It’s been one year since the first cup of coffee was served at a 1 Million Cups Sedalia program, and 11 past presenters came back to join the celebration.
Last Wednesday’s 1 Million Cups Sedalia program marked the one-year anniversary of the program, which helps foster networking between entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as promote community support of those businesses. Over the past year, those present at 1 Million Cups Sedalia programs have heard from a wide variety of companies.
Eleven took part in a panel discussion Wednesday to update attendees on the business’ progress since their first presentations. Those participating included LAG Industries, Spotter Cone, The Original Bucket Stool, Von Holten Ranch, Bluebird Outdoor Adventures, Hexcup, Grable Exterior Maintenance Services, Key Solutions, VanNatta Fabrication, Craft Beer Cellar and Ragar Banners.
For Brandy Von Holten, co-owner with her husband of Von Holten Ranch, an equine riding trail facility and event barn, the past year has been a learning and growing experience.
Hexcup, an improved version of the traditional red beer pong cup, has added a wholesale log-in portion to its website to help with bulk ordering and had created in-store displays to help with plateaued retail sales.
Key Solutions, which offers company-training programs, has seen more growth since its presentation, moving into new areas and tripling customers.
Business is also booming for Bluebird Outdoor Adventures, an RV rental company — owner Mark Kestner said bookings are up more than 400 percent in its second year.
For LAG Industries, business is so good they are looking to hire more employees to help handle orders. Sales have more than doubled for The Original Bucket Stool and SpotterCone is getting interest from around the country from big names in trucking.
1 Million Cups Sedalia has also created partnerships between the presenters, as Von Holten Ranch utilizes Bluebird Outdoor Adventures for RV rentals at events, and Bluebird has utilized Ragar Banners.
Brandon Grable, of Grable Exterior Maintenance Services, has branched out to other 1 Million Cups programs in Missouri, which he said has helped him gain more customers.
Brad Wikstrom, franchise owner of Craft Beer Cellar in Sedalia, said more distributors are coming to Missouri, giving him even more options for his customers. The store has ranged anywhere from 300 to 450 varieties of beer, he said.
Each business seemed to be experiencing its own kind of growing pains, whether it was the need to hire more — or the first — employees, learning more about social media marketing or expanding outdoor seating at CBC. While each had upcoming hurdles, those hurdles seemed to be good problems to have because they were related to success and growth.
1 Million Cups Sedalia is open to the public at 9 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the Thompson Conference Center at State Fair Community College. For more information, visit www.1millioncups.com/sedalia.
(Full article courtesy of Sedalia Democrat)