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Success Stories

Potato Potato

Potato Potato Mobile Foods started as a joke between friends. Kevin Johnson, Owner/Operator/Emperor of Potatoes knew that poutine (the mobile food’s specialty), was popular in Canada but not the United States, and mostly unknown in Colorado. It was then; Kevin thought that an “International House of Poutine” style concept would be both successful and unique in the Colorado market. Kevin visited the SBDC to help make his idea a reality. “SBDC counseling has helped me by provided me with an overview of the regulatory parameters and requirements of opening a retail food establishment” said Kevin.

Opening a mobile food restaurant has had its challenges including mechanical breakdowns, negotiating red tape, learning to be as self-reliant as possible, cash flow and not to mention the physical and mental fatigue. Kevin has been able to overcome the challenges by focusing on each individual moment and the task at hand. “It’s important to not get overwhelmed by circumstances outside of your control.” Kevin brought developed service skills and both interpersonal and business correspondence excellence to his small business ownership through prior work experience and college education.

Potato Potato is different from any other mobile food truck. The food truck focuses on just one ingredient while exploring the possibilities of food while using that one ingredient – the potato of course! The potato gives Potato Potato a broad but confining palette within which Kevin gets to create. Since the food truck’s opening on March 1, 2014, Potato Potato has won several awards including: Two “Gold” awards in the Best Food Truck category (Colorado Springs Independent, Best of 2014 & 2015) and one “Silver” award for Food Truck in the Colorado Springs Gazette’s annual Best of the springs readers’ poll. Potato Potato hopes to continue work on creating sustainable business that is less susceptible to the negative seasonal impacts on revenue. The hope is to find a permanent “brick and mortar” location to add to the mobile business and develop products for wholesale distribution. Additionally, Potato Potato is planning to revisit their initial business giving plan. In the first year of operation, Kevin donated 5 – 10% of profits to a non-profit organization in the Pikes Peak Region.

Bump on the Head

When Austin Shepard was 10 years old, a thrown baseball changed his life. Austin was in a coma for two and a half months. When he came out of the coma, he could barely walk, talk or do many of the things he used to do as a young, well rounded athlete. One little baseball changed his life forever. It was when Austin turned 17, his principle and Psychology teacher asked him to speak to

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Ascension Engineering Group

Ascension Engineering Group reaches for the stars Written by, Dean J. Miller Fascinated by all things technology in their youth, neither Andrew Dark nor Dan Wilson would have anticipated a future as leaders of one of the hottest space systems engineering start-ups in the nation. Today the founders of Ascension Engineering Group, LLC. support America’s warfighters with high tech by prioritizing the most basic soft skills. At Ascension, taking care of people is a foundational

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Red Leg Brewing Company: PPP assures staff salary, benefits safe

“The service delivered by our tap room staff is the cornerstone of what we built our brand on. We probably have the most well-known beer tenders in town; the staff deserves all the credit for the success of our brand,” said Red Leg Brewing Company owner Todd Baldwin. And it’s a brand with great success: in December, Red Leg celebrated ground breaking of a new brewing facility, tap room and outdoor venue. The event included

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Lytle Electric

Lytle Electric achieves American dream Written by Dean J. Miller Less than three years old, Lytle Electric, co-owned by Megan and John Lytle is a successful family business that provides quality, affordable electrical service delivered with honesty and integrity. The Lytle’s credit much of their success to the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and its strong partnership the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. For the Lytle’s, it’s a story of the American dream:

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Jewell PR

Resilience In Small Business: SBDC Helps Creative & Veteran Entrepreneur Vernon Jewell by Dean J. Miller Vernon Jewell’s path to business success as a creative in Colorado Springs is as much a story of grit and self-motivation, as it is a powerful story of resilience in reaching for the American dream. The youngest of two brothers and four sisters, Vernon gained interest in the arts in his youth by drawing his own comic book heroes

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Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery

From the time Turu Marx was a young girl, her mother, Michelle Marx and she always talked owning their own restaurant and running it together. Today, their dreams have become a reality as they now own and operate Coquette Creperie in Manitou Springs. It has just won two honors from The Best Of The Springs 2010 from the Gazette; Best New Restaurant (silver) and Best Crepe! They both had restaurant experience behind them in Los

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