Help The Flour Mill better serve its community and southwest Iowa!

Dreamer: Tyler Morris

Business: The Flour Mill

Location: Elk Horn, IA

Industry Contest: Hospitality/Restaurants

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The Flour Mill would like to accomodate more guests and provide entertainment to southwest Iowa. By making our courtyard accessible from inside the restaurant, we can add outdoor seating and host concerts, a much-needed and wanted entertainment option for the surrounding area.
Business Description:
Our business model is simple. We saw a need and a want for more dining options in our town of Elk Horn, especially when it came to fresh, hand-tossed pizza. We felt that if we had great tasting food, wonderful service, and fair prices, we could be successful. Both Tyler and I (the owners) have ties to Elk Horn. Tyler Larsen grew up here and graduated high school from here, while I (Tyler Morris) taught elementary school here right out of college. This community is important to us and we take a lot of pride in the service we're providing. We're unique in our town and area for a number of reasons; we're open 6 days a week, including Sunday's and Monday's, we stay open all day, our menu features fresh, artisan pizzas along with appetizers, salads, hot hoagies and pasta dishes, and we have made-from-scratch baked goods as well. By building a menu unlike our competitors and giving careful consideration to our hours of operation, we have found our niche in southwest Iowa. The impact of winning this money would be felt in several ways; with outdoor seating we would have to add another server and help in the kitchen, thus creating jobs. More of our local dollars would stay here with the increased seating and the ability to host live music/pizza buffet nights. People would have more entertainment options besides going to Atlantic, Harlan, or the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. Tyler and I both have prior restaurant experience and are fortunate enough to have my in-laws (Tyler Larsen's future in-laws) as our building owners and advisors.
Reason for Entering:
The Flour Mill is applying for this grant because we would like to expand and provide even more options for our community. Currently, we only have 12 tables in our dining room. We do, however, have a large courtyard that is inaccessible from inside the restaurant. A dream of ours is to put in a sliding glass door leading to the courtyard. We would then be able to accommodate more patrons during parts of the spring, summer, and fall by adding an outdoor seating area. Tyler and I also have a passion for live music and would like to host concerts in the courtyard, coupled with a pizza buffet night, once a month. I've had lots of conversations with patrons about our dreams for the courtyard and the pizza buffet/live music night idea has been met with great enthusiasm! In a small town like ours, people are desperate for entertainment. We love making people happy in our restaurant and this grant would allow us to continue doing that on a broader scale!
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