Expand my gourmet food store by building a commercial kitchen for cooking classes & catering events

Dreamer: Katherine Ruff Winner

Business: By The Spoonful

Location: McGregor, IA

Industry Contest: Northeast Iowa Business Network 2013

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By The Spoonful is a new gourmet food market with a full service deli and wine cellar located in the heart of McGregor, Iowa. Solely run by proprietor Katherine Ruff, By The Spoonful offers popular gourmet food brands while also supporting many local and Iowa brands.

Complete with a large refrigerated and frozen food section, the store sells locally made meats and dairy products, as well as take-and-bake breads and cookies. Customers also will find a cellar stocked full of wines and craft beers produced by wineries and breweries from across the state, in addition to its selection of local favorites.

The owner, Chef Katie, tries to focus on Iowa products whenever she can. Katie’s goal is to use the store to help teach her customers how they don't have to go far for quality — and affordable — gourmet meals.

Big plans lie in wait for the store, as Katie hopes to make the store and the surrounding community along the Mississippi River more of a destination for tourists and locals alike. Katie would like to renovate the basement into a certified commercial kitchen in hopes of expanding into the catering market. With the renovation, By The Spoonful will start offering premade, take-and-bake meal options and also will begin cooking classes. With the cooking school, customers would learn various ways to use the ingredients and products found on the store’s shelves.

In short, By The Spoonful hopes to grow its business by building a commercial kitchen to expand its services and culinary capabilities. The eventual goal is to grow to the point where a small crew of full-time employees need to be hired to assist with larger catering and cooking events.

The Dream Big contest will help By The Spoonful continue growing and succeeding as a business.
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