in-depth knowledge, referral program and friendliness of the LCBD is the best I have experienced! Thank you to Robin for helping me get off to the right start and giving me the confidence I needed, knowing I was doing each step the right way!”
Chemical Feed Safety Supply