June 27, 2013

Grampa's Gourmet Honey opens Retail Location in East Alamosa

Brent Edelen is a sixth generation beekeeper and a fourth generation domestic beekeeper.  He was recently telling Donna Wehe (Small Business Development Center, 589-3682) about how his family ended up here in the Valley:
“My great grandfather, Edward Haefeli, passed through Elis Island around the turn of the former century. On his way from Switzerland, he had come to America to seek work and medical help for Tuberculosis. He made his way to Illinois, where he had family, but found the high humidity of the area aggravated his T.B. He continued west towards California. While crossing the Rockies he found the high dry mountain air helped this condition considerably. He eventually settled in the San Luis Valley.”

Today Brent manages about 500 colonies of bees.  They have two brand names for their company: Grampa’s Gourmet and Simply Honey.  They strive to produce real varietal honey for real people and educate people. They bring a quality honey product to the market.  I asked them if there is a difference between locally produced hone and something commercially produced.  Brent replied, “You have to be careful and understand the source.  Sometimes when you buy honey in the store you do not know exactly what you are getting. I have been in business in Alamosa now for about 10 years, selling honey exclusively wholesale and at various venues. This year, through acts of fate, we opened a retail location. The store is not just to sell honey, but rather to help educate.  The popularity of bees has exploded, and our goal is to provide a platform where people can come and learn about honey, bees, and most importantly heritage, sustainability, and showcase what makes the SLV so special.”  A story about Brent’s business ran in the Cooking Light magazine in August, 2012.  For more information or to order their products online, go to www.grampashoney.com.

At Brent’s location in east Alamosa (across from the Southway Crane, one mile east of the bridge), Karen Lemke will be using part of the building to offer Honey Lab Workshops, where participants can make their own beeswax lip balm, candles, cooking techniques and much more.  Email Karen at SLVWannaBee@gmail.com to get a list of classes.

The SBDC and Consultant Esteban Salazar have been guiding Brent in the new retail venture, with assistance from marketing to sales tax and much more.  In fact, Esteban is going to be working there part time, so stop by and greet Brent and his crew at their open house.  The open house is scheduled for July 5th (free sopapillas & honey samples) and 6th (free barbecue).  The regular hours are Wednesday-Friday, 8:00 – 6:00 and Saturday & Sunday 10:00-4:00.  They can be reached at (719) 588-5863.

June 26, 2013

Mineral & Rio Grande Counties Business And Employee Disaster Assistance Center

Rio Grande County Annex
965 6th Street, Del Norte, CO 81132. 
Friday, June 28, 10 am - 7 pm.

Services will be directed towards businesses and employees who are being affected by the fires.

Services/Resources will include:
· Department of Labor and Employment/Workforce Center
· Small Business Development Center
· San Luis Valley Development Resources Group/Council of Government
· San Luis Valley Mental Health
· Rio Grand County Social Services
· Department of Regulatory Agencies/Division of Insurance
· Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association
· Chambers of Commerce
· USDA Rural Development
· Colorado Rural Housing and Development Corp
· Local financial institutions

June 20, 2013

Carson Technical Services- SBDC Success Story

“I love to empower my clients,” Michael Carson told Donna Wehe (Small Business Development Center Director) as he was showing her around his new office location.  Carson Technical Services, LLC, owned by Michael Carson, outgrew his home office space.  He and his wife Suzette, have recently opened their retail location at 1425 Main Street, Valley Plaza, Alamosa.  Michael isn’t new to the area.  He is a Valley native, born and raised in San Luis.  His wife Suzette is a recent graduate from Trinidad State Jr. College Valley Campus, with a degree in Computer Network Technology. Suzette is still attending classes for Massage Therapy and is an apprentice at Mystic Orient and certified to do Acupressure and Reflexology.

Carson Technical Services offers many computer solutions such as installing and maintaining networks, data recovery, PC repair, fixing laptop screens, etc.  Their website is www.carsontechs.com which goes into more detail about all of their services and products. 
Michael received his training and knowledge while working at Valley Wide Health Systems for nine years in the IT department.  Michael has been assisted with the free and confidential business consulting offered by the SBDC and is looking forward to more business classes and networking opportunities.  The SBDC can be reached at 719-589-3682.

The d├ęcor in his office is unique.  He has a strong cultural tie to his hometown of San Luis and has some of the historic church pews from Sangre De Cristo Parish that he uses in his waiting area (see photo).  He debated about bringing in the kneelers, because people with computer problems are sometimes looking for miracle fixes!  Michael loves a challenge, and whether the client needs a one-time fix or an ongoing supportive service, he and Suzette are able to meet this wide variety of needs.  The phone number for the business is 719-937-2247.  Office hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30-5:30, Saturday 9:00-12:30, closed for lunch 12:30-1:30.  

June 7, 2013

ServSafe Class

Food Systems

 Manager Level 6th Edition
Training & Certification Class
Friday June 21, 2013
At the Grizzly Inn SLVRMC Meeting Room
Pre -registration & advanced payment required

*****Limited Class Size *****

Early Bird Registration Deadline June 1   $150
Late Registration  Deadline        June 8    $175

Registration Fee Includes: 
ServSafe® 6th edition Manager Text Book
8 Hour Certified Training
 Proctored Manager Level Certification Examination

For more information contact Carol Keith, SNS certified trainer
ckeith589@gmail.com  719.580.1289

ServSafe® is a nationally recognized comprehensive food safety training developed by the National Restaurant Association. This training meets food safety requirements for retail food service managers and for Colorado Cottage Food Act participants who produce and sell home-based food products.