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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.

Ray’s of Colorado

When you think of bath and body products you may think of fancy commercials on television that show bountiful suds or perfumes that have sex appeal, normally promoted by movie stars or A-list models. Ray’s of Colorado hasn’t spent a dime on a spokesperson or buying ads to promote their product. Instead, their approach has been to promote their product to everyday people, like you and I, by promoting and selling within the avenues that

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TWS Home Inventory

In 2012, the Pikes Peak Region fell victim to the Waldo Canyon Fire which burned over 340 homes and affected numerous businesses. Carrie Mitchell, experienced first-hand exposure to the wildfire and volunteered hours of her time to help homeowners that had suffered tragic loss. During that time, she became aware of the fact that they all lacked support in documentation of their personal property when trying to complete and file insurance claims. The result was

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Four Level Productions, LLC

Four Level Productions, LLC began on August 16, 2018. Starting in early 2018, Jack Henslee, owner, has worked with the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center by attending several workshops and taking advantage of one-on-one consulting. “The Leading-Edge class was probably the number one reason for me moving forward and starting a business. I was able to develop a clear direction of what I needed to do by working with the instructor Mark Bittle, exploring,

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Once Upon a Time and Clothes Mentor

Porscha and Steve Shideler were amazed at the quality of products they could find used at garage sales and on Craigslist… for the fraction of the price than buying them new in department stores. They knew the community could use a store that could be shopped for a large variety of gently used kid’s items, in one location. Porscha who was in management and pregnant with their first child, before deciding to open a store,

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Venture Surplus

Jeffry Radspinner opened Venture Surplus on January 1, 2015. It is an online Army surplus store that provides government issue uniforms and mil-spec gear for soldiers, veterans, hobbyists, and preppers. Venture Surplus is customer centric, a major differentiator from competitors. Venture Surplus offers a satisfaction guarantee and free returns on all products. Furthermore, while most surplus stores sell general military surplus, Venture Surplus specializes specifically in army surplus and carries one of the largest sections

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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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