Having one career is rare these days. For Cynthia and Dennis Scott, their passion for cooking remained a constant throughout employment in the military, media and corporate worlds. They finally took the leap to start their own business creating and selling comfort food.
“I got tired of the corporate grind and downsizing,” Cynthia recalled. “But I never got tired of cooking for people.” For Dennis, a US Army veteran who cooked for the military overseas and medical facilities stateside, cooking was a family tradition all the way back to his grandparents. “Wholesome comfort food was always part of our family.”
After the two met and married in Aurora, they discovered their shared culinary experiences and explored the idea of buying a bus they could renovate with a full kitchen to cook and sell food. But first they needed to find financing.
“We went to our bank to apply for a loan but being a new business, we didn’t qualify,” Cynthia remarked. Their banker knew about Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) and referred them to apply for a loan which they used to buy a bus.
“The CEF VALOR loan gave us a lot,” Dennis said, “letting us refurbish the bus so we could get into events and market our catering service.” The Scotts also took advantage of CEF’s Business Acceleration Services (BAS) team of consultants to beef up their accounting and marketing efforts.
Their mobile food business, Cyndy’s Food-Lish-Us, now generates lines of diners waiting to buy their home-style American food at farmers markets, festivals and breweries where their daily specials keep folks coming back. Catering opportunities have also grown for the duo as word of mouth publicity and online reviews have increased awareness.
“Running a business is way different than working for someone,” Cynthia declared. “CEF provided us an avenue where we could succeed, not fail.”
The Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource (VALOR) loan program is dedicated to helping veteran entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses in Colorado. The program is made possible through a $2.2 million investment by Bank of America with additional support from the Xcel Energy Foundation.
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