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Success Stories

The Cooking Studio

Fifteen years ago, Trish O’Neill took her first cooking class and she was hooked! She began cooking inspired meals from scratch and it soon became her passion. Over the next 15 years she traveled for her career, all the while taking cooking classes as a hobby while on her travels. This cultivated the idea that would eventually bring Trish and her talent to Fort Collins to open The Cooking Studio, a place for amateur cooks, corporate teams, kids, couples, and even aspiring bakers to learn, explore, and unleash their inner chef.

The idea would take a lot of preparation to bring into fruition. Trish approached the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in 2014 to learn about opening a small business. She spent countless hours of training and consulting before successfully launching her business in September 2015.

“We have a lot of fun (at The Cooking Studio) with the kid’s programs, date nights, private parties, corporate events, team building and, cooking competitions”. The classes attract young professionals as well as empty-nesters and has become a very popular environment for everyone to learn new techniques while cooking different cuisines. The relaxed and comfortable environment helps all the students get to know one another.

“Sitting down to dinner in The Cooking Studio is amazing! We have students from all walks of life: ranchers, professors, entrepreneurs, physicians & nurses, scientists, poets, artists, Ph.D.’s, and even a magician and a Police Chief. With all these people coming together to eat a (delicious!) menu created by the Chef and cooked in class, you can just imagine how fantastic the conversations are. It’s an unparalleled experience. And we host classes for aspiring home cooks as young as 8 old all the way up to 90 years old. There is a place for everyone at the Cooking Studio!”

The Cooking Studio has a team of local professional chefs who teach the classes. These talented Chefs share tips and tricks from their restaurant and catering experiences, project manage the cooking, make sure all the recipes come out delicious and that all the cooking activities go smoothly. The typical class size is 12 but can go as high as 20 people.

There are a few rules The Cooking Studio enforces in the classes.

  1. All food is made from scratch.
  2. Everything must be delicious.
  3. No one is allowed to voice an opinion about what other people eat. There is no ‘normal’ way of eating and, in all our classes, we find a menu to fit all the students.

Trish keeps in contact with the SBDC on a regular basis to continue the progress on her business. Since opening in 2015, business is going strong with year over year revenues steadily increasing. In fact 2017 revenues are 60% over 2016! Working with the SBDC has helped keep Trish accountable on an ongoing basis and to be successful.

Want to know more about this culinary playground? Checkout the website at www.the-cooking-studio.com. Which class will help you unleash your inner chef?

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Pateros Creek Brewery

When Steve Jones of Pateros Creek Brewery began the journey to turn his passion for brewing beer into a business, he may not have predicted just how long that trip might take. Much like a raft trip down Pateros Creek – an early name for the Cache la Poudre River – the route from concept to selling beer had a few obstacles in store. After trade marking a business name and announcing it, another local

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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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Spidertrax Off-Road

Thom Kingston helped start Loveland-based Spidertrax Off-Road not in a garage like some startups but in a fully equipped shop at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 1999, Kingston and his former partner and co-founder, Eddie Casanueva, initially snuck into the school after-hours to develop and manufacture parts for the off-road industry until they got official approval and could work during the daytime. “We were manufacturing all of our parts, using the tools of

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Java Raiz

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Branch Out Cider

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