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Success Stories

Rodeo News

Siri Steven has a passion for life, a desire to educate, and a work ethic and determination that have made Rodeo News the successful, nationally recognized magazine it is today. “This is the culmination of all of the things I have learned in 40 years.” Good friends, life circumstances, and hard work brought Rodeo News into her life, and she has devoted herself to its success completely.

After getting her start working on the publication Fence Post, Siri moved onto Roping Newsletter in 2001. She bought the magazine that would become Rodeo News in 2002. “I had a vision of what I wanted but no idea how to get it. I lacked the business sense.” Siri turned to the SBDC for help. “I got into this from the journalism side and went to the publishing side. I needed help with the financial and business sides.” Larimer SBDC consultants helped Siri get her business plan in place, register with the State, and get the name trademarked. With the support of the SBDC, she has brought Rodeo News from a monthly publication to a national, color, glossy magazine in 10 years. “When I first started, I had a cot in my office. You have to be ready to breathe it. Be ready for the buck to start and stop with you.”

Siri has had a successful relationship with the SBDC and continues to use the support offered by staff and consultants. “There was a period of time when I was about to go under. Jim at SBDC helped me through it.” Rodeo News fills a niche; it is human interest stories cover to cover. However, the print industry is fading, and reinventing ways to encourage people with alternatives to print is challenging. The SBDC’s Leading Edge – NxLeveL class has provided Siri with the support and structure to get her ideas down on paper and re-write her business plan. With support from the SBDC in research and marketing, she is ready to take Rodeo News to the next level.

Branch Out Cider

The idea for Branch Out Cider, a community orchard that produces apple wine from neighborhood trees, began with one special apple tree. When Aaron Fodge and Matt Fater sat down to discuss their business and share their story, they were quick to point out the lush, flowering apple tree in their neighborhood that started it all. “The tree was loaded, so we made cider with it!” That was the first year. The next year they

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Fernweh Hostel

Walking up to the Fernweh Inn & Hostel, you pass through a white picket fence into a well-kept yard with a random dog toy or two scattered about. The Fernweh immediately feels like home, which is exactly what owner and founder Kelsey Schwager envisioned. “My goal is to give guests an amazing experience so they’ll continue to stay at other hostels while traveling. The Fernweh provides a safe, clean and comfortable environment, which is what

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Little Bird Bakeshop

The Little Bird Bakeshop opened its doors on December 14, 2010 and since then has developed a loyal following. On any given morning, a passerby wandering through Old Town Square in Fort Collins can peer through the bakeshop’s inviting façade and watch customers sipping coffee and enjoying delicious chocolate croissants, chocolate walnut cookies, and other pastries. With its friendly atmosphere and fresh, creative confections, it will take only a glance before you walk through the

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The Fox and the Crow

What do cheese and art have in common? Both excite the pallet and have rich stories, according to The Fox and the Crow owner Tina Mooney, a cheesemonger and art history major. The Fox and the Crow brings artisan cheeses and meats to mid-town Fort Collins. They understand that the world of artisan cheese can be intimidating and have crafted their shop to welcome people who may stumble in serendipitously. Little signs like: “We cut

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The Spruce House and More

Some entrepreneurs wear the label of ‘serial entrepreneur’ proudly, and Diane Muno is no exception. She spent 15 years in healthcare management as part owner of a Chicago business that was successfully sold. She began looking for a business to buy when she found The Spruce House in Estes Park. “It had a cozy feel, like Grandma’s house, along with good financials.” In 2010, she celebrated the grand opening of The Spruce House and The

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Beau & Belle Littles

The true measure of a successful product is: Does it solve a customer problem? As new, active parents, Paul and Rachelle Baron faced a common problem when trying to take their little one swimming. They wanted a high quality, reusable swim diaper that handled solid waste well, but there was nothing on the market that met their standards. “The problems we saw were that disposables were not good quality, didn’t contain solid waste well, and

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