Mochas! Drive-Thru Coffee House

Barb Carroll opened Mochas in May of 1997, after about 5 months of research and planning. The first location was a 120 square foot building. After 3 years at that location, Mochas relocated to a larger building (750 square feet) and expanded the menu to include smoothies, sandwiches, and ice cream, as well as inside seating for 16. In January of 2007, Mochas expanded again by leasing the neighboring unit and removing a large wall. The square footage was increased to 1750, and seating was added for a total of 36. A full time bakery was added shortly after. According to Barb, “My staff has grown from one in 1997 to a current staff of 20. Sales have increased each year.” In 2009, Barb started another business, called “Ice Cream in the Park”, where she serves ice cream, hot dogs, popcorn, and other ballpark treats at the local softball fields.

Barb first contacted the SBDC during the initial planning stages of Mochas. They provided her with information on SBA loans, as well as a checklist of “How to Start a Business in Gunnison”. This list included all the necessary permits, various taxing agencies, and utility information. Barb states, “The SBDC has helped me through each of my expansions as well as other challenges that have come up in the last 12 years.” She met with an SBDC counselor again in 2000 about the move of the business, where the counselor helped her brainstorm pros and cons of both locations, expenses of the move, and pro forma financials for the new larger location and potential cash flow increases. The SBDC helped Barb write an “expansion plan” which allowed her to get a small business loan for the move. When income declined one year, the SBDC was instrumental in helping Barb with marketing and financial strategies. She has also worked with the SBDC director to negotiate her current lease.

Most recently, the SBDC helped Barb put together a bid to submit to the city to operate the concession stand at the ballpark. Discussions with the SBDC counselor included the potential profit margin, bidding strategies, and other negotiating tips. “I won the bid and am in the midst of my first season of Ice Cream in the Park”, states Barb. Barb gives kudos to the SBDC for helping her work through her numerous, successful business expansions.

Yoga for the Peaceful

As a child, Brittany Phelps always dreamed of owning a yoga studio. As she grew, she gained more knowledge around the art of yoga and became an instructor. Eight months ago, that dream became a reality. Not one to take risks, she took a risk when she took over ownership of Yoga for the Peaceful in Crested Butte, Colorado. Early on, Brittany experienced difficulty deciphering business documents. Another challenge she faced was learning how to

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Montrose Eagle Taxi Service

Disabled veteran John Casedy doesn’t drink alcohol; however, he enjoys the social part of going to the local bars. Recently, one night he stayed until the bar closed. He noticed that everyone left and drove home – sober or not. He offered to take several folks home who clearly shouldn’t have driven. During the drive, they discussed the need for a taxi service from the bars. John saw this business opportunity. The next day, he

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Montrose Manor B & B

Freddie and Tom Hancock took one look at their new home in Montrose and saw something beyond a magnificent house. Their dream was to transform it into a bed and breakfast, plus a base for their not for profit animal rescue operation. Familiar with SBDC consulting services in Arizona where they had moved from, the Hancocks contacted the SBDC for assistance in achieving their dream. Freddie gave the SBDC consultant a tour of the 12,500

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D’Medici

When D’Medici Footwear opened this spring, Susan Bony saw the need to introduce Debbie Tenaglia to Jim Sigle. As a counselor for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Susan works with a variety of businesses and non-profits throughout the Montrose area helping them prosper. Susan knew both Debbie and Jim, but why introduce these two people? Debbie owns D’Medici Footwear in Montrose and Jim Sigle is a custom boot maker from Delta. Susan saw the

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CASA of the 7th Judicial District

Court Appointed Special Advocates of the 7th District, or CASA, as they are commonly referred to, underwent a huge transition in early 2014 starting with a reorganization and downsizing. Then, only a few weeks later its executive director resigned with short notice to take care of her ailing parents in another state. Carlton Mason was promoted to be the new executive director. Although Carlton had owned his own business and was working on a contract

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Heartsong’s Caribbean Crunchies

Sometimes a little bit of capital – somewhere in the range of $2,500 to $3,500 – is all a business owner needs to get started or to make a small change. This capital can help build a website, buy equipment, or – as the story of Ron Edwards will show you – open a quaint, Caribbean-themed café in Crested Butte. Born in New York, Edwards’ journey to Western Colorado is a story of resiliency. He

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