Ice Cream Junction, Oelwien

While working as a janitor for the Oelwein School District, Robin Vinson passed by the empty Ice Cream Junction building every day. She felt like the business was calling to her because of its previous significance within the community. So in 2019, she purchased Ice Cream Junction and reopened June 1st. Ice Cream Junction is […]

Little Lights on the Lane, West Branch

In 2010 Erin came to the SBDC to expand her photography business. She wanted to start an event center for weddings and reception. Erin was looking for a building that she could purchase with some bank financing. However, banks were hesitant to loan her any money even though she and her husband had an excellent […]

Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie, Davenport

Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie, owned by Tiphanie Cannon, was started as a cupcake shop in May of 2014 but has since grown to offer other delicious baked goods as well as lunch. Using old recipes that were passed down through the generations to provide customers with the best, freshest homemade bakery items that the […]

S&B Farmstead Distillery, Bancroft

S&B Farmstead Distillery in Bancroft, Iowa is the proud vision of entrepreneur Sara Winkleman and comes from some unlikely beginnings. Sara is not a descendent from a family of distillers nor does she have an academic background or training in the distilling industry. In fact, she was originally a hair stylist and salon owner. So […]

Red Cedar Lodge, Charles City

  Red Cedar Lodge began with a walk-through of an overgrown farm where Tom Winterink used to play as a child. The property had recently come on the market and during a hometown visit, Tom and his wife Lorraine explored the property with a new camera, snapping pictures along the way of the old barn, […]

Staci Ackerson: 2019 Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year

Staci Ackerson, a United States Navy Desert Storm veteran, acquired Shankland Insurance in 2012. Staci wanted to expand her business and her husband, Stacy, a retired contractor, knew that Charles City had loads of untapped potential. With Stacy’s vision of rehabilitating the historic Charles City Western Railroad depot in mind, Staci reached out to the […]

Mechanics for Vets, Sioux City

In 2015, Corey Duckett came up with the idea of Mechanics for Vets. He worked out of his garage for 2 years helping his friends and then decided in 2017 he wanted to go mainstream with the idea, and in 2018 filed the necessary paperwork. Mechanics for Vets is a nonprofit mechanic shop out of […]

Zoarc Fitness, Dubuque

Connor Weitz of Dubuque, Iowa graduated with a degree in Health and Human Physiology from the University of Iowa. In 2016 he came up with the idea to start his own brand that could inspire, motivate, and educate people on being healthy and fit. This idea became Zoarc Fitness in the winter of 2017. Zoarc […]

Inner Space, Des Moines

“In June of 2018 after years of personal development and self-searching, we received a download to create a space we wished would have existed when we began our journeys to self-mastery. A space to collectively share, co-create, and integrate experiences and opportunities for transformation. Our mission is fueled by the knowledge and awareness that humans have access to unseen powers of creation and to support each other […]

The Hub, Council Bluffs

When a new YMCA was being built in Council Bluffs it meant one thing to Brooke Hubbard. A huge empty building in the heart of Downtown. In May of 2018, Brooke opened The Hub, which included not one, but four vital businesses that attract many different demographics to one location. They would not only patronize […]