East Mill Bakeshop & Catering, Dubuque

Emily and Nick Puls started their life together in Dubuque, Iowa but moved to Napa Valley, California so Emily could attend culinary school. Emily graduated and she and Nick sold their freshly baked goods at area farmers’ markets. Business was good, but when they wanted to start a family, they decided to move back home […]

Hoover’s Hatchery Company, Rudd

Hoover’s Hatchery Company, LLC, Rudd Tony Halsted had grown up working the incubators and packing chicks for his family’s business, Hoover’s Hatchery Company, LLC, in Rudd, Iowa, and never intended to come back to the family business. However, thanks to the family business, Tony had a college education and a great career in business development […]

Saltlickers, LLC

“People would want this. They would buy this!” was the recommendation from Jennifer Knox’s friend when she tried Jen’s spice blends for the first time. Little did Jen know just how true her friend’s statement was. In 2011, Jennifer debuted her herb blends as holiday gifts, which eventually were sold in farmers’ markets in Brooklyn, […]

Evanchyk Transportation, Davenport

Ron Evanchyk had years of experience in the trucking industry prior to his succession into small business ownership in Davenport, Iowa. Wanting to stop driving trucks for others and start working for himself, Ron wrote up a draft of a business plan and sought out more assistance from America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC) at Eastern Iowa […]

Happy Medium, Des Moines

Katie (Stocking) Patterson never expected to be the head of a company, but when she was working as an account executive for a local TV station a client sought out her help with their advertising. Seeing a need for honest marketing help amongst Iowa businesses, Katie created her own agency—Happy Medium—to cater to the needs […]

Willow Creek Glass Chapel and Banquet Barn, Shelby

Shane McCool moved back to Iowa from beautiful Hawaii in 2005 when his parents proposed the idea of building a wedding chapel on their scenic family farm in Shelby, Iowa. Initially a skeptic, Shane was fully committed to the idea after he considered the farm’s location in Iowa – far enough from the city, but […]

Sweet Raw Joy, Cedar Rapids

As a runner, Laurie Moritz of Cedar Rapids, Iowa wanted to eat flavorful healthy food to enhance her tough workouts. However, she had no interest in giving up delicious desserts in exchange for a healthier diet. She came across the idea of eating raw and learned that there is much more to the lifestyle than […]

The Bear Coffeehouse + Wine Bar, Spencer

Leann Jacobsen opened the doors to Spencer, Iowa’s swanky coffeehouse and wine bar in September of 2012. Her versatile business, The Bear Coffeehouse + Wine Bar, sits along the Little Sioux River. It is one part of a historic Spencer church that her husband, David Jacobsen, moved from its original location in the middle of […]

Majestic Estate, LLC, Burlington

After long careers with the U.S. Navy and NASA, sisters Lorraine Guerra and Tammy Adams settled in Burlington, Iowa with hopes of establishing their families outside of the big cities they had worked in. With over 35 years of event planning experience through their jobs and for friends, the two sisters decided to make their […]

GehlPRO Welding, Carroll

Pat Gehling had over 25 years of experience in welding and repair when he decided to start his own company, GehlPRO Welding, which opened for business in March of 2014. Pat’s entrepreneurial experience and strong business sense was crucial to his success in building the new company from the ground up. Years before opening the […]