Bountiful Ridge Farms

Rick Goodall is a second-generation farmer in Arriola, CO, whose family grew apples and raised livestock. He married Gerrie twenty-two years ago. That’s when Gerrie was first introduced to farming. While expecting their second child, Gerrie chose to stay at home to raise the children, but the tradeoff was the loss of a second income. Gerrie considered her options and decided to plant a garden. Her first harvest was plentiful, yet it yielded a tremendous amount of zucchini. A friend recommended she sell it at the Dolores Farmers Market, which she did. Gerrie loved the experience and realized a larger market garden would bring in more income and provide food for her family.

In the coming years her garden and family expanded. The farm was renamed to Bountiful Ridge Farm (BRF) in 2013 and filed as an LLC in 2014. Gerrie had worked with a regional program whose purpose was to grow local food for local people. BRF also participated in a farmer’s coop to supply stores, restaurants and individuals. The experience helped her understand how to produce food in volume with larger scale planning. Gerrie said, “we found our sales were good but the money wasn’t there. Rick wanted to expand and build an apple shed.” The couple went to First Southwest Bank to inquire about a loan. They met a loan officer named Cassie. She wanted to know about the Goodall’s business experience, which at the time was a basic working knowledge from farming. Cassie suggested Rick and Gerrie call Liz Ross at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to supplement their experience. Liz referred the Goodalls to Cindy Dvergsten, who recommended they sign up for the January 2017 Leading Edge (LE) program. Cindy is a management consultant and SBDC advisor. She specializes in sustainable development and helps client acquire decision making skills that allow them to be socially, economically and environmentally sound.

The LE program’s objective is to educate entrepreneurs on the multifaceted aspects of business while providing instruction on how to complete a personalized business plan. The program offers one on one counseling with SBDC advisors of various business backgrounds. The Goodalls met with Cindy several times. “She gave so much clarity and understanding. She explained the importance of having a business plan and what to present to a bank.”
Gerrie’s biggest take away was to look at her farm as six different entities, not one. BRF had orchards, a market garden, hens, Heritage pigs and lamb, and raw milk dairy production. “I didn’t realize the importance to break up the farm because each entity has to stand on its own. If an entity can’t sustain itself, I either have to change or eliminate it.”

LE taught them how to analyze and solve problems while spreadsheet software was utilized to forecast their finances. Gerrie learned each farm entity was viable, but some would take several years before a profit would be realized. “Banks want to know what you can do. The LE instruction helped us secure a loan to purchase a refrigeration unit.”

In November, the Rick and Gerrie took a course partially sponsored by SBDC, and was taught by Holistic Management International (HMI). HMI is an organization that teaches a philosophy on how to make decisions that honor what you stand for. Specifically, the program incorporates the personal and business sides of life, socioeconomic factors and what the biological impacts are from the decisions people make. “When we make conscious decisions on how to do things better, it’s for generations to come. We want to give back to the land, give back to the animals, and not just take. We consider what effect our family’s decisions can have on our community, our state and our country. It is important to do for the long term and to do it well.”

Gerrie concluded, “SBDC is an invaluable resource. If there is an issue with marketing, I can call them at any time. There is an ongoing learning curve to keep our farm viable and sustainable. It has been a night and day experience with SBDC from a year ago.”

Countryside Disposal

Herman Rosas has worked in the trash disposal business in Cortez for twenty years.  He had developed a stellar reputation amongst the customers he served over that span.  In 2016, one disposal company Herman used to work for sold their business to their corporate competitor, which made them the only disposal business in town.  He and his wife, Kim, started to receive calls soon after from former customers.  The people asked them to start their own business.  They were unhappy

Read More »
Cafe Au Play

Kelly Tregillus and her mother-in-law, Liza Tregillus, are the co-founders of Durango Café au Play (DCAP). DCAP is a non-profit organization (NPO) that offers co-working space and childcare for new and expecting parents in a family friendly ‘café’ environment. Parents with young children are provided a space to work, socialize and attend parenting classes. DCAP provides a support system for moms and dads who feel disconnected and isolated at home. Kelly relocated from San Francisco

Read More »
MUNIRevs

by Malia Durbano As the Finance Director for Mountain Village in Telluride, Erin Neer saw gaps in the government accounting system that she thought she could fix. “Technology in government systems hasn’t evolved as quickly as it had in the private sector,” she deduced. Neer believed she could provide these services best from the vantage point of an entrepreneur, so she started her own business, headquartered in Dolores, CO. As the previous owner of Anytime

Read More »
Chimayo

Michael Lutfy and his wife, Biergitte, did research for years before they purchased, renovated and opened the Chimayo Restaurant on Main Avenue in Durango. Michael started working in his Uncle’s restaurant when he was 12 years old. He worked his way through college as a chef, and then worked as an Executive Chef for a large restaurant in downtown Los Angeles for many years. Desiring to change careers and become a writer, and then an

Read More »
San Juan Trading Post

By Malia Durbano Ryan, Tom and Ellen Beavers are all partners in San Juan Trading Post, a new business that opened in Pagosa Springs in October of 2013. Parents Tom and Ellen live in Pagosa and develop properties there. Son Ryan was managing a pawn shop in Ohio. When Tom and Ellen looked around, they realized there wasn’t a pawn shop in Pagosa and thought it might be a good place to open one. Ryan

Read More »
Doggy Day Care

Jeff Edens learned about Doggy Day Care in Pagosa Springs because his friends Maria and Linda worked there. He purchased the business in July of 2011 and now they both work for him. Edens had a good business background as a result of previous business experience as a home builder and realtor. Doggie Day Care provides socialization for the dogs which includes reinforcing proper social manners such as no barking, no fighting and no jumping.

Read More »
Skip to content