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Pikes Peak SBDC

RDRX Nutrition

I was working full-time as a clinical dietitian in the outpatient setting. Before SBDC, my private practice helping clients who were ready to make healthy lifestyle changes was just a dream.

Working with the SBDC

Kyla helped me from the very beginning. I came in with just ideas, questions and was totally lost. I had no clue where to start. She walked me through filing an LLC, reviewed my always-changing business plan, guided me to resources and contacts I needed including accounting, legal, finance and has continued to help me grow my business by always going the extra mile. Without Kyla and the East CO SBDC, I definitely would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I’m not sure I would have even made the jump or had the courage to start. Kyla follows up by meeting with me regularly to help with my ongoing nutrition program development, improve my marketing strategy, increase my clientele and provides me with tools to continue growing. You should see her amazing marketing materials! Her creativity and designs are incredible, I am beyond thankful for her time and dedication to helping me improve my business. We set goals at each meeting and she holds me accountable while providing valuable guidance.

I am currently a proud small business owner, doing what I love! I have been able to quit my full-time job and work with my ideal clients locally. I provide nutrition counseling, meal planning, diabetes management and nutrition analysis for small local restaurants. I have been able to host successful wellness events, write for The Tribune, Shape, Women’s Health magazines, etc and have met so many wonderful people in our community who have been nothing but supportive.

Before Kyla at East CO SBDC, my private practice helping clients improve their quality of life with diet and exercise was just a dream. I now feel like a valuable resource in the Northern Colorado community making a difference as a private practice dietitian and it has completely changed my life! As cliche as that sounds it’s true, I am beyond grateful for my mentor and the SBDC.

Aunt Helen’s Coffee House

Aunt Helen’s Coffee House is a unique, quick service restaurant that serves specialized coffee, tea, and an array of breakfast and lunch options. Owners Aimee and Bob Hutson continue to grow their business by providing high quality products, creating unique and healthy dining options, delivering an unmatched level of customer service, and giving back to the community.

Aimee was a Director in the childcare service industry for most of her career, and understands the importance of customer service, employee management, and work place culture. Bob has worked in the food service industry for 26 years. He leveraged his experience in the design and operations of Aunt Helen’s Coffee House. The concept was inspired around their Aunt Helen, who recently celebrated her 104th birthday. Her personality will continue to live on in the business for many years to come.

Aimee and Bob started working with the East Colorado SBDC in October 2016 to develop a business plan, research funding options, and receive counseling on business opportunities in Greeley.

Both Aimee and Bob were working full-time jobs at the time, and the deadlines kept all projects and tasks easily obtainable and focused. The SBDC also helped provide them the opportunity to meet with industry experts who helped guide them throughout the process.

Aunt Helen’s Coffee House opened in March 2017 and has been a flourishing asset to the community. They created a welcoming environment that is based on the unique personality of Aunt Helen, but they have bigger goals in mind. They have a strong passion to give back to the community, which has helped them grow their business. Each month, they partner with local charities to create marketing promotions and provide fundraising opportunities. Their community first business model allows customers and charitable organizations work together to improve the community.

The model has proven to be successful for Bob and Aimee. After 7 months of operations, they were able to meet their financial goals. They have quickly established themselves as a gathering place for the downtown community. Currently, they are serving over 150 guests per day, and the word is quickly spreading around the community through an inventive marketing campaign. There are few places people can go without seeing an Aunt Helen coffee mug or meme. They have been successful as being an organization that truly supports the community.

Ala Carte Learning Solutions

Ala Carte Learning Solutions, Inc., a public benefit corporation, offers a variety of services to the education industry. The primary focus began with revolutionizing the way public and charter schools hired their “hard to fill” special education professional positions. As someone working in the education industry, Dr. Margo Barnhart noticed the demand to find and keep qualified individuals in specific areas due to competition among other industries for the same professionals. The demand on these professionals and the limited budget of school districts made coming up with an alternative solution necessary.

Ala Carte Learning Solutions, Inc. finds retired individuals who still have their professional licenses and are interested in working part-time and contracts them to schools. This makes it less demanding on the professional and less expensive for the schools since they are only paying for a part-time individual rather than one full-time professional that has to work among several schools in the district.

Margo started working with the East Colorado Small Business Development Center in 2015 to develop a business plan. She admitted to understanding the education industry very well, but needed some extra assistance with developing a strong business plan. Since working with her SBDC consultant she has found great value added with marketing assistance and refers many of her colleagues to seek out the SBDC services.

Since the launch of the business, Ala Carte Learning Solutions, Inc. has been able to expand their line of services to include consulting directly for the Colorado Department of Education as well as conducting feasibility and marketing studies with the Archdiocese of Denver. Margo also hopes to increase the amount of one-on-one instruction that her company can provide to students who are struggling in school and need additional assistance.

The competition for this industry is limited, and very few in Colorado are able to provide contracted employees that assist with specific special education staffing needs. Margo was able to take advantage of a niche in the market and has quickly made herself known as an industry leader. She plans on marketing her services to school districts across the state and has received many referrals from her current clients and continues utilizing the services of the SBDC.