Starting a business is a complex process, even if it’s going to be a one-person or family operation. You need to clearly outline your business services or products, mission, goals, financial statements and projections, marketing plan and much more.
The Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan University (SBDC) can help first -time entrepreneurs get things rolling. Two years ago Donny Bounds visited a gourmet popcorn shop in another town and fell in love with the colors, the smells, and overall positive and fun atmosphere. He says everyone in the shop was so happy, he decided he should give it a try.
With more than 30 years of experience in nursing and nursing administration, Donny knew he needed a business plan, and that homework was needed to see if the business was right for Bloomington/Normal. “That’s where the SBDC came in, to help me review my business plan, direct me towards additional resources in the community, and review my financing options,” says Donny. “They provided helpful templates and tools along the way to help me ensure there was a market for my idea, and that I had all the right pieces in place.”
Open since December 2018, Donny B's Gourmet Popcorn and Gifts makes gourmet popcorn and fudge with top-quality ingredients, and no additives or preservatives. Fresh popcorn is packaged every day in a large variety of flavors. Lots of other treats like fudge, nostalgic- and bulk-candy, ice cream, and cotton candy are also available.
“Our chef is formally trained at Le Cordon Bleu and is amazing at finding the right way to mix ingredients and achieve unique flavors while still maintaining a high-quality product,” Donny adds. “We also do lots of custom orders for individuals or even corporate gifts incorporating logos and brand colors. We’ve been popular with customers seeking items for weddings, baby gender reveals, and company thank you gifts.”
Check them out at 1220 Towanda Ave in Bloomington, or at www.donnybpopcorn.com
For help launching or running your small business, give us a call at SBDC and set-up an appointment.