The NIACC Pappajohn Center and North Iowa Area SBDC are proud to recognize Lynn Peaster of Kountry Kupboard as the Pappajohn Center Entrepreneur of the Month for May 2018. Lynn founded Kountry Kupboard in 2001, and has been a client of the NIACC Pappajohn Center and North Iowa Area SBDC since 2008. Kountry Kupboard is a coffee, bakery, and dry good retail store located in Osage, IA.
Kountry Kupboard has been a Main Street mainstay in Osage for 17 years. Lynn sought advice from the NIACC Pappajohn Center and North Iowa Area SBDC in 2008 when investigating expanding his business. Lynn enrolled in the FastTrac® course (now known as Launch & Grow), a ten week program for entrepreneurs held on the North Iowa Area Community College campus. Lynn developed his business plan for expansion during FastTrac® and placed it into action shortly after completing the program. Lynn said, “I am thankful for the Launch & Grow class at the Pappajohn center. It helped me to recognize some of the challenges I would face in the business world such as finding my place in the market and how to develop a business plan.”
Kountry Kupboard is a great example of a traditional retail business finding success by staying true to its identity while also thoughtfully expanding into new or uncommon territory. Kountry Kupboard specializes in classic homemade food and coffee, but also offers bulk natural foods and packaged gluten free products – a combined mix of traditional and innovative modern products that can be hard to find in many rural Iowa stores.
Lynn has utilized the resources at the NIACC Pappajohn Center and North Iowa Area SBDC including one-on-one business counseling and Entrepreneurial Exchange workshops. The reinvigoration of rural towns is an ongoing project for most of the Midwest; the success and longevity of hometown businesses like Kountry Kupboard is a great example of how one business can continue to positively affect its entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Lynn has also worked with community partners including the Osage Chamber of Commerce. Kati Henry, Executive Director of the Osage Chamber of Commerce, said “I could not be more proud than to have such a strong business leader in our community win this award. He and his staff work tirelessly – especially around holidays – and you’ll never catch him with a frown on his face. He greets his customers with a smile, and often by name. He’s very much involved with the many programs and events we offer through the Chamber and is always willing to help out however he can. We really are blessed to have him and his business in our community.”
Every month, the Pappajohn Center recognizes the North Iowa entrepreneurs who make our region a success. To self-nominate or nominate a business for Pappajohn Center Entrepreneur of the Month click here.