Posted by Liz Nichols on Jul 18, 2017
Brian Adamec introduced the speaker, Cindy Altmaier Riley, owner of Winans Chocolate + Coffee in Coralville to talk about starting a small business, and particularly, about her business.
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
Cindy Altmaier Riley-- Speaker
Thanks to Jean Knepper for greeting today, Jack and Brian A. for set-up, Susie Poulton and Mike O'Leary for volunteering to do dishes, and Phil Peterson for being the Meals on Wheels driver for the day.
Deb Dunkhase announced that the next TAKO event in Coralville will be August 5, 9-3 pm.  Sign up for work shifts and for bringing cookies to sell at our TAKO snack shop. Those baking cookies please wrap them in plastic bags individually ready to sell.  Remember chocolate doesn't do very well on warm days.  This is our first fund-raising event of the year.  The Downtown Rotary will once again assist with the grilling for our snack shop.
Deb Galbraith announced a free concert at Roxie Mitchell's house Sunday from 3-6.
Contact Jean Knepper if you'd like to be added as a Meals on Wheels driver.
Brian Adamec announced that leftover wine from the Year Ender would be sold for a $20 donation per bottle.
John Ockenfels asked for helpers to get leftover FAMSCO items out of the CRST trailer that has been used to store things for the past 2 years.  The warehouse where it is being stored is at 764 429th St SE in Iowa City.  The work is being done today.
The Fundraising Committee meets after today's meeting.  Anyone is invited to attend.
Many people contributed Happy Bucks.
Cindy Riley grew up in Iowa City and came back to the area after 30 years in software development in order to start a small business.  She met the owners of Winan's Chocolates while living in Picqua, OH and worked out an arrangement to buy her supply of chocolates and fresh roasted coffee from the Winan family.  She particularly likes this product because they import their cacao in the form of chocolate bars from Nicaragua, which avoids having chemicals introduced at time of import, unlike when the beans are imported and finished in the US.  The coffee is imported from Columbia and roasted at the Winan's plant in Ohio.  Riley gets all her product from the plant in Ohio.
In starting a small business she had to answer the question, "Is is about getting rich or about lifestyle?"  In her case it was about lifestyle.  She said that every business confronts the issue of needing to pay attention to the factors of time, quality and money.  You can have two of the three, but generally not all three.  She also learned how to plan realistically in 1-3 year projections for operating costs, cashflow (need a backup plan), employee issues, and several other factors.  Plan on it taking 3 years with no profit, or maybe even 5 years, so that you are prepared for the worst case scenario.
Factors that have to be considered:  The location; whether a contractor is available to do the building renovations; fine-tuning your marketing so it is targeted.
It takes, in summary, a lot of hard work, long hours and slow financial reward to start a small business.