The Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission has announced the winners of the 2011 Henry County Business Plan Competition. Thanks to the generosity of the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission and Lomont Molding, $9,000 in cash will be awarded to four businesses for start-up and expansion costs.
Six business plans were submitted for this year’s competition. Due to the strength of the business concepts presented in the plans, a review board from the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission Entrepreneurial Support Committee advanced all six entries as finalists. These finalists then presented to an awards committee that had previously reviewed each business plan. Based on the business plan reviews and personal interviews, four businesses were selected to receive monetary awards. \
The winners are:
Stephanie Zinkle of Wholesome Goodness, a Mount Pleasant-based health and natural foods maker specializing in frozen meals and baked goods, is awarded $4,500 to aid business expansion. The money will be used to establish a commercial kitchen to allow Mrs. Zinkle to broaden distribution of her products. Wholesome Goodness uses local all natural food sources in all products, and is recognized as a significant contributor to the overall health and wellness of Henry County.
Elderberry Farms, owned by the Garretson family of Salem, Iowa is awarded $2,500 towards the startup/expansion of its elderberry farming business. Elderberry Farms is in the second year of production. The Garretsons hope to distribute the berries for use in natural health products, as well as create a local elderberry winery. The money will help provide equipment for protection and processing of berries.
Kalen and Mike Henderson of Studio K, M. Danice Vineyard, and M. Danice Events are awarded $1,000 towards the launch of a multi-business venture that will include a photography studio co-located with a new winery and event center. The business will create a unique event venue in rural Mount Pleasant and become an attractive tourist destination.
Lori Clancy and Jennifer Jalas are awarded $1,000 towards a new computer system and software for Premier Peeps, a new retail store in downtown Mount Pleasant. Premier Peeps is a cooperative business showcasing handmade products and goods from local creators.