America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
White Star Ale House, Cedar Rapids
After being involved in a wide range of industries in England such as professional football, fashion, and music, Aaron Jacob decided to become a sports agent. This profession made him realize his passion for working with various people and that he had a talent for negotiating and dealing with contracts.
In July 2019, Jacob found himself relocating to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In March 2020, Aaron purchased White Star Ale House in the hopes of creating a restaurant, bar, and event space for entertainment. He had always been involved in the hospitality and event industry and “incorporating these things is what I wanted to do and was a part of my plan for a long time,” Aaron said. “I must be nuts but let’s go ahead and try it!”
Before he started his venture, Aaron worked with Kirkwood Community College and specifically Scott Swenson, Regional Director of the Kirkwood Community College SBDC. “Scott was an immense help right from the start. His advice, guidance, and assistance were invaluable to me. He always responds quickly and is always helpful. I can’t commend him enough,” said Jacob.
Aaron’s biggest goal is to expand the live entertainment scene in Cedar Rapids by hosting high-level exceptional artists at his venue. “This will have a very different vibe. Coming from a large city and having been in the industry so long while also being involved in concerts, I want to be able to put that on in a smaller environment and give people something different. We currently don’t have anything like that in Cedar Rapids.” He will also be bringing new technology to Iowa through holographic dining tables, making him the only person in the state currently using this technology.
Regarding COVID, from someone not originally from Iowa, Aaron believes Iowa small businesses will recover quickly, especially with community support. “Iowa is going to recover quickly. I really like the people here and hopefully, it’s another success story waiting to happen.”
White Star Ale House is currently open at a limited capacity with a grand re-opening scheduled for July/August 2021. For more information visit their site at: https://whitestaralehouse.com/