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Pitch and Build 5

September 6, 2013
Northern-Sun Print
There was no shortage of what Tama County Economic Development Director Heath Kellogg terms “the spirit I want to see come to life in Tama County” at the fifth quarterly Pitch and Build competition on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Four local entrepreneurs were met by enthusiastic response from what was the biggest crowd yet to be on hand for one of these events. Hosted by Economic Development at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center, a vision of a youth sports training complex, a local restaurant serving a healthful menu chocked full of locally-produced foods, expansion of a gift shop into a photography studio, coffee bar and more and the effort to establish residential curb-side and business-industrial recycling county-wide were all in the mix. Kellogg said each enterprise fit the model of providing a product or service, identifying people willing to pay for it and a way to get paid. Judges for the evening event were Jon Kriegel, developer of Oak Ridge Motor Sports Park and the winner of the last Pitch and Build competition, Jill Van Dee, chair of Tama county Economic Development and Lyle Niemeyer, SCORE counselor and retired business education teacher at Marshalltown Community College and Toledo High School. Now, just as in the account of earlier Pitch and Builds, the winner is not revealed until the end of this story. The contestants were: FUELED - Corey Brown - “A few years ago I weighed over 500 lbs. and I was going to die,” Brown said. “I had no nutrition in my diet.” He attributes changes in the food he eats to a weight loss that is saving his life. He said he aims to prove “You can feel like you’re 18 again.” Brown maintains “It’s easily had, there’s no such thing as a diet - It’s your nutritional intake.” With that, he and his wife, Sabrina, came up with their restaurant concept and put it into practice seven weeks ago when they opened FUELED in downtown Toledo. He said they were fortunate, the existing restaurant, which was closed and $20,000 in equipment came rent-free for the first two months. During that time he said they have built a customer base which is returning 75 percent of the time. That 75 percent figure holds on what they serve with that amount being purchased from local farmers -most of it grown with an emphasis on organic farming and a “premium quality product”, Brown said.. With an ever-changing menu based upon local product availability, FUELED offers up some unique foods not served elsewhere according to Brown. Her said expansion or franchising of FUELED is possible.

Serendipity by Deb - Deb Osborn - Already a photographer and a certified public accountant, Deb Osborn said her husband suggested she expand when she they noticed a Gladbrook business for sale ad in The Northern Sun-Print. With a business background through her CPA experience and “a passion for photography born at age 10 when I got my first Canon Snappy (camera),” Osborn bought it. She purchased the Gifts of Grace Shop and is readying for a Sept. 10 opening in downtown Gladbrook. She will continue with her photo studio work focusing on high school seniors, children and team sports photos. Added to the gift shop line and add a coffee shop and dessert offerings. Tuxedos will also be available for rent and a floral cooler has come her way adding the possibility of offering speciality flowers. Osborn said she hopes the business will allow the addition of a full-time employee.

RAZZ- Eric Haughey - “I want to make Tama County a cleaner, greener place to live,” said Eric Haughey. He launched Razz Recycling in Tama earlier this year to provide curbside residential pickup of recyclable paper products, glassware and metals. Since starting in June, he has added 134 residential customers and a number of Tama and Toledo area businesses. “I’ve got a passion for nature and the environment,” Haughey said while emphasizing his devotion to Tama County. He said, “75 percent of the stuff you throw away is recyclable plastic, paper, tin or glass.” By recycling, he points to the lessening of the burden on the Tama County Landfill. The cost for twice-monthly residential pickup is $50 he said. commercial accounts are picked up free-of-charge. Haughey said right now he has “a pickup truck and a borrowed trailer” along with a sorting building on Tama’s east side. But he foresees expansion to hopefully serve all of Tama County not already with recycling pickup. (Dysart has this service in place.) He said he plans to have at least 500 residential customers signed up in the Tama-Toledo area by June, 2014. He said those pick ups will keep 590 tons out of the county landfill each year. And by August of next year, he projects picking up 1,300 tons annually from industrial accounts. By the spring of 2015, Haughey said his business-plan is to have a state-of-the-art building of 8,000 square feet and to employ up to 20. With that comes expansion to serve surrounding counties., as well. Haughey said he is able to sell all of cardboard collected locally to the Tama Paperboard which has been in the recycling business for over 100 years here.

Starsprep Academy - David Chubb - “I’m from Des Moines, I moved here three years ago,” David Chubb said. Since then he has developed a baseball program for younger players “which stared with seven kids.” “Next year we’ll have teams for 8, 9, 10 year-olds, two 11-year-old teams, 12 and 13 year-olds and I’m trying to get a 14-year-old team,” Chubb said. He said his baseball program “is not only about sports it is team building and developing life skills. And, we make it fun for kids.” Chubb said he has been involved with baseball all of his life and backs the vision of a complex devoted to year-around coaching of a variety of sports. Development of Starsprep Academy in Tama County for three sports could cost $750,000 - $1 million according to Heath Kellogg, the Economic Development director. He said coaches on their own could not afford such a facility but would be willing to rent space or “salons” for their programs. Both Chubb and Kellogg said a number of young people go out of the area now for this type of training on an on-going time frame. They believe thew central location of the county would draw athletes from all over the area. Building Starsprep Academy in the county “is not a risk. i know it will work,” Chubb said. They said the parents of the athletes would be an added bonus because they would shop and eat locally while the kids were training. Kellogg said professional coaching for young people is not out-of-the ordinary, it is another facet of modern times. THE WINNER- Close voting and a tough decision is how Kellogg characterized judges’ decision. Razz Recycling- Eric Haughey’s innovative recycling idea came out on top with the “Gold Award.” The next quarterly Pitch and Build will be on Nov. 19. Anyone with an idea or with a new venture in progress is invited to contact Tama County Economic Development: 1107 Prospect Dr., Reinig-Toledo Civic Center, Toledo IA 52342 - Ph. 641-484-3108 -

Article Photos

Pitch & Build- (left to right) Corey Brown, David Chubb, Eric Haughey, Tama County Economic Development Director Heath Kellogg and Deb Osborn.



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