May 5, 2011

Leading Edge Graduation for Spring 2011

Nine San Luis Valley Business owners graduated from the spring Leading Edge Seminar (following the NxLevel Curriculum) on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 after 12 weeks of weekly meetings, creating their business plan and marketing material, and meeting with business consultants from the SLV SBDC.  The speakers were Eric and Lisa Burt from Kristi Mountain Sports who told their story of building a successful business in Alamosa, Colorado.

Several new businesses opened throughout the duration of this class:

Professional Bookkeeping Service Inc., Owners Kay Harmon and Cindy Morin, located in the Sunflower Bank building in Monte Vista.  (719) 850-3237.

Lopez Electric LLC, serving the entire region, (719) 588-6904."Performing the job right, the first time, on time and every time."

Valley Fire & Security of Colorado, LLC, NICET certified to bring you peace of mind.  Owner John Bradley, 719-480-4717.

Ronnie Lee Romero of All Aspects Roofing and Construction, (719) 580-0392, no job too big or small.

Fresh farm chicken or duck eggs can be purchased from Carla Yokely at White Pine Poultry, (719) 852-4466.

Jeaneen McLaren and Anna Libby are taking their homemade card making hobby to the next level and have created Heart-In-Hand Cards, an on-line business.  Stay tuned for their web-site so you can order homemade cards for your next special occasion. 719-849-8700.

New Store Opens in Del Norte, Colorado

Photo by Deanne Elliott
Val Dilley’s new business has a sunny entrance and she’ll welcome you with a sunny smile. Come on in to Flying Eagle Bison, located at 730 Grand Avenue, Del Norte, Colorado, to buy frozen, USDA approved bison meat, to browse and shop for gift items, or simply to admire the buffalo hides and learn more about buffalo.

Val has long dreamed of opening this store. She has managed the bison and sold the meat for years, first getting into the ranching business with her husband, Dale Dilley. He was an outfitter and all around Buffalo Guy. Flying Eagle Bison is in memory of “Buffalo Dundee”, as he was affectionately known. Val had been a nurse and office manager for years, and was ready for a change. She had thought she would open the shop at her home, where she has sold the meat for years, but wanted to be a part of downtown Del Norte and saw the value of being on Hwy 160. Seeing this building was available, and with support from her family and friends, she felt like the time was right to make her dream a reality. She has a good working relationship with other businesses in Del Norte and enjoys seeing the growing momentum of interest in businesses and services in the town.

The primary product in the store is the bison meat: roasts, briskets, steaks, ground meat, ribs, and stew meat are all available. The meat is 100% natural, with no growth hormones and antibiotic free. The bison are fed a combination of alfalfa, grass and potatoes, all grown locally. Bison, the “other red meat” is naturally flavorful and tender. It has a sweeter, richer taste; and many people say it is the most flavorful meat they have ever eaten. Nutritionally, bison meat has more protein and nutrients than many other meats, with fewer calories and less fat.

Val is primarily a rancher, owner of the Flying Eagle Bison Ranch, just outside of Del Norte. She does 95% of the ranch work herself. She manages the breeding of the animals and sells quality ranch raised breeding stock. The ranch is a member of the National Bison Association and a participant at the National Western Stock Show.

The bison meat is the focal product at the store, but Val also carries other merchandise relating to buffalo and specifically features items made by local artists. A painting by Karen Bonnie, “The Spirit of the Thunder” was newly unveiled at the grand opening of the store. You will also find mugs by “Always Azul Pottery” from Saguache; Charlie Ewing prints; soap made with buffalo tallow, photo cards of the San Luis Valley; and buffalo hide vests by Laurie 2 Dogs.

You will most likely find something new each time you visit as Val plans to continue adding more work by local artists. The sign outside the store was designed by Steve Crawford of Wildwood Sounds, in collaboration with Marian Rose, who designed the buffalo head. Val also works with the Local Foods Coalition to promote local products.

Val contacted Donna Wehe at the Small Business Development Center for help with legal entity, sales tax licensing and marketing in getting her business opened. The SBDC offers free and confidential counseling to those wishing to start, improve or expand their own business. Contact Donna at 719-589-3682 or for more information or to request counseling services.

Stop in soon to see what treasure you might find at the Flying Eagle Bison store. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9 to 5. For more information, call Val at 719-251-1176.

Disaster Preparedness for Your Business

Business Over Breakfast

Free to Alamosa Chamber of Commerce Members

$5 for non-chamber members

Continental breakfast included

Thursday, June 9, 7:30-9:00 a.m.

Upstairs at the Depot, 610 State Avenue, Alamosa

“Disaster Preparedness for Your Business”

Presenters: Lisa Werts, SLV Red Cross and Roger Jackson, Personalized IT

Contact Donna Wehe, 589-3682 or