Mason City, IA – March 11, 2009 - Over 150 students attended the North Iowa Area Community College John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center’s first-ever Be Your Own Boss seminar on Wednesday, March 11. Students from Belmond-Klemme, Charles City, Clear Lake, Forest City, Garner-Hayfield, Hampton-Dumont, Mason City, Northwood-Kensett, Osage, St. Ansgar, Ventura, West Fork, West Hancock and Woden-Crystal Lake-Titonka attended.
Featured keynote speakers were Brad and Angie Barber of Cabin Coffee Company. They shared their story of how Brad was struck by an idea. Angie came up with the name of the company, Cabin Coffee Company, and they decided the store would be a log cabin with a western twist, inspired by Carol Cartwright, giving customers a warm and cozy environment to relax in. Their theme is “Just be Happy and Have Fun!”
The plans for Cabin Coffee Company were all made within a month, with funding and a location intact. However, the day the loan was approved Brad was laid off from his job, and the plans were put on hold. A little over a year later, Brad and Angie took possession of their first location on October 3, 2002. With the help of dedicated friends and family they opened Cabin Coffee Company two months later on December 6, 2002, just in time for Christmas by the Lake. Brad and Angie Barber have franchised their concept and have the original location in Clear Lake, and franchise locations in Mason City IA, Forest City, IA and St. Charles, MN.
Breakout sessions featured North Iowa and Minnesota entrepreneurs in their early 20's who currently own and operate their own businesses. Entrepreneur presenters included Ben Frein, of E-Holdings in Cedar Falls, IA; Derek and Lizanne Engh, of Britt Lumber in Britt, IA; Don Liimatainen, of Ablaze Custom Cleaning, LLC and Red Tie Boutique, LLC in Cloquet, MN; and Spencer Stensrude, of Bert & Ernie’s Skateshop in Mason City, IA.
The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is located on the North Iowa Area Community College campus in Mason City, Iowa and provides college level courses and degree programs in entrepreneurship, as well as consulting services for business start-ups and existing industries in the North Iowa region. The Center also provides FastTrac ® training programs both for beginning companies and existing companies. Space is available in the new North Iowa Business Incubator for start-up businesses. For more information, contact the NIACC JPEC at 641-422-4342.