Owners: Serena and Bob Schooley
Year Started: 2016
Location: Uptown Jackson 107 E Adams St, Jackson, MO 63755
Number of Employees: 5
Bringing coffee to the community.
When a growing community with 15,000 people doesn’t have a coffee shop, there’s an opportunity waiting for an aspiring entrepreneur! In this case, the community was Jackson, Missouri and the entrepreneurs were Bob and Serena Schooley. The couple not only recognized this unmet need in the community, they also saw the potential in the Uptown Jackson Revitalization project and invested in it from the beginning.
Grit and experience.
Serena had 10+ years of experience in the food service industry, but never worked in a coffee shop or owned a business. Bob worked with the city and aside from drinking his morning coffee he had no knowledge of how to set up a coffee shop. That didn’t deter them from pursuing the opportunity knowing they could be the ones to bring this to their community.
When entrepreneurs collaborate, they win.
They knew they needed help and weren’t afraid to go find it. They reached out to Colby Williams, another coffee entrepreneur in the region. Colby is the founder and owner of Parengo Coffee, a local coffee roaster and coffee shop in Sikeston. Colby agreed to supply Bob and Serena with the right equipment, coffee, and knowledge to start their own place in Jackson. A fruitful collaborative partnership was born.
One cup at a time wins the race.
The next step for them was to find capital. They went to The Bank of Missouri who immediately understood the potential and wanted to fund the project. But first they needed a business plan before they could move forward with the loan. A referral to the Small Business and Technology Development Center program at Southeast Missouri State University brought Bob and Serena over to the Economic and Business Engagement Center in Cape Girardeau where they met with the SBTDC business counselors. A business plan was put together on the online platform LivePlan and the loan process moved forward. The Ground-A-Bout recently celebrated 1 year in business and is thriving with four employees in addition to Serena full-time. They have also expanded by partnering with other local suppliers and vendors to offer treats and other goods in-store.
For more information on The Ground-A-Bout, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thegroundabout.
For more information on the SBTDC or to make an appointment with one of our counselors, go to our Businesses page.