In the summer of 2016, Colin and Elizabeth (Liz) Hoppe saw a need for a coffee shop in their community. They sought out guidance from the NW Iowa SBDC to help develop and refine their business model. With a completed business plan in hand, they presented their vision for the company in the Emmetsburg Dream to Reality Grant Competition, which they won. In December of that year they opened the first DejaBrew location in Emmetsburg.
Recently, with a few years of experience now under their belts, Liz was eager to find ways to continue to improve the business. She applied for and was accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program which came to Iowa in 2019. This program highlights the importance of business growth, and helps entrepreneurs change their mindsets from working “in” the business, to working “on” the business. One of the key outcomes for Liz of the Goldman Sachs program was realizing that growth in the business could be accelerated with a second location. One day while traveling in Spencer she saw a “for lease” sign on the river side building formerly occupied by The Bear. Liz quickly started making plans to expand DejaBrew into Spencer.
For assistance with this, Liz reached out to Michael Wampler, Regional Director of the NW Iowa SBDC which is hosted by Iowa Lakes Community College. With the help of the SBDC, Liz was able to update her financial projections and evaluate the feasibility of the second location. Working with the SBDC helped Liz in compiling the information needed for obtaining funding, which can often be a challenging area for entrepreneurs. Liz also worked with Nancy Naeve, Executive Director of Spencer Main Street, to utilize the new Spencer Retail Kickstarter program which was funded by several community partners. Through her experiences with the Goldman Sachs program, the assistance of the SBDC, and lots of her own hard work and planning, Liz opened the DejaBrew Spencer location on July 5, 2019.
Liz says, “Working with the SBDC was such an easy and reassuring experience. They take your passion and vision for your business and help you to put it into numbers to see if it is financially feasible before you make the investment. I’m so thankful for this service right here in Northwest Iowa!”
The Spencer DejaBrew features the same great coffee drinks, treats and lunch options that you can find at the original Emmetsburg location with additional evening hours. At night, in addition to the regular menu, you can grab a delicious appetizer while sipping on an Iowa Wine or Craft Beer. They have events each weekend such as live music, painting, and game nights.