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Success Stories

Rustic Nomads

Starting a business in 2020—during the COVID-19 pandemic—has been a journey to say the least, but the owner of Rustic Nomads, Nathan Wiersum, will have bragging rights for life.   “The support received from the SBDC is why I continue to move .”

With a loan from DreamSpring to purchase a food truck, the rest of the business has been self-funded.  Originally, the plan was to grow into a restaurant as soon as possible.  With the pandemic, goals were reevaluated.  The debate was between two options, a restaurant or more food trucks.  

Either way, there was no stopping or slowing down.  Rustic Nomads actually grew exponentially in 2020.  While not be able to report huge profits, the focus during the first year was on building relationships.  Since COVID-19 spoiled the year for many, Wiersum thought it best to survive the year as opposed to pushing profits over people.  Many favorite locations have booked Rustic Nomads, solidifying the business and helping to build a following.  Profits from 2020 were invested in the business, helping the bottom line for 2021.

The Aurora-South Metro SBDC was pivotal in helping start the business and developing the idea of growth.  From helping with the business plan to getting the funding needed to start, the SBDC helped every step of the way.  Since it is a free service, Wiersum could not pass up on the tremendous return on investment and recommends the SBDC to anyone who wants to start their own business.

With one full-time and four to five part-time employees for larger events, Wiersum works with many of the breweries in the metropolitan area.  These partnerships provide Rustic Nomads with a location to sell food and a following to build clientele. Regulars will sometimes come from across town, and this helps the breweries because it puts more people in their seats as well.  Wiersum will plant roots when the time is right as he determines his target customer, traveling around the metropolitan area and narrowing the market.

Although not veteran-owned, Rustic Nomads stems from veterans.  “Growing up as military kids and moving every few years, we have had the fortune to  live on different continents and experience cuisine that we would not have  otherwise known.”  Rustic Nomads simply means ‘freedom to make unpretentious delicious food that everyone can enjoy anywhere.’  And they  do so with genuine hospitality.

While the food scene is relatively saturated, Wiersum believes that there is room in the industry IF supplying a good product.  And that’s the key.  Rustic Nomads sources their products locally and emphasizes using sustainable products.  Delicious food has become their trademark of excellence — from pastrami to mozzarella — and experiencing sandwiches from the Route 66 burger to the Wanderlust, with delectable sides.  Visit https://rusticnomads.us/menu (The first photo above:  Nathan Wiersum (rt) with Jen Findlow who helped Rustic Nomads make their first dollar.)

Yumbana, LLC

To be declared a U.S.A. Taste Champion by the American Masters of Taste national judging panel, especially when the category is “Gluten Free” baked goods, is quite an accomplishment. Yumbana was selected as a winning product line in 2017 and, since its beginning in 2011, has been committed to making products that don’t require self-discipline to eat and enjoy. ‘Yum’ is in the name and comes from the owner Christopher Lehn’s first creation, a YUMmy

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Aurora AutoPros

The Aurora AutoPros mission guides owners Edgar and Reneé Leon’s daily operations:  to provide the highest quality mechanical repair solutions in a professional, honest, and transparent manner.  They keep their environment clean, educate car owners and are family-friendly.  Their customers value AutoPros’ personalized service given by ASE certified technicians.  As a TechNet Professional Repair Shop, AutoPros’ customers receive a nationwide 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on all repairs that also includes roadside assistance for all invoices of $25

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ContractsRx

ContractsRx is on a mission to make legal contracting seamless, accessible and repeatable.  Shannon Leonard and Ramon Rhymes, co-founders, make it their aim to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with business contracting and business outcomes. The abrupt uncertainty that COVID-19 brought to ContractsRx and other small businesses resulted in an overnight shift from the known to the unknown.  While Shannon and Ramon are fortunate to be in a technology industrywith the tools in place to work at home, they

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Grandma’s Rockin’ Rolls

It was Laura Neilson’s grandmother who spent hours teaching her children and grandchildren how to bake – while sharing life lessons and family stories. Grandma and her sister-in-law sold cinnamon rolls ‘in town’ to help supplement the farming income. Can you image the commute on horseback during the depression in a Minnesota winter?! Laura had been making Grandma’s rolls and giving them as gifts and holiday treats for over 30 years. But as Laura’s career

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Launch Pad Brewery

The end of an unexpectedly volatile 2020 is a great time to tell the success story about one of Aurora’s prized businesses.  David LeVesque spent about a decade perfecting his technique of home brewing with some help from The Brew Hut and visiting Colorado breweries.  The idea of opening a business location started ‘brewing’ about six years ago, and Launch Pad’s mission came together after working on the start-up’s financials over several meetings with an

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GradePower Learning

Robert and Olga Mead, the owners of GradePower Learning, started out with a vision to help build children’s confidence and self-esteem. They found an opportunity to do that not only through tutoring students, but also in teaching them how to learn. The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series was the perfect tool for Olga to test her business model. She graduated from LEADING EDGETM in 2015 and continued on as a client at the Aurora-South Metro

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