Location in Progress
Northeast Region Best Small Business Honoree
Robert (Bob) and Kate Otwell are passionate entrepreneurs in rural Northern Michigan who have built a booming business in just two years. Frustrated with the quality being served at the supermarket where Bob managed the meat department for 3 years, they decided to start their own specialty butcher shop where they could guarantee value and service to their customers.
In 2017 the couple found a suitable location to open their shop, and it even opened the door to a potential investor. Bob and Kate both had a background in business management, however they were unsure how to proceed with writing an extensive business plan to secure their investor, so they turned to the SBDC for help. Their consultant, David Emmel, was happy to walk them through the steps to write a business plan and secure their investor.
The shop opened a few months later after a quick renovation and preparation period, and has been a community leader in growth ever since. Sales increased by 30% from January 2018 to January 2019 and they have served an increasingly diverse set of customers.
“I think what sets us apart is our customer service – we really put our money where our mouth is,” says Kate Otwell, “Dave has been great to work with, he stops in often and always offers advice.”
The SBDC has continuously helped the Otwells with their brand, marketing strategy, and answering any questions that they might have. They are now a full service butcher shop in a small town with an old-fashioned sense of community and offer only the best specialty meat selection.
The quality of the products and the experience offered at this shop has kept it growing and allowed it to thrive, and the relationship they have built with their community shows through their business’ success. Bob and Kate are looking into opening a second location in the future as they continue to be a remarkable Michigan small business.
Published: September 7, 2019