Sunday, December 16, 2012
“Four guys and a keg” are thinking big when they think small about turning their home brews into a commercial venture. It's the idea behind 515 Brewing Company, the latest entry into the booming local brew market.
The epiphany didn’t come to four central Iowa entrepreneurs until long after their first attempts at home brew passed the taste test with their friends and family. That was when Bailey Forrest and Brandon Criger, both of West Des Moines, along with Ryan Rost of Clive and Dave Ropte of Des Moines, attended a craft brewers’ conference that they decided their hobby brewing might translate into a for-profit venture. The idea has caught on across Iowa and the country in recent years; more than 300 similar ventures have launched nationally in the past 18 months. “Every home brewer has that thought, Maybe I could do this," Forrest said. “Ryan put that out to us, and that was the spark.” So they pooled their savings, cashing in retirement plans in…
Friday, December 14, 2012
America’s thirst for big brewers’ brands is waning. But that’s good news in Iowa, home to a growing crop of homegrown micro- and nanobreweries.
Four central Iowa entrepreneurs are thinking small. After their friends and family turned thumbs up to their home brews' rave reviews, they pooled their savings to take advantage of America’s growing fascination with hand-crafted beers. They’re like a growing number of entrepreneurs across the country, said Bailey Forrest, a co-founder of 515 Brewing Company with three of his friends, Brandon Criger, Ryan Rost and Dave Ropte. “Every home brewer has that thought, ‘Maybe I could do this,’ “ Forrest said. More than 300 similar ventures have launched nationally in the last 18 months, according to the Brewers Association, the national trade group that represents small, independent brewers. The four men’s goal isn’t to start small and grow big, …
Monday, December 3, 2012
Iowa is shedding its “flyover state” reputation.
Three Iowa companies – two of them in West Des Moines – are among five companies to watch on the Silicon Prairie, “ the hottest area in the country for tech startups that you never heard of,” the cable news network MSNBC said. Topping the list is the e-commerce marketplace Goodsmiths, founded by a pair of Waukee entrepreneurs that goes head-to-head with Etsy. It not only gives artisans and craftspeople the tools they need to sell online, but also offers an online community that's there when you need them. The social networking engine allows users to interact with one another. James Eliason co-founded the company with Levi Rosol earlier this year after his wife and other users expressed frustration with Etsy. Eliason said the Silicon …
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
After years of working in her home, photographer Terry Snyder has opened a new studio space in Waukee.
It's been a few years since Waukee photographer Terry Snyder had studio space outside of her home, but as of Nov. 1, she's back in business. Situated in a strip mall near the corner of Alice's Road and Southeast Westbrook Drive in Waukee, Snyder Photography is open again at 475 Alice Rd. in Waukee. After nearly 30 years of taking pictures - 20 of them in Waukee - Snyder decided the time had come to set up shop again. Yes, again. Prior to 2010, Snyder had rented studio space in Waukee. She says around that same year, with a downturn in the economy, she found that people just weren't able to spend the money on photos like they had previously. "It was in like, 2009, 2010 when I could really see things start to slow down," said Snyder. "I …
Thursday, February 9, 2012
The story of small businesses being ousted by big retailers is a tale all too common, but Waukee Hardware, now in its 122nd year of business, is bucking that trend.
When Geoff Warmouth heard that a Sears Hometown Store was moving into Waukee last fall, he was decidedly nervous. After 122 years in Waukee and nearly 17 of those under Warmouth's ownership, the Waukee Hardware Store had, along with the good, also seen its fair share of bad times. Home foreclosures, the recession, even a nearby Menards store had had an affect on business. Warmouth was concerned the new Sears store would harm his business. This story is reprised today because it has been selected for national publication by The Huffington Post. "I honestly didn't know what to expect," Warmouth said. "I wasn't sure what the impact would be on business, I didn't even know what kind of Sears store it would be, so I couldn't really say what …
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Jethro's Jambalaya opens today at 11 a.m. at 9350 University Ave. in West Des Moines. The website says some of the recipes are from Splash Seafood. The restaurant is billed as a “neighborhood BBQ sports bar with a cajun influence.”
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Waukee photographer Yana Glezina specializes in photographing children just being themselves. She says shooting in a natural environment makes all the difference.
If you ask Angela Miale, her picture on this year's Christmas card will be one of the truest representations of her family. Seated together in a grassy, park-like area, there's Angela, her husband, Mike, and their daughter, Ellie, all smiling for the camera, as son, Henry, 3, appears to be sprinting out of the frame. "It's not ideal, but it really captures the essence of our family," Miale said. "It's nothing I would have ever requested, but it was perfect." That's the beauty of photographer Yana Gelzina's work, say many of her clients. Her style is less posed and more natural, giving families photographs that seem to capture real life. Glezina, of Waukee, specializes in children and newborn photography, shooting using only natural light …
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A holiday gift-giving program sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care will provide assistance to area senior citizens this Christmas. The Jordan Creek Walmart is one of the sites where gifts can be donated.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Jody Gifford
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
It's a holiday campaign that has far-reaching results for older adults struggling in tough financial times. "Be a Santa to a Senior," a nationwide assistance program aiding senior citizens who may not have family or other outside support this holiday, has been bringing cheer to millions of senior citizens for seven years. This year it's coming to central Iowa. Jason Medick, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Waukee, says the program is much needed, especially at a time when even the basics may be hard to come by. "Many older adults continue to struggle in a down economy, particularly those who live alone with no family nearby to help provide resources," he said. Home Instead Senior Care, a provider of non-medical in-home care …
Friday, November 25, 2011
The second annual Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. Shoppers are encouraged to support their local businesses when shopping for the holidays.
If you're a small business, it's hard to compete with big retail, especially on the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Cheryl Laird Humphrey, owner of the Pin Oak Gallery in downtown Waukee, agrees. "We compete with online shopping, the malls, larger stores. It's tough," she said of the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush. "As an individual business owner, we can't buy deep enough to give customers the kinds of discounts they get at those stores." Laird Humphrey and other local business owners will hopefully get a boost this year from a promotion sponsored by American Express called Small Business Saturday. Forget Black Friday or even Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, held Nov. 26, aims at supporting small business and urges shoppers …
Monday, November 21, 2011
General manager and operating partner Doug DeYarman credits the dealership's success to the small laminated cards that every employee carries, reminding them how important Shottenkirk's Midwestern values are to its future.
Jackie Ramey doesn’t make her special brownies for just anyone. So when she brought them while she was having her Chevrolet Equinox serviced at Shottenkirk Chevrolet in Waukee, the employees there knew they were on the right track. Ramey’s secret is the Mexican vanilla she uses, and anyone will tell you the brownies are a knockout. “It’s not just like you’re another number there,” Ramey said. “Everybody is just real friendly, you feel at home there.” Ramey, who lives in Panora, said that she and her husband, Sid, who’ve bought several vehicles at the dealership, wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a friend. The high percentage of referral business tallied is a point of pride at the dealership. The Shottenkirk employees have also made …