By: NetWork Kansas
Mark and Stacy Clark completed the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program in Rice County during the Spring of 2017. Below Stacy talks about the impact that this program has had on them and how it helped them launch their business, Brew 56, in Lyons, KS. Stacy is also the Economic Development Director for Rice County.
Q: Describe your business and how it began since participating in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program.
A: "Brew 56 Coffee & Tap House is in downtown Lyons, Kansas on the north side of the Courthouse Square. We serve coffee, tea, homemade baked goods, craft beer, wine and artisan pizzas. We took the Ice House class in the Spring of 2017 and opened Brew 56 in December of the same year. When we participated in the class, Mark was dreaming about opening a Tap Room and it evolved from there."
Q: What were your key takeaways from participating?
A: "I think the key takeaways for us were to 'think big, start small' and 'find a need and fill it.' As far as thinking big, Mark would love to be involved in a brewery someday, but the tap house is a great start. We have also added lots of special events and a back patio since opening. As far as finding a need in Lyons, there was no coffee shop, so we added that to the Tap House to fill the need. We also sensed a necessity for a community gathering space. Brew 56 is often used for meetings, reunions, showers, parties, after-funeral gatherings and just a place for friends to hang out."
Q: What are your plans to grow your business in the future?
A: "In addition to opening the back patio, we have added special events like comedy nights, trivia nights, live music, and dinner theatres. We would like to continue adding special events as well as specials on different days of the week, and expand our merchandise area. We would also like to utilize tools from the Destination Business BootCamp® program to draw customers from beyond Rice County."
Q: How do you think the entrepreneurial mindset will help you to move forward?
A: "I think the entrepreneurial mindset helps us to think outside of the box and to act with less fear of failure. It is frightening at times, but the community has certainly welcomed us, and we have received much support and gratitude. We feel going through the Ice House class gave us the confidence to try new things and we would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in opening a business or new venture."
Check out the Brew 56 website here.