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.
The Landmark Bistro, Grundy Center
The connections Jill has made with the people of Grundy Center have been vital in the success of her business. One of the best connections the bistro has made is with their local theater, which swaps customers with the Landmark through theatre bucks. The theatre draws a large crowd to Grundy because of how inexpensive it is; when someone attending a movie stops by The Landmark to eat first and mentions it to their server, they get theatre bucks. Jill and The Landmark likely wouldn’t have as many customers if it was not for this connection with the theatre.
Jill enjoys making contributions to the community her business as a way of giving back. She frequently donates her time and money to the local hospitals and schools. She is also very involved with the Main Street Chamber, making sure to meet weekly with other local merchants. Jill also recently worked with a local senior care center to provide their residents with a special meal for Valentine’s Day.
A unique part of The Landmark Bistro is the atmosphere. Jill has collected décor from landmarks in Grundy Center and put them in the restaurant for patrons to enjoy. A special touch is the yearbooks dating back to the early 1900s. Jill notes that listening to people talk about these mementos and how they make the restaurant special means a lot to her. Making her customers happy is a top priority for Jill, she is always thinking of them, so hearing their appreciation of her business is a fantastic reward.
Jill has some simple advice for anyone looking to start their own small business. “Take advantage of the resources that are out there; there are a lot of programs and loans available to help you,” Jill adds, “ contact your Main Street and Chamber people and reach out to someone who is in a similar business that is not your competition. You can learn a lot from them.”
Jill also recommends reaching out to your local Small Business Development Center for guidance. “Working with Amy and the UNI SBDC gave me the courage to get going on starting my business,” Jill says, “helping me through making a business plan and answering my questions has truly helped me.” The next time you’re in Grundy Center and looking for a bite to eat, check out the Landmark Bistro.