The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit.
Episode 01: Building Community-Based Businesses
In our first episode, we discuss a reading from Fast Company titled: How Two Ex-Googlers Want to Make Bodegas and Mom-and-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete; and talk with our guest, Paul Ruppert, on building community-based businesses in the District.
A few quotes:
- "Recently we posed this question to the community via Prince of Petworth, a local blog: what are you looking for from your local corner store? What would make you frequent those locations instead of hopping in your car and driving to Walmart or Safeway?"
- "What power do we have if we believe in main street, if we believe in the small business owner and the idea of the American Dream?"
- [In reference to a neighbor's comment about an idea for corner store operations] "What a fantastic idea. In fact, that may be my favorite idea of 2017. Other than impeachment, of course."
- "[Paul Ruppert], you've been a pioneer in identifying and building neighborhood corridors full of food, beverage and culture beginning near the convention center with The Passenger and Warehouse Theatre, and heading north to Columbia Heights and Petworth with Room 11, Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books, and traveling south to Anacostia as a Board Member for Anacostia Playhouse. What are the core tenants of identifying a space to open a business?"
- "When I'm looking to do projects, [...] I look at the neighborhoods and see the history of the neighborhood, and where that neighborhood may be moving."
- "Central to what I've done is partnering with people who are passionate and hard-working to develop projects that fill a need in the community."
- "I love cities because they do change; and there's sadness when the things you love go away, but there's a new energy and vitality to a neighborhood."
- "Entrepreneurs have a through-line, whether it's now or 100 years ago or 1,000 years ago, these are adventurous people who see a need that they can fit, there's also a component around not wanting to a have a boss, and they're looking to make a difference."
- "I'm looking for a couple of key principles off the bat: financial resources (have the money or access to money), experience (their experience, what they have achieved thus far), and the story (what the business is, and is it what the neighborhood needs)."
- "[Being heart-centered, that fire in your belly is so important]. It's critical because competition is so cut throat right now and if you don't have a story, or reason to be there, you won't stand out from the crowd."
- Three tips for building a successful foundation as an emerging entrepreneur (listen in to learn more behind these tips):
- Hone in on your story
- Iterate, pitch and refine your idea/narrative even prior to launch
- If opening a brick-and-mortar, learn the soul of the space
- Latino Economic Development Center
- Popal Family: Lapis, La Pop
- The Ali's: Ben's Chili Bowl
- Indique, Rasa
- How Two Ex-Googlers Want to Make Bodegas and Mom-and-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete
- Prince of Petworth post
- Start with Why (mentioned at 21:15)
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