Small Business Success in Johnson County, Missouri
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OWNER: BECKY CLEAR
1. Briefly describe Rock Island Café and the products/services offered.
We're everyone's hometown café. We offer dine in and carry out. In addition to our menu, we offer daily specials and desserts. We're just off the Rock Island trail and love to meet people from all over that use the trail.
2. How did you get started as a small business owner?
Our little hometown café was struggling. I couldn't work my regular job because of covid, and my husband had always wanted to own that place. So I said, why not?
3. What was your mission at the start of Rock Island Café and has that mission evolved over time?
To make that café a place where everyone feels welcome, and like they're home. That's still the mission, and always will be.
4. How many employees does Rock Island Café have?
5. What is unique about Rock Island Café?
My husband. He's a character and people come just to meet Uncle Hillbilly. They may know him from the past, or may have seen him in Facebook or TikTok. He's a Railroad engineer, so he's not always able to be around. When he is, he brings the fun with him.
6. How much time did it take for Rock Island Café to earn a profit?
7. What has been a significant challenge that you have faced and overcome as a small business owner?
Staffing. I have a great team, but my experience is in ministry and youth work. I do my best to take a team approach, but I've had to learn that my staff is my staff. Not friends, not family.
8. As a small business owner, how do you measure success?
Seeing a family laughing and eating around one of our tables.
9. What do you like most about owning a small business?
Being my own boss.
10. What piece of advice would you offer to new entrepreneurs?
I'm still looking for advice, I'm in no position to offer any.